A view from class

Roadside food in Taiwan

In 2006, my first year teaching I encountered something that has stuck in my heart for a long time. This moment has always touched my heart and given me a longing to never see such a thing again, because I wish to see hearts in Taiwan repaired.

My school was located at the corner of a busy intersection. On the side street that stretched back along the school was a second hand car dealer.  Later the car dealer decided he was going to build little units along the road for small businesses to use. I remember seeing the units erected quickly, and several of them rented almost immediately. They were small units, and chairs and tables were mostly placed out on the street edge as was common in Taiwan.

One night I remember looking out the window during class, I was on the 2nd or 3rd floor. My view was good, but what I saw was not. I saw a husband tearing apart the food stand that he and his wife had started. He was in a rage, and flipped over the tables, ripped the napkins out, threw the chopsticks all over the road, and went about destroying everything. The wife stood still, with her hands at her sides, not moving. I only watched for a short while, but I remember it like it was yesterday. The way it made me feel still lingers on.

I don’t know the circumstances. I don’t know if they were losing money, or if they had taken bad loans to get started and now were in debt over their heads. I don’t know any of that. I just know that they were in a bad place, and I felt heart broken having witnessed this event.

This is a reason I long for healing in Taiwan. I don’t want to see the pain, witness the abuse, and feel the shame that was pouring down on that wife that night. I can’t imagine what it was like. This is what Jesus can change. His followers can be there to make a difference, to offer assistance when no one else will. Broken lives need mended.

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