A Chinese Christmas Story – Part 7

Tim Ulmer, a former staffer for Illinois House Republicans (where I met him) taught English in China for a year.

He has written a book on the experience, which is not yet published.

McHenry County Blog is going to serialize the chapter on his experience at Christmas.

Here is the next installment:

A Chinese Christmas Carol, continued

Tim Ulmer explains, “Romeo was my most enthusiastic and cheerful of about 300 6th grade students. There was a girl who he openly disliked in the class named Claudia. Feeling was mutual, and the whole class loved witnessing their squabbles. One day I told them that often times, boys and girls who dislike each other fall in love when they get older. I told the class who where this Romeo got his name from (He knew Shakespeare, but not the story). And the class erupted into laughter when I told them maybe we should change Claudia’s name to something more beautiful, like “Juliet”. Then I told them about the love story Shakespeare wrote about those two characters and Romeo pretended to fall on the floor and die and Claudia pretended to vomit. But Romeo was the inquisitive.”

“Ricky, Merry Christmas,” I said, handing him the Bible.

I remembered that one of Martin Luther’s complaints against the Catholic Church was its insistence that the Bible only be written in Latin, and that the Bible shouldn’t be read by the layman.

It was Ricky’s predicament, and the same of his fellow Chinese citizens, that authorities also wouldn’t allow the reading of the Bible.

“It is my honor and privilege to give you this Bible.

“Keep it.”

I waited patiently while he stared down into the bag, to catch a glimpse of my gift.

You would have thought he was Indiana Jones finding the Holy Grail!

Eventually, he looked up at me, gave me a hearty thank-you.

He was as radiant as the first Christmas star must have been.

Giving Ricky a Bible on Christmas might certainly have been the best Christmas gift I’ve ever given anyone.

“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”—Martin Luther
= = = = =
More tomorrow.


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