One evening, Jingru was tidying her place.
“Ring, ring.” The phone began to ring. She answered it and a strange yet familiar voice sounded in her ear: “Hello! It’s Wang Wei. You’re home!”
“Wang Wei?” Jingru was somewhat astonished: Why was he calling her now after so many years?
“Yes … I’m home. What’s up?” asked Jingru in surprise.
“Long time no see. I’d like to take you for a ride. I’m on my way to your place and will arrive soon. Wait outside your door for me!” said Wang Wei.
After she’d hung up, Jingru’s heart began to race, and her thoughts immediately returned to those days at school …
Jingru had not only grown to be pretty, but she also got good grades, and many boys in the school, including Wang Wei, pursued her. In order to get himself into Jingru’s world, Wang Wei employed all kinds of ways to get closer to her, like passing messages, writing letters and giving her presents to express his feelings for her. But Jingru was an obedient, sensible girl, and she didn’t want her studies to be affected or to disappoint her parent’s expectations of her because of some emotional distraction, and so she always adopted an indifferent attitude in the face of Wang Wei’s persistent pursuit. But Wang Wei didn’t give up just because Jingru gave him the cold shoulder, and several years later Wang Wei was still pursuing her just as he’d always done. His persistence began ever so slightly to move Jingru’s heart, but she was only slightly moved. Later, a few female classmates began to appear around Wang Wei, and they would follow him around all day long. Jingru’s tranquil heart began to surge, and she thought she could use this circumstance to test Wang Wei for a semester; if he remained unmoved by these girls and kept pursuing her, then she would relent to his pursuit …
“Beep beep!” The car horn broke Jingru’s reverie. Wang Wei was already outside waiting.
Jingru got into his car, and faced with this long-absent, unexpected meeting, they both lapsed into silence.
They drove around aimlessly, and the atmosphere became somewhat awkward.
After a good while, Wang Wei broke the silence. “So … how have you been?”
“Good, thanks. All good,” Jingru replied lightly.
“Where have you been all these years? I couldn’t find you. It was like you’d disappeared off the face of the earth. Only when I accidentally saw your number on a friend’s phone did I give you a call, otherwise who knows when I would have seen you again!” said Wang Wei, driving the car and looking every now and then at Jingru as he spoke.
“I haven’t been anywhere. It’s just that work has been quite busy, so I haven’t been in touch with any of you,” said Jingru in a measured tone.
Wang Wei stopped the car by the side of the road. He then said to Jingru what was in his heart, and in his deep voice there were both sorrow and regret: “I was always after you when we were at school. For five years I pursued you! But you were always so cold to me, I don’t know how I got through all those years. After you left school, I enrolled in a military school, but I still thought of you all the time. After I graduated, I looked for you everywhere, but never found you. Finally, I got married because of pressure from my family, but you were still in my heart, before, now and forever. When I unexpectedly saw your phone number, there was only one word in my mind: Regret. I regret that I didn’t wait to get married, and that I didn’t meet you sooner …”
Hearing Wang Wei make such a sincere confession, Jingru felt a bitter grief. Looking at Wang Wei now, whose face that had always been handsome was now more mature and dignified, to her surprise, Jingru’s heart was turned to Wang Wei …
“Ah, pursuing you all those years and being treated so coldly by you, I was in the dark, and I chose to wait for your answer one more year, but in the end … you were still you, and I was still me. Tell me, why did you always ignore me at school? What did you think about me? Can you tell me?” asked a somewhat hurt Wang Wei.
Hearing this, Jingru also felt hurt and regret—hurt because she had been so heartless back then and had wounded Wang Wei, and regret because she had missed the chance to be with Wang Wei back then because of her indifference. Looking at Wang Wei, Jingru sighed that after so many years Wang Wei actually still kept her in his mind. She thought of how she was no longer young and how she still hadn’t found a suitable boyfriend, and how all her friends had gotten married one by one, leaving her as the only one who was alone. She wanted a partner who loved her too, and so many times she’d dreamed a romantic picture of her and a lover being so intimate and close together, and had even dreamed of herself and Wang Wei going together…. She also thought of how Wang Wei had persistently pursued her back then, and she regretted that she hadn’t been able to appreciate it. Now Wang Wei was still pursuing her and she really wanted to relent to him, and be his partner. But her reason said to her: “Wang Wei is married already! As a Christian, you must bear a Christian’s testimony. You absolutely must not impulsively say your true feelings to Wang Wei. Only by conducting yourself in accordance with God’s requirements can you conform to God’s will.” But the feelings in the deeps of her heart and her reason tore her in different directions, and she felt pained.
Jingru put her confused thoughts in order, forced herself to pretend that nothing was amiss, and replied to Wang Wei: “That year, I wanted to test you for one more semester. If your feelings for me didn’t change, then I would consider going out with you. But then I thought of my parents’ expectations of me … I guess it was fate!”
Jingru suppressed her feelings as she said this, but she felt a gripping pain. If she could have turned back the clock, she would certainly have agreed to go out with Wang Wei without a moment’s hesitation, and then maybe they wouldn’t be in this situation now. But now, Jingru was doing all she could to hold her emotions in check, and tears began to fall quietly down her face. She was afraid Wang Wei would see, so she turned her face to the window. But Wang Wei sensed that Jingru was crying, and he hurriedly took out a tissue to wipe her eyes.
In her heart, Jingru silently called on God to keep her, so that she could steel herself not to fall into temptation and lose the testimony of a Christian. She took the tissue and said, “I’ll do it.” After she’d dried her tears, Wang Wei suddenly took her hand and began to bring it up to his shoulder, and right then, being so upset, Jingru did indeed need a shoulder for comfort. For a moment, Jingru felt in a trance, and wanted to lean on that shoulder, but God’s words that teach and warn people appeared in her mind: “As for all people who do evil (those who fornicate, or deal in dirty money, or have unclear boundaries between men and women, or who interrupt or damage My management, or whose spirits are blocked, or who are possessed by the evil spirits, and so on—all except My elect), none of them will be let off, nor any pardoned, but all will be cast down to Hades and perish forever!” (“The Ninety-fourth Utterance”).
Jingru felt that God’s words were judging and reproaching her, and in an instant she awoke from her trance. She knew clearly that God is holy, that God’s disposition is righteous and inviolable, and that what God most hates is people who engage in promiscuity and who have unclear boundaries between men and women. She knew that if she made a mistake in her relations with men, then she would be stained forever, and she would be condemned, hated and cursed by God, she would lose the testimony of a Christian and would lose the salvation of God. Jingru knew that the moment she took one step toward Wang Wei, then she would be utterly lost. Faced with this situation, Jingru felt unprecedented fear and unease. She thought that not only could she not do anything that would offend God’s disposition, but she must also respect Wang Wei’s marriage. Wang Wei was no longer the boy in the schoolyard who had pursued her, but was now a man with a family, a wife and children. If she took a wrong step now, she would destroy someone else’s family, and become the shameful other woman. God’s words of judgment caused a God-fearing heart to arise within Jingru. Mustering up all her strength, she threw off Wang Wei’s hand, and said coldly, “It’s too late. Take me home!”
“After all these years, why do you still keep me out? Can’t I even comfort you?” said Wang Wei unhappily.
“You’ve misunderstood. I’m not keeping you out. I’m respecting you, because you have a family. You have to think of them,” replied Jingru calmly.
But Wang Wei pressed Jingru, saying, “And if I divorced? Would you give me a chance then? I’m not just saying this on the spur of the moment!”
This question made Jingru’s heart surge again, and she didn’t know what to say. She just silently prayed to God in her heart: “O God! Please protect my heart and keep me from doing anything that would offend Your disposition.” After she’d prayed, she thought of these words of God which say: “Their words nourish your heart and captivate you so that you become disoriented and without realizing it, you are sucked in and willing to be of service to them, be their outlet as well as their servant. You have no complaints at all but are willing to be at their disposal—you are deceived by them” (“Your Character Is So Lowly!”). God’s words once again awakened Jingru, and she knew that the surging in her heart was because she was falling under the control of evil lusts; this was Satan putting its cunning scheme into action to seduce her, to make her live in sin and lose the testimony of a Christian, and to make her sink into physical lust and become more and more degenerate and corrupt. Therefore, she knew that she must have discernment, and must see through Satan’s cunning scheme. Wang Wei was already married—that was a fact—and Jingru knew that she could not be deceived into losing her reason because of some passing sweet words. If she really did take a wrong step and say some wrong things, then she would become Satan’s fool, she would be serving as Satan’s outlet and she would become the disgraceful other woman; the outcome would be a broken family, endless pain for Wang Wei’s wife and children, and she herself would be irreparably stained before God—the consequences were unthinkable.
As she came to this realization, Jingru steadied her feelings, and calmly replied: “Don’t be silly. Even if you did divorce, we would still just be friends. I took what you said to be a joke. Take me home.” Wang Wei saw Jingru’s resolute attitude, and said no more.
At last, they arrived back at Jingru’s door, and as Jingru was just about to get out of the car, Wang Wei went to hold her hand again, but she quickly got out and hurried to her door. After she got inside, she lay down on her bed. She couldn’t calm her heart for a long while, thinking of what had just happened, and she was filled with all kinds of feelings: Had it not been for God’s protection, she really wouldn’t have been able to hold herself up in the face of Wang Wei’s sincere confession, consideration and comfort, and she could perhaps have done something ugly that was immoral and that would have destroyed someone else’s family. Even more serious was that she would have fallen into emotional temptation, offended God’s disposition, lost the testimony of a Christian, and been left with an unforgivable transgression that she would have regretted for the rest of her life. Jingru truly began to appreciate how important God’s words were to her, as they had not only enabled her to gain God’s protection when faced with temptation, but they had also enabled her to stay cool-headed and sensible in speech and deed, and to live out a normal humanity. This experience brought Jingru feelings of ease and enjoyment, and she couldn’t help but thank and praise God from her heart: It was God’s protection that allowed her to overcome the temptations of Satan and stand witness as a Christian. And so she went before God to say a prayer of gratitude, and then she went to sleep.