A couple days before I took this photo, I read about author Hannah Hurnard and her comparison between a chairlift and faith. The ride looks dangerous, because there’s no earthly support, and falling would be catastrophic. But there is a reliable power, working from above, that’s mostly invisible during the ascent. If the rider abandons control and simply sits in the chair, that overhead power will waft him or her to amazing heights. Nothing is achieved through self effort save abandoning control in the first place.

No self effort. Assurance of salvation. Sometimes these concepts become so routine for Christians. But for a Hui student named Jack, these ideas are brand new, and they sound too sweet to be true. Thus far, Jack has known religion only as something fear-based: Keep working and you might, just might, have a shot at reaching Paradise in the end.

After sharing the Gospel and studying the Bible with him, it’s obvious to me that Jack wants to be a Christian. He believes that Jesus rose from the dead, and he quietly longs to abandon control and sit in that chair. He wants to feel the grace, love, and assurance that only Jesus can give. Jack knows, however, that his family wouldn’t approve of a decision to convert. If he gets in the chair, he’ll be riding alone. Again, the ride looks dangerous, because there’s no earthly support – Here, that reality is obvious; here, it costs so much to believe. The first step alone, believing in Jesus, really does require total abandonment. But I know that Jesus will prove Himself worth any cost to Jack, and I pray that, if it’s His will, Jack will realize that very soon.