J. Hudson Taylor's Thoughts
After all the years of preparation, medical training, and praying, the day to leave England finally came. I couldn't believe it.
Well, I believed it would come since God gave me the desire, but then I became deathly sick, struggled to pay bills, and, what am I saying, all this has already been told and I am rambling.
Days before my departure surgical tools, medicines, and other medical equipment had been delivered to my cabin on the stern of the Dumfries. I went to the dock several times the week before set sal and felt torn. England had been my home, yet China held my dreams to serve the Lord. I couldn't help but breathe in the English air deep into my lungs and sear the memory into my mind. I didn't know what God had in store for me, whether I'd die at sea, at the hands of robbers, starve, or return to England one day.
This I did know, I would press forward, come what may, and trust the Lord for each day.
My parents came a week early to send me off. Unfortunately due to a shipping delay, my father had to leave before we set sail. He had spent a few days with me, praying, and reading the Word before boarding a train for home. I hoped I get to see him again.
On September 19, 1853 members of the Chinese Evangelisation Society joined my mother and me in the cabin which would be my home for the next six months. We sang hymns, read Scriptures, and prayed. Truly this was a worship I would remember. The members gave me their blessings and went ashore.
My mother stayed behind me in the cabin. She reached down to the bed and smoothed the wrinkles in the blanket left by those who sat there a moment before. Mom looked up at me and put on one of those I'll miss you, son smiles.
This was the woman who prayed for hours until she knew God had shown me the way to his salvation. She has been my rock, my support, my prayer warrior, and my encourager, yet she held her chin strong. "Hudson, you must take care of your health. Without health you won't be able to complete the task God has given."
What would a farewell be without the last mom advice? I rolled my eyes and laughed. "I will." The look on her face showed she had much more to say, but would allow her twenty-one year old son to walk his own journey.
We prayed together one last time before I helped her up to the main deck. She walked down the gangplank as a woman of grace and over to an area where friends and family shouted last farewells.
The Dumfries pulled away from the dock opening a seam of water between the dock and us. I ran to the ratlines, climbed to a high point, and waved my hat in the air. The breeze blew threw my hair. "Bye!"
I eyed my mother running along the dock and waving her handkerchief. She stopped at the end and contained herself no longer. The cry of her mother's heart overpowered all sounds. It was at that moment that I had a better understanding of God so loved the world and his ache when His children walk away from Him.
I am off to China. Goodbye England.
J. Hudson Taylor
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Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.