Thursday, April 24, 2014

Including the Entire Letter of Judy Linton 林奐均 to her father Lin I-hsiung 林義雄

While many of the newspapers did include the entire letter that Judy Linton wrote to her father, Lin I-hsiung, just before he began his hunger strike, some news sources only included excerpts that might give a skewed understanding of what Judy Linton wrote. Here is the letter in its entirety -- both in English and Mandarin. This was written as a personal letter from Judy Linton to her father, not written with the media in mind.

Dear Dad,

We never know what tomorrow may bring.  A wise person would never take any moment for granted.  Any time we meet anyone, it may be our last time.

With all of my heart, I hope for many more years of life together with you - that my children will have many more years with their grandfather.  I hope tonight is not our last meeting, but it is always a possibility.  You have had many years to write all your thoughts down to me.  Please allow me a little chance to say some things to you.  

You have always been a good dad.  And you’ve been a wonderful grandfather.  The only grandfather my five girls know.  Having your love in their life is making them strong, just as your love has made me strong through the years.  You do realize you play a very important role in their little lives, right?  If ever you feel weak and lose the will to persevere, would you please remember their five faces and fight to stay alive?  Your life will strengthen them.  To lose you would cause a great hole in their hearts.  Please fight to stay with us.  

Dad, I know that you are willing to die for a good cause.  That’s what makes you a remarkable man.  But since I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to say this again, please allow me to say now: “You are not yet ready for eternity.”  Dear Dad, if Heaven were made for righteous men, you would be the first person admitted.  I don’t know of any other man more righteous than you in all of history.  You live up to your name.  But entrance into Heaven is not through a man’s own righteousness.  

Dear Dad, you have read about all the different religions.  Almost all religions are the same.  They talk about ‘being good.’  But the Bible is different from all others.  The Bible says that no one is good.  Not even one.  “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, it is through the law we become conscious of sin.”  Meaning, the purpose of the ‘do good’ laws is to show us how much we sin.

I have heard you quote First Corinthians 13 many times.  “Love is patient, love is kind...”     It is a wonderful reminder of how to love others, and at the same time it shows us plainly how often we fail, especially with those closest to us.  How often have I failed to show patience and kindness to my own kind mother and sweet children?  

We cannot enter Heaven based on our own righteousness.  You have said in your own letters to me that you, too, have often failed.  No matter how ‘good’ we are in this life, “there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  The only righteousness God accepts “comes through faith in Jesus Christ.”  Meaning, faith is the righteousness with which we must wear to gain entrance into Heaven.  

It is midnight now.  I wonder if I should write more or stop.  This very morning, we celebrated Easter.  We celebrated Jesus’s dying on the cross and rising from the dead after 3 days.  Dear Dad, you have spent an entire lifetime following Jesus’ many good teachings.  As you now put your own life on the line for Taiwan’s democracy, could you please spend some time reflecting on why Jesus sacrificed his life?  Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins, so that if you believe in Him, you will be forgiven, and you will be declared righteous by God Himself.  

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.“  

Dear Dad, as a gift to your daughter, please give me more chances to discuss life with you.

Love you so much,


Easter Sunday
April 21, 2014






親愛的爸爸,你涉獵各種不同宗教的書籍,其實幾乎所有的宗教都一樣,談的都是「行善」。但聖經和其他宗教不一樣,聖經說:沒有義人,連一個都沒有。「所以凡有血氣的,沒有一個因行律法能在 神面前稱義,因為律法本是叫人知罪」(羅馬書三章20節)。換言之,律法告訴人要「行善」,但這些律法的目的是要向我們顯明我們犯了多大的罪。


我們無法靠自己的公義進天堂,你在寫給我的信中也說過你經常失敗。不論我們此生多「良善」,「並沒有分別,因為世人都犯了罪,虧缺了 神的榮耀」(羅馬書三章22-23節),上帝接納的唯一公義是「因信耶穌基督」而來的,也就是說,我們進天堂所必須穿戴的公義就是「信耶穌基督」。


約翰福音三章16節:「神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不致滅亡,反得永生。因為 神差他的兒子降生,不是要定世人的罪,乃是要叫
世人因他得救。信他的人,不被定罪,不信的人,罪已經定了,因為他不信 神獨生子的名。」


Love you so much,



1 comment:

Moses Tsai said...

I am a grandfather with three grand children: one boy and two twin girls. I love them so much that I might wish to die for them [if I need to donate my aged heart for one of them]. I believe Judy's father loves her five girls very much just like I love my grand children. However, Mr. Lin I-hsiung wish to give up his life for a course bigger than his love to his five beautiful grand daughters. For stopping nuclear power Mr. Lin go by hunger strike to die slowly. Oh! Dear Lord please inspire us on how to help him out. Should we go occupy Presidential Office? Or should we join Mr. Lin with hunger strike?

Moses Tsai - Sunday school teacher of Judy's first three daughters.