We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4：8，9
In chapter 4 Paul refers to himself as “We have this treasure in earthen vessels… (v.7). I am weak, yet the Lord works mightily in my weakness to reveal his glory to me. It struck me that the Bible Missionary is a man who carries his treasure in an earthen vessel. It is such a simple thing to be a Missionary, to take the gifts and abilities of God and put them in something as simple as a clay vessel. In England we were Anglican, so we had Evangelists. I was in the psychology department at Oxford University, but I was drawn to the theology department. By the time I was there, there were Muslims and many future clergymen. The faith itself seemed to be fading in England, but I found the lectures by the Bible preachers in Christ Church interesting. Most of the Bible expositors were talking about other worlds, but this one had a way of intertwining the unseen with the seen, speaking to dreams and thoughts that we had not yet verbalised or imagined. I was not then as sure as I am now, but this kind of evangelism made me want to be a writer like *George MacDonald.
I returned home, but the image of the writer I wanted to be in Japan was a difficult one. Then in 2018, for various reasons, I gave up the idea of becoming a preacher. I became more aware of fiction and writing rather than faith, and for a while I did an apprenticeship as a journalist, but I was also dealing with the medical and resentful side of things, and the threats were certainly coming, as they say. Most troubling of all were the death threats to my cat, Adam, and the persistent unauthorised access to my information on twitter and leaking of information through logins.
I retired from all secular writing in order to be able to live with my cat. In 2020, with the support of my church and Bishop Sakai, I will be able to return as an Missionary. Nowadays, logic is more and more used as a confrontation or an attack, but it can also be used as a reconciliation. What is more vicious is that people who mistake it for logic and send death threats to others can live without any punishment. I wondered if I had to fight this cowardly dustbunny, but then I realised that I didn’t have to. A trash is a trash and not worthy of being a man. Paul had many allies, but he had just as many attackers. Those who are baptized suffer as much as those who are doing the right thing. There is a time, Kairos and Kronos, that surrounds human beings. To struggle in vain for approval is to live in Kronos and waste time. Living in kairos is to improve the self. During this time we are not allowed to throw mud at others. You will find that the only way to use sorrow and misfortune is to turn them into good deeds. Otherwise, you will just grow old in vain and your confidence will be as dust as the perpetrator. It will fade away with the passage of time. It is important, especially if you want to be a preacher, to keep your precious jewels in a humble earthenware vessel and ponder them until the time is right. There will probably be hard days ahead, but as a Baptised person I am strong and will not give in. There is no need to constantly polish or decorate the earthenware vessels in which we store our treasures. That’s how Christians overcome trials, and that’s how we are evangelists.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.( 2 Corinthians 4:18)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.（2 Corinthians 12:10）
There is no profession of evangelist in Catholicism at the moment, but writers can still take on this role. In today’s Japan, it is difficult, yet perhaps it is precisely because it is difficult that life has meaning.
George MacDonald, Scottish writer and clergyman.
Tolkien, the Bible preacher, Lewis Carroll and others have been influenced by him. His work called Lilith, influenced by the Bible, is very beautiful.