When our oldest son turned 13 years old we did not have a Bar Mitzvah, rather we held a Bar Yeshua for him. It included a very informal ceremony where we put away the “stick” of discipline and recognized my son’s coming of age. We were in Chengdu China at the time and I decided not only to invite other missionary dads but one of my local friends, Wang Yi. He brought his wife, Jiang Rong.
I didn’t think much of the event in terms of it’s impact on my friends. Years later, however, I remember Wang Yi making reference to it in something he wrote and recently one of the posts on a chat group included a excerpt of Wang Yi referencing this event (Bar Yeshua). Someone who had read Wang Yi’s writings was commenting how this event had impacted Wang Yi and the deep impression it made on him. As this writer reflected on the now 12 year old Shuya, he was praying that Shuya would realize how deep his father’s love for him is. That even though Wang Yi may not be there for his son’s 13th birthday, he hoped Shuya would realize that his Heavenly Father is still watching over him.