Friday, May 18, 2007

Wang Weilin: Prophetic Courage

Even today his identity and whereabouts remain obscure. His moment in history, however, flashed across the world’s living rooms on June 5, 1989. A young nineteen-year-old student or factory worker, perhaps by the name of Wang Weilin, dressed in slacks and a white shirt dashes across the asphalt and stands defiantly in the pathway of a phalanx of whining, rattling tanks.

Ironically, the young man confronts these symbols of tyranny and oppression on the Avenue of Eternal Peace in Beijing, a stone’s throw from Tiananmen Square. The amazing standoff between flesh and steel continues for what seems like an eternity of six minutes before horrified bystanders abduct the courageous revolutionary from certain death.

This compelling demonstration of political courage and vulnerability stunned observers across the world and provokes the question of whether we might locate a comparable spiritual conviction that will shake the secular and postmodern foundations of our microcosm.

Source: Address given by David Crutchley, Seville, 2002.

Image: Wang Weilin.