Touching Lives; Touched Lives
by Ng Yeow Kong
As we plod daily in our earthly journey, we are ever mindful of the many fellow travellers surrounding us, just like life during Jesus’ time – individuals of all races, cultures, religions and backgrounds. Though massive changes had taken place in almost every facets of the human life, human beings and their needs remain largely the same.
Our physical needs alter little, going to work or conducting our businesses continue, facing and overcoming challenges is a norm, while enjoying the many life’s pleasures that come along. And of course not forgetting the many encounters and interactions with fellow humans on an almost daily basis.
This is what the Christians have been instructed to be more conscious of and involved in…. positively touching the lives of those around us.
With Jesus our Lord as our perfect example, we can surely emulate Him as we cross paths with others. In John 5:1-9, when Jesus was attending an important Jewish feast in Jerusalem, “held by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. There laid a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.” As Jesus walked about, “He noticed a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”
That man’s life was transformed in a blink of an eye! Totally changed! He could now stand, walk and run again after 38 years! Those standing nearby listening to their conversation and then witnessed the miracle must have been totally amazed. A lesson for us…. Opportunities to positively touch lives are always within range and we just need to be more aware of them. Better still, be proactive, like Jesus, “as He walked about” seeking out those whom may have specific needs, that we may help fulfilled. We can be a shining star – a Toucher like our Master.
B. The Good Samaritan
One word to describe the man… Amazing! He went more than the second mile to render needed help…. even to a total stranger. A real “Toucher of lives” indeed. And Jesus challenged the audiences to emulate the fine example of this outstanding individual…“Go and do likewise.”- Luke 10:30-37
C. Tabitha (Dorcas)
Besides this account in Acts 9:36-43, not much was known about this early disciple in Joppa. However, Luke deemed it fit to have her (and her good deeds) recorded for our learning and as an example to emulate. The scriptures mentioned, “She was always doing good and helping the poor.” She touched and impacted many people’s lives. And perhaps, for her good deeds, she was allowed to live again, being raised by apostle Peter.
D. Sis Joyce Gomez (Demised, 01 Sept 1955 – 02 Nov 2011)
Sis. Joyce obeyed the gospel in 27 May 2008 and though her days with the Klang congregation was brief, she had definitely touched many of us with her kindness and generosity. She had limited resources and faced many challenges, yet she would regularly invite many of us to her home for meals and fellowship. Those of us who had been blessed to be beneficiaries of her good deeds missed this sister of ours much.
Two events come to mind….1) She once helped me cook curry of some wild boar meat given by my friend…. at no charge. 2) A couples of months ago, I visited bro Samnas in IJN, Kuala Lumpur, where he was warded for observations and post surgery treatment. Guess who was there too? Joyce Gomez. This was the story – she hopped on a bus from her home to the station in Klang town (she does not drive nor owns a car), took another bus to the Kuala Lumpur bus terminal and then took a cab to IJN…just to visit Samnas and wife, to cheer and encourage them. Wow! They were touched by her kindness a thousand times over. Bro Samnas was extremely sad when bro Eng Boon broke the news of Joyce’s demise to him.
At her funeral, her family members described her as “A Giver” all her life! And many members of the church and friends were there to bid her farewell.
(Note: Joyce’s eldest sister, in her eulogy at the funeral, expressed the Gomez family’s heartfelt thanks and appreciation to members of the Klang Church for having taken Joyce in and treated her well during the 3½ short years she was with us. The sisters knew that certain members were close to and supported her in many ways and they are grateful. To those who had positively touched Joyce’s life, good job and well-done!)
This article would be incomplete without highlighting the many recorded accounts of “Touched Lives”, especially in the Gospels. Their entire lives changed and I am confident they were eternally grateful for having crossed path with a “life-toucher.” A quick scan brings forth the following individuals:
▪ The widow whose only son was raised by Jesus – Luke 7:11-17
▪ The woman with the issue of blood healed by Jesus – Luke 8:43-48
▪ The Samaritan leper, (Healing of the 10 lepers) – Luke 17:11-19
▪ Bartimaeus, the blind man healed by Jesus – Luke 18:35-43
▪ The woman caught in adultery, forgiven by Jesus – John 8:1-11
May this short reminder help us touch more lives as we go about doing our own things. Perhaps there may be some who are crying out for help and you may be at the right place at the right time, just like the Good Samaritan. Certain individuals may need physical assistance – James 2:15-17 – “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” But others may desire moral support and/or verbal encouragement – Prov 16:24 – “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Apostle Paul also prodded us to be rich in good works. Gal 6:9-10 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” And we should …“Go and do likewise.”
The good Lord bless you and loved ones richly.
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