by Loke Poi Ching, Kota Kemuning church of Christ
“When I first heard of some virus threatening the lives of people in other countries, who would have thought COVID-19 would come our way?”
The last time I could recall coming across something of similar experience was the May 13th incident in 1969. Parents came to my school in the morning and tore down the school gates just to get their children home when the curfew was imposed. I was in Standard One then. Somehow, I vividly recall that evening, we were all anxiously waiting for my father to return home. My father, typically in his calm demeanor, looked worried that night. I did not understand why.
Recalling this event, I now understand. My dad had 7 mouths to feed, and most times, with only enough to get by each day. The uncertainty of what may be and how to provide food for his family was of topmost priority. The responsibility and burden must have weighed so heavily on his shoulder, and I now wish I could have understood him then and provided him a shoulder to lean on – A comforting word or two to let him know that everything will be alright. My heart aches, just thinking about it.
Now over 5 decades later, I lament over how much office work must be done from home, with longer hours due to MCO, and my bosses checking up on us to ensure that we keep our staff working.
‘I have forgotten’ what it was like back in 1969. ‘I have forgotten’ what my dad went through. ‘I have forgotten!’ that we had little-to-nothing back then.
Comparing to those days, it dawned on me that I have no right to complain or moan.
My Lord and my God, has provided bountifully for my family and I. We have jobs with full salaries, food in stock, no young children to worry about, able to provide for my mom more than sufficiently, roof over our heads and all the necessities in life to keep us going. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I have thought more about myself, over my brethren who have less, some of whom are impacted by critical illnesses, have lost their jobs, experienced salary cuts, are seeking employment, or have young children to provide for while trying to make ends meet. Not forgetting, there are people out on the streets that are homeless and less fortunate.
It was during our Ladies Fellowship during MCO that I had a wake-up call. During our sharing session, I realized that our younger sisters were going through different phases in life, and also struggles.
Reality struck – Why look back at what I should and could have done for my dad, when I can focus on what I can do now. What my God has blessed me, I can and must do and give back more.
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt 25:40)
As a child of God, I should do my best at my job, but I shouldn’t be worried about losing my job. Instead, I ought to spend my time thinking about what I can do for my brethren who are in need.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psa 55.22)
My Lord, just as He promised, has always carried me through much darker days and provided me with a way out through trying times (Psa 23).
I am thankful that He is a forgiving God (Psa 86:5) and I know that it is never too late to ask for His forgiveness, and make an effort to serve Him better moving forward.
My Lord, I am awakened. It is my goal to be able to serve Him till the end of my days.
Last but not least, from the bottom of my heart, a deep appreciation to bro Peter Chin for his MSOP classes during the early days back in Klang COC. With a deeper understanding, the word of God has come alive in my soul, and has guided and kept me going through all these years.