Lending A Helping Hand

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling extremely tired after service and just wanted to go home asap. While at Serangoon MRT station, I spotted a visually impaired uncle who almost walked into the train glass door, helped him into the crowded train. We had a brief conversation and he shared that he stayed in Seng Kang and I at Kovan. Though tired, I decided to stay and help him to Seng Kang. When we reached Sengkang, I guided the uncle to follow him out. He was surprised that I was still around and nicely asked me to head home, that it wasn’t necessary since he goes home like this everyday. I told him it’s ok, that there was a Chinese saying that goes, "送佛送到西”. He laughed and continued to say I don’t have to go to such an extent but didn’t refuse my help. Found out he was a Singaporean mobile massage therapist specializing in Taiwanese massage. Helped him into the crowded LRT before leaving and he expressed his gratitude.

Not to blow my own trumpet, but how many people when presented a scene like this would sacrifice 15 minutes of their time to help, or would we just go about our own way of life too preoccupied with our own matters? I pray that Singaporeans would be more gracious, generous and magnanimous. Let’s make this a nicer country to live in, for all.

‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ – Matthew 25:40

P.S. I was so tired, I took the train from Sengkang to Punggol instead of towards Harborfront… Lol.

Short Story: Unfailing Love

Even before memory could be captured, mother cradled blood-stained Chester onto her bosom mumbling “I love you everyday” to him while being rolled out of the operating room. It did not matter that the young divorcee endured nine months and one final push, for the joy that set in supersedes the pain.

Mother whose once-beautiful hands are now all wrinkled up due to the hours put into hard labor struggled to make ends meet but always strive to give her precious Chester the best – the most meaty part of the chicken for dinner, the filling portion of the mud pie, his favorite storybook even if it meant not getting herself a replacement for her old clothes which were wearing out due to excessive use.

Like all boys, Chester was rowdy, played soccer, skipped classes and fought with other boys. Exchanges were made, blood was spat, principal was informed, phone calls were made. Mother apologized profusely and begged for Chester to not be kicked out of school. Walking home, Chester finally broke his silence and asked, “Mother, do you still love me?” Mother with tears in her eyes picked young Chester up and gave him the tightest bear hug and replied, “I love you everyday.”

Chester grew up in height and weight but that was not to be in stature. Falling into wrong company, Chester learned the ways of the street, got into more fights, arrived home drunk than sober more often than not, peddled drugs, woke up with a different woman by his side each time. His actions broke mother’s heart but her heart cannot deny itself for it speaks only of the language of love for her precious.

Chester was subsequently arrested, scheduled to stand trial. Mother visited, the two seek solace but was separated by a 5 centimeter see-through glass that stretched across the room. The broken Chester asked “Mother do you still love me?” Mother replied, “I love you everyday.”

Chester vowed to turn over a new leaf but change was not easy. Released on parole, Chester took up a decent job but fell back to his old ways not long after. Mother, the only person now to visit Chester continues to make routine visits to the prison Chester was confined in. While making one such visit, mother crossed the road too early and a fatal knock leaves her battling for her life, battling to see her precious for the last time.

Taking hesitant steps forward, the handcuffed Chester approached mother’s side in the hospital. Like birth pangs, that fades away upon the arrival of a baby, mother brightened up when she sees her precious Chester. Inconsolable, sorry Chester asked “Mother, it was me who caused you to be in this state.. Do you still love me after all that I have done?” With one last and final breath she could muster, mother replied, “Don’t be silly, I love you everyday.”

There is a saying “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” As Hill Churchill said, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.”