He was an American pastor who was assigned to Singapore to pastor our church when I was a teenager. He loved people for God – whether they were in or out of the church, rich or poor, young or old, Christian or not, lovely or unlovely, even those who most people would avoid. He used to travel on a scooter (also known he said as widow-maker) for house visitation or preaching. Sometimes he came drenched in the monsoon rains to preach at a school Christian fellowship meeting, or visiting a member in hospital while at other times he was a leader among pastors. He was well-loved by all, church members and their extended non-believer family members. He greeted and spoke to everyone.
I remember he preached the sermon on “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king”. 1 Peter 2:17 and focussed on the fact that all men are equal (sinners and saints, rich and poor, children, parents and grandparents, kings and children, and would have included the managers and the lowliest clerical staff ) before God. Because of that we are to treat all men equal with no bias in treatment. In lifestyle example, I remember he would visit the sick(my mother among them) and treated them especially tenderly, encouraged them to trust the Lord, after which he would anoint them with oil and pray for their recovery.
There was a poor paralyzed grandmother, she lived in a one-room government subsidized rental flat on the 10th storey. He knew she was too poor to afford an ambulance. He knew she needed help often to attend medical treatment and once at one o’clock in the morning he responded to her family’s call for help. She had a medical emergency and he responded with his Speed the Light van, carried her all the way from the tenth storey as there were no lifts at that time, and ferried her to the hospital. After she recovered enough to go home, he carried her up ten storeys to her home. What love we say, and yet he could sit for hours with my relatively prosperous grandfather who would debate against Christianity for hours. He spent time and patiently reflected Christ’s love in his interaction with the poor and the rich. It is no surprise he made an impression with many of us young onlookers too. Such personal sacrifices could not go unnoticed and influenced many of us in later life. He loved children and I remember how the children would gather round him when he appeared in Sunday School. He was their friend and our friend too as teenagers. Yes, he respected all and was no respecter of just certain persons.
With that example ingrained in my psyche, it is my joy and not difficult to reach out to people of all status especially at my work locations around the world. I had a living example whom I had watched for several years and it touched others for Jesus more than all the sermons preached. Respectors of persons cannot truly serve/love like Jesus did.
Do you have trouble reaching out to others and treating them without bias, remember our Saviour showed us truly that He touched lives at all levels of society. Let us love like Him and ask Him to help us.
This series shares glimpses in just a few paragraphs on interesting characters I have met along life’s journey of over 65 years and who touched my life. Some bring glory to God and others to themselves.