… where Christ is close …

You may never break down the cement walls of a brothel, but there are many other barriers you can break down, seen or unseen, to help gain another’s freedom.

You may never risk your life to save an imprisoned girl, but you can visit her in her “prison” by interceding for her.

You may never feed 5,000 in one sitting, but you can feed 5,000, one meal at a time.

You may never die for someone, but you can point him to the One who did.

Be blessed to know that you are close to the heart of God when you care for the “least of these”!

Reading this again draws my heart close to those whom the Lord calls us to love despite we do not know each other.  I do not know even her (their) name(s).  I saw her there holding onto the door for people who were running to catch their train.  My eyes were searching for her.  While mine met hers, I saw the twinkling sparkles in them through a veil of her thick and dark sunglasses, I saw sparkles in her aging eyes.  As soon as my hands reached out and landed on her shoulder, His love within overflew and travelled through the veins of my arms and felt on her boney frame.  His love was in that touch and His presence was in that recognition that she realized someone saw her existence.  That someone is her Christ Lord Jesus.  We exchanged simple small talks.  All the while in our conversation, I was not where I was.  My heart was anchoring firm where she stood, where Christ was (and still is) standing close to her.  As the whole world is buckling up to celebrate Christmas (whether some do not acknowledge this was a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus), there is also a whole world out there yearning to be close to Christ and that we are called to be that very agent to some, or to one.

Her chocolate skin colour, her teethless gum, her mismatching shirt and pants have a strong resemblance of the precious grannies who are also hurting and marginalized in Cambodia.  What they had endured all through their lives is unimaginable.  What they had witnessed in real lives are horror – slash- war movie materials in the West.

Brian once wrote about these grannies, “From a statistical point of view, there are not many old people in Cambodia. Civil war, genocide, malnourishment and lack of medical care have a way of thinning out the ranks. For many of the older folks in Cambodia life is very different than in other societies for they do not have extended families to rely on. Many lost their children in the revolution and are now alone with no social services to assist them. Begging becomes a way of life for such people. For a few, enough money is earned from begging to meet their needs quite well, but for the majority it is a desperate hand to mouth existence. To many, they are an embarrassment and so they are subject to constant harassment and some times incarceration by the police who are forever making sweeps to “clean up the streets”.

Most NGOs and individuals are more interested in funding projects in support of children or families. It just seems to be an easier sell with donors. Old people simply don’t warrant any attention in the minds of many people. Yet all of the old people in Cambodia have survived terrible things. They have lived through many decades of trauma always hoping for the better life to emerge – it never did. It is our hope to be a blessing and help to such older people.”

That is Cambodia where Paul was at only a few weeks ago!   Those are the grannies whom Paul had the privilege to spend some time with, to learn their names, to listen to them serenading the team with hymns and songs ..

Yet I am not in Cambodia right now, the Lord opens my eyes to see that one granny standing alone here in Canada.  I see her!  She reminds me of many others who are now in that elder care shelter maybe serenading another team with another hymns and songs.  She and I connected.  She recognized me, and that sent thrills and chills on my spine.  That’s already enough for me to be where Christ is right now, to stay close to where Christ is is where I would rather be, wherever it is!

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