THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Two weeks ago, a beloved of the Lord moved to his new home—Heaven. From time to time I mentioned the name of Peter Tan, a friend, who 14 years ago suffered a gunshot wound on his neck in a botched car robbery and as a result of it became a paraplegic. Peter’s health had deteriorated since the end of last year. He was so weak that he could not participate in our Christmas caroling last year. He was in bed the whole time we sang in his nursing home.
Two weeks before he died, I saw him, not in the nursing home but rather in a medical hospital. I don’t remember how many times he was hospitalized this year; I stopped counting because there were so many. When I saw him, then, he was happy but I wasn’t happy. I was actually sad because the last few times I saw him, I noticed his condition had deteriorated rapidly.
So, when I heard that he had died, I was both sad and happy. I was happy because I knew how much he had suffered these 14 years and now at last he is free. His spirit is in the presence of Jesus, waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promise—to be clothed in a new body! But, I was sad because I lost a good friend. I missed visiting and talking with him heart to heart. I consider those times precious moments because meeting and talking with him reminded me what life really was and what ministry was all about—meeting people.
Hellen Keller, the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree, said this, “The best and the most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched . . . they must be felt with the heart.” I am sure Hellen learned that from her teacher Anne Sullivan. I learned that from Peter. He, who was either in a wheelchair or in bed, was always positive—he saw and touched life through his heart.