Sunday, 28 May 2017

Remember Ahok & Pastor Koh.

These are real lives with real families. They are not celebrities, flamboyant politicians or billionaires that the world's spotlight is always shining on with excessive glare. They do no bathe in the limelight. They work and sacrifice quietly away from it. 
Missing pastor Raymond Koh and jailed Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ("Ahok") collectively stand as a shining testimony on what they believe in. 
In my book, they come closest to what Christ has commanded, "To love one another."
For Ahok, he has given much more to Caesar than anyone can ever imagine. He decided not to appeal. His wife in tears said that her husband has dropped the appeal for the "good of the nation and of the country." 
She continued, "I know this is not easy for all of you, let alone myself, to accept this reality. I want to thank all of you who have been supporting me, for all the prayers, cards with well wishers, letters, books and even the candlelight vigils...Let us show that we believe God is sovereign and in control of every nation’s history. We show that we are people who believe in God Almighty who loves his people, who will surely uphold truth and justice for all people."
And it has been 100 days now, and Pastor Koh is still missing. His wife, Ms Liew, is worried because it reports that she claims that the "police chief is "diverting" the focus of investigations into her husband's abduction to Mr Koh's alleged attempts to convert Muslim youth."
She lamented: "The victim is being investigated? Why? How will this help find him or bring his abductors to justice? The question of whether or not he was proselytising Muslims keeps on coming up...all this "Christianisation" smoke is to divert attention away from the abduction and the abductors, to blame the victim. This feeds into the story told by those trying to excuse this abduction - that Raymond deserved this because he tried to convert the Muslims." 
She pleads, "What my children and I want most of all is the release of my husband safe and sound, and for the abductors and their accomplices to be brought to justice."
Lesson? Just one.
It is about the cries of love. The love for husbands treated unfairly, persecuted for their faith and yet, standing tall as an example for all - never giving up. 
It is also about faith and hope, not so much in religious rituals, organizations or authorities, but on the simple acts of humanity, assisting the poor, protecting the weak and sacrificing for those at the fringes of society. 
Pastor Koh and Ahok have done their part ceaselessly to help those who are forgotten and discarded by the wayside as the world plunders through towards blind ambition, covetousness and self-enrichment.
And most importantly, it is about the love of families, of wives who stand by their husbands, and of children who miss their father dearly. 
These are the priceless treasures of society that deserve our preservation and protection, that is, the acts of forgiveness by Ahok despite being treated unfairly for his belief. And Pastor Koh’s acts of charity to the drug addicts, broken youths and HIV sufferers in society.
The world needs more of these people, not less. The world needs to let them continue their work, not incarcerate or abduct them. And the world needs to be inspired by their unassuming character and pass on their legacy, not crush or suppress it. 
They don't live to be popular, but to make a difference. They don't desire to be rich or powerful, but to help a life. And they don't wish to hog the limelight, but to do to one of the least of them without any fanfare.
Veronica Tan could not control her tears as she read out her husband's letter to drop the appeal. And Ms Liew and her children have been crying silent tears for their loved one to return to them.
These are real lives who pray and yearn for the exercise of simple virtues from society like justice, understanding and mercy. 
And I repeat, this is not about religion, at least not the way the world sees and uses it. 
This is on the contrary about the common bond we all share, whether religious or irreligious, godly or godless. It is the bond that holds us all together. It is the bond that unites families and friends as one. It is the unity of love, hope and sacrifice. No one however how high up the echelon is exempted from this common bond. 
So, let's hope that the society will reach their hands out for another and take this journey together towards a world that is united by this common bond - and not divided by their differences. Cheerz.

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