Friday, September 7, 2012

The man who walks with a limp

I met Nagarajan as he was holding on to the walking chair about to cross the road with cars speeding by. It was a hot afternoon and nobody took notice of this insignificant, unemployed Indian young man who lives at the edge of society. I called out his name: “Hi, Nagarajan.”   He turned his head when he heard his name. He gave me a broad smile.  I told him that I would like to give him some food items. For several months I have been taking the food from the church CareBank to give to the poor, a person like him. Nagarajan met an accident few years ago and his one leg was badly crippled. I discovered that a freak accident affected his mobility severely and reduced him to poverty because he could no longer work. He told me that a stranger rented a room for him just opposite the church building. I first noticed him last year when I saw him often sitting at the corridor of a walk way alone. He wasn't begging for money. He wasn't seeking for sympathy. 

After receiving the food items, he pulled me aside and told me that he would like to come to the church. I told him the he might not be able to understand the sermon in English (we converse in BM). He looked at me puzzled and asked me “you mean Jesus cannot understand my Tamil if I pray to him. I want to come to your church to sembayang.” Then it dawned on me that he wants to come to church to worship Jesus. He wants to just sembayang (worship). I stood there speechless. Nagarajan wanted to come to church not so much to listen to the sermon, he just wanted to meet Jesus to thank Him.

Tears well up in my throat, I knew that the Holy Spirit has moved him through the ‘hesed’ (loving kindness, grace, mercy) that God has shown him through me over the months. It dawns on him that the Jesus Christians follow and preach about must be real. Why would anyone bother to talk to a person like him let alone share food items with him repeatedly? Why would anyone show him respect and treat him as a person of worth and dignity? Nagarajan knew that the Jesus I preach in my sermon on most Sundays is the God who cares for the poor. The church that I serve is located above the five foot ways (pedestrian walkways) that Nagarajan sits there every day alone. Hundreds of people would have walked past him every day. 

One day as I was walking on the way out of the office complex to find a place for my lunch, I heard a loud voice calling out may name: “Pastor.” I turned around and saw Nagarajan beaming with a broad smile walking with a limp while holding on to his walking chair toward me. He was happy to see me. He didn't ask me for food or money. He was just happy to see me.  I broke out with a grin as wide as the five foot ways. I am proud to be a friend of Nagarajan.