My Mamah (Grandma) at 90

Open Letter to Church
My Grandma, a photo by Mervin Chiang on Flickr.

As I see my grandma laying there in the hospital bed in Singapore, seeing her through Facetime and photos taken by visitors, I can’t help but recall and try my best to cling to the fading memory of her conversion…

I nagged her to come to church with me.

I can’t even remember my age when it happened. It must have been when I was maybe 13 or 14. You see, my grandma was living with our family along with my granddad in those days. I remember just having this insatiable urge to want to share the gospel with her. I figured, I love her and if I want to see her in heaven when she dies, I better tell her about Jesus. I can’t remember exactly what I said. But I know my understanding of the gospel is not as clear as it is now. I only remembered nagging to her about coming to church with me and she would always refuse.

The weight of satan lifted.

One day I remembered that she was watching TV in her room in our Hougang house. She tried to get up but fell. She cried for me. I ran over to her and saw her struggling to get up. Somehow she wasn’t able to get up. I tried pulling her up but there was a struggle. She kept saying “something” was weighing down on her. Not knowing what else to do, I somehow decided to pray out loud. “In the name of Jesus, I pray that you can get up now.”… Or something along those lines. She got up. She asked me what was happening and what did I just do. I must have explained to her that calling on the name of Jesus helped. That moment, she must have decided that this Jesus of mine was real. We prayed the sinners prayer that afternoon and she started to go church since then. That was that.

And so this was (vaguely) our story…

Below is a shot of her with us for 2 months as I flew her here to Brisbane to spend some time with us.

Open Letter to Church
Fun with Mamah, a photo by Mervin Chiang on Flickr.


Why did I think she needed Jesus?

20+ years has past since I was that fumbling, naive “evangelist”. I guess in a way, that started my journey towards my current trajectory. Someone once commented, “geez, I’m so annoyed at people who knock at my door telling me about Jesus!”. This same someone thinks that we don’t really need a specific religion. As long as we live a moral life and do good and be good. We’ll be alright. We’ll all eventually end up in heaven. I had two responses:

1. Why would Jesus need to die?
It’s true isn’t it? Why go through this elaborate, painful and highly debated about event? What’s the point of Jesus existing, living, dying and raising again? If all we need to do is to live moral and good lives?

2. It’s the best gift in the world and it’s free!
Do you think it’s easy to do walk up evangelism? I did it once. Being an introvert. Let me tell you. It is NOT easy. So why do it? Because it’s such a good news and such a free gift. More precious than anything on this earth. We wanted to share this “fortune” with everyone!

So why did I think my grandma needed it? Because I know this was the only way to get to see her in heaven. I had to bring her to meet this Jesus. For her to accept this Jesus for what He had done on the Cross. Without accepting His act on the Cross, there cannot be reconciliation. She could not be reconnected back to God and thus have no place in heaven.

“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30-31, ESV

Together we can have assurance of this hope.

I continue to pray that her conversion is genuine. No one knows but Jesus. He holds in his hands the names and the authority to judge when the time comes. As she lays in the hospital bed at 90. With her legs swollen, in pain, crying out to our God. I pray that she can be reminded of this blessed assurance. That in the new heaven and earth, her withered body will be made new. She can have the strength and the joy that is secured in Christ and Christ alone.

I wish I could be there next to her. Embracing her. Reminding her. Praying with her about these truths.

If you would like to pray for us. Pray this… “Dear Father, if it is your will, take this cup of pain away from her and heal her completely. We know you can. You made us intricately and intimately. However, more than this, we pray that you can give her the peace and comfort that surpasses all human understanding. The peace that is found in your finished work in Jesus. We pray that you give her a renewed sense of hope in the eternity to come. Right now, we want to pray for wisdom for the doctors, nurses and for us. To know what to do and say in love. That most importantly, through this, your glory is magnified. In Christ name, Amen.”

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7, ESV

If you’ve made it to the bottom of the post and prayed with me. Thank you. Be encouraged by this nice animation I stumbled across. A neat explanation of the hope to come.

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