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Pastor David Cheng from his Facebook page
Pastor David Cheng from his Facebook page

COVID-19 is about unnumbered tears of sorrow and pain. We see this every day in the world.

But it is also about patience and hope. I see this every day in friends and family. And in strangers too.

In the face of uncertainty, where health, wealth and death are in the hands of a wind that knows neither friend nor foe, souls take the blows. And try to pick themselves up.

One such person is Zulkifli Salim, a neighbour. His daughter was to have her wedding feast very soon. Much had been done. Much was expected.

Happy was Zul when he and his wife pulled up alongside me on the balmy Jenaris afternoon to invite my companion and me to the celebration.

That was two days before the Movement Control Order was announced by the Prime Minister.

I imagined it must have come like a thunderclap to Zul and his family.

So it was, he told me. But he also spoke of acceptance.

"I accept it as God's will. I understand what is happening.

"Others, too, have had to cancel their events. My family is not the only one badly affected.

Zulkifli Salim
Zulkifli Salim

"I know what's being done is for the good of all. Our country has to be free of this virus. That is what we hope for."

Another soul who took a blow from Covid-19, a greater blow for sure, is Pastor David Cheng. He is Malaysia’s first coronavirus death.

He fought the good fight, now he is at rest.

Truth be told, I know him not. But I have heard of him. His journey is a testimony to a purpose-driven life. A light upon a hill.

I listened to a song which he composed. It is called ‘Over All’. It brought tears to my eyes. It speaks of trust, submission and hope in ALL circumstances.

That's why his son could say: "[g]ive us some time to grieve but fret not, we are still at peace. Death has no sting".

David is no more. Zul is still with us.

It's not a fair comparison. It's not meant to be.

But it is a fair telling of good men. Of patient and hopeful souls unbowed by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

In our world, and especially in these perilous times, we need to see these kinds of souls every day. They make the unnumbered tears bearable.

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