Today I had the privilege to hold a one-week old baby at my church. Newly-weds with a brand-new baby. Everything is scary and exciting. They have a whole life ahead of them to figure out this parenting and husband/wife business. Same evening, I saw my friend, who is at the end of his life. Tired, battling cancer, since last summer fighting for survival.
He is my best friend… he is more like family. He gave me away at my wedding and he is a part of all our family holidays celebrations. My kids think he is their uncle. He never comes without bearing gifts for my kids. He first, if I ask, would do anything possible to help me.
We are a very strange pair. We met when I came to Canada. He is an older gentleman from Hong Kong who said that he “saw light in me” and volunteered to help me with my taxes and in general, fit into Canadian society. “I was newcomer once. It’s very hard to be alone.” He used to say.
He drew me maps and helped me write scripts in case I would get lost. Moreover, He taught me how to dress for interviews and how to behave properly. How to do laundry and set the table. If you read my previous blogs, you know that I was socially unfit.
Some people were curious if he is my father. I used to joke that he is my “grandma”. He said save, I said spend, he said study, I said party, he is quiet, I am loud. But he was so faithful to me. I never had a friend who would really give me everything he had for my own sake without looking for reward or return.
The world I was raised in was “use or be used” and humility was foolish concept. I never met anyone like this before. He asked me what my dreams were. I really wanted to be a hairstylist, but I had no money for school. He said:” Let’s see what I can do” and it meant “I will do everything possible to make this happen.” He got me into a Cosmetology course.
I finished that year with 96% average marks. For a kid who learned English for one and a half years it was pretty great achievement. I got my license and worked as a hairstylist for 12 years and owned my own salon for 2 years. Dreams do come true if you work to get them. Since then, I got married, had 3 beautiful children, gave my life to Christ, wrote and published my autobiography, called Miraculous, I am running wellness business, writing blogs and I am an activist for children in crisis and victims of human trafficking.
Last summer, He told me he was sick and that doctors gave him 3 weeks to live…over the phone text. I drove there crying all the way. I kept asking God what to do. He said to me:
“Give him Jesus.” For the last 10 years he went to church with us. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes laughing or making unfit comments, he never paid attention. But I thought, now, when the question of eternity arises, maybe he would change his mind and choose heaven.
I saw him that day. I knew this news didn’t sink in yet. He felt great, he had no pain. He joked that when he died, I would bury him and that would be the end of the story. I told him that I believe in Jesus and eternal life. And he laughed: “You believe that not me”. Strangely, I felt so much peace instead of the pain of rejection.
The next few months were horrible. He was in and out hospitals, emergencies & hospices. It’s been more than 8 months after his diagnosis. His friend who helped him to plan funeral and to buy place at the cemetery, suddenly passed away from heart attack. He was able to attend his friend’s funeral and got even more depressed. Life is fragile and unpredictable. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
One day he called me and, crying, told me that now he is the same “religion” as me. “I don’t have a religion; I have relationship with Christ.” I said. “I was tired of being alone and scared.” He was overwhelmed. “I gave my life to Christ! I prayed the Prayer of Salvation! And I am so surprised that it was easy, no ceremony or rituals.” I knew it was true. It was the same for me.
Salvation is a free gift for everyone. I was so grateful to God for this news. Although the diagnosis still stands, I know that we will be together again. We both have peace beyond all understanding, because we know that God is in control.