“I remember as a junior doctor, we had a patient with a very bad wound. He had an infected hip, he was a long stayer. If I recall correctly, he was a vagrant,” relates medical doctor, author and educator Dr Tan Lai Yong. 

When the senior consultant of the hospital saw the junior doctors pumping the man up with top-of-the-line drugs, he “scolded us … gave us a dressing down”. Then he pulled $10 out of his wallet and gave it to the matron telling her to buy some honey instead.

What lessons of grace and community did the young doctor learn that day? Valuable ones, he says.

In his latest book, Encountering Covid, Embracing Covenant, Engaging Community, Dr Tan shares stories from his encounters with friends and strangers who have unexpected things to teach us about humanity during the time of Covid-19.

The wisdom revealed in simple things and every day encounters is a reminder to believers of God’s covenant and an encouragement to us all to “hold fast to what is good” in a tumultuous time.

Salt&Light sat down with Dr Tan and Lok Vi Ming, Chairman of the Council of Elders at Bethesda Bedok-Tampines Church who wrote the foreword of the book, to find out more. Read the interview here.