Posts Tagged ‘Parable’

Looks can be deceiving

02/11/2013

It was advertised as sweet grapes.

It looked big and succulent. That’s a tea spoon……

It tempted me and I fell.

It was so good-looking I bought more than I ought to have – I decided to share itIMG_9054Imagine the disappointment when with the first and successive bites, the grapes were not only not sweet but actually sour…

Oh well…. Lesson learned. Looks can be deceiving. Never judge a grape by its appearance. Ha!

 

The Need to Do Well

06/01/2012

She watched as one after another, her friends were called to go forward and meet with the teacher. Most of them went forward with smiles. They were confident they had done well. One to two had expressionless faces. Perhaps they didn’t think this was an important subject to consider needing to do well?

More than half of the class had gone forward. The last person had come back to the seat two rows from hers. Surely she would be the next one.

No, it was yet another friend. She too, came back beaming away.

And then, it was indeed her turn. She heard her name being called. Instinctively she ducked before she stood up, wondering if her legs would help her go forward and get back to her seat without drawing attention to herself by crumbling with fear.

Such insane fear. “it’s nothing,” she tried to convince herself. “Just some crummy pieces of cloth”.

But in the depths of her heart, she could not fool herself. These were much more to her. They represented the sum total of many hours of poring under dim light, of pain from the piercings of needles into soft flesh. She could almost taste the blood in her mouth again.

Heart pounding, she set her face as she approached the desk. The teacher barely looked up. Her hand reached out with the precious items.

“Here you are.” she said, without so much as a glance.

And that was it.

Over.

In seconds.

She mumbled some thanks, turned on her heels and somehow stumbled back to her chair. As she sat down, she was aware that she was clutching the proffered treasures to her chest. Relief mingled with joy. Before anyone could notice the tears welling up, she bent down to put her precious little bundle into her school bag.

For her these simple handicraft were not her own. They were her special gift to her grandmother who lay at home, unable to rise these last few days. This same grandma who sat patiently beside her, encouraging her on, cajoling her to not give up, pushing her to give her best, teasing her to maintain the standard throughout. The grandma who then fell ill a few days later.

She would take the offering of their joint labour home to show Grandma and tell Grandma that not only had she not given up, she had done well. She had done excellently. And she couldn’t have done it without Grandma. She did her best despite her handicaps. Her Grandma believed in her and she wanted to prove Grandma right. She needed to do well for Grandma’s sake.

Esther’s Story

19/01/2009

Remember I wrote about Esther towards the end of last year (post Christmas) and even into the new year? You can read more about her story here, here, and here


Yesterday, this newspaper carried her story too, from the organ transplant point of view. Isn’t this a beautiful photo of her?

estherWhat the newspaper article couldn’t capture was how her parents could not have made it thus far without their faith in and relationship with God. They cannot understand. They continue to miss her dearly. But they know their little girl is safe with Him.

What the reporter couldn’t imagine was the dignity in which her parents conducted themselves throughout the most difficult time between Christmas and New Year. They hardly slept, they could barely think straight. But just as gold comes out pure when put into fire, this couple did just so.

What the report couldn’t do justice to was the immediate impact of Esther and her parents’ gifts – it was not just to the recipients. The staff involved were so touched, they attended a simple special thanksgiving service for Esther’s life held on the ward. They stayed back during their shifts and came back from their time off to be present. They spontaneously formed two lines of escort as her parents left the operating theatre with her after the harvesting of her organs, giving them a salute fit for a queen.

And now, the ripples of Esther continue to radiate out.

May they never fade.

Respond or React

17/01/2009

When you are asked an awkward question, how you reply shows a lot. Do you react defensively? Or do you respond appropriately?

A reaction is like a knee jerk. If you have ever been to the doctor’s and they have had to test your reflexes, then you would have met the patella hammer. The patella hammer is used exactly as the name implies – the doctor will use it to tap a specific part of your knee. When that happens, your foot is automatically jerked up.

Hence the term knee jerk. It’s involuntary.

When we first discovered this as student nurses, (in my past life!) we used to tap one another’s knee just for the fun of it. The best reactions came from those unsuspecting souls who had their legs crossed. We would even use our hands to “chop down” quickly for the desired reaction. The poor victim would be teased whether caught out or caught defensive.

Similarly, when a person reacts to something said or done, that means the person probably hasn’t prepared for the words to come, or the event to happen. The immediate speech or action of the person would indicate the innermost thoughts and emotions of the person. Good or bad, right or wrong, it will show.

Like when I was asked an awkward question just now. Twice.

I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t know how I ought to answer. I didn’t have the right answer.

The first time it happened, I found myself blabbering away.  It sounded hollow even to my own ears. I then changed the subject.

Shortly after that, I faced my second awkward question. Again, I found myself muttering away, playing games with words, walking away as I did so.

Ground open up to swallow me.

Later I texted someone to seek advice. Sound advice came.

Just smile. Say little. Just smile.

Tomorrow if I am faced with another awkward question or moment, I know what I’ll to do – Smile.

Let them react.

In the Dark

12/01/2009

The lights were out. Our dinner was potentially spoilt (See The Hinge!)

As I got the candles out, Arrow #3 had to do her homework in the semi-darkness.

A short while later, she rushed to me and asked, “Mommy, may I have the camera please?”

As I passed it to her, I asked her if she had finished her homework. Yes was her reply. That’s why she was asking me for the camera.

So I asked her what her subject was. It was, after all, very dark to be shooting images with my little camera. Or so I thought.

She said, “Oh, some thing”, non-commitedly, as youths often do.

Pointing the camera to a candle nearby, I heard a soft click, which was followed by a squeal, “Oh, it’s so nice!” Out of the corner of my eye, I dimly made out her figure as she jumped up and down in delight.

Then she ran upstairs.

Later, I saw the results of her work.

Who would have thought my little camera could do this?
Impressed though I was of her photography skills, I was far more touched by her irrepressible personality.

Despite the darkness and heat, and having to do her work in not-so-nice conditions, she didn’t grumble. Nor did she kick up a fuss. Instead, she made the most of the situation and carried on!

That’s a lesson we could all learn – never be put down by circumstances around us. Instead, we should be showing the example, like lights in the darkness around us. Especially in these not-so-easy times.

Testimonials

08/01/2009

Recently I was asked twice to write some testimonials.For the first one, I gave a rough draft with outlines. For the second one, I wrote an even more general one, leaving parts to be filled in and others to be deleted.

Why didn’t I do a proper testimonial?

Simple. I didn’t know the people concerned. I didn’t know if they were male or female. I was merely being asked to help to write. So I couldn’t be more specific.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 asks a different question about testimonials. He asks a rhetorical question here – “Did they need letters of recommendation to show their suitability?”

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

No. The results of their ministry among the Corinthians was sufficient. This result was evident in Christ-centeredness. It was of the Spirit and from the heart.

How did this come about?

When Paul ministered, he had them in his heart. “Written” on his heart gives an indication of the depth and intensity of his care and concern for them.

I am reminded of a few verses in Proverbs which talk about how our own testimony of ourselves versus other people’s commendation of us.

Proverbs 25:27 “It is not good to eat much honey; so to seek one’s own glory is not glory

Proverbs 27:2 “Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

In fact, Proverbs 18:16 goes on to assure us that “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”

There is a difference between knowing someone and knowing about someone. It is only when you truly know someone that you can speak about that person so that others might know about that person.

And the only way you can know the person is when you have interacted with them, spent much time with them, gone through thick and thin with them….

I suppose, it’s like when my friends went through their recent crisis. Three families came alongside and helped. We went through a most difficult time with them. At the end of that, when they said how much their faith was strengthened and how we had helped, those words carried weight for us. We were blessed even as they were, despite the tumultuous time.

When they speak of us, even as we speak of them, the words carry weight.

Esther’s Ripples

07/01/2009

In the midst of the sorrowing over Esther, I told her parents that the impact of her short life would be like ripples.
However, whilst ripples tend to fade as they leave the centre, these ones wouldn’t I told them.

And so it has been.

Her funeral / memorial service has touched many lives.

The gift of her kidneys have already touched two lives.

People have sms-ed and phoned her parents.

And now apparently, a newspaper wants to feature them.

Do you hear the phonecalls? Do you see the emails? Can you visualize the letters? Many will seek them. Many who have undergone similar heartache and loss.

And Esther’s little life will have touched many, many, many others.

Do continue to pray for her parents. Her mother has gone back to work. Her father remains at home to spend more time with her older sibling who is having to deal with his loss too.

There is No Hope

04/01/2009

There is no hope when death strikes….

…Unless one places hope in the risen Christ.
This is what my friend wrote. In their time of grief, it was nonetheless a celebration of life.
Yes, the little girl’s kidneys and corneal tissue have been taken to help others. It was the strong assurance that their little girl was in good hands that made it an easy decision. That not only gave them hope, but also a stronger faith.

Now the walk of faith continues on a different level.

Do continue to pray for them and their other children…. Thanks

Culture Shock

19/12/2008

Complementary membership card and room. It was tempting. So we decided to go.

After waking up very early in the morning, we caught a 2.5hr flight, found our way to KL Sentral and caught the coach. We had to plead with the coach driver to put us on an earlier timed coach…. First time my Hubby said I have a “please help me I’m lost” look.
The ride there was uneventful. We slept well.With some minor hiccups, we found the Skyway. This is its boast.
There was a special queue to go into. This should have given us warning of what lay ahead!
As our turn grew near, we shuffled along going in a zigzag manner to the final point.
Then we hopped on. Five of us took one whole gondola. With our hand luggage and our check-in luggage. It was a wonderful 15 – 20 mins ride. I took a video but it would be too long to show it.
At the end of it was when the culture shock hit. After such a plesant ride, we were greeted with the masses.
And a looooong walk. After making queries, we found that we had been sent to hotel (out of 5) farthest away. Nearest to the theme park, but farthest away. The long walk was an eyeful.
People everywhere. Young and old. All playing arcade games. It was scary to see how many there were. People of all ages, eyes glued to their screens.

We ventured further into this different world. Felt like we were heading into goodness knows what.
Then we saw it. A humungous hall. Incredible noise levels. And we saw this man – can you see? His yellow reflector even has white flashing lights!
That gives you an idea of how packed the place was. We were very disorientated initially. Everything spelled commercialism and consumerism at a high price….

More in the next post.

Sudden Loss – How One Family Deals With It

07/11/2008

What do you do when you lose someone unexpectedly? How do you react?

Recently I heard that a friend lost his father in a violent way. Murder is never nice. The murderer has confessed. But the loss remains.

Anger. Frustration. Sorrow. Fear. Just some of the many emotions one would normally go through in bereavement.

HOW CAN ANYONE CELEBRATE AT A TIME LIKE THIS?

Well, as one of the family members was praying and being silent before the Lord, she saw a picture of her father telling her not to be sad. After all, he was in heaven. Furthermore, the father said that they should forgive the murderer!

So celebrate they did, and they will issue a statement these few days to say that they forgive the murderer!

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that good byes are never forever.