Eyes of Wonder

By Christopher Lau, aged 11

My mother gave me a bag of surprises the other day when she greeted me at the school gate. I love surprises, especially those from my mother. She has a magic bag with surprises popping out every now and then. It makes me happy even on a blue day.

Now, here is the surprise – here come five little pigs and their daddy and mummy. You see, mummy always gives surprises. It is more than three little pigs. It is five little pigs.

Let me introduce to you the pigs.

Here come mummy pig. Mummy likes shopping. My sister says mummy can never have enough shoes! Oops… Ssh… My mother likes to say this – Are you spending the money that you have not earned to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like? Today, mummy pig is shopping for her family. She would need vegetables, pepsi, books, a new hat and even a milk bottle.

Vegetables for her darling Mr Veggie! He eats healthy. Look at the greens in his basket! Mr Veggie always says he is the healthiest among the siblings.

I think Mr Veggie is great!

 

Mummy buys a bottle of Pepsi. Pepsi is for Miss Pepsi. Here you are.

She just loves pepsi. Everyday, she opens her eyes and asks for pepsi. She enjoys the gas!

 

Look at this baby pig. She is Miss Pacifier.

Mummy is going to buy her a milk bottle.

It takes her ages to grow out of the milk bottle.

She says she wants a new hat. She says this purple hat just does not match with her peach body.

She is Miss Vanity.

She cries when the mirror on the wall says Miss Pepsi is the fairest of them all.

 

Now here come the apple in the eyes of many uncles and aunties. Why? Because he is Mr Smart.

He is good in his studies. He has just graduated with a law degree from Oxford University.

 

 

 

Finally, here is daddy pig. Mummy pig has nothing for him. He looks sad.

Mummy hands over the empty basket to him and says,

“Tomorrow you are going to shop for all of us. There is a big bad wolf outside the house huffing and puffing. I am taking a rest.”

Why is the big bad wolf huffing and puffing outside the house?

 

 

 

Because it’s so hazy outside that the big bad wolf can hardly breathe! Is daddy going to bring him home for some gaps of clean air?

 

The end….

Yan’s thoughts –

I have never thought that a simple gift would create such wonders in the eyes of a child. When I caught sight of this bag full of pigs in the Methodist Book Room just next to Chris’ school, I was just caught by the cute little pigs. I did not see the details of the pigs, the Mr Smart being just graduated, a little pig drinking pepsi, a Miss Vanity….

Chris’ wonder-filled eyes reminds me of the Shepherd, our Shepherd,

I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. (John 10:14-16)

Yes, we belong to the Father. He knows each and everyone of us by name and by every details, even the “wolf” in Chris’ wonder eyes seemingly choking outside the house with haze belongs to Him. The Father is ever ready to look for him, find him and never to leave him on his own!

Thank you, Chris, for filling my eyes with wonders today!

 

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All the Builders’ Tools are Silent

I have been inspired by the thoughts on life written by Former Florida Senator John Grant for the past one year sent to my mail box.

In one of the thoughts, John Grant told of a factory making clothing. He starts with,

The marketplace is empty, No more traffic in the streets, All the builders’ tools are silent, No more time to harvest wheat; Busy housewives cease their labors, In the courtroom no debate, Work on earth is all suspended As the King comes thro’ the gate.

John Grant relates that Elaina’s factory was clean, calm and orderly. The workers were plite and their faces projected a glowing smile. Elaina is a committed Christian. She shares her faith. She treats her workers well. She is also intertested in maximizing her profit.

John Grant says, she has found a way to do all three.

How does she do that?

For fifteen minute each work day and for a full hour one day of each week, the sewing machines are silenced and the cutting tables idle, as all the workers gather for a time of worship, praise and receiving instruction and inspiration from the Word of God.

I like this beautiful scene.

How about one day, all my journalists stop tapping on the computer keyboards, they stop all press functions outside, and all gather to receive instruction and inspiration from God?

John Grant was invited to share a short devotion. He describes,

As I stood behind the microphone and looked out over the audience, out of one eye I saw attentive faces ready to grasp each and every word and out of the other eye, I saw rows of silent machinery.

He goes on further,

Suddenly the lyrics of that popular Christian song, The King is Coming came to mind, especially the line about all the builders tools being silent. I thought of Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.” You could have heard a pin drop. People were reverent, machines were silent and they were ready to have church, and Elaina was sitting right there on the front row with her workers.

The Power of Kindness

 

A story from “The Power of Kindness” by Piero Ferruci –

A woman I know, let’s call her Dorothea, tells me another story.

Every evening she hears her neighbors’ baby girl crying in the apartment next to hers. The parents put the child to sleep alone in the dark. The baby cries for a long time while the parents watch television. The baby’s desperate crying expresses all her anguish, her solitude.

What should Dorothea do? She is uncertain. Speaking to the parents might makes things worse. She decides to sing. Just as she can hear the baby, the baby can hear her.

Every evening when they put the baby to bed, Dorothea sings her sweet lullabies, talks to her through thin walls, consoles and comforts her. The baby hears the invisible friendly voice, stops crying and falls peacefully asleep.

The warmth of a stranger’s voice has saved her from the icy cold of loneliness.

Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Photo story: This is one of my collections of Sarawak native children taken during the 80s. I have fond memories of the days looking at children through the lens. The colours of the photos are fading, but thanks to technology that I could make fading colours and blend it into my memories!

What are your memories made up of?

 

 


I remember as a child, in the silence of the night, waiting for the first durian to drop….

Recently, I started a new column in my newspaper called “Pass It On”. “Pass It On” featured Malaysians (especially those from Sarawak and Sabah) living abroad making a difference in the community they live in. I have the privilege of meeting some very inspiring persons enjoying fullness of life living with fond memories of their days in Sarawak.

Here are some of their memories –

A Doctor, A Professor, A Researcher remembers,

It was a good place to grow up. It was a place where everyone seems to know everyone else. But in reality, it was of course a very small circle revolving around church and school and my father’s colleagues and our neighbours.

It was not until I was in Form Two that my father grudgingly bought our first TV. The coming of the TV to the living room then had certainly appeared to be a little late, but on reflection, it was in fact a blessing in disguise because without the TV there was little or no distraction. I read a lot as a child. Reading opened my mind to a wide world of imagination.

I fondly remember my Wings on Wheels. That was the bicycle I owned when I was in Form One. With the Wings on Wheels, I spent every afternoon in School.

My life revolved around the 1xth Kuching Scout Troop also known as St. Joseph’s Scout troop. Eagle patrol, and black and green were our colours. I still keep photos of this period in my life.

Scouts provided a world viewed through lens of imagination, altruism and idealism… And a never-say-die attitude.. Together they served me well in later life.

I dabbled in many other things, had a good time and became a master of none. Reading and scouting remain my true loves.

Another doctor specializing in infectious diseases remembers,

I remember Sarawak as a very relaxing place, with no city bustles, and very quiet with little tension. I love the food, the Kuching Laksa and Kuching Kuay-Teow.

We grew up with that kind of food. When my brothers and I heard the mention of “bungkus” (Malay for ‘take-away”), we knew dad would be coming home with “Kuay-Teow” wrapped in transparent paper and newspaper. The aroma was just irresistible.

Still, another surgeon remembers,

I had a great time growing up in Kuching in those days and was a lad-back place with a relatively slow pace of life. It was also safe. Although our parents were not well off, we led a comfortable life.

I remember science lessons in the field, catching frogs, toads, looking at the anatomy of flowers and lwaves, sawing wood during woodwork to make stilts and attempting to walk on them, several performances int he school as well as a couple of public concerts, learning to dance with one of the teachers as there were fewer girls than boys, school trips to the Kuching Port, Fort Magherita and other places that I now can’t recall.

Another inspiring cardiothoracic surgeon remembers,

School was very enjoyable. I still remember the teacher, especially the principal of my Primary school, Mr Chai Chin Thu. He was a very strict disciplinarian. Yet, he ws a very inspiring educationalist.

I was a Cub, which is what the junior Section of the Scouts is called. I remember the time when I had to climb trees. I was too fat and was not able to cling to the lowest branches even for a while. So, I left the Cub and went into Red Crescent!

We are building up memories everyday. There’s really so much more in life! The beautiful music of living is composed, practiced, and perfected in the harmony of home, school, social life, workplace …

The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:32 and 1 Timothy 6:17 that our God “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

Peanut Delite, Travelling Woes

When Sarawakian Idris Jala was picked as Malaysia Airlines (MAS) new Managing Director, I was among the first to say “Yeah! Sarawakian picked to head MAS”. Yes, that was the title of my blog article on 9th September, 2005.

Today, one year later, I am writing peanut stories.

The pack of peanuts tells all the M (M for MAS not for monkey) stories..

It costs RM100 or more. The ticket from Sibu/Kuching/Sibu costs a 100 RM more (RM means Remember Mas).

I love peanuts, roasted, fried, cooked anything. And MAS has been known to have the best salted peanuts. Peanuts are not given freely in the flight. But, you can ask for it. And usually it’s given. Even being a peanut lover, I have not for one time asked from the beautiful ladies and gentlemen, for one reason I do not wish to trouble them, for another reason I am a weight-watcher. Usually the vanity beats the crave! I am not quite short of MAS peanuts because whenever my significant other travels on first or business class, he would take one pack of peanuts to please me.

Now, after the increase of fare, those beautiful ladies and gentlemen put the peanuts on the tray and offer to passengers.

So, I think, it’s the price I pay – Remember Mas 100!

Look at this pack of peanut, look again, I re-post the pack with a leafy background, the first one goes with my coffee mug. It’s a 100 RM shoot –

It does give some hope, and environmental-friendly, right?

But, it does not give much hope to travellers. It hurts my pocket. It also erodes into my time. Before 1st August, I could board a 7:25 am flight to Kuching, if I have a morning meeting, I could board a flight at 12:30, 2:50 pm or 5:30 pm back to Sibu. Now, if I could not make it at 12:20 flight, I have to leave Kuching at 8:50 pm.

And any change of flight, I have to pay RM – depending on what type of tickets I have purchased.

Travelling to KL? The morning direct flight has been scheduled to 1:40 pm. I used to board 9 am flight reaching KL at noon, and I could start work right in the afternoon. Now, the morning flight means to travel at 7:25 with one stop in Kuching and then to KL.

The peanut jokes between my group of business travellers are –

Joke No. 1 – We have been using emails for more than a decade, now we have to switch to use Fax (Fly Asian Express)

Joke No. 2 – Soon we have to board a bus to Kuching International Airport for our onwards journey to KL and other destinations.

Thanks for the peanuts delight, our very own Idris Jala.