Breath of Kindness

When I was a teenager, I had a poster of this friendship poem by George Eliot hanging in my room. I could have bought it myself, or was it a gift? I could not remember, but I can recite this poem, even today –

Oh, the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but to pour them all out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then, with a breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.

Today, my morning devotion is the reading of three chapters in 1 Samuel Chapters 18, 19 and 20. I learn what it meant for David to have an intimate relationship with a trusted friend.

Friends, I have many. Trusted friends, I do not have many. Trusted and intimate friends, I have few.

Author Cynthia Heald said of intimate friends, probably, quite near to the poem by George Eliot. She said,

“Intimacy connotes familiarity and closeness. It involves our deepest nature, and is marked by a warm friendship developed through long association. In order for us to become intimate with another, we must find in him a true confidant – one to whom we can safely confide our secrets.”

“What are the characteristics of such a true friend? Most of us look for someone we respect as wise and just, who we can trust implicitly, with whom we feel safe and secure, and who will respond to us, help us in the right way, and be available whenever we want to share. True confidants are rare, and fortunate are those who have one.”

Is it not about the mutual respect, the emotional support, the commitment, the fellowship, the company in good times, in bad times?

Today, I remember the few of such friends I have over the years.

And I thank God for them!

I Will Never Walk Alone

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It took me a while.

Probably 21 years? Now I believe.

I believe ordinary things in marriage can be exciting experiences.

Hubby wrote me an email over the weekend. He has wanted to talk to me whether I would like to take up one of his meaningful project in his Rotary Club. I have been busy. I have taken him for granted, I confess.

The mail arrived my mail box, it begins –

Dear wife,

It ends,

Love,
Lau L H
President
The Rotary Club of Sibu

That’s the labour of love – starting with affection, signing off officially. I really had a good laugh over it.

But, that’s him – his message of love in his own way.

It really does not take much to make my day now. A surprise mail. A warm smile. Hearty laughter between us. Checking the car before I go for a long trip. Even oversized blouses and skirts are pleasant surprises!

Yes, it’s my wedding anniversary today. Entering its 22nd year!

Thank you, hubby, for the 21 years of walking together in the highways and byways in life. I know with Him, we will never walk alone.

The Wonder of Wonders

I was having my morning meeting with my journalists. In front of me were three newspapers, all of them have the “New Seven Wonders of the world” on the front page. I said, “I have only visited one wonder of the seven wonders. One of my retirement plans is to visit the other wonders.”

And I told myself – yes, I am going to blog about it. I am going to blog about the seven wonders. I am going to blog about my retirement plans.

It was a hectic day. I went to another meeting followed with another meeting.

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life
will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have
prepared for yourself?'” (Luke 12:20 NIV)

This verse came into my mail box when I finally have time to sit down in front of my computer!

The mail read,

“Entrust your future, your health and your life and happiness and your retirement plan to God.

Let him make something exquisite out of all the broken pieces, and all your broken dreams.”

My retirement plans! My Six other wonders!

At almost the wonder of sunset, the Lord puts this hymn in my heart. I sung in the choir many years ago:

There’s the wonder of sunset at evening,
The wonder as sunrise I see;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.

O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

There’s the wonder of springtime and harvest,
The sky, the stars, the sun;
But the wonder of wonders that thrill my soul
Is the wonder that’s only begun.

O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

Indeed, history could be written after about 100 million people voted to name the new Seven Wonders of the world. But, the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul and never changes is –

God Loves You and Me!

How “young” are you?

This picture (courtesy of Leo, a journalist with Utusan Borneo/Borneo Post) appears in the Front Page of Borneo Post today.

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65 – a little bit too old
Govt decides penghulus, kapitans should not be above 65 to make way for younger and better educated leaders

Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Does it matter?

I received a few SMS from friends. Of course, they identified those community leaders in the picture. They are well over 70, and the community leader signing the document is well over 80. Friends were amused with the photograph and the headline. Most of them think that the newspaper is actually hinting them that they should step down.

However, I think otherwise! These leaders are all healthy and active! (Well, one of them is my cousin who was diagnosed with liver cancer two years ago, treated, and leading a quality life now.) 65 to them is still young! Consider this report which first appeared in the Roman Catholic magazine, Liguorian:

Medical researchers are now finding scientific proof for what Jesus taught so long ago, that giving of self to others is actually a form of receiving (Acts 20:35). This seeming contradiction finds meaning only when seen through the eyes of Christ. Not only are scientists proving this paradox to be true, they further assert that helping others is good for your health …

A study done at the University of Michigan revealed that persons who regularly volunteer their time heighten their overall zest for living and increase their life expectancy. Studies on the aging process have reached a similar conclusion…

Stress researchers from the University of Illinois found that persons who feel connected with other people are more calm, less tense…

Giving can be disguised in many forms, from understanding to empathy, from compassion to acts of service. Whatever it takes, the core is still the same – giving of ourselves is offering love, and love remains the only gift that multiplies when you give it away.

Don’t stop giving at 65! But propel your life on a new course away in the “best years of your life”. Here is another insight for sharing –

WHEN ARE YOU TOO OLD?

When asked how it was that she has lived so long, one 91-year-old
woman replied, “I think God is testing the patience of my relatives.”

When is “too old”? At what age do we give up? At 100, Grandma Moses
was still painting, and Titian painted “Battle of Lepants” when he was
98.

At 93, George Bernard Shaw wrote Far­fetched Fables.

At 91, Eamon de Valera served as presi­dent of Ireland.

At 90, Pablo Picasso still drew and en­graved.

At 89, Arthur Rubinstein gave one of his great­est recitals in New
York’s Carnegie Hall, and Pablo Casals, at 88, still performed cello
concerts.

At 82, Winston Churchill wrote the four-volume work, A History of the
Eng­lish-Speaking Peoples, Leo Tolstoy completed I Can­not Be Silent,
and Goethe, at the same age, fin­ished Faust.

At 81, Benjamin Franklin engineered the diplomacy, which led to the
adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

When are you “too old”? Only on the day when you truly have nothing
left to give. And the good news is this: that day never has to arrive!

— Steve Goodier (www.LifeSupportSystem.com)

Translating the Prime Minister

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View from my hotel room, illustrated

I was at a conference held at the Palace of Golden Horse, Mines Resort last week.

Yes, I had given myself a SPA befitting for a queen at the “Palace”. I had also hopped on a water taxi for a ‘river cruise’ enjoying God’s creation. I had also enjoyed good food prepared for kings and queens.

And sure, I was also fed with some food for the soul, from the Prime Minister who had just returned from his honeymoon. Here are words from the conference –

I am in a conference on my working days.
Here is what the Prime Minister says.

Journalists need to be patient, and go slow.
Wait on the public responses when you do not know.

Know the sweet forbearance when things do not go right,
Media to remain unsuffled when others grow uptight.

Quiet your racing and rising heart,
Responsible journalists know the correct knowledge to impart.

Stand undisturbed uncompromised in true reporting until
Your conscience is filled with inner peace and know God’s will.

Of course in Bahasa Malaysia PM spoke,
In English and poetic way I report.

It’s tea time
that I steal to rhyme.

 

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