Harmonics 6


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Before we had kids, May Chin and I had one memorable trip to Seoul during the Chinese New Year. I can’t remember whether it was because we wanted to avoid giving Ang Pows after the first year of marriage or we found a good cheaper tour package.  Either way we achieved both. One of the most unforgettable visits was at  war memorial.  What struck me was one sculpture where two soldiers from the opposing sides of North and South Korea embraced. The guide explained to us that this was a picture of two brothers who were separated and now meeting each other during the war. In a way, it also showed the hope of the Koreans that one day the who "nations" can be reconciled.

Today, in a our world where so many external factors pull us apart rather than draw us together … and the list goes on in what can be used to cause that .. with Race and Religion as topping the list. Internal factors are equally strong with pride and prejudice the other end.  Reconciliation … seems like a distant goal.  In fact, even learning to respect one another especially those who differ from us, or oppose us is an initial challenge which needs overcoming. And yet, the road of reconciliation (as well as the pathway of respect) is one we must take, and must invite others along as well. The Resurrected Christ empowers us .. with his good news of reconciliation, with his model of engaging in it, and his ongoing presence so we can be started as well as persevere … along this "long road of freedom".

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When I was a child, as far as I can remember … my mother sang John 3:16 in Mandarin to help me sleep for many nights. My mom didn’t finish her primary school education, she is not the most "intellectually erudite" person I know, but she is one who is wise and mature, able to listen and discern.  There were low moments in her life – even in her faith journey … our family got disconnected with all things God, Christ and the Church for a substantial amount of years when we were in UK. But there were still some bits and pieces of Christ which was still embedded in the songs she sang me to sleep, or the way she lived and thought, and brought us up.  Even when were were far from God as a family,we were somehow still connected even weakly. Of course, when the time came, she returned to the Church, and there’s more to fill in the details of our ongoing story.  Anyway, as far as I can remember … my mom was the first who offered me Christ – through a song.

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A wiser friend once told the other two younger men in the group of three important words .. "Not there yet".  And he was not using it as an excuse for himself, but more towards others who don’t live up to his expectations or even worse disappointed him in some ways.  And we all can concur we have more than a few people that might come to our minds.  But, when our own skeleton starts popping their heads every once and a while from the cupboards of our past, we are often doubtful whether there are ways out in our own lives .. so, while as an excuse, "Not there yet" is not too helpful, but as a prayer of submission towards God’s ongoing work in us, I think it is valid , in fact much needed.  He is not finished with us yet … so the good news is we are all in the boat of "work in progress" … a work of restoration and renewal.

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It’s not easy to start opening a door to hospitality these days (or keeping it open). The tendency is to keep the door shut and have more "personal" time.  This is understandable because for many of us the demands on us at work and at home can be overwhelming.  This is coupled with our own indiscipline in many ways especially when we just go with the flow of the immediate more than the important. Some of us are need some time of re-centering whether through solitude or corporate worship. And yet in the midst of all this, we forget the door to hospitality when it’s open to surprising gracious interruptions or with no strings attached, wonders are waiting for us.  The question is a good on … "Where can you open a door of hospitality for someone in need?" … notice it’s not "When" but "where" because the timing can be now, once I ask where I begin to be "open" and keep an eye to act .. and it’s in the midst of acting and risking even a small way that I too can enter the mutual joys of hospitality.

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Immediately, pictures and sounds of Gareth asking me to re-fix his Spiderman Lego aircraft comes to mind, or Elysia asking me for help to get the paper for her drawing, or Ewan who simply wants to be carried up so he can have a better view of his surroundings. Everyday, at the best moments, these are signs pointing to the importance of trust is relationships.  Sure, there are low points as well where these little cries would seem more like interruptions.  So, this is a life-long learning process as far as parenting is concerned. 

But we are NOT talking about parenting now, we are talking about events like these as signs to God’s secure love in which we can place our undivided trust in. Connecting also with the famous words of Jesus, this simple trust and the willingness to be vulnerable and ask for help is applauded. In a world where only the strong, the powerful and the untouchables are lifted up on pedestals … this message to us on simple trust and about God who is trustworthy and whom we can turn to as our refuge is so so NEEDED. It’s out of the rest I find in His Refuge, that frees me to walk the streets of chaos with steadiness

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These harmonics vibrated from April 8-12, 2008

(Note: I decided to not use italics for the text. I think it’s harder to read.  So back to what’s normal for the eyes then:-) )

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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