Saturday, March 31, 2007

bear with me

In recent days there’ve been a lot of bear buzz at the Berlin Zoo.
It’s to do with a cute and white four letter word: KNUT.

Knut is a polar bear born at the zoo on 5 December 2006.
He was raised by human hands because his mother had refused to nurse him and his brother, who later died.
The cutie, who’s now a 19-pounder, became a global sensation, after an animal activist had insisted that it be killed since its mother did not want it to live.
Raising it through humans, he claimed, is cruel.

Reminds me of the story in I Kings chapter three in the Bible about King Solomon, the wisest man on earth, and how he settled a dispute between two prostitutes.
The women gave birth to sons in the same house.
One of the babies, however, died, in the night; and the mother of the dead child claimed that her housemate’s son was hers.

After hearing their arguments, Solomon summoned for a sword.
“Cut the boy in two and give each woman half the baby,” he said to his men.
The mother of the living baby panicked, and begged the king to spare her son, and give him to the other woman.
That was when the king knew who the true mother was.

You see, the one who truly loved the child didn’t have to be right.
The animal activist, in fighting for his "child"--his cause for preservation of animals, etc., which are all good--was willing to sacrifice the cub.
Why? Because he had to be right.
He had missed the reason behind his mission.

Great stories--both this and the one from I Kings.
Timely reminder too for me:
that I should never forget the reason behind what I work hard in,
that it's easy to lose the human touch even when fighting for a GREAT cause,
that once in while, it's ok not to be right.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Yesterday while hunting for a parking lot near my church, I witnessed a hit and run.
The victim was a white cat with blue eyes.
I was in time to see the car screeching off, followed by two women running out of their terrace houses to tend to the bloodied remains of the animal.

By the time I got out of my car, everyone was sobbing: the two women, a maid, two children hiding behind their gate, weeping.
The bones of the animal were broken. The car must have been in high speed. It was a residential area.

The owner, a 70-plus woman in a flowery housecoat, couldn’t bear to touch it. So the neighbor and I moved the body to the shade.
As she covered it with a towel, weeping, the lady asked me, “Could it still be alive?”
“No,” I replied. Thank God it didn’t suffer.”

Later, as I sat with the owner, she told me how everyone in the lane loved the cat.
And it had been her constant companion ever since her husband passed away and daughter married off.
“My son, who lives with me, doesn’t talk to me,” she said.

Halfway, she showed me, from an album, pictures of her husband’s young handsome face from long ago, playing the piano; and herself in dancing shoes, looking very pretty.
“I used to go for ballroom dancing every week,” she said.

Then she wept. Bitterly.
For the things she has lost: her husband, her youth, relationship with her son, her cat.

For almost 20 years, I had parked in this upper-middle-income neighborhood near my church almost every Sunday.
I would admire the picket fences and well-tendered gardens.
Sometimes the dogs would come out and look at me, wagging their tails.
Seldom would I see the people living in the houses.

But yesterday, I stepped inside one of those gates and took a peek into someone’s life.
And I was reminded that behind the high walls and well-renovated exteriors are people with memories, heartaches, husbands who left, hearts that could be lonely.

I’ll not walk in this neighborhood the same way again.

love the ocean - God made it for Himself

About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.