Little Nature, Little Servant, Little Way

 

Reflecting back on this week, I am thankful that God has guided and reminded me to find time for Him and He will give me what I needed. I ended the week feeling physically and mentally tired. All I wanted was to lie down in bed and sleep. But, I knew that this tiredness would not go away. So, I attended the evening Mass service on Friday after lessons with a couple of friends.

It gave an opportunity to pray for the people around me and also to pray for my own intentions. It was a much needed end of week conversation with God. After Mass, my friends and I were greeted by the sight of double arch rainbows stretching across the sky. That put a smile on my face and that was when I felt a brief but sheer emotion of joy.

What were the odds of being able to see double arch rainbows? It was God’s way of surprising me on a Friday evening, I guess. I took two photographs on my trusty aged phone, but the best cameras are indeed our own two eyes that God has given. These little things reminded me of God’s love, care for his creation and became the theme for this post.

Amid the light drizzle, we drove to a nearby hawker centre for dinner. Despite the crowd, we managed to get seats. I volunteered to stay put to reserve the seats from the dinner crowd that was streaming in. It struck me suddenly that I had forgotten to bring a packet of tissue paper from my bag for dinner. I thought to myself, “Oh well, I just got to do without it this time.” A few minutes passed by and an old uncle selling tissue paper came up to my table. I was stunned for a moment and quickly bought one packet from him.

The next moment was unexpected, another uncle selling tissue paper came up to my table. But the difference was that, this uncle was on a electric motorized wheelchair and his purpose was not to sell me tissue paper. Rather, the uncle struck up a conversation with me. He told me that the previous tissue paper uncle had been here the whole day and he had already earned enough. He mentioned to me about the hardships that he had to try and earn some income. I was happy to listen to the uncle, despite the stares I was getting from the public.

After awhile, I bought another packet from him and got another surprise. He gave me 4 to 5 more packets of tissue which I politely declined but he insisted on giving me without needing to pay.

I was very touched by the experience and the uncle reiterated that he was not there to sell tissue papers but to spread some good cheer among the people in the hawker center. He still thanked me and wished me a nice evening with (God Bless You- I think he said it, if not I must have imagined it) before moving away to another table. Perhaps, this was God’s little way of humoring me and I am so grateful that even through a humble tissue packet seller, I could provide them with the littlest of actions which was to listen to them without judgement or rejection.

Yesterday on 1st October, I attended a wedding at the Church of St Francis Xavier and it was the feast day of St Therese of Lisieux, the newly wed’s favourite saint, but more so these words of St Therese (The Little Flower) struck me. She said,“We live in an age of inventions. We need no longer climb labouriously up flights of stairs; in well-to-do houses there are lifts. And I was determined to find a lift to carry me to Jesus, for I was far too small to climb the steep stairs of perfection. So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: “Whosoever is a little one, come to me.” It is your arms, Jesus, that are the lift to carry me to heaven. And so there is no need for me to grow up: I must stay little and become less and less.”

Desiring for less must sound strange, isn’t it? But it is to desire for simplicity that St Therese lived out the remaining years of her life. St Therese always brought out the best in others and sought to affirm them for who they were. It is like a little flower that springs forth in the field, insignificant and alone compared to a field full of little flowers, and that was the mission of St Therese – to make everyone feel counted and valued. A field of flowers is much more beautiful than a lone flower.

The gospel of the week begun with the apostles saying to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”The Lord replied,”If you have faith the size of the mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree,”Be uprooted and planted in the sea,”and it would obey you (Luke 17:5-10).” Faith is itself like a seed which needs to be watered and nurtured. Yes, some seeds might die, but we must still strive to care for the rest of the seeds, so that from our seedling, our faith can grow into that of a tree where others can seek shelter too. The newly weds used the image of the treehouse as a reminder to build that for their family and also the community to be a place of refuge, joy and warmth.

The gospel continues on by saying, “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come back from plowing or tending sheep in the field, “Come here immediately and take your place at table?”Would he not rather say to him, “Prepare something for me to eat. Put your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do (Luke 17:5-10).”

The second part of the gospel was more challenging to understand. As servants of the faith, just like the responsible servant, it is to encourage the disciples to remain steadfast in faith and to trust in Jesus. Like St Therese, we must not be overly concerned about gratitude or recognition from others (It is something I am trying hard to do). The disciples should trust that Jesus will watch over them and give them the rest that they desire after a day’s work.

As we remember to walk in the footsteps of St Therese’s little way with Jesus, may we continue to ask Mother Mary to intercede for our intentions in this month of the Rosary. May we also keep Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of October 2016 in our prayers. “That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth a strong sense of ethics. That World Mission Day may renew all Christian Communities the Joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.”

I end this lengthy post with a Praise and Worship song “The Stand” by Hillsong which I heard during the wedding which was on the theme of faith and trust. Thank you for reading dear readers as I have so much to share! God Bless as we continue to pray for each other.

“You stood before creation
Eternity in your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to standYou stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare your promise
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
I’ll stand
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours”

 
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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One thought on “Little Nature, Little Servant, Little Way

  1. I enjoyed this piece so don’t apologise that it is too long! It serves like a conversation that we could have. . . sort of meeting up for our writing session. Is it on?

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