Category Archives: Conversations

The Music Never Stopped

It was based on a true story. On how a musically inclined man had to endure brain tumor. It affected how he remembers things that happened moments ago. Snapshots of his life consumed by the cancer.

His relationship with his dad was strained to the point he left home at an early age. Now that he was found by his family, broken not by the disease but because of being away from the family for so long. The father wants to reconnect. But those time away coupled by bad memories took its toll on those good intentions.

As it turned out, music seemed to turn on a switch in Gabriel’s mind. And that proves to be a vital bridge for Henry to cross. And have a shared moment with his once estranged son.

Today, I met someone like Gabriel. His name is Komeil.

He left his native country Iran to ours in order to seek freedom. A space to express himself. Every time we talk about music, his eyes light up. You could almost feel the beat of his heart resonate to the sound of the tune playing in his mind.

Alas, I worry that Komeil might not be able to stay here for long. And with his departure so goes his dreams of being able to live fully in the art that he loves.

I asked him what song is playing right now in his head. He whispered “Leonard Cohen”. And so I played Chris Botti’s rendition of the haunting “Hallelujah”. Komeil closed his eyes and hummed silently the tune as the rain provided the ambient backdrop. His face glowed just like how Gabriel did when he heard “The Grateful Dead” playing.

Despite what might happened in the future, we had a shared moment there. On a bridge that points the way to hope.

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Insurrection. Fight!

So I’m waiting to get my hands on Pete Rollin’s new barnburner.

There seemed to be a couple of thoughtful responses going around. Jason Clark gives his pastoral perspective while treading cautiously on grounds where theology tries to embrace philosophy. Pete gave his rejoinder by emphasizing the need for a radical flip of the table where religious debates happen.

I thought Katharine Moody gave a pertinent reminder for the irony of putting Rollins on the very pedestal which he tries persuade us to refrain from doing with our church leaders. Which he rightfully acknowledged.

 

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Our stories matter

A really cool friend sent me this today.

You know, when I was younger, i couldn’t read until i was prolly around 8 or 9. I was a sloooowww learner. But once I started reading, i simply could not put down books. And i truly truly enjoy the Old Testament. Why?

Coz it’s filled with stories! It was a fascinating discovery. It encapsulated my imagination!

Stories of ppl. Stories of adventure. Stories of what was, what is, and what is to come!

And because I was a child, i believe everything that i read. From the creation to the exodus to the different kingdoms and such forth. The book is ultimately about God. And it points to Jesus. The whole book.

But break it down, and I find stories of different people.

I have a finite mind. My mind cannot grasp big concepts. So I gotta break it down so it’s easier for me to understand.

Just like our body you know. How our body function as a whole but we break it down to different systems and parts and further down to cells. I don’t think the cell can understand its purpose in the body. But put all the cells together, it creates something else. Something useful. Something important. One cannot survive without the other.

Very much like our world, i think.

I don’t think we all know what’s our purpose in life. But we go through the motion of living, of doing things, of procreating, of dying. And sometimes, some ppl find the purpose of their lives, some don’t. But it doesn’t mean anyone is any more or any less than anyone else. Because we all have a part to play.

The community, the system is made out of a gazillion of individuals. There will not be a community if there is not individuals and no individuals can survive outside the realm of the system. It’s all interconnected, no?

I used to wonder, if i were alive at the very beginning, would I make it in the bible? Would my story be written in the Book? Could I be a Sarah or a Rebekah or a Esther? Or could i be a nameless soldier, one of the many many thousands to die in the war field so that God can prove His point?

Does it matter?

If i see it from a grander scale, it probably doesn’t matter. I am just a minuscule entity in this world that God has created. It’s not as if i can thwart His plans or anything. Whether there is a me or not, His will will be done. But yet, i believe each cells matter. So, everyone matters. Even if I were a nameless soldier, I am assured my name would still be in the book of life.

Therefore, I love to listen to stories. Stories who made people who they are, what they are.

Even if ppl think their stories are insignificant, i feel that God cares. And because God cares, I want to care too. I have lived a life of insignificance. I walked around aimlessly countless time, just trying to find myself. I have laid in bed for days, having no reason to get up. Yet so desperately wanting to do something more! But no! Such was not His will at that time. So I have come to accept, that even at the point of insignificance, it is still significant because that experience have helped mold me to be more of something. And i can’t say I know what that ‘something’ is yet. I am still searching and I am still waiting.

So i leave all the big thinking to other ppl. For now, i seek to understand small things. The simple things in life, that makes this world go round.

There, my friend, is why I am interested in other ppl’s stories.

We are a walking tale, walking book,

I just can’t wait to flip its pages!!!

Thank you for inspiring to live a Good Story.

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My Helper

Sayid:  Shannon! Are you okay?

Shannon: Do not help me up!

Sayid: Let’s go back.

Shannon: Why don’t you believe me? I need you to believe in me.

Sayid: I do believe in you.

Shannon: You don’t! No-one does. They think that I’m some kind of joke. They think I’m worthless.

Sayid: Shannon you are not worthless.

Shannon: You say that now, but you don’t… You’re just gonna leave me. I know as soon as we get out of here you’re just going to leave me.

Sayid: I will never leave you. I love you. And I believe you.

Hebrews 13:5

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… And Found.

Sun: I don’t think I’ve ever seen you get angry.

Locke: (chuckles) Oh, I used to get angry. All the time. Frustrated too.

Sun: You are not frustrated anymore?

Locke: (pause) I’m not lost anymore.

Sun: How do you do that?

Locke: The same way anything lost gets found – I stopped looking.

Luke 15:8-10

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But what if I’m stuck?

“Do you understand, do you understand, my dear sir, what it means when there is no longer anywhere to go?” he suddenly recalled Marmeladov’s question yesterday. “For it is necessary that every man have at least somewhere to go…”

– Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

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What am I supposed to do?

Locke: If it’s not real, then what are you doing here, Jack? Why did you come back? Why do you find it so hard to believe?

Jack: Why do you find it so easy?

Locke: It’s never been easy!

….

It’s a leap of faith, Jack.

John 20:29

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