I was in church today, finally, after a way long time of disappearing
from the house of God. The passage was meaningful to me as Christmas is
on the way to sing the “Jinga Bell, Jinga Bell, Jinga all the way…”.
Here and there in the church were the decoration prepared for the
season greetings. Again, I was reminded that Christmas is not just
about buying cards and giving to friends saying “Merry Christmas!”.
It’s something much more precious and sentimental for us because that
will be the day when, more than 2000 years ago, Christ has come to
life, lived for us and died for us and our sins.
I’ve made quite a number of mistakes in the past few weeks when I was
away from church. Lustful and sinful thoughts started sniggering around
in my mind and I realized I had to put an end to it. That will save me
from a lot of troubles later on. And know what, God always has a way to
make us feel sorry for the mistakes we’ve made. When confession was
offered, peace came back in return and I was thankful for that. I know
I am forgiven. It opens an opportunity for me to think a lot more as I
decided to walk back home from church. But before I got out of the
church, I saw a sister slowly helping her old grey mother to walk
slowly. And that touched my heart seeing her smiling with her mom,
teasing her as if she was teasing a kid and then *muack* on her
mother’s wrinkled cheek. I startled for a little while. When my mom is
like that, will I do it to her? Don’t think too far, my grandpa is even
older than that lucky old lady, have I ever done that? Yes I did, but
that was when I was 12 or 13 years old. Now, things seem to go stiff
between us. Why? Why do I hesitate to express my loving feeling for
him? See? I haven’t tried hard enough.
It was a 20 minutes walk which was really worthy because I could spend
time thinking about lotsa stuff. God was there to embrace me in His
love. He was there to stop me before I am about to fall. He was there
to be my everything. And today, once again, miracle happened.
I went back home after 20 minute walk and a good breakfast for myself.
As usual, I hopped into my room and switched on Seth. My grandpa came
to my room cos’ my nephew was sleeping inside. He sat right next to me
but paid his full attention to my nephew who is sleeping like an angel
on my bed. And he asked me something that rang a bell inside my head.
“This morning, you went to church alone or with someone?”
“Errr… I went there alone”
“That is the religion of the Americans”, he started (in oldies’ mind,
Christianity was created by the American invader-used-to-be who were
“Nope, you’re wrong. Grandpa, Christianity doesn’t belong to anyone in
particular. Following it doesn’t mean I’m a family’s traitor.
Furthermore, in this country, Christians do not talk bad or criticize
the government and the rules. We just want to live better and in peace.”
My grandpa just kept quiet. He knew I’m a Christian and thanks God, he
didn’t get a heart-attack and fall off the chair. So now, my entire
family knows that I’m a Christian and I can freely go to church and do
not need to hide anymore. That was what I’ve been praying for for about
2 years. So God has answered my prayer in His time. That’s also a test
of faith for me over a couple of years being a Christian. I realized
that I was backslided lately since I was away from church. My spirit
grew dry and I needed a refreshment for my soul. Coming back to the
Lord, the joy was just so obvious and my mind got lightened far better.
Returning to the conversation between me and my grandpa, after a while,
I took a closer look at my grandpa. He’s now still pinkish but got lots
of wrinkles around his eyes, forehead, and mouth whenever he smiles.
The damage of age, the remarks of time. Holding a few seconds of
breathe, I started.
“Do you plan of going anywhere this year?”
“No, I don’t think so…”
Thinking for a while,
“Grandy, do you want to go back to Hanoi ? Maybe after Lunar New Year ’07?”
“The return air-ticket is expensive. I want to go there but it’s pricey”
“Grandy, here’s the deal. You tell me when you wanna go, I’ll cancel
all my trip plans and compensate all the expenses for your trip”
His face lifted with a smile…
“I’m serious. I want you to go and enjoy. When you still can go, you
have to go. Don’t worry about the money, I’ll take care of it”
My grandpa continued to smile without saying anything…
And I wanted to cry…
Cos’ I seldom saw him smiling like as the last time I saw such smile
was when I came back home from oversea and decided to settle here for a
long while. In my mind, the only decision which holds the best priority
is cancelling all my planned trips and save my salary to pay for his
trip. My grandpa has been saving money for his next and next generation
and forgot to enjoy his time while he’s still healthy. I’ve never done
enough for him. This is just a little thing that I can do compared with
what he’s done for me. A little sentimental (I am crying when I write
this entry) but note to self: I’ll give my grandpa a good trip cos’
grandy, it’s now your time to enjoy…