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Dust to Dust

I suppose I ought to pen down my thoughts before the events of the past few days disappear in a sea of frenetic everyday activity. The next few posts will probably be stuff I wrote on paper while in Myanmar – pen-and-paper photographs of thoughts and feelings. This post is kinda like a background of sorts. And a little foreground.
Many years ago Faith and I visited a man on his deathbed. I didn't know him well, except that he was the brother of someone we knew at church. Uncle Patrick Leong was probably in his fifties or sixties then.
We went there to cheer him up. We thought maybe praying with him would strenthen his spirit. There, lying upon what would be his deathbed was the most cheerful person we had ever met. He joked about everything under the sun, even his now uncontrollable bodily functions. Then somewhere in our short visit he told me that I needed to visit the orphans in Myanmar. He told me that they needed us.
Uncle Patrick then prayed for Faith and I.
I left the hospital in a state of contemplative shock that day. I'd known that my father named me after a missionary in a hope, now probably forgotten, that I'd choose to be one too. To be cheered up and prayed for by a man whom I thought needed cheer and prayer was a role reversal made possible only by God's work upon his life. Nothing; not sickess nor death could dim the light that shone so brightly. And for that moment God's light, reflected off this man, showed me the way I was to go.Just like the Israelites who went through the parting of the Red Sea, I soon forgot what had been made so clear to me that day. The years passed and Uncle Patrick's words and his passing became a distant memory drowned in the cacophony of growing up. To be honest, I made up my mind to go to Myanmar mostly because it'd make for good photo-taking. I only remembered much later, after everything had almost been confirmed.
I know. I'm ashamed of myself, but that's how self-centred a person I am.
<blockquote>"If we are faithless, He remains faithful" – 2 Timothy 2:13</blockquote>
So I found myself in Myanmar, not because I planned it, or because I wanted to honour the wishes of a dying man. I ended up in Myanmar because God completes what He sets out to do, regardless of our weakness.
After spending four days with the orphans, I have come to realise that Uncle Patrick was wrong.
The orphans didn't need me half as much as I needed them.

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