Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunshine and Rain

Although yesterday was a Sunday, I exceptionally went to Church for a women's prayer breakfast. It was supposed to start at 9 AM, but I didn't take the "African time" into account, and so my Filipino sisters and I eventually decided to start eating until the rest of the participants would arrive (which was close to 10 AM). Later on, I gave a presentation on the frontal lobe of the brain, and another sister shared a spiritual thought before we ended the meeting with prayer. It was well received, although the overall attendance was a bit low. But unfortunately, this always tends to be the case if there is anything happening outside regular church services.

On my way home, I witnessed a crime. Well, it was not a terrible, life-threatening episode, yet I was stunned. There was an elderly couple sitting with me in the tram and they were about to exit at the second door of the vehicle. I also exited, but at the first door next to the conductor. Stepping down, I suddenly heard loud voices shouting. There was a young man who had been trying to pickpocket the elderly man, but an attentive woman had seen him and she blew him off. I only saw the thief shouting and running away, leaving the man behind totally baffled with the wallet in his hand. This taught me again that I really need to be attentive here in Brussels - no matter what time of the day it is or what location I'm at.

And then finally, walking the short distance from the metro stop to my place, I got pretty wet. The sun had been shining in the morning, but as so often in the past, I hadn't observed rule number one of living in Belgium: "Never leave the house without an umbrella!"

Indeed, there is sunshine and rain in our lives, literally and figuratively. It was also yesterday morning when I received very sad news from the US. Cindy, my former roommate at Uchee Pines, lost her 23-year-old daughter Brittany in a tragic accident. She had been living with her at Eden Valley Institute, and due to a very unfortunate incident, her daughter drowned in the canal located on campus. I feel so sorry for Cindy and the rest of her family. This shows me again how fragile life is, and that I really need to pray more for the safety and divine protection of my family members and friends. It also shows me that it's high time for Jesus to come back to bring an end to all this suffering. I really like one of our early Advent hymns called "Lo, what a glorious sight appears", and in particular one of the stanzas:

"His own soft had shall wipe the tears from every weeping eye,
and pains and groans and griefs and fears and death itself shall die."

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

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