Sand And Stone

Calum, my fellow parishioner at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Penang, shared with me this simple but moving story through email. If only all of us practice such wisdom in our daily lives, the world would be a much better place.

Sand and Stone

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand:

Today my best friend slapped me in the face.

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

Today my best friend saved my life.

The friend, who had slapped and saved his best friend, asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.

Author unknown

Busy Weekend

Penang Adventist Hospital
Penang Adventist Hospital.

Last weekend was one of the busiest I have had in a long time. On Saturday morning, Vincent picked me up to go meet someone we have met twice before at the Penang Adventist Hospital. He is a paraplegic, suffered spinal cord injury eight months ago in an accident and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the hospital. He was asleep when we arrived. Vincent and I chatted at the lobby while waiting for him to wake up. However, we left after finding him still sound asleep the second time we went to his room.

Relay for Life
Relay for Life balloons.

I barely had time to catch my breath and catheterise when Dr. Oo picked me up again to attend the appreciation party for the participants of Relay for Life. The Relay for Life is a fund raising cum cancer awareness cum celebration of cancer survivors event that is held simultaneously worldwide. About one hundred guests attended the party at the ruman Hospice at Jalan Ayer Itam.

Relay for Life thank you party
Guests browsing photographs of Relay for Life.

There was a dance presentation by the girls from Island Hospital, a short video clip of the Relay for Life that was held in March at the Taman Perbandaran and certificate presentation. This was followed a tea break and games. I left early with Bryan because I needed to pack my luggage and prepare my presentation for the next day. Bryan is the current webmaster for the yet-to-be officially launched joint Penang Hospice Society and National Cancer Society of Malaysia (Penang Branch) website.

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Penang preentation
Group photo after the talk at the cathedral.

Early Sunday, Vincent picked me up again to give a presentation to about ten teenagers from the Chinese-speaking cathecism class, their parents and some parishioners at the cathedral. The talk was regarding my life, my faith and how they can contribute to the Independent Living project that I am working on. The gist of my message that morning was that as Christians, we have been called upon to serve God. Assisting disabled persons with needs is one of the ways of serving God.

Penang International Airport

After a quick lunch at home, I finished packing up my luggage, cleared the fridge of the remaining perishable foodstuff and got Peter to drop me off at the airport. I was glad that I got to the airport early. At least I had some time to relax and reflect on the events of the past two days.

Clouds - somewhere between Penang and Kuala Lumpur
In flight somewhere between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

One of the things that I realised was that I could manage a hectic schedule like that, especially if it is for the Independent Living projects if I could get help for the cooking and other household chores. It would be such a pity and a waste for me to have travelled so far and learnt so much only to be weighted down by the continuous trivialities that had rendered me unproductive in many ways.

Confession and Communion

Father Francis Anthony and me
Father Francis Anthony and me.

Father Francis Anthony, Parish Priest of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, visited today to allow me to fulfill the Sacrament of Penance and Sacrament of the Eucharist preceding Easter. He has been going around the homes of the who are unable to go to church for the past weeks for this purpose.

The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others.

Source: – Sacrament of Reconcialiation

Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.

Source: – Sacrament of the Eucharist