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Archive for the ‘God Knows Leh’ Category

Today, we celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday amidst a global pandemic.

Last night, Caleb and I watched the various song recordings for National Day. I was so heartened and uplifted by the song videos and we sang along in one voice! And this is coming from the non-karaoke person.

I absolutely love the spirit of how our people of Singapore have risen up in a time like this to unite our voices in harmony, style and song to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

I pray that we will come out of this pandemic a more united, resilient and kinder people. May God’s hand of protection always be upon our little nation! Happy Birthday Singapore!

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city… Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” – Jeremiah 29:7

 

My National Day favourites:

  1. People of Singapore (New Creation Church)

 

2. Semoa Bahagia
3. Room at the Table (Charlie Lim)

 

4. The evolution of National Day Parade songs (Micapella)

 

5. Count on me Singapore (Benjamin Kheng & the Singapore Symphony Orchestra)

 

6. Our Singapore (NDP Theme Song 2019)

 

7. Home (Dick Lee – sung by 900-strong virtual choir)

 

Related Link:

Thank God Friday: One Nation, One People, One Family, One Life leh

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An invisible enemy, covert as can be

Deadly, yet unseen to the eye

Lulled many to false security

Insidious, its spread

Wide-ranging, its reach

Asymptomatic, its touch

Its carnage and rampage, now visible to see

Till mankind became crippled, locked down

Isolated, knocked down

Masking deep fears

Cleansing unclean hands

Brought down to our knees

 

An invisible God, not seen by humanity

Of burning bush and blinding light

Speaking through creation plain to see

Majestic, His name

Sovereign, His power

Holy, His being

Till God gave us a Saviour we could see

 

A human child, of lowly birth

Invisible to the majority

A carpenter’s son, a seeming nobody

Humble, his life

Godly, his origin

Hidden, his purpose

Till the day he carried his cross to Calvary

 

Jesus, an exact image of our Heavenly Father

Made our invisible God clear to see

Wisdom-laced, his teachings

Spirit-filled, his healings

His Kingdom lasting till eternity

 

An empty cross, an empty grave

Shows our Saviour lives

Fear and Death can mask no more

That our Redeemer breathes

 

The thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy. [Jesus said:] I came so that they may have life and have it to the fullest John 10:10

 

Related Links:

Salt & Light: This Crisis Will Bring us Closer as Fellow Singaporeans

Pandemic Pause #1: Of Things Essential and non-Essential on Holy Week

 

 

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Amidst the Covid-19 storm and on this Maundy Thursday, I want to give thanks for my father’ heart and remember our Heavenly Father’s Heart:

 

My Father’s Heart

Last week, my dad underwent a heart procedure.

We had delayed it following the initial spread of Covid-19, thinking things would abate. But given that this now looks like a longer time coming, we couldn’t delay the procedure any further.

The Singapore Heart Centre and SGH staff were amazing. Amidst all the stress of extra precautionary measures, they kept up cheerful faces, calm demeanor and high spirits.

My dad is back home with a renewed heart and new rhythm to life. And our hearts are grateful to our healthcare workers for their hard work and heart work.

 

Our Heavenly Father’s Heart

Yesterday was the annual Passover, a significant time where Jews remember their forefathers’ exodus from Egypt following the 10 plagues that struck the land.

Yesterday, all of us around the world went beyond remembrance of a time past to experiencing the Covid-19 plague real-time as we stayed home to stay safe, with parallels to Bible times.

As we approach Good Friday tomorrow, a few friends and I reminded each other of our Heavenly Father’s heart for the voiceless and invisible people among us.

As we, the fortunate segment of society, ta pao and order online for our households, we can also find a moment to “order” food and other necessities for migrant workers in our midst.

Here are a few ways you can contribute:

Hope Initiative’s Good Friday Care Meals

Project Chulia Street’s Coronavirus Prevention Care Packets

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We are in Holy Week, which leads up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

And this Holy Week has given us much pause.

This morning, two tiny yellow birds visited as I was having my quiet time. They playfully flew around a potted plant about one metre from me. They had no safe-distancing. They soared freely. They can cross borders and air spaces without swab tests and temperature checks.

In contrast, half of our world is in lockdown. Our human race has come to a halt because of a pandemic.

We have halted our racing, rushing and consuming.

We are finally in a state of ‘being’. As a human being.

 

On this Holy Week, we have been pared down to things essential.

Singapore’s Circuit Breaker measures kicked in today.

Only essential healthcare and public services will be available through 4th May.

All non-essential services are on standstill with 100% work-from-home measures or work stoppage.

Any trips out of home are on a needs-basis: Buying food and groceries. Seeing the doctor.

Food places are open for takeaway but no dine-in, as part of safe-distancing measures.

Going for haircut is now a luxury trip, and only no-frills haircut services are available.

There’s a list of what constitutes ‘Essential Services’. Everything else is now ‘Non-essential services’ and shut down.

For most of us, our ‘job’ is to stay at home to break the local Covid-19 transmissions that have spread, and do our part to flatten the transmission curve, so our healthcare system isn’t over-burdened.

We stay home so our families, friends and community stay safe.

As we stay in, I find myself looking inside and asking the HOW and WHAT questions:

– How did we (mankind) reach such a sad state?

– How has human advancement and encroachment of our natural habitats brought us into lockdown of ourselves?

– How military might, superpowers, and all things humanly-created have been cut to size by a small invisible virus that is outsmarting the smartest brains.

– What can we learn from all this and how do we leave a better world for our children?

On this Holy Week, I remind myself that the best posture to be is on bended knees.

Humbled.

Lowered.

Prayerful.

Thankful.

Seeking God.

As our earth takes a breather in the absence of human doings, we also need to pause to see the value of human inactivity.

As workers in Essential Services plow on for our benefit, we need to remember to thank them for their work.

For the rest of us in Non-Essential services, I am reminded of an old Christian saying:

Essentials

Related Links:

Covid-19 Circuit Breaker Heightened Safe Distancing Measures

The Pandemic is turning the Natural World Upside Down

 

 

 

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We are living in unprecedented times. We are treading uncharted territory.

When China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, it seemed out of this world.

Now, 19 countries around the world are in lockdown at last count (about 1 billion people, 20% of our world).

This week, Singapore barred short-term visitors into our country to slow imported cases of Covid-19.

Now, all religious worship services have been suspended. (Many have gone online.)

Along with temporary closure of cinemas, entertainment centres and enrichment centres.

To slow local community spread.

Safe distancing measures have tightened further.

There needs to be a minimum of one metre apart in physical spacing of tables in dining outlets and queues at public places.

We are advised to hold or attend social events with 10 or less persons.

One metre apart

Accompanied Dad for his medical appointment today. Only 1 accompanying person is allowed now.

At 5 years old, Caleb learnt about cancer.

We took time to explain to him when I was diagnosed in 2016. Armed with knowledge, he was able to be my happy pill through my cancer treatment.

At 8 years old, Caleb learnt about death.

We brought him to hospital daily to see grandma in her final week before she passed on from terminal cancer in 2019. We brought her body home for wake services. So, he had to get used to the close proximity to her casket, which was next to our dining table, for 4 nights.

At 9 years old, Caleb’s 2020 vocabulary now includes ‘Covid-19’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distancing’.

As a parent, I try to stay abreast of the facts and varying opinions of this pandemic so I can talk this through with my 9-year-old. After all, what we are living through is life changing.

“But didn’t it happen before?” Caleb asked at bedtime last night. “Like SARS?”

He was referring to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in 2003 which hit Singapore and our region in 2003.

“Not as bad as this,” I said.

I also explain why we will now head straight home from school, instead of dining out and going to museums and libraries.

And I tell him, “It’s okay to be scared. But we need to talk about it and pray for our world.”

We live in a world that is very ill.

As our consumerist activities and travel bug are temporarily nipped, the halting of factories and grounding of airline flights have cut carbon emissions and pollution, and is giving our earth a short reprieve to heal.

I hope that, with our world on pause button, we can be motivated towards healing the ills on our planet. And, as a people, humbly recognize our place in this world.

I also pray that as we live through this Covid-19 plague, we will:

  • Cooperate with stay-home measures
  • Find ways to strengthen the ties that bind despite social distancing
  • Bury differences and unite against this invisible enemy
  • And leave this world a better place for our children.

 

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”  2 Chronicles 7:14-15

Related Links:

All entertainment venues in Singapore to close gatherings outside work and school

God Knows Leh #37: Cancer, COVID, Containment, Cooperation, Change

 

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This has been quite a week.

On the personal front, I’ve had plenty of matters to deal with and spiritual nuggets that came with them.

With Covid-19 termed a pandemic two days back, my mind has been on one nugget that parallels this current pandemic.

This Monday, I went for my six-monthly checkup with my breast surgeon. Esther is the amazing doctor who performed a mastectomy on me back in mid-2016. In essence, she removed my entire left breast and scrapped me clean of cancer cells.

Back in March 2016, I had heard a small voice prompting me to do a breast check in the shower. I listened to the voice and felt a pebble in my left breast. I stepped out and made an appointment for a full health check-up immediately.

Whilst I responded to God’s first prompting, I delayed the collection of my results and subsequent detailed scans till May.

Why? Because I was scheduled to go for an overseas trip to train writers in a developing country. I had put in four months of preparation work and didn’t want to cancel the trip or be distracted by the results.

After receiving my detailed scans which pointed to not-good news, I delayed seeing the surgeon for another week.

Why? Because it was the week of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I was a speaker, moderator and also the Singapore author who wrote the SJ50 picture book in commemoration of Singapore and Japan’s 50th year of friendship. My book Benji, Yumi, Origami! was going to be launched at the festival.

Right after the festival, I met my surgeon Esther for the first time and was handed a breast cancer diagnosis the moment I walked through her door: Still early stage cancer (fortunately) but aggressive and need immediate surgery.

I lost over two months from the time of God’s first prompting to do a breast check and getting my diagnosis. I did subsequently wonder whether the cancer had spread during that time and if an earlier diagnosis could have better contained any spread and saved me the pain of going through chemotherapy. But that time had passed and there was no point lamenting the What ifs. I went through one year of cancer infusion treatment. I’m now only on quarterly injections and daily tablets.

Several good things came out of the bad of my diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy. I made a conscious decision to re-orientate my entire lifestyle and outlook to life.

I went from zero exercise to brisk-walking 40 minutes at least three times a week. I cut off my addiction to sickly-sweetened ice coffee which I was downing 1-2 cans of, first thing every morning. I’ve reduced my sugared caffeine intake to only weekends and take teh si kosong on weekdays. I lapse sometimes but I don’t beat myself up. I move on and compensate by upping my vegetable intake for the next few days.

I’ve incorporated greens into my daily diet and have fish 2-3 times a week. I don’t even like fish. But it’s good for me, so I suck it up. On weekends and occasional weekdays, I still indulge in my laksa, mee siam and all things yummy, with some measured eating. I’m Singaporean and local food cravings are part of my genetic makeup. It’s my human condition.

My outlook to life has been a more protracted adjustment.

Surgery and chemotherapy took care of the physical cancer.

Spiritual chemotherapy has been much more long-drawn. It took me two years to detox the cancer of bitterness, unforgiveness and grudge-keeping. Wearing a judgemental lens became a by-product of the spiritual cancer spread.

But God is good, patient and slow to anger. I’m still a major work-in-progress but the medical and spiritual treatments have been life-changing and I’m much lighter-hearted for that. I often tell friends that the cancer was on the left breast for a reason. My rotten breastplate of self-righteousness sullied the condition of my heart and I needed major reconstruction surgery for it. Now my left breast is made up of my right six-pack muscles and fat. It packs a punch, cushions my heart and I am stronger for it.

As my surgeon said in her diagnosis in 2016, “You have no choice between lumpectomy (which saves part of the breast) and mastectomy (full removal). The entire left breast is diseased and has to go.”

 

At the end of my checkup this Monday, Esther told me that my breast scans are extremely clean. For me, it speaks about re-starting life on a clean breast.

I must have forgotten Math since becoming an author because I did not realise that it’s been almost four years since diagnosis until Esther reminded me. I photo-marked that moment with my dear surgeon who has since become my very dear friend.

“Very good,” Esther said, “Continue doing what you have been doing.”

For me, that means keeping up my re-oriented lifestyle, eating healthy, and social-distancing myself from unhealthy emotions.

Esther&Me

Yesterday’s Straits Times reported that two elderly Covid patients have become the first to be warded in a private hospital in Singapore. They were admitted to Gleneagles Hospital on Monday and tested positive.

I was at Gleneagles Medical Centre on Monday for my medical appointment. There’s been a barrier set up between the hospital and medical centre wing, with their own checkpoints for temperature taking and declaration forms for contact tracing.

 

Just two days ago, World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic due to “alarming levels” of its spread and severity. But with the alarm bells, the WHO director-general also said, “We cannot say this loudly enough, clearly enough, or often enough. All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Community transmission begins when infected patients continue going about their daily activities instead of staying isolated. It’s happened because we have been slow to listen and slow to act.

But it’s not too late for change.

It just cannot be “life as usual” the way we have been accustomed to.

We need to make drastic changes to our lifestyles for the sake of our health and the health of our community. We can contain the spread if we cooperate with hygiene, health and social distancing measures. It is about flattening the epidemic curve so that Covid doesn’t spread cancerously across the body of our world.

Cancer is scary. Covid is scary. Both are tiny invaders with larger- than-life impact to our world. Yet, Covid-19 can be Contained and Controlled, with Cooperation and Change in our lifestyle choices. Every individual can make a difference with these 5 Cs, which have everything to do with Life, and little to do with worldly pursuits.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  – John 10:10

Related Links:

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020

God Knows Leh #4 – A Pebble in Breast and 7 No Matter Whats

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Counting my blessings and thanking God through all seasons – COVID19 and non-COVID19.

  1. DORSCON Orange Outfits

Our family made a contribution for the flowers at our church service the past Sunday in memory of the first year anniversary of Mum’s passing.

I wore a restyled version of the dress that Mum had made for herself for last year’s Chinese New Year. She never wore it. She was admitted into hospital on Day 2 of Chinese New Year and passed on three weeks later.

I brought the dress to Mum’s tailor and altered it to fit me. More of that in another post on another day.

Coincidentally, Ben wore orange too. And we very rarely wear matching outfits, coincidentally nor intentionally. That’s just a father-son do.

So, I just had to take this photo in church last Sunday because there were so many symbolisms.

DORSCON Orange Statement

Mum’s memorial flowers.

Mum’s Chinese New Year dress which I took over.

DORSCON Orange matching outfits.

Orange dots stuck on us following temperature checks.

#God is Greater.

 

  1. Friends of Old & Gold

I’ve been seeing much more of some friends whom I’ve known, friends of old and gold. It’s usually difficult to see everyone altogether. Since DORSCON Orange, a couple of friends have seen business and events disappear and others have cancelled work travel plans. What better time to catch up on each other’s lives?

AwesomeFriends

  1. Awesome Friends & Stars

My latest picture book Little Mole’s Awesome Star burrowed into the bookstores this week.

I was starry-eyed to see Little Mole receive a 5-star review rating from Readers’ Favourite as well as a lovely review in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March.

Mole

I’m also thankful for many awesome friends who shared Little Mole’s news on their Facebook pages.

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to e-launch the book in this no-public-events COVID19 climate.

(On an online note, you can now also order Little Mole’s Awesome Star and Little Godwit Finds His Wings at Times Bookstore’s Goguru with free delivery in Singapore!)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phillipians 4:6-7

Related Links:

Awesome Star! Little Mole surfaces in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March

God Knows Leh #36 – Devoted Wife, Mum, Grandma, Sister, Friend & Nurse

 

 

 

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Today marks exactly one year from Mum’s passing.

I was originally going to post the eulogy that I gave at Mum’s wake services last year. With COVID-19 and the conversations that it has sparked on healthcare workers, it would be remiss of me not to add a few paragraphs on Mum’s devotion as a healthcare worker for her entire working life of 45 years.

After Mum went home to our Lord, my eyes opened to the number of people she had helped through their medical issues and all. Many friends were shocked to hear that she was terminally ill and had passed on. Several shared how she sent encouraging bible verses to them – some of them even on a daily basis, up to her final weeks in hospital.

Mum was a very generous and deeply caring person. She gave all of herself to our family and many others. If there was one word I would use to sum it up, it would be ‘devoted’.

Mum oneyear

 

Devoted Nurse

Mum worked as a nurse for her 45 years, starting as a student nurse and working in several public hospitals throughout Singapore.

She was multi-disciplinary-trained with working background in Medical, Surgical, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics,  ICU/CCU, O&G, Day Surgery & Endoscopy. In her later years, she also worked in areas of Patient Education, taking care of foreign nurses’ welfare and staff training.

In her last three weeks, which were spent in hospital, she chided us for pressing the call button and ‘disturbing’ the nurses. She remained extremely thoughtful to her nursing colleagues to the very end.

In her final days, she asked to be transferred to Singapore General Hospital, where she had worked for so many years and called her ‘second home’. We weren’t able to do that as she was too ill to be moved by then.

 

Devoted Daughter, Sister and Friend

As a daughter, Mum was fully devoted to my grandparents. She took care of their every need – their food, clothes, medical needs, and physically cared for them till their last day.

Mum also went out of her way to help her siblings, relatives and friends to schedule medical appointments. She scored tons of brownie points for me with my husband’s family through all the help she extended to them. Each time they had a medical issue, she ran around getting them appointments and calling on the goodwill of her nursing colleagues to do so.

 

Devoted Mother & Grandmother

Mum was fully devoted to my brother and me, even after we started our own families.

She was also a devoted grandmother to my brother’s daughters and Caleb. She doted on them constantly. And she was fiercely protective over them. No one, including us parents could complain about our kids in front of her. If I was so foolhardy to do so in front of her, she would give me a ticking off.

She helped care for Caleb tirelessly even though she was much older by the time I became a mother. When she was in hospital in her final days, she told me that she was glad that Caleb arrived at a time when she could still take care of him, because soon, she wouldn’t be able to care for him anymore.

Mum also took charge of all household groceries. Every Saturday morning at 5 am, she went on a tour of duty of at least three wet markets to do her marketing and buy breakfast for our family.

I often told her, “No need to run around. Please buy the same thing for us from one market and we’ll eat it.”

She ignored me because she knew Caleb liked Chwee Kuay from Tiong Bahru market, Ben liked noodles from Holland Drive market, and I liked prawn bee hoon from Ghim Moh market.

Her next favorite place, besides the wet markets, were Fairprice Finest, Cold Storage and Giant. She would regularly return home with two trolley loads of groceries. Dad and I would stand there, scratching our heads as we wondered where to keep these as the cupboards were already full.

Many of my friends often told me they bumped into Mum – and I would ask them, which market or supermarket did they meet her?

When she was in hospital in her last weeks, she was still messaging the fruit seller and pork seller to order our food supplies for the week. And she directed Dad to pick it up.

 

Devoted Wife

Mum was fully devoted to Dad. She insisted on ending her last days in a hospice because she didn’t want to be a burden to Dad and us. Even at that stage, she fretted over our well-being.

Her breathing became labored in the final days and she had to breathe through her mouth. When she passed on, her mouth stayed open.

At the timing of her passing, our doctor came in to make the final pronouncement and the machine was turned off. Nurse Karen tried to close Mum’s mouth but she wasn’t able to. She apologized to us for that.

Dad spoke the final words of closure to Mum – that she had taken care of all things already and we released her to Jesus to rest in peace. Then he hugged Mum and wept. As he pulled back, a miracle happened.

Our doctor remarked, “Look Uncle, Auntie is smiling.”

We all looked.

Mum had closed her mouth. Not only that, her mouth had upturned into the most beautiful smile.

She had heard Dad’s final words and she had left him with a smile of assurance that she indeed had gone in peace. In God’s perfect peace that surpasses all understanding.

 

Mum, surely goodness and mercy has followed you all the days of your life and you now dwell in the house of our Lord forever. (Psalms 23:6)

 

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #28: Parting with an Old Spice Alabaster Jar Miracle

God Knows Leh #27- A Pain in the Abdomen & 7 times of Psalms 23:6

 

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It was disturbing to see the panic-buying that occurred over the weekend after our government raised the alert to DORSCON Orange, following a few clusters of community spread of the novel corona virus. (DORSCON is the acronym for Disease Outbreak Response System Condition.)

I think it boiled down to a few things. Fear. Misinformation. Social media virus.

Fear can spread faster than virus and spark off all kinds of responses and over-reactions.

And misinformation travels faster than droplets through viral social media contact.

 

  1. Supermarket run

When the alert was raised to DORSCON Orange, my phone was pinging incessantly with photos and WhatsApp messages from friends showing photos of the runs in the supermarkets on household items like rice, instant noodles, canned luncheon meat and toilet paper.

The next day, on Saturday, I went to Ghim Moh wet market as per routine. It was the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year. The market was well-stocked and the crowd was orderly.

In the aftermath of the supermarket runs, I went to buy some groceries during the week. Once at Cold Storage. And another day at Hao Supermart.

I was one of very few people in the supermarket. The staff were restocking supplies. There were pockets of empty shelves yet to be filled. Namely instant noodles, luncheon meat and toilet paper.

But really, the rest of the supermarket was well-stocked with plenty.

A counter staff wished me a safe day and I wished him the same.

Hao supermart

Hao Supermart was stocked very hao

 

  1. Hospital stand

Yesterday, I went for my 3-monthly injection, an ongoing post-cancer treatment. It’s a 5-minute job and to me, simply like a vitamin booster.

There were checkpoints at all entry points into the hospital. I filled up a travel and health declaration form and hospital staff took my temperature and details of which clinic I was headed to. They stuck a sticker on me to show that I had been cleared.

At my doctor’s clinic, I filled up a second travel and health declaration form, had my temperature checked again and had a second sticker stuck on me.

I’ve kept both stickers as a reminder of this current climate we are living in.

All the clinic staff were masked up, as with the hospital staff I saw on the way to the clinic.

Senior staff nurse Maggie administered my injection, as she has frequently done during my chemotherapy sessions in 2016 and post-chemo treatments after.

Maggie is from China. She has worked in our healthcare system in Singapore for 10 years now, both on the hospital side and now in a cancer care clinic.

“Can we take a photo today?” I asked her and explained that I wanted to blog about this clinic visit.

Maggie Braveheart

 

These are testing times for our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Whilst most of us have a choice to avoid hospitals and clinics, our healthcare workers are there daily, risking the greatest exposure.

In short, take sensible precautions, take stock of facts from falsehoods and thank a healthcare worker.

If you have a relative, friend, acquaintance or family doctor, why not send them some encouragement for their good work in these testing times?

 

I told Maggie that I would be sending her this blogpost. This is my thank you note:

“To Maggie and all the healthcare workers who continue your good (and draining) work of caring for patients with all kinds of sickness and diseases through all kinds of climates. May God bless the work of your hands and keep you all safe and healthy.”

A grateful patient

 

Jesus said: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled and afraid.”

                                                                                           – John 14:27

 

Related Link:

Go Green Lah #2 – Don’t Let the Blame Game become the Next Virus!

Sign up for your extremely regular updates on the novel coronavirus directly from Gov.sg Whatsapp at  go.gov.sg/whatsapp

 

 

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At the beginning of this year, I noticed a book on my shelf which a friend had gifted me. It was titled Attentive to God- Being Aware of God’s Presence in Daily Life by Tony Horsfall. Clearly, I had not been attentive since that book has been lying on my shelf for perhaps a year now?

I decided to read the book as I felt it would be a good way to start the New Year, given my severe attention deficit issues last year.

Last Monday morning, I reached Chapter 8, which was about Moses turning aside to encounter God when he stopped to take a look at a burning bush. In regard to this, the author said,

“I like to think of God as the great Attention Grabber. He loves to break into our self-contained little worlds and remind us that He is there, awakening us to his nearness and prodding us into the consciousness of His reality. He does this in a number of ways, often taking us by surprise and catching our attention with something unusual, that we didn’t expect, like the burning bush…Often these events happen as something unusual, perhaps a surprising coincidence or an incredibly timely meeting, and often with a touch of humour too.”

 

That afternoon, I picked Caleb from school and we headed to Clementi Mall to borrow books from the public library. After picking out the books, I herded him towards the Borrowing Station.  I checked-out 30 books, turned around to find that Caleb wasn’t with me.

I retraced my steps and found him peeking over the shoulder of a boy, seated on a chair, playing the Brawl Stars game on his iPad.

I walked right up to them and said, “Caleb, let’s go.”

The boy’s mother looked up, leapt up and stood in front of me. “Hi, it’s me.”

I was taken aback. “Didn’t we bump into each other this time last year in this same mall?”

Melissa was a mum who first emailed me three years ago after she bought my books for her son. She had connected with my stories and wrote to me to share her own story and encourage me. Shortly after, her family moved overseas.

Back in 2016, when I was undergoing chemotherapy, she emailed me a devotional which she felt was for me. When I read it that evening, I had goosebumps. It had the same two verses that I had read that morning, expounding on the exact issue that I was grappling with.

Last year, on the week before Chinese New Year, Caleb and I were at Fairprice Finest in Clementi Mall, picking up last minute goodies for the Chinese New Year. In that crowded supermarket, Melissa walked right up to me (for the first time we ever met) and asked, “Are you Emily, the author?”

She had heard Caleb and me talking, turned aside and recognized us from my blog posts. We time-marked that moment with a photo.

Melissa SJCK

Last week, we had our second divine appointment. It was again in Clementi Mall. One week before Chinese New Year. And she had turned and looked when she heard me and Caleb talking. Caleb had ‘led’ me to her in the crowded library. She told me that they were flying back to Australia the next day.

We time-marked this second divine appointment with another photo.

It was the most improbable of encounters. Two consecutive years in a row. In the same mall.

God, the great Attention Grabber had broken into my ordinary day, reminding me that He is there, awakening me to his nearness and prodding me into the consciousness of His reality.

I went home and journaled: God, you got my attention. What is the purpose of this surprising co-incidence, or God-incidence?

Over the next day, I was reminded of the things that God had impressed on my heart through my divine connection with Melissa three years ago, the bible verses I was pointed to and now reminded to ponder on.

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #27- A Pain in the Abdomen & 7 times of Psalms 23:6

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