Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Scarred Face

This is a contemplation of Our Lord's suffering, our brokenness and how he shared our humanity. May it be a reflection to you as well especially that Good Friday is tomorrow.


In the quiet
A face appears
Scarred beyond features
Teardrops smear bloodlines

In the chaos
Confusion blurs His image
Yet that war torn emotions
Keep coming back

In the anguish
The eyes of deep sorrows
Return and pierces me
Like none has ever done

In the emptiness
His scourged hand touches
The broken shell of mine
Cries broke out

In the suffering
The nailed wounds embrace
My heavily soiled soul
He understands my pain

In the fall
He rises and picks me up
Each time He smiles
And says it is all right

In the comfort
Of His arms I rest
A thousand miles away
At home at last

In the light
I soar on His wings
Never looking back
And His face glows



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Make-Believe

Carry me into arms of fire ablaze

with swords of love shining down

like heaven’s eyes



I cry rivers of sorrow to be kept

in crystal glasses made from

divine perspiration



Strokes of anguish set the fountains

flowing like mad into chambers

of mercy



Swift dashes of cold air sending

me to hide in exile from my

deepest desires



Forbidden truce exists in worlds of

make-believe and I wondered why

I come running



Shadows of my torn soul sit in

crooked alleys of the morbid

world beneath



Half-reaching to climb the stairways

to free conscience of warlock

twisted in anger



I fly not to grab a strand of hair

that passes me by with lingering

scent of hatred



Reside I shall in that nest of amber

till the fantasy of joy blow me to the

path of sanity

Friday, March 21, 2014

Press on MH370

When I heard of the missing plane from Malaysian Airlines in Africa, my heart sank...I could be on that very plane. How devastated the families must be. After I got back, there were still not much good news. I pray with all my heart that they will find the plane soon. I am glad that the whole world is coming together to work for good in finding the plane.

Here's a poem that I would like to dedicate to all the families and loved ones of the passengers and crews on board MH370.

All over 
High and low 
Wide and deep 
No cure is near 

Search continues 
One on one 
Multiplies by thousands 
Hope is far 

One clings on 
A thousand miles 
Hearts wail and mourn 
Terror strikes 

Uncertainties prevail 
Can one see 
Beyond debris 
Where and why 

Hijack or death 
Only God knows 
Lives come and go 
Hidden from eyes 

You and I 
Hug each other 
Pray to heavens 
Never give up 

Press on 
Seek and find 
That day is near 
Truth will arrive 



Please don't give up hope and don't despair. We join hands with everyone in the world to pray for you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

'The Calloused Hands' written for Basadi Balefatshe - An International Journey of a Woman

It's been a while since I wrote in this cavern.
I just got back from South Africa. Its been an enriching and wonderful experience. I've learnt so much and been blessed over and over by the places I visited and especially by the amazing souls that have touched my life while I am there. I've got a million stories to tell and a lot more to weave into stories that I know I will use someday.
I went there to perform in a musical play and also to engage in cultural exchange.

Here is a poem-story that I presented/performed for a musical play entitled ‘Basadi Balefatshe’ (World Women) – ‘An International Journey of a Woman’ at Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa in conjunction with International Women’s Day. This poem-story was also told during an International Storytelling Festival at Pretoria, South Africa.

The story is a fiction inspired by the lives of some Asian women. However, the photo below is a real picture of me and my popo’s hands J

Me and Popo's hands


The Calloused Hands


Popo!!!! I call out in high pitch glee
Her wrinkles curve and smile at me
Happiness awakened from distrait
Finally after all those years of wait

I rush to her side, she coughs out blood
Lying on her deathbed without a word
Her body lays motionless but her eyes
Twinkle with whispers of love and cries

Tiny and frail hardly explains her body
More fragile than a new-born baby
She lifts up her bony shaky fingers
Cupping my face and let one lingers

Rough and dry her old skin against mine
Worse than burns from acid and alkaline
Her teary eyes pierces deep into my soul
Bringing me back to great times of old

********
Mama died when she gave birth to me
Papa sits in jail for raping her repeatedly
Popo brought me up with love and care
She took me in which was an act so rare

She woke up at five every morning
Chicken porridge was her best cooking
Alternating with butter buns and bread
There was nothing my taste truly dread

I was a noisy and naughty little girl
Always caught with my feet awhirl
She never spared me from the rod
Never to spoil but instil fear of God

When I behaved well, she would fry
Banana fritters so good you would cry
She would hug me and laugh out loud
Chasing rain from the hovering cloud

Popo’s hair was always in a small bun
Neat and tidy not a hair seen in front
Wraparound sarong tied with a knot
Her lips wearing a shade of red hot

Day and night she worked hard
Tending to vegetables in her yard
A kind soul, still sharing a fruit or two
Turning away the needy was a taboo

A storyteller at night with her hair down
Filled with tales to enchant and astound
Memoirs of her younger self and ah kong
My grandpa who had died forty years long

I once asked “Popo, are you not tired?”
Pointing upwards, her secret transpired
“My strength comes from high above”
“All is made possible in the name of love”

I continued, “Why did you choose to keep me?”
She held me tight and said, “Why would I flee?”
“God gave you to me, one of his greatest gifts”
“You’re innocent no matter who your papa is”

Time passed, I had to leave for university
Popo would come to see me in the city
Each time she grew shorter and shorter
While the hunch on her back grew bigger

Work began to eat away all my time
I strived to pay back every single dime
Popo was far from my heart and mind
I was exhausted after a long day’s grind

One day a phone call made my heart broke
Popo fell down the stairs and had a stroke
Panicking I prayed it was not too late
I had promised to bring Popo on a date

********
Her mouth opens wide gasping for air
I keep muttering that it is so unfair
She holds my gaze in blinking tears
Am I facing one of my biggest fears?

Popo softly moans “I’m going home”
“I am not leaving you alone to roam”
“Do not cry my cucu, I know you care”
“I will watch over you from up there”

Her calloused hands clasp mine tightly
Not letting go I grip them to me closely
“I love you” springs from her watery eyes
Breathes her last and to heaven she flies


p/s: If you like poetry, feel free to browse my poems at my previous posts labelled 'My Poems'.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Are you afraid of His Calling?

Have you been called to do something beyond your comfort zone? In fact, perhaps something risky or even dangerous, like preaching to hostile countries that are not particularly friendly towards people of our faith.
I think we all experience this at least once in our lifetime. A few times in the past, I felt the nudge that God was calling me to do something far beyond what I think I can do. He seems to be more confident about my abilities than I am myself. I hesitated thousands of times and even begged God to close the doors and choose someone else but His will always prevail in the end.
You might be facing the very same thing. Perhaps all along, you’ve only known your neighbourhood and have never travelled overseas. You have a comfortable desk job but all of a sudden, you feel convicted that God wants you to go to a faraway land that does not speak your language and you will have to stand in front of multitudes of human beings of a different race to talk about your faith. Yet you never even stood on a stage before. Will you go?
Let us look at David. A young shepherd boy was not only anointed by God to be a king but he beat Goliath, the great Giant of his times. Who would have thought he will ever beat Goliath?
It is stated in In 1 Samuel 16:7,” …..The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
We might not think we are capable but we can do all things through God who gives us strength no matter how risky, scary or overwhelming the task might seem. Remember how the Lord used Moses to split open the red sea? There is nothing that is impossible for God. If he can use Moses and David, he can use you. You need only to obey and do your part.
Sometimes we might doubt whether it is truly from God. I find this prayer truly helpful.
Dear Lord, I feel this is your calling for me but I am afraid and would rather do without it, for I am weak and feel that I am not as strong, talented and experienced like the others and if this is not from you, please close all doors for me. But you Lord is the mighty one and you do not see as men see and if truly you have chosen me to do this task, let your will be done unto me. I trust that you will be with me and you are all I need for I can do all things through you who strengthen me. Show me the way and lead me on the right path. This is my faith and trust in you that you will answer my prayer.

If He shows that it is indeed Him calling you, then trust in Him. He will provide ALL that you need to fulfil your mission. May God goes before you and be with you. Go now and proclaim His good news!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Write Like a Lemon!

The other day I was squeezing some lemon and suddenly it dawned on me that if the lemon had nerves and a heart, it would definitely be having a whole lot of pain. Ouch! Even so, would a lemon cease to let us squeeze it if it can think and sense touch like we do? Then it will lose its very purpose, that is to give us those fresh, vitamin C packed juice! How horrible would that be to lose one's purpose?

Photo taken from http://catalysttrainingsystems.ca/2013/10/squeezethatlemon/

What about you? What's your purpose? Would you let pain and tragedies stop you from fulfilling your mission in life? Would you let heartaches stop you from loving? Many times we feel exactly like a lemon, being squeezed of all our vibrant juices of energy and strength. We are always trampled, taken for granted, squashed and many times, even ignored and belittled by those whom we loved the most. Do we stop functioning and retaliate? I am not talking about child, sexual or domestic abuse. That's entirely a different thing. I mean times when we feel like giving up our purpose like motherhood because the chores and demands are just too much and we are being 'squeezed' dry of our love and efforts.

Writers can relate to this as well. How many times we feel so sure we are called to write but how many times we feel like quitting? There are just too many distractions. The neighbours are too noisy. Nobody takes writing seriously and families pester us for a real job. The pay is so infrequent that we keep the rent running late all the time.  We are just too tired after our day jobs to sit in front of the computer and type, not to mention brain-dead of any creativity left! The list goes on. So do we stop writing?

I assure you that many best-selling writers out there have gone through all these juice-grinding moments when they too were sucked dry and left with peels of tiredness. Let us not grow weary and hang in there. If we are truly certain that this is our calling, let us strive like soldiers through sunshine or rain and keep that warrior's ink flowing. Be aware of enemies creeping up on us like procrastination, distractions, temptations of a better pay from a job that does not require you to write and so forth. Don't give up my dear writer friends!

Even the bible has something great to say about enduring our present sufferings for the sake of something better. 

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18)

Let not past discouragements, failures and dissappoinments hold you back from achieving your life's purpose.

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" - Philippians 3:13

Every human is called to LOVE whether it is through writing, painting, accounting, volunteering, cooking and etc. So, love what you do and you can endure all things. Do not be afraid of letting your juice be squeezed! 

To my fellow writers, Write Like a Lemon! ;) 

Photo taken from http://www.jennyonthespot.com/just-jenny/what-do-lemons-mutant-carrots-honda-and-dead-sunflowers-have-in-common/ 


Cheers!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Great Expectation

This was a snapshot from my phone on a recent doodle I did in my sketchbook while I was enjoying a holiday with my family after Christmas Day.


The Great Expectation by Angelina Bong
http://swakgel.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-great-expectation.html


Who's expecting? My sister! I'll be a proud aunt soon.

We were enjoying the view of the beach from our balcony in the resort. She was quietly reading and as I soaked in the picturesque waves raging on the shore, I noticed how calm and glowing she was in the midst of a coming storm! I can't help but did a quick sketch out of that. By the way, the coconut trees were swaying mad as the wind blew and howled like a mad hurricane.

Besides expecting to welcome a newborn baby into our family, there are many expectations I have set aside for myself this year. I hope to eat less or at least more healthily, pray more, love more, write more, read more, paint more, exercise more and most of all, I hoped my writings and paintings worked out this year! Hopefully, I will get that first novel published. Still working on it. I expect to be more patient on myself and that I may find joy in all that I do. 

There are of course storms and tsunamis that might unexpectedly turn up on our doorsteps like cancer, deaths, financial loss, natural disasters, conflicts and etc. Are we prepared to face them? I believe we would never be 100% prepared for such an unforeseen event. No matter what catastrophe this year might bring us, let us stay calm and let the storm passed us by. Everything would eventually pass.

Shall I keep writing even in the midst of a million hurdles to overcome with pain and stress surrounding me? Of course! You should too...keep writing, painting and do whatever that you love doing for the very act itself could build a fortress for you to lean back and watch the storm with gratitude!

Hope you will find this little sketch inspiring.

Ciao my friend :)