Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Though we are thousands of miles apart

Did you see this article titled, Time to Connect in today’s Today? It got me thinking.

“Used in moderation, digital tools can facilitate – even improve – family interaction, communication and understanding.” by Sheralyn Tay

Recently my old friend Simon Chu came back to Singapore and we had a gathering of old friends, some of whom I have not met since the 1970s. I prepared a slide show of our old photos from decades ago and we enjoyed an evening of blessed fellowship, reminiscing about “the good old days” we enjoyed swimming and snorkeling in places like Pulau Hantu, Pulau Tioman and Air Bapan.

Later, one of us posted a video of our gathering on Facebook and it generated much discussion and more nostalgia. Simon was in poetic mood and quoted the Sung dynastic poet Su Dong Po’s (蘇東坡) famous poem, 水調歌頭·丙辰中. This poem was turned into a beautiful song by Liang Hong Zhi (梁弘誌)  and sung by Theresa Teng in 1983. The song was titled, 但願人長

The last stanza reads:

People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart,
The moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane,
This imperfection has been going on since the beginning of time.
May we all be blessed with longevity,
Though thousand miles apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.

The last line, 千里共嬋, has come to hold special meaning for me and my family lately.
It’s been more than a month since our youngest daughter left for the UK for further studies. But thanks to the magic of the internet, even though we are thousands of miles apart, we could share the beauty of the Bible together. Using Skype, we continued to have our regular Sunday evening family worship sessions. From half way around the planet, and eight hours behind us, my daughter Wan Hui could, not only participate in reading the Bible – we take turns to read, one verse at a time - she could even sing the hymns along with us, without the need of a hymnal. We just gave her the title of the hymn we wanted to sing, and within seconds she found the lyrics on the internet. However, it was difficult to sing in harmony because her voice came a fraction of a second after ours.

Recently, our Pastor has been writing about the internet; describing it as both an evil and a blessing. I guess ours was an example of the latter.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)


peter said...

If I may be allowed to comment on Chun See's thots n feelings, from one parent to another.

It's a classical case of a family which has bonded very closely. Who ever in the family has to leave for some distant land or be out of sight for a lenght of time, there is always a feeling of "emptiness".

As my elders once told me, one does not know what it is to miss somebody until you find the chair at the dinner table empty.

So when parents shown concern to their children, they are not "controlling" them but show parental love.

BTW Chun See I heard this song before but never knew the title.

Zen said...

From the ancient we learn wisdom and from the modern, let's make full use of the internet. Looking at the positive side of life, we should be happy.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry. Should be Ayer Bapan, near Mersing, not Bayan. I must be thinking of Penang's Bayan Lepas.

simon said...

Peter cited the example of his elders' comment that one will not realise to miss somebody until you find the the seat at the dinner table is empty.
How true!
The last time I was back in Spore was 2 1/2 years ago for my mother's funeral wake when I conducted a memorial service. This time when Lin (my wife) and I came back for a short visit both my parents are away beyond the blue. I cant share the beauty of the moon together with them except on His promise that we will meet on that Day face to face! And it will just be like yesterday.

simon said...

Good one Chun See!


Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Peter for that very insightful comment. My post must have struck a chord. Seldom do I see such a solemn comment from you - and with so few typos some more ... haha.

Actually I don't like to blog about such personal matters. Mainly becos my family members, except my youngest - the one in UK - are very publicity-shy. But I do feel strongly about this topic of family bliss (天伦之乐).

I am much saddened to read frequently, news of rebellious children; and broken families and divorces in Spore nowadays. Of late it has even struck near home; literally. So I just want to share with readers my testimony without being too 'evangelistic'. When you put God first in your life, He is faithful to take care of the rest.

The psychologists, and the hollywood 'experts' will tell you that you need to frequently tell your children you love them. But when couples put them through the agony of a breakup, what's the use of words like "Papa and mummy love you so much".

Children need, above all, an atmosphere of security to develop and excel. That security is provided, not so much by money and material provisions, but by an environment where the head is willing to subject himself to a higher Authority, where parents dare not take their marriage vows lightly because they were made before that higher Authority.