Wednesday, December 9, 2009

25 years before and after

While waiting for Constance to wash her hair at Bianco hair saloon, I took a diagnostic test for my hair. The hairstylist used a gadget, which has a magnifying power of 100 X, and he placed it gently at the spot of my head, which I would not be proud of. What I saw on the computer screen was a picture of arid desert. It looks like ozone with a hole in it. At the rate of hair dropping, in the next 5 years I would resemble a Franciscan Monk. The hair saloon has gigantic mirror as a wall. Everywhere I went, it reminds that I have my prime, once upon a time. Mirror does not lie to you.

The hair stylist ably covered Constance sparse hair with curly perm. The brunette look dye on her hair makes her young. She is elegant.

The one thing I kept reminding myself is to grow old gracefully. Something else is much more important as one aged.

I dated Constance yesterday evening. It was our 25th wedding anniversary. We invited our son Sam to come along. Sarah and Sam always remind us that they are part of the package. So we celebrate anniversaries & birthdays as a family. Sam was at first reticent about the idea of him coming along. He felt that he might intrude into our romantic evening. Obviously we have different definition of romanticism. We went to a Hakka restaurant, nothing romantic about the place. But the food, we both enjoy. The evening went by so quickly. When the waitress came with the bill, Sam offered to pay. Constance and I were touched by his gesture. It is not a small amount for an 18-year-old boy. Sam is generous. We wish that Sarah were here with us.

Later in the evening we spent our time in IKEA testing out potential chairs for the new church. The price is fabulous – RM 35 per chair. 9 years ago we bought the customized chairs for RM 90 when we planted the first church. This one from IKEA came without cushion but it is no less comfortable than the previous one. Alvin and Fern, a young couple from the church planting team, were with us in IKEA. Their wedding anniversary happened to fall on the same day as ours. They were excited too about the church plant.

It was twelve o clock midnight and yet Constance was wide-awake. She kept engaging me with the design of the layout for the new church. I was worn out after a long day. Never a night person, I struggled to stay awake. She turned off the light and finally I went off into the dreamland. Constance is as every bit as engaged in ministry. For 25 years she has been a great companion, a faithful ministry co-worker, a trusted confidante, a wise counselor, and a supportive wife. She helps me to raise two wonderful children. Sam and Sarah arise and call her blessed; I also, and I praise her. She is the Proverbs 31 woman. Each day it dawns on me that I married a great woman. People said that I should thank my lucky star. But I said that God is gracious. He gave her to complete me.

Now 25 years down the road, at an age when people think we should be easing up, Constance and I are on the verge of planting another church. Our passion of serving God deepened as the years go by –undiminished. We are undaunted by the task because of the grace of God in our lives. I am strengthened in my resolve in planting a church because I have Constance by my side. For we know whom we believe. Jesus never fails us.