Archive | May 9, 2013

Parable of Ascension Day



Once upon a time many years ago there was a large company which built a brand new company HQ – a big seven story affair.

The company had a lot of postal business, and so – on the ground floor, at the back of the new building – was a big post room The supervisor and the staff for this mail room were recruited locally as the new building was opened.

 The new mail room supervisor turned out to be a natural – not only organizing effectively, but also motivating his team powerfully.   It was only a matter of time before he was promoted.   He became Building Services Manager, with responsibility not only for post, but for cleaning, office supplies, and maintenance and so on. This turned out to be just the first of a series of promotions. Gradually his brief widened – including overall responsibility for IT and then HR and more…     

 The organization was one of those traditional places where the more senior you got, the higher up the building you went, the bigger your desk became, and the deeper the pile on your office carpet.

 Slowly but surely the Post Room supervisor moved up the building – till he reached the 5th Floor reserved for Senior Management, then the 6th, Directors, Floor. Finally the day came when the Post Room Supervisor was appointed CEO and moved in next to the Board Room in the top floor Chief Exec’s Penthouse Office.

 Meanwhile one of the others who been appointed to the Post Room staff all those years ago was also still working in the building.
Taken on as a clerical assistant, he hadn’t made the same spectacular progress- he was good at his job most of the time, but a bit erratic and unpredictable – that had held him back – but nonetheless he too had progressed, and by the time his old boss made it to the top floor, he had taken over his old boss’s job as Mail Room Supervisor.   

 Each morning the new Chief Exec came into work – 7.30 a.m. on the dot  The lift in front of him was there to whisk him to the 7th Floor.    But those in the building knew he would never take it. Always he would walk past the lift to the Post Room in the back, say hi to those working there, and then take the stairs, stopping on each floor as he went.

 So each day Josh Davidson the Chief Exec and Pete Symons the Post Room Supervisor would talk and enquire of each other.

Josh’s power and responsibility was now vast – but of course it still included – among many other things – the post room.

And as he would often say to Pete – we have a great product here – – but where would we be without you guys in the post room to spread the word?

  I don’t want to claim too much for this story – please don’t start analyzing the detail, pushing the analogies too far,

But maybe it has something to say to us on the Sunday after Ascension Day –

  Something about Jesus ascending from one particular place in human history to rule over   all the cosmos

  Something about him moving above and beyond Peter and the Church yet still being with them

  The Bible of course uses different and more powerful images –
telling how Jesus Son of David ascended on high –
not to sit on the Chief Exec’s Chair but on the Heavenly throne – treading not deep pile carpet but pavements of gold.
And to Simon Peter and the Disciples he said:
“I may have left you in one sense, but I am with you always –
and I want you to spread the word!”

The Bible tells the story of how Christ rose and ascended to heaven – “up and over all” – he did not ascend to go away from us, but to rule over us and all people.

And it tells us, that for all his heavenly glory, Christ remains with us always, by our side in this life, calling us to share in his work.

 And it also tells us that whatever the future may bring –
whatever, wherever we may be, in this world or the world to come – no one is ultimately beyond his power and care

When we see the photos of Zimbabwean torture
or of an Austrian prison cellar,
it can sometimes seem that God has abandoned our world
to the powers of evil.

 But as the story of the ascension tells us,
even these powers will not finally prevail –
for in the end Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth –
against whom ultimately even the gates and cellar doors of hell
shall not prevail.

 So at Ascensiontide, let us rejoice in the cosmic rule of Christ,
knowing that there is nowhere beyond his power and care.

 And as we approach our Church Anniversary,
let us commit ourselves to serving and working
with our Lord in the Church here below,
as we trust that ultimately we will know and serve him
in the Church triumphant above.

 “He left them and was taken up into heaven”  (Lk 24:51)

I didn’t drink

I went to a party, Mom,

I remembered what you said.


You told me not to drink,


So I drank soda instead.


I really felt proud inside,


The way you said I would.I didn’t drink and drive, Mom,



Even though the others said I should.


I know I did the right thing,Mom,


I know you are always right.Now the party is finally ending,


As everyone is driving out of sight.



As I got into my car, Mom,


I knew I’d get home in one piece.


Because of the way you raised me,


So responsible and sweet.



I started to drive away, Mom,


But as I pulled out into the road,


The other car didn’t see me,


,And hit me like a load.


As I lay there on the pavement, Mom,


I hear the policeman say,”The other guy is drunk,”


And now I’m the one who will pay



I’m lying here dying, Mom….


I wish you’d get here soon.


How could this happen to me, Mom?


My life just burst like a balloon.


There is blood all around me, Mom,


And most of it is mine.


I hear the medic say,


I’ll die in a short time.


I just wanted to tell you, Mom,


I swear I didn’t drink.


It was the others, Mom.


The others didn’t think.



He was probably at the same party as I.


The only difference is, he drank And I will die.


Why do people drink, Mom?


It can ruin your whole life.


I’m feeling sharp pains now.


Pains just like a knife.



The guy who hit me is walking, Mom,


And I don’t think it’s fair.


I’m lying here dying


And all he can do is stare.



Tell my brother not to cry, Mom.


Tell Daddy to be brave.


And when I go to heaven, Mom,


Put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave.



Someone should have told him, Mom,


Not to drink and drive.


If only they had told him, Mom,


I would still be alive.



My breath is getting shorter, Mom.


I’m becoming very scared.


Please don’t cry for me, Mom.


When I needed you,you were always there.


I have one last question, Mom.


Before I say good bye.I didn’t drink and drive,


So why am I the one to die?

Yes I Was Wrong

It had been raining for more than a week, so much rain it made everyday seemed so restless and gloomy. She called and said she was coming up. It was the third time she came up to see me that week. I carried her excuse of why she came all the way here and went to meet her at the nearby seven-eleven. She was standing there alone, carrying her red umbrella. Her friend had dropped her off. It was raining and she was shivering. She looked weak and fragile in the harsh rain, wearing not enough to keep her warm.

I walked up to her and said, “You shouldn’t come see me anymore,” and stuff like how we shouldn’t be together.
She said, “I miss you.”
I told her coldly, “Lets go, I’ll take you home.”
She did not open up her umbrella, I knew she wanted to share mine.
I said, “Open up your umbrella, let’s go.”
Unwillingly, She opened up her umbrella and walked with me to the car. She said she hadn’t eat lunch or dinner and asked if we could stop at some place to eat.
Right away I answered with a stoned heart, “No!”
Disappointed, she asked me to take her to the train station, she said she would take the train back home.
Maybe it was the rain, all the trains were full of people with umbrellas and suit cases who were eager to get home, not caring about who just passed by. We waited and waited, she looked at me innocently. Being together for so long, of course I knew what she meant. I understand how she must feel when she came all this way here in this kind of weather and I treat her like this. With her soft eyes staring at me, I felt guilt and wanted to let her stay for the night.
But reality struck again, I said to her coldly, “Let’s go try the other train station.”
We were living in the same apartment building, on the same floor. Back then there were four of us, and we got along well. We would always eat dinner together, watch movies, and sometimes go camping. We were more like a family, but I didn’t know I would end up falling in love with the only girl of the four. Maybe it was during the last year of college, having living together for two years, we developed deep feelings for each other. After she graduated she went back home, and I stayed for one more year to finish school. During that year I was only able to take the train down to see her on holidays, but never for long. That was how we kept the treasured relationship.
We were walking along the side of the road. She was in front of me and I was right behind her. Her umbrella had a broken spoke. She looked liked a wounded soldier, carrying her rusted rifle walking weakly. Many times, she was too into thinking or whatever she was doing, drifting off the road, she almost got hit by the cars passing by. I wanted to just take her in my arms, but with the love I had for her and the constant pain in my stomach, I did nothing. On the way, we passed by the park where we use to always go.
She begged and said, “Lets go in the park just for a little while please, I promise I’ll go home right after this.”
With her begging, my cold heart softened, but I still put up an annoyed face and walked in the park. I was just sitting on the benches looking like I wanted to leave. She went to the big oak tree and she was looking for something. I knew she was looking for what we wrote on that tree with a silver ink pen half a year ago. If I remember it right, it said, “Chris and Susan was here, Chris had tea and Susan was drinking hot chocolate. Hope Chris and Susan would always remember this day, always loving each other, forever.” She was looking around for quite a while, then she came back slowly with tears on her face.
She said, “Chris, I can’t find it, it’s not there anymore.”
I felt so sour inside, there was a stream of pain, flowing into my heart, the kind of pain I’ve never felt before. But all I could do was pretend I didn’t care, and said, “Can we go now?”
I opened up my big black umbrella, she was just standing there, didn’t want to leave yet, hoping there was still a chance. She said, “You made up the story of you and that other girl didn’t you? I know I frustrate you sometimes, but I’ll change, can’t we start over?”
I didn’t say a word, just looked down and shook my head. After that we just kept on walking towards the train station, didn’t say a word to each other.
Four years ago, the doctor said I had cancer, but it was found early, so it was still curable. Thinking that it was okay, I started living my normal life again, and even forgot about the cancer. I didn’t think about the cancer again and did not go back to the doctor. Until a month ago, my stomach was hurting for two weeks straight, and the nightmare awakened me again. First I thought the pain would go away, but it grew stronger until to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I went back to the doctor and took an X-ray. The picture came out and there was a big black spot, which proved the truth that I did not want to believe. I was at the most glittering part of my life, but it was coming to an end. I wanted myself and the people around me to go through the least pain possible, so I decided to commit suicide. But I couldn’t let people find out about my intentions, especially Susan, the person I love the most in this whole world, who still doesn’t know about the truth. Susan was still young, she shouldn’t have to go through this. So I made up some stories and lied to her. It was a cruel thing to do, and it broke her heart, but it was the fastest way to wipe out three years feelings. I didn’t have much time, because I would soon start to loose hair and she would find out eventually. But now I’m close to succeeding, this drama would soon be over. Thirty minutes more this would all come to an end, that was what I had in mind.
The train had stopped running so I called a taxi for her. We were just standing there, waiting, loosing our last moments in silence.
I saw the taxi from far away, I held my tears and said to her, “Take care of yourself, take good care of yourself.”
She didn’t talk, just nodded lightly, and then opened up her misshaped umbrella and stepped out on the street. Out in the rain, we became two single life forms, one red, one black, so far away from each other. I opened the door for her and she got in, then I close the gate that would separate me from her forever. I stood by the car, staring in the dark window, at the first love in my life, also the last one, walking out of my life. The car started, driving into the street. Finally I couldn’t hold my sorrow and the twist in my heart any longer, waving my arms rapidly chasing after the taxi, because I knew, this would be the last time I see her. I wanted to tell her I still love her, I wanted to tell her to stay, I wanted to tell her so much, but the taxi had already turned in the corner. Warm tears kept falling down my face, blended with the cold rain drops. I was cold, not because of the rain. I was cold inside.
She left, and I didn’t get anymore of her phone calls even until today. I know she didn’t see my tears, because they were washed away by the rain. I left without regrets. But I’m not Chris, I’m that girl Susan, using my memory, and his diary I found after one year since he left, writing down these last words.