Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The God of small things

As I was pondering Sister Dorothy's story, something occurred to me and I want to share this with you.

Sometimes, we expect to see and recognize the hand of God only in the big moments of life. But we must remember that He is the God of small things too. Jesus reminds us of this truth in Matt 10:29:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
Our God is the God of small things and big things and all things. His will governs the whole of creation from the rising of the Sun to the falling of a leaf. Just as a human father guides and watches over his children in big moments like crossing the road, to small moments like safely using scissors, our Heavenly Father too watches over us in big moments and in small, even when we do not realize that He is there. Truly, He is always with us and His Mighty Hand protects us and under the shadow of His wing, we thrive and grow.

Many times in my own life, I have also experienced small miracles, the little heaven gifts and blessings that make life a joy to live. I remember the times that total disaster was just averted by an act of Divine Providence. I remember the times when I was saved from getting totally drenched, reaching home just in time to see the heavens open and the tropical rains pour forth. I remember the times when the officers waved me past at a police block when I had forgotten to bring my license. Many times, these close calls showed the humorous side of our Father. I can imagine the twinkle in His eye as He pulls His children back from the brink.

Let me share this story with you.

Night Minibus in Hong Kong

I used to take the bus to school, very early in the morning. After a couple of years, you can recognize the familiar faces of your fellow passengers and they each made their way following their morning routine.

One day, I was in a particularly grumpy mood, perhaps brought on by a lack of sleep. So, in the darkness of the bus, I was trying to relax and get comfortable for the long ride ahead. At the next stop, a person comes up the bus, a big sized guy, broad of bottom. Shyte, I thought. I hope he doesn't try to share my seat. I prayed to God, prayed very hard. I invoked the patron Saint of 'sitting on your seat alone, by yourself'. I wasn't sure whether the Vatican had designated one but what the heck. I quickly put my school bag on the empty space, a pre-emptive strike, if you will.

Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder and there stands this huge guy towering over me. He motioned, asking whether he could share the seat.

I tell you, I pulled the longest scowl that I could manage, hoping to scare him away and, slower than a sloth, moved my bag like it contained a tonne of bricks hoping that he would give up and go elsewhere. But he persevered and waited me out. So I let him sit beside me and sulked for the rest of the way.

Suddenly, another tap on my shoulder, bringing me out of my reverie. A voice spoke to me. 'It's your stop, boy'. I opened my eyes and there the bus was, in front of my school. I had dozed off and the man, perhaps remembering that I stopped here, had pressed the bell and woke me up at my stop, just in time. If he hadn't sat beside me, if he hadn't pressed the bell or woke me up, if he hadn't got on the bus, if, if, if, then God knows how far I would have had to walk to school.

Yes, God knows all right. So, He put this man beside and and despite my utmost efforts at frustrating His plan, he helped me out and set me straight.

I was selfish, and was immediately corrected by my Heavenly Father. I only thought of myself, my comfort, my wants, but the Father knows best.

As I walked down the steps of the bus feeling very foolish, my mind was still in a blur but I remembered looking at the man and nodding my head, thanking him. Later, in the silence and darkness of the classroom, I thanked my God, thanked Him for caring enough and for chastising me when I was self-centred. I thanked Him for opening my eyes to His plan. I thanked Him for sending that man to save me the inconvenience of walking.

As I was praying, I felt God' s presence, God's closeness, God's care, in a very personal and powerful way. God, the Father and Creator of the Universe, cared for me, cared enough to intervene in a very mundane way, to correct me and help me.

That feeling has always remained with me and to this day, I always remember that incident and never fail to share my seat or give it up. Hopefully, by God's grace, never again will I consciously try to frustrate His plan.

I thank Sister Dorothy for sharing her experience of her own little miracle and reminding me of this great truth which made the words spoken so long ago in scripture become incarnate and real for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a great story. Love the cloud.

It reminds me, in some way, of long ago when I asked God to intervene in my speech... to please interrupt me or shut my mouth if I'm about to stick my foot in it. I have never looked at being interrupted the same way again.