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This Christmas is special. Because I remember Christ and I remember Mother. I remember the Christ of my mother.
Mother died in her sleep 2 weeks ago. I am sad and I am glad. I am glad because she rested her 89 years of labor and went straight to be with the Lord. I am sad because my opportunity to hold her hands and read her the Psalms and the Gospels, my annual ritual visiting her in Singapore in the last few years, has expired.
I remember her hands. Warm and big. And my little hands fitting right in. It was a cold and windy night on the mountain in Hong Kong, and while waiting for our cable car ride to the top, she touched my cold hands and held on to them tightly, not letting them go the rest of the night. Heat and warmth transmitted, love and care communicated. I was 8-years-old at the time and have clung on to that memory ever since! That was my mother’s life: Sharing her warmth generously–starting from each of her 10 children and extending to others around her.
I remember her faith. Baptized 6 months after Father was baptized, in her old age. In one of my visits from the America, I noticed the prominent absence of the altar of what had been her decades-old local deity.
“What happened to that thing?”, I asked.
“The pastor came and prayed then removed it,” she replied.
That got me curious, so I asked her, “Did the pastor teach you to do this?”
“No, nobody taught me to do it.” She paused a while, as if she felt the need to explain further. Then, in the cutest expression, still vivid in my memory, she continued, “Jesus taught me so.”
My heart was overjoyed as I heard those words and even now, I know that my mother is in God’s hand.
Thank you Lord, for saving Mother’s soul.
Thank you Lord, for making Mother whole.
Thank you Lord, for giving to Mother thy great salvation so rich & free!
Goodbye, Mother, see you later…
Christ in Christmas. Hope for the World!
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:21-23)