Of all days, my computer died on me on Christmas day. It's the worst thing that can happen to a writer whose lifework is in it—and who has a deadline to meet.
It started ailing on Christmas eve, but my son JC worked his magic and it was healthy again.
Scenes of the Christmas season that make me uneasy are uniformed guards in private subdivisions brandishing or jiggling a Christmas gift box with a huge slit.
Their thought balloon, It's Christmas, this is where you put your cash gift.
Beside their security post is a huge gift-wrapped box with an open top.
No celebration can be as astonishing as the birth itself. It was rightly foretold, and when it happened, the world was never the same again. We have been gifted with Hope for an astonishing future that never ends.
Our own celebration in our small household was pretty much the same as in previous years, but the joy took on a different form. Which is what makes every year something to look forward to—the new surprises wrapped in grace.
The nippy wind of past Christmases is missing. As I did my early morning walk, I felt warm air, making me sweat profusely. It's certainly different from the wintry first Christmas in Bethlehem.
But there is no stopping the celebration of the birth of Grace.
It felt like I was a helpless, useless piece of rag—pushed, pulled and spun in an endless maximum motion inside a washing machine gone haywire.
In all of seven days—it seemed more like annus horribilis, as Queen Elizabeth described the year 1992 when everything horrible happened one after the other—I could only do what was possible under the circumstances.
That's how my dear cousin, Charity, left. Too sudden, too quick, too soon. When we heard the devastating news, we didn't know what hit us.
Close kin rushed to be with her. Others, from all over the world, kept vigil at her e-wake and joined in a circle of prayer for the comfort of her two sons and loved ones.
Do you like winning arguments?
I used to—a lot. I was self-programmed to win arguments or bust.
Proving someone wrong meant victory. Emerging as the winner made me feel I was better than the losing side. Arguing, however, always ended in a win/lose situation; or worse, lose/lose when the issue remained unresolved.
To say I love tigers is pushing it.
Well, I do love the stripes of them, and the grace of them, and the wonderful design of them as created by a mighty God. In fact, I have clothes, shoes, watches, bags, and other accessories with tiger prints; I just can't get enough of tiger stripes.
Whenever I go out of town with family, I keep wishing I had a better camera than my five-year-old-point-and-shoot Kodak. It has never captured the beauty of the country where I was born.
But then, again, what better camera can record those awesome, breathtaking scenes than the memory of the heart?