Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Medical Lecture Series

Well, today I finally got the impression that some plans I've been trying to put into action for sometime are actually workable.

This stems from last year, during which time Senior students at my school (Mohamed and Navin) serendipitously gave me the responsibility of acting as a liaison between the second year students and the doctors whom they had befriended at the hospital. This was a wonderful inroad that they paved, since it gave us students the chance to shadow the doctors at our Affiliated hospitals, and to gain a newfound sense of respect for the professionals allied to our school; but my deepest regret was that there was only a limited number of spaces available for students at the hospital.

I always felt it would be more convenient if the doctors could be brought to the school to present professional lectures before the students. Case presentations were a convenience that most teachers denied us in their theoretical classes, because they just assumed since we'd have to learn it in our 4th year, there was no reason to burden us with it. To tell you the truth, I think adding a little 'humanity' to the large tracts of text that we have to read sometimes help us remember why we chose this career path in the first place.

So, on the one hand, the doctors were ready to come on over, but it was a logistical idiosyncrasy that basically stalled the process. I always felt that something this important would have warranted the use of Xu Guang Hall, a very beautiful hall room within our school that is well suited to hosting multimedia presentations. Alas, I haven't been able to get the venue - I think I've been cursed with the bad luck of missing out during these past two semesters.

Well, today, forgoing the venue, we had the "maiden" presentation by Dr. Teng (Spinal Surgeon extraordinaire), and it reminded me of why I've been trying to get these doctors to come speak to us. He exuded a professional demeanor, an elegance that is testament to the great time he's spent honing his skills and the respect he shows for his craft. I think a lot of students need to see that, particularly when the routine gets a little arduous and boring, or when we begin to doubt that all this learning that we do is worth any good.

It is a blessing to have those in your midst who are gifted with the ability to teach. I look forward to getting more of our esteemed doctors to come speak to us, and I hope that the students can benefit from this experience as much as I have; my hope is renewed.

Thanks be to God

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010!!!

This was an awkward kind of week. The Lenten season had drawn to a close and I was looking forward to a glorious celebration of Easter - well hopefully, I was hoping to put more intention and effort into the Holy Week than I had with a "neglected" Lent.

Good Friday was weird. Sat down and listened to a sermon which was the antithesis of a sermon I had given the previous Easter.
Saturday was great. Went for the late night vigil at the Catholic Church downtown. It was all in Chinese, but with my ever-worsening knowledge of the Chinese language, I could still make out quite a bit (surprisingly!)

Rolling over into Sunday, the shocking report comes through that the "state-recognized" Church where we hold our services is on fire. Initial reports stated that the fire was small, probably confined to the area where we held our "English" service; a glimpse from afar presented me with a billow of smoke that was pretty foreboding...and a close-up view of the fire was devastating: top 3 floors were razed, and the 2 bottom floors were left untouched.

A fire is nothing pretty to watch..ever!!! A burning church on Easter Sunday is the most ominous thing ever. It's like something in the earth's essence was crying out.

A church is certainly not just the bricks, stone and mortar; it's the people most importantly. But still, I couldn't help feeling torn; that building was after all a rather powerful symbol. The first time I had seen it - a mere 3 years ago - despite the obvious fact that language would be the biggest barrier, it brought me great joy to find that Church, a striking contradiction in a land that for so long was considered none to tolerant of religion.
And on the first day we got to hold a service in that church, I was simply ecstatic. And since then we've held services there, hosted our Christmas party there (2009), and basically a part of the local Christians' family.

The fire didn't raze any of this camaraderie...but it sure strained things for all people involved. A lot of investment goes into "bricks and mortar", technology and all the fine trimmings that were used to accessorize the church.

All that's gone now, and I'm not exactly in a position to offer any sort of financial help; but as always I will offer up prayer: for peace of mind for those most affected by this tragedy; for the ability to recover quickly and rebuild things even better than before; and lastly, for unity in the church, despite everything that's happened.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Works: The First Kiss(2)

She is beautiful!
I Know not who she is, but this feeling escapes description.
She is no substitute for my FIRST…but she was never meant to be.
Heart of my own heart, she is my very lifeblood.
Even before I met her, I knew her. Her deepest memory etched beneath my very skin.
A lingering memory of her and all those before her now also ingrained in me.
I will never have to prove myself before her…but I would certainly relish the chance to do just that.

It’s criminal that something this great is free.
She is not of my own choosing; she’s Heaven sent.
She will find glory in my innocence and ignorance, and she will draw hope where I only glean despair.
Her touch will always be welcoming, a soothing balm for any malady.
Nestled so close to her, breathing in her scent – as pure as earth’s essence,
All fears vanish, my joy is complete.

She runs a hand through my hair; each stroke of each lock imparts a sweet little jolt.
Instinct has already taught me to loathe helplessness, ...
but her kiss reassures me that I can let my guard down, that I can trust her; that she will not hurt me.
To only she who could ever understand me so completely, to whom I owe an eternal debt,
I pledge my heart, come what may, to honor, love and edify.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Works: The First Kiss (1)

There’s no other way to describe it,
Except to say that I feel complete.

It’s just me and you, and you have me swaddled in endless serenity.
I know of no one else; nay, I need nothing else,
Except to reside in this one perfect moment
My mere presence pales in comparison to you,
But I understand the inherent beauty of it all:
You are the FIRST, and your love is the template against which I’m fashioned.

But something in your countenance tells me that I can’t stay.
I wouldn’t call it an’s more like a premonition.
Of one who’s arrived too soon; one who’s achieved the peak of success without an ounce of effort.
I see it oh so clear now – you have to let me go!
I’m simultaneously at my beginning and my end. I lie in this moment – timeless.

It’s not without a little reluctance on your part
It seems like you’re almost sad to see me go…like I may not make it back.
….but this rite of passage is not without its own merit. You’ll be letting me go, but I sense you’ll never be far off.
You embrace me, and you kiss my head so deep.
An emptiness stirs down within, and I know that I will never forget you.

(Ref: Ecclesiastes 11:5b)