I was brought up as a Catholic and had been a fervent disciple of the Lord for two decades. This school year and for the first time in my long career, I am working in a Christian school. As to the in-between years, God was virtually gone from all aspects of my life. There are moments of exception though such as when I visited churches on my various European tours or when I attended church weddings and memorial services. Then God in His Almighty touched upon this prodigal daughter and inflicted a fleeting twinge of guilt for having abandoned Him. But once I am outside the House of God, I am my irredeemable self again!
But this year at school, I attend the various Christian activities, be they the regular morning assemblies or the annual events and programmes, I must say I am quite moved by the earnest sermons, the frank self-reflections, the harmonious singing, the cry for awakening and other rituals like singing the hymn “thank you for the food” before students start their lunch. Teachers and students alike have incorporated God in their lives. They thank Him for happiness and successes as well as failures. They deplore Him for blessing and support. They entrust everything to Him, their meeting, their examinations, their pressure etc. Though my religion is Catholicism and the school is Christian, it is the same God we believe in.
And yet, the fire that broke out at the industrial building at Ngau Tau Kok Road on June 21 had shaken my flimsily restored faith in God. The blaze has already taken away two precious lives. As these two young zealous firemen entered the inferno, where was God? This put my memory back to the 60s when I was studying the Nazi genocide of the Jews! “Was God taking a leave?” I asked.