Friday, June 09, 2006

My Little Monster – Part 3

Now I still have to maintain that Tyler is not an overly curious little boy, but the predicaments that he has been getting into lately are funny. Well here is the latest escapade of Tyler. I got home from language school today as usual, but while getting out of my car in the garage I heard the faint sound of crying. When I started into the house I could hear that the crying was actually intense. I hurried to my room to find Jessica, Grace, and our friend Miriam huddled around our closet door with frantic looks on their faces. To add to this scene Jessica had a kitchen knife in one hand and a screw driver in the other. Then I heard the cries coming through the closet door. Tyler was again practicing his new ability of locking doors. Unfortunately, this was a bad day to be locked in a closet because it was a particularly hot and humid summer day in Manila. At least he could not reach the switch to turn off the light this time (See my little Monster – Part 1). Once I got MacGyver and her merry band out of the way, pulled the paper clips out of the door’s key hole and cleared Jessica’s credit card out of the crack in the door near the door knob, I assessed the situation. The door’s bolt was not budging, and my sons crying was growing more intense. Jessica, trying to keep calm, kept nervously saying (probably half a dozen times), “It’s okay, he’s just crying. He’s not going to die or anything.”I decided that it was time to do damage if I wanted to get him out any time soon. I figured that the money I had to pay in door and door knob repair would be far less in comparison to the years of therapy that Tyler would have to go through if I didn’t get him out soon. I ran to my tool box and grabbed a pry bar and mini sledge hammer (I can hear Tim Allen from tool time making ape sounds as I type, he would have been proud.) I wanted to just kick the door in, but I couldn’t because Tyler was sitting there crying on the other side. When I would hit the crow bar Tyler’s crying would increase and so did my determination. I beat the door, door jamb, and door knob into submission. Once I beat the door knob off I could see Tyler’s sweaty little head through the hole where the door knob used to be. I thought that would do the trick, but the bolt was stuck and the door still wouldn’t open. As I thought about what to do next Tyler’s little fingers poked out of the hole in an attempt to reach me. I decided to continue using my pry bar to force the door open. The door finally opened and I rescued my heaving and sobbing little monster. He quickly came to me and lay limply on my shoulder. I rubbed his back until he fell asleep on me. Ahhh! one of the greatest feelings in the world. I guess I will have to make a trip to the local hardware store now. It sure is fun watching kids grow up, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I Want a Sista!

Today Jessica and I went to the doctor for an ultra sound. Jessica is 17 weeks pregnant with our fifth child and we decided that we would like to know if it is a boy or a girl. This was actually our second ultra sound, but this time we felt that it was necessary to take our three year old daughter Grace with us. You see, she insists that we are having another girl. This all started the morning we found out that Jessica was pregnant. When I shared the good news with Grace, I told her, "Grace, your mommy is having another baby." She responded, "That's what I wanted . . . a baby sista!" Later, Jess explained to her, "Sweetie, it might be a baby sister, or it might be a baby brother. It is upto God which one he wants to give us. He always knows what is best". Some time shortly after that, she announced that God told her that she was having a baby sister. She told us that as she was coming up the stairs in our house, God said to her, "Grace" to which she responded, "Yes Jesus?" She went on to say that God then said, "Your going to have a baby sista." (note: she would be the only one in our family to ever report having a conversation with God like this).

Now I'm totally fine with another girl and would be truly happy either way, with a new son or daughter, but I can't help wanting a girl for her sake. This new baby will either turn out to be a great faith builder for Grace or a lesson in trusting that God's choices for our lives are the best ones for us. Meanwhile, she continues to insist that she is having a baby sista. Jessica thought that if it turns out that we are having a baby boy, it would be better if the news came from the doctor. We would either get to celebrate God's answer to her prayer or we could all be mad at the mean old doctor for telling us that were having another boy.

As Grace sat on my shoulders, we watched the screen showing the images of the baby in Jessica's womb. Grace observed with us the baby's heart beating, it's spine, arms and legs, and finally the baby's face. The doctor printed out copies of the images for us, but unlike in the States, for some reason, she said they don't tell the gender of the baby till around the sixth month of pregnancy. So for now it is still a mystery for Jess and I . . . but not for Grace. She looked at the picture of the ultra sound and declared, "It looks like a girl!" She has more faith than we do. Perhaps she should become an ultrasound technician when she grows up. We would appreciate your prayers for the health and safety of Jessica and this new baby, and for God's perfect will in regard to it's gender. Click here to read part 2.

The Man on the Bridge: Part 1

My travels through Manila often take me over a bride that crosses the Marikina River. It was on this route, (which has become one of my favorite shortcuts) that I noticed a man sitting on the bridge's railing. I didn't think much of it and continued on my way. On another day shortly after that I noticed him there again and I began to look for him whenever I crossed over that brigde. He was always there, just sitting in the same place. No matter what time of day, morning or night, he was always there. When I looked a little closer I noticed that he has a normal man's torso, but that his legs were very small and out of proportion with the rest of his body. Then I realized that he was always there because he lives there, in a crack between the bridge and the wall next to it.

Later, I learned that there were sixteen families living in these cracks on both sides of the bridge and some were living under parts of it. There were whole families living there and some of them were made up of three generations (or more); Grandparents, parents, and grand children. Well, my just passing by went on for a month or two, as I looked for the man on the bridge. I would wonder, "How does he get around? I really don't think he can . . . so where does he get his food from? Maybe he fishes from the river." Then I thought, "Since he probably can't move around much, he probably can't go to church. I wonder if he knows the Lord?" As I continually passed him by, I told myself that I need to stop by and talk with this guy. I was acting like the men who passed by the injured man laying in the road in the story of "The good Samaritan." My conscious was getting heavy as I continued to pass by this guy in my comfortable airconditioned car; sometimes eating a snack and listening to my stereo. Finally, at Christmas time, I stopped my van in front of him on the bridge, rolled down my window and introduced myself to him. His eyes brightened and he had a big smile on his face as he enthusiastically said, "Hello Sir." I said, "Hi, I'm Sean, what's your name?" He told me that his name is Robert.

At this point I it is necessary for me to explain a piece of Filipino culture. Here in the Philippines, there is a Christmas tradition which reminds me of Halloween. People go door to door, (sometimes singing Christmas carols) hoping to recieve some money; usually coins. I figured that Robert was not able to get around so I decided to bless him this Christmas with some money and a bible. That was our first meeting. Click here to read part 2.