Melodies and Harmonies

I don’t usually like to display my inner most thoughts and feelings on the world wide web.  Mainly because the repercussions of doing such could be mildly catastrophic.  Also, Facebook and Twitter have more than satisfied my narcissistic tendencies….  Ok, so I might be lying just a little bit about that.


Since arriving back in New Zealand, I’ve become extraordinarily busy, being busy.  Work, various voluntary activities and now full-time study.  I know what I want the big picture to look like.  The epic soundtrack full of valour and victory.  Until recently, my heart would loudly sing snippets of this larger piece of music.  It was that, which kept me going.  Lately though, life has begun to get in the way.  It’s not enough that the third decade stares me defiantly in the face, but also a mocking voice singing an irritating tune, continuously reminds me of the milestones yet to be realised.

Yes, I am heartened by the encouraging reminders of my mother and father – that “five fingers are not equal” and that I should only compare myself with whom I was yesterday.  They are sweet and soothing, but that icy stare and mocking voice are confusing and drowning out the song in my heart.

Then I watched this a few weeks ago:

….And the melody flowed freely as the tears from my eyes.

Driving the BKs across town to register with their new GP, initially seemed rather flat.  However, the otherwise gray afternoon filled with colour as I watched their Burmese speaking doctor relate to them with gentle compassion.  At the end of their session, the GP handed them a picture of “The Lady”.  Watching Mama gently caress the wonky photocopy picture Aung San Suu Kyi, was enough to make me stop thinking about the next task for just a moment.  In that brief stillness my heart song grew louder.

As melodies and harmonies dance together in joyful unity, such was the song of my heart a few nights ago.  I hung out with some of these people who happened to set up home in one of the roughest parts of my neighbourhood.  Listening to their stories and conversing with this guy, I was inspired and reminded about the purpose of this journey.  It helped my heart remember why it started singing in the first place.

Small dots and lines on a page paint an odd-looking picture, but make a beautiful sound when interpreted properly.  So it is, I am seeing with life.  Small isolated incidents combined together can produce glorious melodies and harmonies within ones heart – when interpreted properly.

“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation” – Psalm 95:1


What’s the Story?

Everybody has a story – a reason for why they are at this point in their lives at this very moment.  Sometimes we are in control of the reasons, sometimes not; but there is a narrative nonetheless.

As I sat on the living room floor with my Burmese Karen family (the BKs), I began to glean parts of their story through photos they shared with me of their friends and family in Thailand and Burma.  Despite the “no Englis” from Mama and Papa and bitsy translation from Boy,   I learned how some of their friends from the Thai refugee camp have moved to America and Australia to begin writing the new chapter of their life stories.

Mama & I

Last Thursday night, my team mate Jess, her boyfriend and I hoped that part of the BKs chapter in NZ included the accomplishment of very important tasks.  Namely, finding the ever elusive television cable, kindly re-carpeted over by Housing New Zealand and hanging curtains around the house.  Unfortunately, the pesky small objects defeated us and it was not the night to achieve such aims.

Instead we celebrated small victories of connected a brand spanking VCR player (OMGsh – video tapes!) and showing them how to use it.  At least they like Disney movies :-).  In return we were blessed with overly-sweet coffee and a brief screening of an intensely dramatic Thai TV series.

VCR here we go!

Thankfully, other parts of their lives in NZ are being pieced together.  My other team mate Mon, helped ensure that their ATM cards were working properly, so they can shop regularly.  As I write this, Jess will be showing them how they can pay the utilities bill and claim some sort of independence.  Mama has an older daughter who has been living here for a few years.  Last weekend, she took the whole family to Hamilton – so they’re already traveled outside of Auckland!

I’m looking forward to when Mama and Papa have “little bit Englis”, so I can learn more about their story.