Sunday, 27 November 2016

Crucial 100 metres

Sebelum blog ini kembali berdebu, ada sedikit kejadian yang bikin tangan gw 'gatel' untuk nulis lagi. Kejadian ini simpel, dan terjadi hanya sekitar 100 meter dari pintu gereja. Ya, 'hanya'. Mungkin bukan hal baru lagi, tapi di setiap gereja atau tempat ibadah lain pasti rame sama jajanan makanan. Ada satu jajanan yang hampir setiap Minggu ada di depan gereja, namanya leker. Leker ini versi murahnya crepes. Selembar adonan tepung tipis yang isinya bisa macem-macem dari cokelat, strawberry, blueberry, bahkan oreo. Leker di depan gereja ini sebenarnya ga terlalu rame, tapi orang-orang sekali pesan banyak dan wajan kecil untuk bikin leker hanya satu. Jadi, biasa gw pesan leker ini setengah jam setelah kebaktian ke dua selesai, pas penjualnya udah mau pulang.
Beda dari biasanya, waktu gw pesan, penjualnya bilang,"nunggu gak apa2 yah." Gw tanya berapa lagi antriannya, dan dia bilang 15 leker lagi. Oke, gw balik ke dalam gereja, ngobrol-ngobrol dulu lalu balik lagi ke sana 15 menit kemudian.

Dengan harap-harap cemas karena waktu yang sudah mepet dengan latihan padus, gw samperin abang leker. Di sana ada seorang ibu dan dua anak kecil yang mungkin cucunya karena usia ibu ini sepertinya sudah cukup berumur. Gak lama mereka nunggu, ibu ini ngedumel karena merasa sudah menunggu lama dan belum jadi-jadi. Waktu itu, abangnya lagi masak rasa cokelat, sedangkan ibu ini pesan rasa lain. Nah, gw sejujurnya gak tahu apakah mereka ini sudah pesan duluan atau baru pesan saat mereka datang itu. Gw sampai hapal apa yang mereka mau pesan karena ibu dan anaknya komplain diulang terus dan ibu ini bilang,"bang bikinin punya saya dong, jangan selip-selipin yang lain, gimana sih." Si abang diem aja sambil menuruti kemauan si ibu. Dalam hati gw sebenernya gw berteriak, yang harusnya ngomel itu gw, karena jangan-jangan ibu ini dateng setelah gw dan minta dibikinin duluan, bukannya dia yang selip kalau begitu? Sepanjang menunggu si leker ini gw memutuskan diam aja biarpun hati sepanas matahari pada saat gw nunggu waktu itu. Menghindari konflik saudara seiman cuma gara-gara leker.

Tapi sejujurnya gw kuatir, sambil sesekali liat ke salib gereja yang super besar terlihat dari sana. Masa sih, cuma 100 meter aja kita ga bisa jaga sikap kita? Apalagi di depan orang yang belum percaya kayak si abang ini, malu rasanya. Ga heran bertahun-tahun mereka berjualan di depan, ga ada satupun yang jadi pengikut Kristus.
Setelah ibu itu pergi, gw bilang ke abangnya,"bawel ya bang." Si abang ini cuma bisa pasrah,"ya, saya sih diem aja, mau diapain juga diem aja." Sedih banget dengernya. Semoga kita bisa tetap setia dan berintegritas sebagai orang percaya. Dimulai dari 100 meter di depan gereja, dan berlanjut ke manapun kita pergi, bahkan sampai ke ujung bumi ya.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Little Miracles

This post is dedicated to my father. All the things that happened until he passed away, I wanted to write it down so I didn't forget. Everything that God has done during that time, hopefully I didn't miss anything. It will be long, but hopefully it will bless everyone who read it.

It began when my father was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma. Everyone was shocked because not a single family member has fallen ill with cancer before. But it was curable, so we still saw a glimpse of hope.
Before my father went to Penang for his second chemo, my aunt has arranged a trip for us to Malaysia, and on the way we could drop by to the hospital. Around a day or two days before I departed, my father got treatment in hospital for having diarrhea as a side effect of his chemo. So, the trip consist of sightseeing in Penang and visiting my father. And I realized we really haven't sat down together to pray since he and my mother went away. On a day before I went home, when we were at the mall with my mother, she said that she had to go back early to the hospital. My aunt stayed at the mall and had a plan to eat sushi later. To be honest, I really wanted to eat sushi (I really love it!) but something said to me to go to the hospital with my mom. Even in front of the Uber car I still weighed this decision but I went anyway. And that night, I had the chance to pray together with them. Now that I think about it, it was the last time I pray together with my father.

A day after I got home in Jakarta, that's when my mom said my father got admitted in the ICU. This has happened before, but I didn't know how urgent it was. Until my brother called me and he said to me to go immediately to Penang again. He couldn't go because his passport has expired. For this, I had to sacrifice a singing job that I wanted so much. It was hard. But reality hit me harder when I saw my father up close in the ICU with ventilator. And this condition was going on and on, without knowing when he could be fully recovered. Sometimes a slight improvement, sometimes a disappointment. I would not forget that moment, asking God countless time 'when will it end?'. But there was another small miracle, my mother, who used to slander my father with negative words, tried to encourage him using 'I love you' and such, even though my father was on anesthesia. And she who has abandoned praying for years, even asked me to lead the prayer on her initiative.

After my brother got his passport, he flew to where we were. A day before he was supposed to go back to the seminary, we were called by the hospital at daybreak. That day was the day my father went home to heaven. Our family sang 'Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling' till he was gone. Facing with my father's last moment, I realize we knew so little about death. Like how a body who was my father before was not my father anymore. Where did he go? And I even felt bad to leave the coffin in the funeral home alone (no relative could come because the plane ticket had sold out). Even though my father was not there anymore, I realized I wanted to cling into anything physical. So I tried to let go, a believer should know where he belongs.
Deep in my mind I was a little relieved. I told my brother I had this little prayer. I prayed for God to end our struggle while my brother was there, be it my father got better or God called him back. And my brother also said that he prayed for it too. There was this joy that despite all that happened, God knew our sorrow and answered our prayer.

Finally, we went home to Jakarta for good. Looking here and there were so many daily things we took for granted. And now it was gone, it was too late. There won't be anyone who share his favorite Nasi Padang or durian anymore with me. Or there won't be a Whatsapp chat asking when I will be home when it's too late at night. Another lesson learned.
I would like to thank all my brothers and sisters in Christ for all the support. Even though some of them are far away and we have only met once, we are one in Christ indeed. And I never walked alone in all of these. To Him be the glory!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

When it bore fruits..

Who in the world does not want to see the fruit of his/her own labor? When you tried so hard you just can't see the results of it, you would want to quit or give up. But God teaches us otherwise. We may be the ones who plant and water it everyday. Only it's up to God if it grows or not. He wants us to take care of His field. I knew this deep down in my heart, but sometimes I got tired. Sometimes I just sighed in my prayer and said "God, I wonder if what I did was useless." And then, as always without fail, this bible verse that I couldn't remember where it is came from pops up in my head.

"Nothing you do in the service of God is ever useless"

That verse always strengthens me. But secretly, I hoped that whatever I plant may have bore fruits, even without me knowing it. And God heard my prayer.
I'm responsible on a ministry. Unlike worship ministry who always has the chance to experience God through music, we are always behind a computer screen, concentrating on what we do rather than the church service. I have this longing to make them to experience God through what they do, even if it's behind the computer screen. After a year has passed, I didn't even know if what I did was useful for them, even just a little bit. 
Well, my junior from this ministry suddenly asked my opinion on his struggle. He wondered if what he did as a service for the Lord had blessed others, because he couldn't see the results of it. He said he wanted to be like the those who inspired and be a blessing to him. And suddenly he mentioned that one of those people was me! There's this indescribable joy inside of me. Because even if it's just one person, God made my work bore fruits in places I hadn't seen! That motivated me once again to do my best. And thank God, for His words is true, it was really never useless. Maybe in the future I'll get tired again and again while serving the Lord. But I will always remember that day, the day God said to me that my work bore fruits. I hoped this post will strengthen you too who is working for the same land owner.

Monday, 15 February 2016

My Etsy Shop

It has been a month since New Year. How's your resolution?
Here's mine, I have this little 'baby'. It's an online shop of that sold the digital copy of my design so people could print it however they like, as much as they want. This concept may be a bit odd in Indonesia, but it's quite common abroad. These ready-to-print file is called printable.
My New Year resolution is to update this shop's listing at least once a week. Well, it has been around 6 weeks and sometimes I was able to update it and sometimes I didn't. But, I love what I do here, so let me introduce my baby. Think of it as a promotion.

My shop name is Degrata. Sounds familiar? Because it's derived from Dei Gratia, meaning God's Grace. To be honest sometimes this name did a great job in reminding me. Have I lived filled with His grace?
Degrata has this faith section that consists of artwork from my personal spiritual journey. 
For instance, 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You' printable. Although it's from a bible verse, it's also from a song that replayed constantly in the back of my mind. I hope with what I do, I can be a blessing through Degrata. 

Well, I had only one sale but I remembered that I had to give a tenth offering. The problem is, where to? Do you have any idea of a ministry that accept donation via paypal? Please let me know.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Taking a Big Leap

Have you ever heard of comfort zone? It's not a place where everything is comfortable and cozy, but where you got used to it and make you too lazy to step outside.There will be some big changes in my life. I felt like I was asked to step out of my comfort zone. It scared me a bit and left me with some 'what if's questions.

I was about to resign from my current workplace. Of course, it was not the best workplace in the world. But it was filled with happy people and you can do pretty much anything in the office as long as your job is done. The next place I'm going is....guess what? The church!
Some of you may think this is the best place ever. With kind brothers and sisters in Christ working together in harmony. Nuh uh, it's the opposite. Church has always been a 'hospital' for Christians. You can meet all kind of people there. I struggled for half year to finally decide. There were many reasons as to why I decided it. What made me a bit scared is those 'what if' questions.
What if I'm judged by ignorant people on how I work?
What if I can't control my temper facing those people?
What if I can't sing in the choir anymore because I have to work on Sunday?

When those questions surfaced, I immediately prayed. To cast all my worries to Him, to surrender to His plan. I knew the road before me will not be easy. However, I also knew His plan to mold me into a better person, to be more like Him. And as He had led me before when I struggled in my current workplace, I believe He will lead me too.
Of course, there are still some worries. But as I read the bible, especially the psalms, it was also full of worries, fear, and doubt from His children. But for every verse of worrying, there will also be a verse to lean on Him. And it's beautiful.

I'm going to take this big leap with faith and see what He has for me.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Looking Back

It has been for more than a year since I stopped blogging. It was not because I didn't have anything to write. On the contrary, it was because too many ideas to write and finally I just decided not to write anything. So, why do I start blogging again now? I'll explain it maybe in the next post.

Maybe one day, I'll look back to what I've been through and be grateful, or even laugh about it.

It was my thought when I first started blogging. At the beginning of the year, there was some ordeal that lead me to this thought again. After I was rejuvenated spiritually in a retreat, suddenly taaa-daahh here came the test.

I was supposed to catch my flight in Surabaya after the retreat in Malang. Usually, it only took 2 hours. However, the travel car that I had booked way before stated that my name was not on the list of passenger. At that time, I still stayed calm. My friends and I joined a group who was also going to Surabaya an hour later. They kindly offered to take us to the airport, though it was not on their way. Thank God, He never leave us alone.

But, two hours later, I realized I would not make it in time for the flight. I was quite panicked inside and pray. I asked my friends if they wanted to book the last flight, and they were okay. There was this thought that maybe some kind of miracle would happen, but we cannot comprehend God's way. So I thought repeatedly to myself to surrender to His will. It was not easy, of course. And I was the eldest in the group, if I started to break down, it would not help them. That day, we also missed the last flight. It took 6 hours because of heavy traffic.

Really worn out from everything, even have to stay overnight at the airport, I asked God why did this have to happen. Then, I prayed that one day when we reminisced about this, we will laugh and said 'thanks God!' Of course there's much more to this story. About how there was a brother in Christ who helped us the day before took us to church from the airport. Even treated us to lunch and tour the Surabaya city. God really never leave us alone.

Now, I realize how everyday routine is really a thing to be grateful for. At least I'm home. Even when finishing this writing, Jakarta was bombed by irresponsible people and full of terror. Somehow that thought popped up again. "I'll look back to what I've been through and be grateful"

Monday, 8 September 2014

Soli Deo Gloria

Finally, I graduated!
Not yet legal though, without the robe and hat. At least I could say goodbye to my final assignment. I wanted to use this blog to keep track my final assignment. But it failed LOL.
Nevertheless, this is how my final assignment came to be:
All my years as a student, I never gave anything in my studies as an offering to God. It's funny right? Not to tell I have been a Christian all my life. So to give it as an offering, all the way I had to let Him do what He wanted in my final assignment.

At first, I was a bit terrified because illustration thingy is not my virtue. If someone asked, "Hey, you study design right? Then you must be good at drawing!." My response was,"Errr no, I can't draw." However, there is nothing impossible for Him and even now I always think He wants to make me ashamed of myself for doubting my potential that was given from Him.
I was amazed at how well I did the illustration. No, I am amazed even now. Is this even my work?
To be honest, I was also doubtful about the lecturer that was in charge to guide me. Because this lecturer was not that well known and I hadn't heard of his name before. But my friend, Feli, told me that there must be God's plan for me. Guess what? He rarely taught in uni but students under his guidance were successful. God is indeed the wisest LOL. I am ashamed again in front of Him. Later, it turned out that the well-known one's guidance was not as my friends hoped for.

Somehow, if you entrust everything to God it will turn out far from our expectation. Far better, I mean. Though the road might get rocky sometimes, the end is always the best.
It was not easy for me to get an A during my studies, however this time it was like no worries at all to think about my grade.

Here's some photo. Credit to Visien Vinesa.
 Look at those colorful illustration. It never crossed my mind to be able to make something like this

Thus, at the end I can say: Soli Deo Gloria! All the glory belongs to God