I have two fifty cents, one fifty ringgit note and nothing else. The ‘money bag’ is in front of me.
What do I do? Reluctantly part with the fifty ringgit? Fifty ringgit is too much of money for me to part with towards church maintenance. Or drop the two fifty cents coins into the bag? I am the first person, and two fifty cents coins will make a loud clanging in the empty bag.
In that spur of the moment, I decided I am not giving. If the ‘money bag’ is for donations to the poor, I don’t mind. But it is the routine contribution. I dare not drop two fifty cent coins into the bag because it is deadly embarrassing to be seen as a miser. I am not exactly like the widow with her last pennies like the Bible story.
I made a pact with the Lord. Hey, Lord, today I have no money with me. You know me lah, I actually don’t have a proper job though I have income. So, cincai lah, no contribution today. But You know what? I will give back my voice and my skill for You.
That’s how I went back to join the choir. I didn’t intend to join at this moment because I missed too many practices earlier. I wanted to join for Christmas choir only. However, my choir master has been keeping an eye on me and finally, I relented. Ok lah, left only few more practices before the mass for the Little Sisters of the Poor but I think I can catch up. Thank God I have a gift of catching the notes easily. Though I don’t read music notes, I have the affinity to hear and follow easily.
And catch up I did. It is wonderful to be back to Agnus Dei, Sanctus, the Latin Gloria and more. Being able to sing in Latin is an awesome feeling. What more, it is an honour to give back our voices for the canonization of Sister Jeanne Jugan. (meaning she is going to be a Saint)
I actually do not know who she is, why there is a mass and what it means. I just obediently say yes because I am asked to. The funny part is I didn’t know Jeanne Jugan is pronounced as Jhon Joo Gun. When my choir members sang that part, I was flipping and searching for the lines. LOL.
Looking back, I think the choir and being a lector has helped me tremendously. For someone who was awfully afraid of her own voice, I actually don’t mind my own voice anymore. That’s the wonder of the Lord.
So yeah, it is zero money but priceless devotion to God.