It is freaky. Last year, I wrote about Stay Awake. This morning, the Gospel is again touching on Stay Awake.

Hmmm…I guess this is one of those days when I am really in tune. I celebrated mass at St. Ignatius PJ last Sunday. This morning, I felt like I haven’t been to CHS for a long time. I wonder why? Faith seems to be a distance.

As usual, before I even park my car, I was already grumbling, “Hoi, Chinese mass folks, finish mass, faster leave the church and give us the parking lots lah.” It is always a stress trying to find a parking lot on Sunday. Even if I go early, there is no space because the Chinese mass was ongoing. If I go later, I also couldn’t get a space. I hate the idea of parking outside because of the rampant snatch thefts and I usually had to go home alone on Sundays as church was over and I stayed back for choir.

Knowing how critical those lovely aunties in their 70s and 80s (they mean well of course), I always make an effort to put on heels, make-up and the works because it is better they go , “Darlingggg…you look so pwetty today” than “Liliannnn…did you put on weight?” I don’t know why lah. Whenever I put on make-up, people thinks I lose weight. Weirddd…

Anyway, I digressed. I am supposed to talk about faith and staying awake. But that explains why I don’t like to park outside my church, dressed up with a handbag that calls for ‘snatch me, snatch me, I have expensive handphone’ and a pair of heels that won’t help me to run or kick, except to jab the eyes.

So, I got into church and usually before mass, I ask the Lord to help me focus on what He wants me to hear. You need some divine intervention to really listen or else church is one boring session of trying to be good and making a weekly apperance instead of being in tune with God.

And John came to say hello to me. John came to me many years ago. He is the reason why I broke the barrier of having a kind of shield when dealing with disabled or people ‘different’ from us. He is sometimes dirty, smelly, full of spraying saliva and such. But when I have broken that barrier down, he is a person to me. The kind of hurting, feeling, hoping, broken people just like you and I.

He had not been around for a long time. He used to be a regular in church. He told me his mom died. I told him, I know. I was comforting him when he cried at Pedro’s dad’s funeral. He told me his godfather died too. And his friend also died. That’s a lot of deaths to a person.

Whenever John comes to see me, I feel blessed. Blessed that a person like him has trust in me. Of course, he sometimes ask for money. I could either ignore that or give him two bucks for lunch.

Today, John’s appearance is a reminder to me to get back to my Christian roots. I sometimes lost touch when life gets a bit easy. Lately, I have not been down in the streets with my camera. I am so comfortable with Level 28 because it has aircond, VIP and breaking news. Getting under the hot sun, approaching the sometimes hostile people that I need to break the ice, assuring them my intention is sincere and such are really hard work. Mostly unnoticed, unappreciated and unresponded.

Of course, people can easily say, “Those shouldn’t be your intentions if you are really sincere.” But try going for months doing something unnoticed, unappreciated and tell me if you don’t lose the zeal. In the end, it is I who get so emotionally drained, darkened in skin tone and not any better, wiser or happier.

So, I prayed. I asked Jesus where am I heading? What should I be doing next? And I got my answer. I have zoomed in on something I am going to pursue. When I am done, I hope to kick the ass of some politicians for not rendering help when they should. No one brushed me off as ‘all you reporters’ and get away with it. I am not just another ‘all you reporters’. I am a person. I get my excitement from doing something that no one else bothers. And I will pursue the case and get even with the politician. Just he wait. When he cannnot sees the needy villagers of Kampung Buah Pala from the political maze and when he cannot render help to just two families in some kampung in Prai, he is just another politician. And CJ Chan Lilian doesn’t like politicians. Only nice guys who are politicians. Not politicians who pretend to be nice guys.