Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: TOURIST ATTRACTION(S) (natural or man-made) (08/06/15)
TITLE: A Lurking Poignancy
By Caleb Cheong
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The shimmering crystal clear water is rolling down like a piece of silvery wedding dress from on high, reflecting the bright warm sun of the tropics. Bus loads of people start pouring in and descend on a mountain track ,half way from their destination at the peak. The air is crisp and fresh; whiffs of surrounding jungle trees from the lush rainforests greet us. Everyone is delighted at the sights and the sounds of the majestic waterfalls, and feels as if being welcomed as VIPs or dignitaries to their midst with thunderous claps.
Most of them draw near the energetic river that receives the cascading water, while others look fondly at the immense sight with great admiration. Some children are attracted to the wild minnows and tilapias dancing and swishing through the rocks at the deceptively shallow clean water. Smiles are all over the faces of the grown-ups as they stare and gaze at the enchanting picturesque view. Soon many of them start to click their iPhones to store up their digital souvenirs of the waterfalls, the river, the trees, the flowers, the plants , the rocks and even the souvenir stalls set up by the locals.
Having taken in all from what the surroundings have to offer, the visitors throng the stalls looking for unique and exotic souvenirs to to cherish their fond memories of these pristine remnants before deforestation sets in. Everyone seems to be enjoying and relaxing.
Suddenly, we hear a steady patter of rain on the zinc and palm leaves turfed roofs of the stalls.Practically, the young and the old take shelter at the spacious resting stations provided for the public; some are too engrossed with their collectibles and hang out at the stalls. But we decide to have some 'high tea' at a cafe facing the hills. While we feast on the native delicacies and drink the aromatic coffee, the friendly chatty owner , a middle-aged man with a sun-tanned face, starts to 'entertain' us. " Can you see that sign there?" he points at the direction of the river on our left.
We nod and give him our best attention. " Just last week a school teacher got drowned there during a flash flood. He and a group of students were having a picnic when it rained heavily."
We wait eagerly for him to continue the story. "A young school boy slipped as he tried to run for shelter. The boy's being swept away by the strong current from the waterfalls. Everybody looked helpless and went into hysteria! The responsible teacher jumped into the river and lifted the boy up onto a rock." He then pauses and we become more eager to know the outcome.
" There's a whirlpool nearby and he got sucked below the water, unfortunately--up till now, his body's still missing!"
We sense a tinge of sadness for the teacher and his wife and children. Later, we learn that he was a Missionary teacher and those students are the MKs(Missionary Kids). All the more our hearts go out to this brother who is in heaven now, especially for his wife and children; and we yearn and pray for their emotional healing and healing of the memories.
Parallel to this poignant account, we are grateful to our Lord Jesus who died so that we we may live- He's indeed rescued us from the suffocation of our sins at the expense of His own life. We now live for Him every day to express our gratitude and waiting for His glorious return one day.
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