If I could bring everyone in the world to meet Dass, I would. Dass is my host here in Malaysia. My introduction to him is through my Malaysian contact, his wife, Chitra. He is on leave, and so has spent his days this week showing me the wonders of Malaysia.
I came back from Penang on an overnight train. The train was supposed to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 7:30 AM, so I began to panic at around 8:20 when I woke up, still on the train. I thought I was on the way to Singapore! No. The train was just two hours late.
I made it home and after a quick nap, Dass drove me down to Malacca, where I was to see Malaysia’s third diocese, and two additional churches. The whole delay from the train caused a bit of confusion. The first parish that I visited was readjusting their schedule, and the pastor was not available. Instead Dass and I argued with a cranky maintenance man who was strongly annoyed at our presence, and especially our request to turn on the lights.
Churches are extremely difficult to photograph. The light sources are inconsistent and unreliable. The light can change by the minute as the sun changes. Some lights can help the process, most do not. The camera has a lot of settings that can be adjusted to take pictures in most lighting situations if you have the time, which often I don’t. In this situation, it just so turned out that the light source behind the altar was so intense, there was no way to take a picture, no matter how much I adjusted the settings. Simple solution. Turn the right lights on.
But the maintenance engineer threw a protest the likes of which I haven’t seen for a while. I was upset, because there is absolutely no reason for me to travel 150 kilometers to sit here, and argue with a man, as to whether or not the pastor is going to fire him for turning on the lights, for not more than a few seconds. So I moved on.
It is here where the spirit of Dass truly came out. Since I have been in Malaysia, I am usually greeted with his celebratory attitude toward life. “Don’t worry! Be Happy mahn!” “Gahd made little green apples in the summertime!” “Gahd say… wine is joy! Praise be the Loohrd!” His positive attitude is quite infectious.
Anyway, the journey to Malacca was not in vain. I did make it to St. Francis Xavier parish which greeted us whole heartedly and was more than happy to help out. Dass told me “See I told you! Don’t worry”
It reminds me of another man who once was quoted as saying “You cannot add a day to your life by worrying.” Jesus seemed to know what he was talking about. I recall that things got a little rough for him for him at one point in time, but I think the story turned out alright in the end.
If you have downloaded Google Earth onto your computer, you can view my pictures of St. Francis Xavier parish and the ruins of St. Paul’s parish (where St. Xavier was once buried) by clicking here. If you can’t download the pictures. Well… don’t worry! Be happy! It will all work out in the end.