Renungan: Kebaikan Tuhan

Selamat malam semuanya.
Tema renungan malam ini adalah Kebaikan Tuhan. Kita selalu mendengar bahwa Tuhan itu baik, bahkan Maha Baik. Ada kalimat yang mungkin sering kita dengar ”God is good, all the time.” Seperti apa kita menggambarkan kebaikan Tuhan?
Dalam Perjanjian Lama, Tuhan dianalogikan sebagai gembala yang baik oleh Pemazmur. Analogi adalah suatu perbandingan khusus dan merupakan sebuah cara yang konkret untuk menerangkan sesuatu yang sulit atau abstrak dengan menggunakan sesuatu yang sudah dikenal. Analogi menunjukkan kemiripan, tetapi juga menunjukkan kesamaan diantara dua hal yang berbeda.
Mari kita baca bersama-sama Mazmur 23: 1-6, Mazmur Daud. TUHAN adalah gembalaku, takkan kekurangan aku. Ia membaringkan aku di padang yang berumput hijau, Ia membimbing aku ke air yang tenang; Ia menyegarkan jiwaku. Ia menuntun aku di jalan yang benar oleh karena nama-Nya. Sekalipun aku berjalan dalam lembah kekelaman, aku tidak takut bahaya, sebab Engkau besertaku; gada-Mu dan tongkat-Mu, itulah yang menghibur aku. Engkau menyediakan hidangan bagiku, di hadapan lawanku; Engkau mengurapi kepalaku dengan minyak; pialaku penuh melimpah. Kebajikan dan kemurahan belaka akan mengikuti aku, seumur hidupku; dan aku akan diam dalam rumah TUHAN sepanjang masa.
God is good. All the time.
Tuhan adalah gembala yang baik menurut Raja Daud, diantaranya karena Tuhan tidak membiarkannya kekurangan dan menuntunnya di jalan yang benar sebagaimana seorang gembala terhadap domba-dombanya. Tentu Tuhan lebih dari seorang gembala yang baik.
Yesus menyatakan dirinya sebagai gembala yang baik sebagaimana dalam Injil Yohanes 10: 14-16, Akulah gembala yang baik dan Aku mengenal domba-domba-Ku dan domba-domba-Ku mengenal Aku, sama seperti Bapa mengenal Aku dan Aku mengenal Bapa, dan Aku memberikan nyawa-Ku bagi domba-domba-Ku. Ada lagi pada-Ku domba-domba lain, yang bukan dari kandang ini; domba-domba itu harus Kutuntun juga dan mereka akan mendengarkan suara-Ku dan mereka akan menjadi satu kawanan dengan satu gembala.
God is good. All the time.
Dalam Injil ini dikatakan bahwa Yesus dan domba-dombaNya saling mengenal sebagaimana seorang gembala terhadap domba-dombanya. Tentu Yesus juga lebih dari seorang gembala yang baik.
Analogi Tuhan sebagai gembala yang baik sebagaimana kedua bacaan di atas mungkin tidak mudah kita tangkap karena kita mungkin tidak mengenal secara pribadi seorang gembala kecuali lewat bacaan-bacaan.
Beberapa waktu yang lalu saya mendapatkan sebuah artikel tentang siapakah seorang teman yang baik, maka saya ingin membagikannya dalam kesempatan kali ini.
Sewaktu duduk di taman kanak-kanak, kita berpikir kalau seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang meminjamkan krayon warna merah ketika yang ada hanyalah krayon warna hitam. Di sekolah dasar, kita lalu menemukan bahwa seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang mau menemani kita ke toilet, menggandeng tangan kita sepanjang koridor menuju kelas, dan membagi makan siangnya ketika kita lupa membawanya. Di sekolah lanjutan pertama, kita punya ide kalau seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang mau menyontekkan PR-nya, pergi bersama ke pesta dan menemani kita makan siang. Di SMA, kita merasa kalau seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang mengajak kita mengendarai mobil barunya, meyakinkan orang tua kita kalau kita boleh pulang malam sedikit, dan mau mendengar kisah sedih saat putus dari pacar. Di masa berikutnya, kita melihat kalau seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang selalu ada terutama di saat-saat sulit, membuat kita merasa aman melalui masa-masa seperti apapun, meyakinkan kita kalau kita akan lulus dalam ujian sidang sarjana kita. Dan seiring berjalannya waktu kehidupan, kita menemukan kalau seorang teman yang baik adalah teman yang memberi dua pilihan yang baik, membantu kita bertahan menghadapi orang-orang yang hanya mau mengambil keuntungan dari kita, menegur ketika kita melalaikan sesuatu, mengingatkan ketika kita lupa, menolong kita untuk menjadi seseorang yang lebih baik, dan terlebih lagi... menerima diri kita apa adanya...
Mungkin cerita di atas lebih mudah ditangkap dalam menganalogikan kebaikan Tuhan. Kebaikan Tuhan seperti kebaikan seorang teman yang memberikan barang yang kita minta, seperti kebaikan seorang teman yang memberi dua pilihan yang baik, seperti kebaikan seorang teman yang menolong kita untuk menjadi seorang yang lebih baik lagi dan bahkan menerima diri kita apa adanya. Tetapi tentu kebaikan Tuhan masih lebih dari itu.
Adakah analogi lain untuk menggambarkan kebaikan Tuhan? Dalam Injil Matius 5: 45 dikatakan: Karena dengan demikianlah kamu menjadi anak-anak Bapamu yang di sorga, yang menerbitkan matahari bagi orang yang jahat dan orang yang baik dan menurunkan hujan bagi orang yang benar dan orang yang tidak benar. Inilah analogi yang menurut saya sangat akurat untuk menggambarkan kebaikan Tuhan, yang tidak bersyarat, yang tidak tergantung pada kebaikan penerimanya, yang tidak tergantung pada seberapa banyak pelayanan yang kita lakukan, yang tidak tergantung pada berapa jam kita berdoa setiap hari, yang tidak tergantung pada berapa banyak persembahan yang kita berikan, bahkan yang tidak tergantung pada seberapa besar iman kita kepadaNya. KebaikanNya mengalir dari cintaNya yang tidak bersyarat, yang memampukan kita melakukan kebaikan kepada orang lain, melakukan pelayanan, berdoa, memberikan persembahan dan yang menumbuhkan iman dalam hati kita.
Melihat kebaikan Tuhan dalam saat-saat senang, bahagia dan kesuksesan mungkin sangat mudah selama dengan kesadaran bahwa kesenangan, kebahagiaan dan kesuksesan yang dicapai bukan semata-mata karena upaya sendiri tanpa campur tangan Tuhan. Sedangkan melihat kebaikan Tuhan dalam saat-saat sulit, kesedihan, dan kegagalan seperti kematian, kecelakaan, penyakit ganas, dll tentunya sangat tidak mudah
Tetapi justru lewat saat-saat sulit, sedih dan kegagalan, kita bisa menjadi tanda dan sarana kebaikan Tuhan yang tidak bersyarat. Tuhan membutuhkan kita untuk menunjukkan kebaikanNya yang tidak bersyarat sebagaimana dikatakan dalam Injil Mat 5: 46-47: Apabila kamu mengasihi orang yang mengasihi kamu, apakah upahmu? Bukankah pemungut cukai juga berbuat demikian? Dan apabila kamu hanya memberi salam kepada saudara-saudaramu saja, apakah lebihnya dari pada perbuatan orang lain? Bukankah orang yang tidak mengenal Allah pun berbuat demikian?
Pengalaman pribadi akan kebaikan Tuhan, memanggil kita mewartakan dan menyalurkan kebaikan Tuhan dalam setiap langkah hidup kita, sehingga orang-orang di sekitar kita juga bisa merasakan kebaikan Tuhan yang tidak bersyarat di tengah kesulitan, kesedihan dan kegagalan yang mereka alami.
Sebagaimana saya tuliskan dalam buku kolaboratif saya dengan Rm. Lukas Batmomolin, SVD yang berjudul ”Kasih Sahabat”: Hidup saya diwarnai dengan beberapa kegagalan yang ketika dilihat kembali menjadi penghubung jalan hidup saya. Gagal masuk pilihan pertama saya, Fakultas Akutansi Universitas Airlangga Surabaya, meskipun lebih merupakan pilihan orang tua, saya diterima di pilihan kedua yaitu Institut Pertanian Bogor. Gagal masuk di salah satu dari lima fakultas yang saya pilih dalam gelombang pertama di IPB, saya diterima di Fakultas Peternakan, yang membuat saya mempunyai kesempatan untuk menjalani kegiatan ekstra kurikuler dan latihan kepemimpinan di lingkungan kampus maupun di paroki. Gagal mendapatkan pekerjaan di Surabaya, saya mendapatkan pekerjaan di Jakarta atas rekomendasi mantan romo paroki di Bogor. Gagal mengelola usaha sendiri, saya mendapatkan pekerjaan sebagai kepala cabang di Surabaya di perusahaan dimana saya bekerja pertama kali. Gagal atau berhasil siapa yang tahu? Saya katakan kegagalan menjadi penghubung jalan hidup saya, karena lewat kegagalan-kegagalan itu, yang masih bisa saya tambah lagi daftarnya, Tuhan menyiapkan hal yang lebih besar dari yang saya bayangkan, sebagai upaya untuk menunjukkan kebaikanNya yang tidak bersyarat lewat orang-orang yang ada di sekitar saya.
Saya akan mengakhiri renungan malam ini dengan sebuah video tentang upaya yang dilakukan oleh Dick Hoyt untuk anaknya Rick Hoyt yang cacat, sebagai salah satu upaya menganalogikan kebaikan Tuhan dalam hidup kita sehari-hari, tentu saja kebaikan Tuhan lebih dari kisah mereka. Semoga menjadi inspirasi bagi kita semua dalam mewartakan kebaikan Tuhan yang telah kita terima tanpa syarat.


Guangzhou, 22 October 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

P.S. Renungan ini dibawakan untuk PDKK Hati Kudus Yesus Guangzhou pada 22 Oktober 2010

Sharing: One Month Mandarin Study




My Mandarin study at Chinese as Second Language School of Dr. Sun Yat-sen University Guangzhou was started on Sep 16. It’s one month already even though we didn’t have full schedule as we had one day off for moon cake festival (there were three days off but there were replacement classes on Saturday and Sunday) and six days off for the Independence’s day.
There are six classes in reading and writing by two teachers, two classes in conversation by one teacher and two classes on listening by one teacher in a week. Each class consists of two sessions of 45 minutes each with ten minutes break.
In reading and writing classes, we learn about initials, finals, combination of initials and finals, tones, discrimination of pronounciations and tones, reading the syllables, everyday phrases, common classroom phrases, and new words. There are dictations of the new words starting forth day of classes and the teacher will give mark. I got “hen hao” (=very good) most of the time as it’s based on memory. On time, the teacher asked to write “laoshi” (=teacher) in Chinese romanization (=”Pinyin,” it means in alphabet with tone mark) and Chinese characters (=”Hanzi”) and I only could write “师” (=”shi”) even though I learned how to write “老 师” the night before and in the morning. I even couldn’t remember what the first stroke of “lao” is. I forgot how to write “you” (forth tone) for “again 又” and made twice mistakes when write “you” (third tone) for “to have 有”. The other time, I forgot one stroke. After finishing 8 lessons, we had test for lesson 1-8: correcting based on spelling rules, writing in “Pinyin,” writing in “Hanzi”, and answering the questions. When the teacher asked me to read by myself, I should repeat it as I couldn’t read correctly for the first time. I use a magnetic writing and drawing board for kids to memorize the characters.
In conversation classes, we learn to make greetings in sentences, conversation, substitution and extention, new words, phonetics and exercise in reading, answering questions in “Hanzi”, and phonetic drills.
In listening classes, we read and listen to the finals, initials, and syllables. There are dictations of the syllables including tone mark from the CD or teacher. The voice in the CD is so fast so usually the teacher will do it. I usually made mistakes around 50% in distinguishing the tones and several initials e.g. “p” and “b”, “t” and “d”. After looking at the teacher when she spoke, I have an improvement a little bit.
There is an optional class in “Hanzi” on Mondays 12.55 p.m. – 2.15 p.m. We learn and write characters including new words. The weekly homework is writing the characters. I typed it by computer and sent it by email to the teacher.
The school organized an overnight outing to Danxiashan (=Mountain Danxia, http://www.ddyuanlin.com/html/photo/2007-09/19/4642.html), Nan Hua Temple (http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/guangdong/shaoguan/nanhua-temple.htm) and Maba Man Museum in Shaoguan on Oct 8-9. I climbed 840m to go to Elder Peak to see several stones and then climbed 50m to see the male stone from another location. We had meal and stayed at Hejiang Hotel for the first day. There were 10 dishes (meat, pork, fish, chicken, mushroom, vegetable, and tofu) excluding steam rice and watermelon for lunch and supper and six dishes (porridge, boiled egg, fried noodle, noodle soup, and two kinds of buns) for breakfast. There are four statues of Budhist monks with dark faces in Nan Hua Temple. Inside the statues was part of their unburnt body when they were cremated in sitting meditation position. It reminded me of the uncorruptable body of several Saints e.g. St. Vincent de Paul, St. Bernadette, St. Pio Pietrelcina (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility). Maba Man is the pre-modern hominid whose remains were discovered in caves near the town called Maba, near Shaoguan city in the north part of Guangdong province (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maba_Man).
I planned to attend optional class in calligraphy on Wednesday 12.55 p.m. – 2.15 p.m. but it’s fully booked already. There is a movie followed by discussion on Wednesdays and Fridays 12.55 p.m. – 2.15 p.m. and The Chinese Corner on Fridays 7.00 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. The Chinese Corner is organized by the Master degree students of Chinese as a Second Language. I watched “Kungfu Hustle” by Stephen Chow and attended the Chinese Corner “Dream of Kungfu” on Oct 15.
I was moved when attending the English mass for the first time in Cathedral. The Cathedral was very full mostly Africans including the additional plastic chairs. There is a choir in green uniform. The booklet is very details including the Profession of Faith. Several Africans brought rice, toilet paper, oil, mineral water during the offering procession. There are long skirts for everybody who is coming without appropriate dresses. The ushers will quietly remind people who are sleepy.

"Why do we need to learn a new language? Why could not God make one language?" God did make one language, Love! We learn a new language, not so much that we can make ourselves understood, but rather that we can be so present to people that they experience that they are being understood! (Anonymous)

Kowloon Tong-Hong Kong, October 17, 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

Sharing: First Retreat in Hong Kong


As there would be holiday due to Independence’s day in China, I planned the date to go home to Hong Kong and then I remembered that I didn’t have my annual retreat yet. So I checked three retreat houses and finally I decided to go to Xavier House (http://xavier.ignatian.net/html/eng/index.html) on Oct 3-7 as the other two retreat houses couldn’t accommodate before Oct 4.
I went to Tsim Tsa Shui Pier to go by ferry to Central Pier and then took another ferry for 30 minutes to Chengchau Island. I asked several persons to locate Xavier House including taking the picture of the map of the island. One of them wrote down Xavier House in Chinese characters with a suggestion to ask along the way as she couldn’t explain the direction. It’s uphill and facing the sea.
Fr. Cairan Kane, SJ was appointed as my spiritual director. I met him on Oct 3 4.00 p.m. and then every 10.30 a.m. for around 30 minutes. He suggested several readings to be prayed with. I asked God to give me the grace to listen to the Holy Spirit and to do it.
I prayed with Psalm 139:1-24 God everywhere, in all, knows all, Is 43: 1-9 I have called you by your name, Jer 1:4-10 The call of Jeremiah, John 1: 1-51 Jesus meets the first disciples, John 20: 24-29 Thomas Didimus, John 21: 1-23 The appearance of Jesus by the lake, meditate on the Last Supper (John 13: 2-17), Agony in the Garden (Mat 26: 36-45) and Resurrection of Jesus (John 20: 11-18), besides rosary and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I was in tears during lunch on Oct 6 when I remembered God’s providence and I said “Lord, help me in my unbelief.” I left the dining table to calm myself down. During the Adoration in the evening, I was in tears again when the question “Why did God call me for retreat at this time?” came to my mind and got the answers from the readings that God wants to give re-affirmation “Don’t be afraid, I call you by name and I will be with you.”
I booked a guided retreat at Xavier House on Jul 15-23 but I cancelled it as I went home to be with my family after the death of my beloved father. I thought to have a retreat in Indonesia but I couldn’t make it as I followed up the paperwork related to my father’s death. I thought I wouldn’t have a retreat as I should move to Guangzhou on Sep 3 to start my Mandarin study.
On our last meeting, Fr. Kane blessed me after personalizing the reading from one of my favourite passages Eph 3: 14-21 and asked to reflect on the transfiguration of Jesus (Mat 17: 1-9) on my way home.
My retreat was closed so perfectly with the Eucharist for Our Lady of Rosary as the Gospel was taken from Luk 1: 26-38 with one of my favourite passages “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.”
After quick lunch, I went back home to catch the train to Guangzhou as early as possible as I didn’t want to arrive dormitory too late.
Thank you very much for your prayers during my retreat. May God continue to bless you missionary journey.

Guangzhou, October 15, 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

Sharing: The Second and Third Weeks in Guangzhou



I went to our canteen for the first time on the beginning of second week. It’s a big canteen with so many choices of meal for breakfast (07.00 am – 09.00 am), lunch (11.00 am – 1.00 pm)and supper (5.00 pm – 11.00 pm). As I didn’t have the student card yet, I paid for a package of rice (two portions), meat and vegetable and then went to the meal area to choose the meal. It’s a quite a big portion. Later on, I knew that I can buy the meal coupon based on the price of the meal.
After Sunday mass at Cathedral, I had lunch with the Indonesians at a Vietnamese restaurant and went around Beijing Lu.
I attended Bible Sharing in English and Mandarin in Cathedral on Sep 12 evening. As it’s my first time, I was sent to the beginner group. There were cakes and coke afterwards.
After going around at Sanyuanli, the wholesales area of bags, I picked up the medical verification from Guangdong International Travel Health Center on Sep 14.
I went to Divisions of Aliens & Exit-Entry Administration of Municipal Public Security Bureau on Sep 15. After my all documents being checked at 5th floor, I was allowed to go to 6th floor to submit my application. I will pick it up on Sep 29. I bought the books for conversation and listening in the school after getting my class placement. My classes are on Mondays-Tuesdays 08.55 a.m. – 12.25 p.m. and Wednesdays-Fridays 2.45 p.m – 5.55 p.m. There are two sessions of 45 minutes with ten minutes break in each class. Even though I wrote my Chinese name 黄 莉 莉in my application form, it didn’t appear in the list of students, so I asked the staff to input it in their database again. My niece invited for supper at a Brazilian grilled and BBQ. There were Chinese and Brazilian live music by three Brazilians.
I started the first two classes on Sep 16. There were 18 students (later on, there were 20 students on the 3rd day and 23 students on the 4th day as we could change class latest on Sep 22) in the class from Vietnam, Indonesia, France, Japan, Turkey, Yemen, Rusia, Morotania, Italy and Tanzania with different background of education/working experiences. There are three Indonesians including myself. The first class was reading and writing and the second class was conversation. We learned about the initials, finals, the tones and new words. I made many mistakes especially on distinguishing “p” and “b”, “d” and “t” and also the tones. I could recall several words. The teachers asked us to have Chinese name as it’s easier for them to pronounce it. They call me “Huang Li Li” as my Chinese name. It’s raining during the class and I left my clothes outside. I only could pray “God, it’s ok to be raining as long as my clothes would not be wet.” I went home and my clothes weren’t wet by the rain. Thanks be to God.
The second two classes on the next day were listening and then reading and writing. We still learned about initials, finals and the tones. There are two teachers for reading and writing, one teacher for listening and one teacher for speaking. All classes use “Pinyin” (=Chinese Romanization) and “Hanzi” (=Chinese characters). I planned to attend a Mandarin prayer service for several calamities in the evening. The two young women who distributed the Mandarin booklet couldn’t explain it in English so another woman helped to explain it but then she asked me to join another group in English and Mandarin. It’s a continuation of the Bible Sharing.
There was a trip to Chen’s Linneage Hall and Yue Xiu Park for new international students on Sep 18 in two busses with an English and Mandarin speaker guide in each bus. I didn’t have enough time to see the statue of five goats, the symbol of Guangzhou based on a legend about five immortals who rode on the backs of five colored rams to bring an ear of rice with the wish a happy life without hunger forever. I saw the statue on my visit to Guangzhou in 2005.
I went to Cathedral on Sunday evening as I got information that there would be a Mass for mid-autumn festival. It’s a celebration in the hall instead of a Mass. There were dances, songs, magic performance, and door prize.
There was the first dictation in reading and writing class on Sep 21. I attended the optional class in “Han zi” on Mondays 12.55 p.m. – 2.15 p.m. Sr. Michelle and Sr. Agnes helped to prepare all the paperworks to open an account in a bank but they asked the original passport. We went out for pizza and visited Sr. Agnes’s nieces.
I brought three out of six moon cakes from Sr. Agnes for my classmates as my niece’s boyfriend also gave one moon cake.
There were no classes on Sep 22-24 for mid-autumn festival but there were replacement classes on Sep 25-26. It’s cloudy on Sep 22 evening so I couldn’t see the moon. The MTR line 2 near campus didn’t operate on Sep 22-24 as it would be changed to line 8. I went around computer city and wet market with my niece and then cooked kangkoong with shrimp.
I attended the Indonesian Charismatic prayer meeting and led the prayer for the birthday celebrants on Sep 25.

Guangzhou, Sep 25, 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible