The Last Straw (1)

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The moment before the scenes happened.

Hoping to win a writer’s competition held by a big publishing company, my editor and I spent more than a month finishing our book proposal. I was disappointed to find out that I was not one of the four winners selected from a total of 165 contestants. I started to cry my heart out. I did not know why I had such a response.

I decided to go to feed the birds that have made a happy home for themselves in Legg Lake (El Monte, California). I bought ten bags of bread and invited my friend Jessica to come along. It was so much fun to feed these birds. Not only had I made the birds (including ducks and geese) happy, but I had also cheered myself up a bit.


Feeding the birds did help me for a couple of hours. But then I was still in tears; it continued the next day. I was frustrated because I did not know how to stop my tears. Sadly I went to bed and found myself having an inner monologue.

It has been a tough journey already.
It was your entrustment for me to write this book.
See, I did not win.
It was not easy to do this-
English is not my native language, and yet you want me to write in English.
I did not major in writing…
I had tried hard but to no avail.

Let me give up OK?
I’m so alone on this journey.
No one is there for me!
It was such a lonely journey.
Why me?
You see I lost the competition.
It made me sad.
I just felt lonely
All alone on this journey.

I found myself sobbing, asking, whining…

(Nothing but silence in the bedroom when I carried this dialogue)


Four hours later, I meditated in my living room.
I heard the Voice-

Who was there for Jesus while He carried the cross?
Who was there for Jesus while He was nailed to the cross?
Who was there for Jesus while He bled, shed tears.
Yes, it was a lonely journey.
Even Jesus was weak, tired, and helpless.
To the extent that He too
Asked the father to remove his heavy burden.
But He carried on, according to his father’s will.
I looked up and said, “Thank you, and I got it.”

One day later
Again, I heard the Voice.

Rejoice for I am here.
You are to follow me everywhere, rely on me and me only
Like the ducks: they know where to go to be fed.
My child, you are a winner.
Only in losing, you understand what it is to win.
Be filled with my glory for the heavens open for your favor and your mercy, to fill you with love.
Often my children rely on believing I exist
Because of the acts and blessings they can see,
But they forget to be thankful for the ones they cannot.
Know that I know what is right for you.

Three days later
The Voice came again.
Rejoice for today is a celebration of life,
A celebration of the long way we have come.
The heavens celebrate for you, child. You are winning in every race.
Make sure you know what race you are running.
Who are your competitors and who is the reason you are running child?
Be true to yourself,
Your tears are for rejuvenation.
Your tears are for the blessings that are to come.

Finally, I got it. This competition seemed like the last straw for me. I did not win it because it was not the way it was supposed to be presented to the readers. Yes, by losing, I started to understand what it meant to win…These 165 contestants were not my competitors. Who are my competitors? It is none other than me, myself and I! It is a long journey, and somehow I fell off the track. I needed to come back to be true to myself. In other words, I had to let go in order to remember why I was writing the book in the first place. I needed to remember that hard work never comes easily, nor does success. But I needed to carry on to spread the Voice’s message to everyone.

No wonder I could not stop crying after the result of writer’s competition came out. What a miracle to find out those tears are for rejuvenation. Moreover, they are the tears of blessings that are to come.

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