He is Like a Tree
He Shall Be Like A Tree - Psalm 1:3
Original Song by Johnny K Lima, as remembered by Walden, 08/08/2018 6:13 pm
The day Papa passed on Nov-21, 2016, a group of his closest friends came to visit. They arrived about an hour after Papa's passing. I remembered we have not made any announcements, and it must have been shocking to the friends on hearing the news as they walked in to the residence. The close friends were Eddie and PJ, Mei San and Suo Hua, Maria and Charles Drew, Edward and Shirley, Edison, and Sio Hua.
I can remember clearly the very peaceful and solemn moment. A prayer was led by Auntie Maria and continued with Amazing Grace followed with Papa's favorite song "(他要像一棵樹) He Shall Be Like a Tree"
That evening, the familiar tune repeatedly played in my mind. I know Papa have multiple times explained the meaning of his song, and it was inspired by Psalm 1:3, yet I cannot seem to remember what he was explaining about, the thought left me guilt-ridden for many many days.
We prominently used Papa's favorite song during the Memorial Service, the Long Beach Scattering of Ashes, and on the reception. By then, the song easily became our family's best loved song. Angkong’s close grandson, John John, can easily sing the song in Chinese and English. Mama sang the song with all its glory on her last visit to Manila in September of 2017.
In Dec-2016, I started collaborating with Deri Susino, a London-base singer to produce an English Version of the Song. The English version was completed on Jan-7, 2017. An instrumental emotion-filled piano piece was also recorded by Justine on Jan-10, 2017. Justine's version was multiple times played for Mama. She really loved the song.
At the Seafood Village, Temple City reception after the Long Beach Ashes Scattering on Dec-28, 2016
At the Shangrila Hotel on Sep-13, 2017, where Mama sang the full He is Like a Tree.
On July 2018, I started work with Yo Zi Ngoo, 吴优子, a professional Chinese/Malaysian/Australian singer for a female version of Papa's song. We wanted the song in lead piano, backed with string orchestra arrangement. The project took 3 weeks to complete, what transpired was a meticulously crafted professional recording of (他要像一棵樹) "He Shall Be Like a Tree", in both Chinese and English. Upon the project completion, I was so happy, I have tears in my eyes. How I missed Papa and Mama, I would have played the song loudly for them to enjoy.
Looking back, reminiscing the times Papa was writing the melody for this song, I can only imagine how he would have been thinking. Yes, I do recall Papa, during his very healthy days at the Camino home - 10 years ago, explaining the inspiration he have had with the verses that so easily was able to deliver the melody to his song. I regret, that I did not listen. and just ignored his teachings, this I will carry with me for the rest of my days.
I can only imagine and try to explain to myself, with my own simple understanding what the verses on Psalm 1:3 was all about.
" 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers."
He shall be... He is (Papa)
Like a Tree... the virtue a good man
Planted by the Streams of Water... Nourished by supply of water -- Jesus.
Yields fruits in Season... bringing abundance year round.
Its leaf does not wither... his blessings are everlasting.
Whatever he does shall prosper... As a result, all his actions are directed by the word or God, which brings prosperity throughout the days of his life.
Help me Understand "He is Like a Tree"
Would you please help me understand Papa's Song "He is Like a Tree"
Here is the original song Papa played and recorded around 2009 at the Camino Real Home.