The way of Jesus

Walking down the aisle in the third column of the market, I stopped at a grocery’s to round off my shopping list. The woman who owned the shop had gone off for some not so unusual gossip, leaving a four-feet-eight girl to attend to my list.

I was about to exit the shop when the garrulous owner returned, mouth rambling in our native language. Apparently, a pilferer had just been nabbed.

As the market people-turned-mob gathered to watch the interrogation, I not excluded, the suspected man pleaded his case, a shower of tears forming on fear-filled face. Remembering the extent of my next commitment, I excused myself and started down the way home just as I heard ‘Love your enemies.’

The muzzle of a gun grazing my head could not have produced a better effect. I resumed the journey without giving the words a chance to bud.

Hours later, thinking of what blog post to write on Love, the scenario played over in memory. And then I realized.

Love in the way of the Father is so unusual that I find it difficult to practice. It’s as Paul said, “The Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost…” It can’t ever be by my own strength or willpower.

Putting to act what He had preached, Jesus said, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise…” If I were the criminal on the cross, I wouldn’t wait the next minute before dying.

So, as we continue our sojourn in this world, while I won’t preach pardoning all crimes, I’d say the Father would be well pleased if we open our ears to His voice and act on His instructions especially if they pertain to showing love, however odd.

After all, He is Alpha and Omega. Obeying Him concerning an act of Love might just save the next villain.

Birthday Blog

As I awoke this morning, numb with headache, I knew today should be different. It wasn’t until I had washed that it clicked. My brother is a year older. Now, I’m not big on poems as he is, but it is worth dedicating today’s post to him.

There is the proverb that a brother is born for adversity. This have I seen in the life of one who I have been blessed with as a brother even in this ephemeral. Remember the mornings that I’d call you ‘Taith’ as you wrapped up preparations for your exam. Those nights of sheltering me under your embrace as the hope of another morning was not bleak but lost.

I used to think I could do what my mates did, but you always ringed it in my ear that I was different, even when I understood not the variance between black and white.

And talking about identity, you with no indignation lent me yours for years on, all the while talking about building an identity of mine. We are two entities, and can never be the same. (BTW, a few people still address me as Faith before realizing almost immediately that I’m Michael.)

Conversations that read like this:

“Mike, can I use the laptop?”

“I’m doing something on it,” I’d say.

“I won’t take long.”

And as the occasion demands, my response would be “okay,” or “no.”

Not to spill much ink, I’m the most grateful to God today for being gifted with you. Thank you for praying that day eighteen years back.

Happy birthday Emmanuel Faith. God be with you always. I Love You.

Let Love Lead (2)

I had to be certain I  wouldn’t be biased before posting this. The word Love has sparked not a few controversies among bible scholars, theologians, and the waitress serving tea. In an age where most would do almost anything to satisfy their needs, including betraying families, it’s hard to talk of Love, and practising it is even a harder task.

But, the truth still remains. Love will always be the way out in the end. I’ve often wondered why Jesus would ask us to Love our enemies, when doing the same to those we call friends is Herculean in itself. Trust me, I’ve tried, and still am.

So this is it. The world preaches ‘every man for himself.’ We are to love our brothers to the point of laying down our lives. The world says ‘all is fair in love and war.’ Our duty is to be unfair so to speak in loving our enemies. (Doing good to someone who hates me is nowhere near fairness.)

I’m trying not to be preachy, so pardon me if I am. I’m kind of in a hurry and I just had to let this out. As much as where we live in, for the moment, would throw situations that would want us to react with anger, hatred, violence, we have all that it takes to return the favor with Love. The kind that Jesus has.

I’m not a fluent writer or some sort, (still working on my first novel length manuscript which is digging deep into how easy it is to love someone who definitely seeks our destruction) but I do hope that I got the message across well enough. Like that infamous mantra: Love like Jesus did.

A taste of everything.

There have been those pensive moments when I wondered if this was the ‘good’ life indeed. If there ever was anything like the ‘good’ life. Growing up, the beliefs indoctrinated into us were that those who went to church had the good life and everyone else was a goner.

So, when I joined the churchgoers and nothing seemed to change, I knew some equations needed to be balanced. Then, I discovered that going to church doesn’t guarantee what we need, having a relationship with Christ did.

Not wanting to waste precious time, I signed up. I remember still a particular day when this well-framed preacher in blue tailored suit looked at us, though I believed he was addressing me, and said, “if you are a Christian and you aren’t wealthy, or you are always going to the hospital, or occupying the bottom slot in your class, not getting promotion at that job you’ve been serving for years, something is wrong with you.”

What?

My mouth fell slack (thankfully, I didn’t drip spittle). That meant the blue shirt I wore that day wasn’t what was designed for me. Going by his words, I shouldn’t be wearing a piece more than twice. So, I began the quest for the good stuffs.

Speed up to now, I have another side of the tale to share. Yesterday, I was going through Psalms, and I saw this: ‘He (the Lord) puts the righteous and the wicked to the test.’

End of story. In this world, we aren’t going to have the smooth ride, free of bumps. A quote I came across last year goes like this: “When everything’s coming your way, you are on the wrong side of the road.” Simply put, no matter your religion, you aren’t going to have everything you want. It always will be a taste of everything.

As Christians, our ultimate goal should be to make heaven, not to possess the earth. What will be the gain afterward? So, dear reader, if you are going through something presently, and you begin to wonder if something in you is an anathema, fear not. Trust in the light which you are, and things would turn out well.

It is all about tasting everything.

Your turn: When have you nursed the thought that something was wrong with you? Has there been any instance when you asked if what you were pursuing was worth it? What did you do?

Let Love Lead

One of the most discussed but least practised theme in the Christian faith is Love. However, Love is not just what the Christian needs to survive, it is what the world needs to stand.

In the letter to one of the seven churches, it was iterated that ‘you don’t love me as at first.’ Paul, the mystic apostle, said in 2 Timothy that men would be a lover of themselves and not of God. See how key love is?

However, Love isn’t as easy to practise at it seems, neither is it a high wall you can not climb. It is all about finding the balance. (I’ve read several novels that talks about this, and I’m at the moment, working on one, trusting it would draw enough people to get published.)

So, in a nutshell, we should pattern our lives after Jesus, who dined with the Gentiles, yet stated that He came to save the Jews. We should know that it is about acceptance, not tolerance. (Read Sinner by Ted Dekker for more.)

If we find a way around this, Letting Love Lead, we would find the society, not perfect, but liveable. Isn’t that what we all want?

P.S: Kindly share this post to friends. I’m trying to build a platform. And leave comments if you can. Thank you.

Beyond the fog

I like to think of life not just as a journey, but one with a carved out path. The difference between both being like that between distance and displacement.  The absence of direction in the former.

On this carved out path we travel, lush green grass comes first, serving two purpose: 1. To give the best welcome we could get. 2. To lead us into the desert.

And in the desert comes the fog. This is the point where most people, including I, give up. We do not trust in He who is Alpha and Omega, and so we think the fog never ends. We forget the lush grass that welcomed us, like the Israelites did.

The fog is termed so many things: exam failures, financial setback, political crisis, writer’s block (of which I’m watchful), economic depression, mention them.

What do we do when we encounter this thick fog? Here is what works for me in the few years I’ve started living. 1. Realize that the fog is almost unending. 2. There is an end to it. 3. Everyone, every single person, travels through this fog. And the world celebrates those that see its end.

For Thomas Edison, it was 1000 experiments. Ben Carson’s was uncontested last position and anger. Lee Kwan Yew’s was lack of resources (except human of course). Give it an unbiased thought. Everyone you’ve known who made an impact went through the fog.

I’m presently going through mine. You are too, you just may not know it. And the end is in the Omega’s hands. So, let’s trust Him together?