Hi! It’s me again. It’s been a year after my last post. Actually never crossed my mind before to open this blog again this time, lol. I have been in condition where I lost interest of anything. Totally. It sucks, honestly. It’s kinda weird for a dreamer like me (lol) who lost enthusiasm in all things, even for the things I used to passionately do. Even when one doctor asked me the major of my study to start converse with me, it was just uncomfortable for me. (
Come on, it’s just a little thing!) Whereas the fact is I used to like my major and very open to people who wants to talk about it with me. ( Pardon me, Doc. I hope my face didn’t show it, lol). And it also sucks to wake up with regulating breathing rhythm first because lately chest pain became my good morning kisses. And it’s crazy to fight with your own brain. It’s not a metaphor of over thinking. But it literally is, fighting with your own body. This might be unfamiliar for who have never been in this, but some of you might say, “GOSH I CAN RELATE IT” lol. So, to write is obviously my leader’s suggestion to help me in healing process. She knows I like to write. She said that if you can’t do things you usually do, why don’t you just do another thing you can do. It’s too simple that I could not think about it, lol. So here I am, coming with no point to pour out on writing. But let’s just see what Holy Spirit wants me to write 🙂
My leader once said, people can deny your theory, opinion, or idea, and it is their right. But they can’t deny your testimony. Why? Because it’s happened. And what’s happened cannot be opposed for its existence. So the easiest thing to write about is what had happened. As the title written, I want to share about what Jesus has taught me recently. You better take your time to read. Re-read the sentence if you still don’t get it. And if this is not your native language, let’s get a dictionary so that no single meaning is missed 😉
Some people said, we got our best memory in High School. But I think that saying passed over me. My High School life was… blank? Yes, blank. Maybe that’s the best word to describe it. I had been bullied because of my existence as a Christian. It’s not only by the student but also the teachers (yea the teacher, insulting me in public so the whole class laughed at me; how meaningful the lesson you taught, Sir). Well, I didn’t know what they have been taught that made them doing their best to hate me. Their treatment showed like I was the only crime ever alive in this earth. They’re supposed to listen to what Cyborg Franky from One Piece said at that time, lol. I admit that it was easy to give room for hatred to those who did me bad. It’s easy to repay the bad with bad. But one thing that Jesus has taught me over and over that I’d never forget, “My dear, do not ever hate them in return. Love them instead.”
A big WHAT?! for the respond of it.
Long before I start to collect memory about high school, there was a day when I came back home crying. My mom got me at the front door as she’s confused to see me somewhat unusual. She asked me what happened as she knew her little daughter was not a crybaby. I told her that someone did me very bad. As she knew what happened, she aimed me to sit on the sofa next to her. She looked at me straight to the eyes and asked, “who’s her name?” I mentioned it and my mom gripped my hand as she folded my palms and started to pray. Still in my sobbing I was shocked that my mom mentioned a name of a person whom I hated wholeheartedly in that prayer. I thought it was a prayer for revenge, but I only heard the pleads of mercy until the ‘amen’ was spoken. And what I most remember was, “please forgive her for what she’s done to my daughter.”
Today’s verse says its best, “You have heard the law says, ‘Love your neighbor’, and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecuted you!”
Jesus said, love your enemies, with exclamation mark.
Now the question mark is: HOW, in capital.
Let’s travel back time. Let’s hear again the saying that will be the key of this. It’s thousand years before our first breath, at the hill named Golgotha, where heaven and earth witnessed the worst history ever made: The mankind killed their God.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
You got the key? Let’s look back again till you got it.
It is: to know.
First key is to know them. It’s funny that there is always a reason for everything. Do you like Marvel or any kind of superhero movie? Do you notice that there’s always a part of story that tells us how the hero becomes hero as well as how the villain becomes villain. And insensibly as we get to know the story behind the characters, our interest will naturally come by itself, even to the villain that once we hate. Did you get the point?
I like Lansky’s quote that said, “I love the idea that if you know someone’s story, it’s impossible not to love them.” To love and to know is directly proportional, and so does the opposite. There’s a reason for everything. There’s always a reason for every harsh words. There is always a reason for every betrayal. There is always a reason for an open heart. This is not about we tolerate the evil, but rather to see who’s trapped behind it. And the truth will set you free. So if there’s still a room for hatred means there’s still a gap of the unknown.
Well, isn’t it harder to do than to speak? Yes, absolutely. Not to mention that human looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. It is hard to look deeply on someone who we really hate. I used to look on the outward and simply judge them with this bad sight of eyes. We’re so spoiled to summarize things we can only see. We’re too quick to classify people. We swim on the surface and feel exhausted as if we dive undersea. We buy a miniature globe and think that we have just traveled the world. We, mostly me, give up too soon.
In the world full of labels and stereotypes, it’s even easier to depend on the superficiality. Race, sharpens our sensitivity to see colors. Religion system, hardens the noise of hammer of the judgement. Denomination, thickens the lines of dissimilarity. We might not hear “I can’t because you’re not my tribe” but we see description made in the first touch. We might not say “You can’t make it because you’re different” but we see conclusion determined in the first glance. We fluently judge with both eyes closed. It’s like staring at Picasso’s painting through sunglasses and telling he’s colorblind.
Well, if those sunglasses hamper us to see the color, take it off. If those systems hinder us to love, put it off. If God called us to love, why do we classify? He invites all mankind, not discriminates. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me— watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
The first key is to know what’s beyond them. Learn how God sees. Know whom God sees while He’s hanging on the cross. This is a banquet invitation not only for one group of people. However, if we still have a hard time for this, to put off our sunglasses, or still being trapped in ignorance, let’s have the second keys.
Second key is to know yourself. The book of Romans 3 clearly tells us who we are. It tells us how wicked, how despair, and how disgusting we are in the eyes of holiness because of sin. No one is righteous before God. Well, if we think this could have not been that serious, or we tell to ourselves ‘I’m doing well’, there are 2 point of view in our thinking. First, we don’t see God is a great God; and second, we don’t see sin as a great issue. However, we surely cannot deny the first thought, right? As we all know that God is great, and His greatness no one can fathom. So, we come to the second thought, “We don’t think sin as a great issue.” But first, let me ask you, which one is worse: to slap or to punch? We will think to punch is worse than to slap because to be punched causes more pain than to be slapped. Now, which one is worse: to slap the president or to punch a beggar? Well… I bet we won’t get significant punishment for punching the beggar, but we will stay some nights in jail and lose our name by simply slapping the president. You got this? Sin is not about how big or small it is, but it’s about to whom it is done. And all things we do to one another, we do to God. Simply explained, when you lie to your friend, you lie to God. Why? Because human belongs to God. What affects the creation, affects the creator.
You mock Monkey D. Luffy the character from One Piece comic, means you mock the Eiichiro Oda the author, lol. You punch someone’s face, means you punch God’s face. Exaggerating much? Not until you read the book of Romans that wrote it clearly, the wages of sin is death. Our little lie deserve death penalty. Woe to us who sins.
We come to the point who we really are. Let’s do thousand good things to remove our sins, and if it’s not enough, let’s do thousands more. That’s what the world said. But He’s not touched at all. He’s not attracted as I look good or when my body was in best condition. He’s not interested in how many times I pray in a day or how long I became a Christian. I was helpless in the grip of sins and hopeless in the emptiness of religion. Good deeds are whacked in order to save ourselves. If it’s true that kindness is the way for us to be saved, let’s pray hard so that we don’t slip away into sin. But whom can assure it? If it’s right that offering can remove our sins, let’s work 24/7 so we don’t get poor that we can complete the payment for our sin. But make sure we count it right, because 1 cent mistaken can drop us to hell. If memorizing verse and prayer can get us to heaven, let’s fast 40 days sharp like Jesus fasted, so our heads are protected from brain concussion, since heaven will be closed for us if there is one word misspelled. And if the amount of our good deeds are more than evil deeds deserves us a place in heaven, let’s pray harder so we could die in this position of scales. But whose scales do we use as indicator? The scales of human logic? Human’s brain is not even bigger than a watermelon. The scales of charity? Let’s collect the entire wealth of 7 billion people in this earth to purchase heaven. We would see God’s laughing by earthquake. Or scales of law? Let’s play God by trying to judge in the case of two children of ours, they both had sinned and deserve death penalty. Which one would you like to kill and which one would you like to keep? Most of the time we exalt ourselves and belittle God by thinking our goodness can be traded with salvation. Don’t try to tease God. All good deeds we have offered to God would be like a candle light against the blazing sun. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The truth is, we cannot fish without fishing tools. We cannot climb mountain without climbing equipment. We cannot touch divine things without something divine. We cannot reach God without God’s hand.
Let not our reading stops here. This is the part when the hero comes. Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him. WOW!
God knows human cannot reach Him. He knows how tired we ran around on the wheel of rules. He knows how powerless we are to pay off the debt of sins we’ve done. He knows mankind are trapped in the systems they made. He knows human cannot fulfill the law as He knows how high its standard is. He knows how deep we’re drown in our pride and unable to help ourselves. He knows there must be something from above to take them up. And He knows exactly that no one can save us but Him. That’s why He put off His Godly attribute to be friend with human. It’s His idea to shrink His greatness to be fit in our limited thought. He left His throne out and dive into the deep ocean of sin. He’s not afraid to be wet. He’s not afraid to be dirty. He’s not afraid to look ugly. He’s not afraid to be hurt. He’s not afraid to be misunderstood. He’s not afraid to be hated. He’s not afraid to be limited. He’s not afraid to face death. He’s just afraid of losing you. See? There’s always a reason for everything.
He encountered me in the cold silent room at my darkest hour instead of at His holy temple. It would be good if the Light came to shine upon the beauty part of me, but instead it irradiated me when I was in the dirtiest condition, both body and soul. He touched me even when I was stamped ‘unclean’ by the law. I would be damn if He was the God that many teachings told about Him. I would perish if I depended on my devotion I did ever since I was a kid. I would be dead in a blink of eye if He counted my offering in order to be saved. But it was Him who’s gone through hell to have me back again. That’s the point where I know I am loved, not because of what I’ve done, but because of who He is.
Have you ever been loved for who you are not? Like changing your style that was not you, or copying the way someone’s way of speaking, or being in the oh-not-so-you traits, to get a spot in people’s eyes? Or in the highest level, have you tried your best to be good while you are far from that good to make people love you? I have. We have. How does it feel? It feels good, only for a while. And it lasts only on how good we perform it and how long we maintain it. In my story, I failed a lot, too soon. You will soon fail too, my dear friends. For human are designed to be original.
But have you ever been loved for who you are? Like when you did stupid things and what you got in return was affectionate care. Or when you got food served after you tore mom’s cooking notes. Or when you messed up all things up, instead of scorn you received tender helping hands. How does it feel? It feels so good that your heart breaks. Yes it will break you. It will break your sackcloth and you will find the best of you are wrapped in threads of artificiality. For human are designed to be loved for their originality.
We are loved by the initiative love of God for who we are. This kind of love is what make you able to live your life as yourself. So don’t play God by punishing ourselves living a life we don’t own. Don’t belittle God by thinking our good deeds can be traded with His heart. God is whole and He doesn’t need you to complete Him. Who do you think you are that you can please Him by giving? Well, I have a friend who is super-duper rich. Her birthday’s coming and I was so confused what would I present to her. She has all things and she could get everything she wants. Even she could get the best version of the gift I would give to her. If I give her a bag, she can easily buy a bag too, in Gucci brand. If I give her a pair of shoes, it’s just nothing compared to the row of Prada shoes in her closet which is as big as my bedroom. You know, for this kind of people, the best way to please them is rather to receive than to give. She might be happy to see my gift for her, but she’s much happier when I receive her invitation and come to her party. And nothing pleased her more than seeing me enjoying her banquet. My gift might be a good thing, but it’s not the essential of her joy. Our good works might be good, but it’s not the essential of God’s love towards us. What more goodness could we give to the God of all goodness? He simply wants you to be the object of His love. To love God is to be loved by God. As it is written, this is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us.
We are accepted therefore we obey, not we obey therefore we are accepted (Timothy Keller). Don’t get me wrong. Good deeds, following the rules, offerings and all things we do in order to please God is good. Very good. But it’s not something we can depend on. It’s the fruit of our gratitude, not the effort to redeem ourselves.
Well, if the truth of God that loves you is too hard to understand, let’s take a look on this. Do you have a child? Or maybe the little ones in your family that really caught your heart? It is when I got my first nephew from my sister. I followed the growth of him ever since he was in my sister’s womb. As he was born he immediately stole a very big part in my heart. I love him so much and nothing he can do to change the fact that I love him so much. My love for him is just the same as when he hit my lips which caused me to bleed or when he kisses me. Even when he’s just a month-old baby, when there’s nothing he can do but sleep or just breathe. He is loved not because of what he’s done to me, but because of his existence as my nephew. This is just an auntie’s unconditional love, not to mention his mom’s love. And not to mention God’s love. We are His, nothing we can do to change the fact that He loves us much.
To know yourself is to know your flaws and how much you are loved for it. It brings courage when you know you are loved for who you are. If human cannot offer you this kind of love, let’s remember that heaven’s greatest romance again. We cannot peg a fragile thing on the fragile ground. Identity is a fragile thing, that’s why we need something sturdy to be established on it. And once we stand secure on love that establish us, we can love one another better, even to those who do us bad. In order to love better, we should know how much we’ve been forgiven. When you know you are loved, it’s easy to love someone. When you know you are forgiven, it’s easy to forgive someone. Tie this second key on your neck. This is the key to free you from any prison that the world tries to lock you up. I love this words, the Truth will set you free.
Next time when the world squeezes you in thousand ways, use your first key. And if it goes on and on and leave you in the unknown, take out the second key. When you’re troubled to depend on your love to love others, try learning to depend on God’s love to you. God bless you 🙂
A glimpse of testimony in writing process:
It took me a long time to start writing this post and took many hours even several days to arrange the sentences. The symptoms that I mentioned before have disturbed me a lot. It made me unable to concentrate well. I could not focus. And I wanted to scream so bad to release it. Never known before that to process one single world could be this hard. For so many times I gave up and left out my laptop. But thankfully there were more times when Spirit consoled me, “my dear, you can do this. Let us continue again until we finish it” as He got my back and lead me to my desk over and over again. It didn’t happen in hours. But day by day He continually impassioned me. He helped me one by one, little by little, step by step. He’s a perfect calm to my raging thought. And I’ve never thought this writing could be this long! :O
I write this not because I have mastered it. I lack in so many ways to love instead. I just try to simply write what I have been taught and what I have been through. For so many times I stop by what he had told me. Looked dumbfounded and said, “WHAT IS THIS, GOD?!” The correlations, the paraphrase, the analogies, the parables, the diction, if it’s not of God, I could never write it. The italic ones are the words from Scripture. And it doesn’t mean I know a lot of verses, lol. Most of the cases are I have heard the verse about ABC then I googled it, and let the Google did his best to show me the address and the complete verse about ABC with any kind of translation. It is another thing to realize that God is for all mankind. He let His words access-able in any times and any tongue. If God was only for Christians, the Bible would be found in Greek only. Or Hebrew? Well, I don’t know. And I don’t want to know if it’s really not for me. But thanks to be God that He made His Word available in my native language. It means nothing to hide from Him nor being exclusive. He simply wants Himself to be known by me too. Well, I have heard some stories about how God speak personally to people in their own language, even in the inland language that is not a national language, and it got me WOW. What a friendly God we serve 🙂 He just said, “Don’t let language barrier hinder My people to meet Me.”
Also, I bold the keyword in this writing that is to know. At first, I was so desperate to see how it relates with each other. I saw no red lines, or blue print, or whatsoever-color, for correlations. I ran and left it hanging again. “Let it just be unfinished work of mine”, I thought. Human, tended to run away when they know nothing. Oops, that’s so me. But Spirit helps us in our weakness. “Come on, dear. A lil’ bit more”, “No need this phrase”, “Just use this analogy”. For so many times He asked me to remove some parts and to add some parts. The thing is, let your work be interrupted by Him. Let Him interference. And nope, the sky was not open, and no light coming down from above. Not at all. It is not a phenomenal moment when I said Spirit helps me. It’s a daily occur. No earthquake before inspiration came down, no thunderous voice saying ‘don’t’, no tall old man dressed in white who came with wings on his back to my room. No holy fog, no deathly touch, no winds that moved my pink curtains. There’s only a depressed silly
cutie girl with an open heart to her Daddy who did not give up on her doubts. You know, He loves us much that He takes initiative to be the one who adjusts in our nature just to be with us 🙂
A little thought about my Daddy. I just mentioned that He is the one who did not give up on my doubts. And now you’re asking, isn’t it wrong to doubt God? Well, I once have a friend who’s angry when I asked about herself. Evidently it’s because she’s insecure about herself. Well, our God is not an insecure God. He knows Himself well and He stands confidence with the truth about Him. His divine identity will not be shaken by our doubts. He is not offended by your skeptic thoughts. No, seriously. God doesn’t scold you when you question Him. He knows there’s a room of the unknown in our heart and bigger room of stupidity in our brain. Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. Don’t play hide-and-seek with God. If you don’t understand, ask Him. Show Him your broken parts. Flood Him with all your questions. Tell Him about your doubt. Let Him know if you feel awkward towards Him. Even if you don’t like Him, just let Him know. Nothing feels better than being yourself with Him. Don’t be fake. Don’t copy. Don’t pretend. He accepts you for who you are. So come to Him as you really are! If you are confused about which way you should go, ask Him for a direction. If you doubt your faith, tell Him. If you need to know which one is the truth, request Him to reveal it to you. You can also come to Him saying, “God… Well… Hmm. God… I don’t know what I want to say.” That happens to me a lot, lol. Many relations of mine often have brilliant ideas for their work or become so creative in daily life simply because they ask God about the thing they don’t know, and it is natural. You know, knowledge, creativity, inventive idea, wisdom, are of God. God said to us in Proverbs 4, “I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.” You never ask? Try once and you will ended up asking Him for all the times. Just try with this simple question, “God, how do I get to know you?”
Now you’re afraid God being offended? Well, your father won’t scold you if you ask about him right? Or, does your mom punish you if you ask her how to cook well? Do they burn you alive because of your silly question about life? Do they shoot you when you tell your opinion? Same thing goes with God. He is a good father who likes to hear from His children. He is a good teacher who’s more than willing to teach you many things. If the image of Father or Teacher is hard for you to understand, try to see Him as a friend. Well, anyone can be friend with anybody, and greater love has no one than this, that someone lay his life for his friends. Furthermore, He doesn’t interest in yourself who tries to look perfect before Him. It’s a big NO. He indeed is perfection. He longs for your honesty, even if it’s fragile honesty, or a broken hallelujah. He doesn’t even care about the way you pray, when you pray, or where you pray. All he wants is a heart that welcomes him to hear your prayer and knows that he answers your prayer.
After I re-read and re-re-read this post, I think the purpose of this writing was not just for my healing process. But I see God wants anyone who reads this to know that He loves you so much. I feel God’s love through this. You may think God teaches me and the I teach the reader. No. It’s not like that. I am that student who sit at the corner back and get the lowest point in lesson called ‘To Love’. So it is God who teaches both me the writer and you the reader. And I’m stuck in awe by His love. It just reminded me a song about the reckless love of God to us. “Oh it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety nine. I couldn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. Still You give Yourself away. Oh the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God! Yeaaah~ yeaaaah!”
Finally, this is my gratitude. Thank you for the people who’s poured out so much love on me in this season. I knooooow I pushed people away, shut down my social medias, and kept being on my cave (read: room). I don’t know what would lead me but I just don’t want to hurt people because that’s what I really hate 😦 However, being detached from people was even worse. So I’m thankful for them who broke my strongest wall to reach me. Thank you for drawing near, climbing, even breaking it just to check how I am doing. Thank you for contacting my friend who’s near with me when you were far to help me when I was helpless. Thank you for being ear to my roaring mind and complicated mood. Thank you for the attention given when I was out of focus. Thank you for keeping calm when all things in me were raging out. Thank you for the time you chose to forget and stayed up late with me (even till the dawn!). Thank you for sending me cheese cake to my house. I see distance is just nothing if there is caring. Thank you for a sudden pudding. It was one random booster of God in battle day. Thank you for telling me that I’m not okay and I don’t need to pretend to be okay if I want to be really okay, and still you hug this
cutie bastard anyway, lol.
As Spirit said, I indeed need people. But I was afraid to be in touch with people. I enjoyed my silent until that silent killed me. Yet still, He leads me to get to healing. I know lot things struck me in one shot. I know I fell with my face hit the ground first. I know my body betrays its soul. I know all things in me are violently uncontrolled. But I’m in the battle mode. I’m not gonna lose! Yup, I scream in silent. Indeed this hurts much. It’s true that trauma screams loud on my face without mercy. For the yes given has taken me a lot. These might bring me down, but it ain’t break me. I am a fighter and fighting now. I’m pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse. For in all things I am more than a winner through Christ who strengthens me. I will win soon!