Author: Sophie Hill

Brain Washed or Blood Washed?

Brain Washed or Blood Washed?

January 2021.While assisting a teenage girl with a scrapbook-like project I overheard her mother who was talking on the phone, addressing someone in her conversation ‘the log’ which usually is called any married man with priorities in right order, who does not conform to cultural AKA man-made ‘rules’. Men who have reached 1Corinthians 13: 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways.

Hearing the word ‘the log’ I raised my head and looked at her daughter; she replied to my look “My uncle doesn’t mention or shows to his daughter the gifts my mom sends her.”

From July-January deceiving and dividing had worked. ‘The log’ is her only sibling.

I felt like a watchman to notify people whose mouth piece they are being. Unbeknown to us some times we invite deception with our tendencies of self-centeredness. Deception, like virus or cancer that needs human body to live, demands spread through human mind; it seers conscience and hardens the heart. I wanted to question God by adapting Moses words from Deuteronomy 29:4 ‘Why haven’t You given this sister a heart to perceive, eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day?’

I had two entries in my journal after Messenger conversations they contained clues.

The most recent was dated July 2020 and was titled ‘Who is in the details?’

He had attended a funeral and called to tell me how impressed he was that in the midst of COVID-19, the fare well of the man who had passed on, a truck driver, looked more like one of an influential person or politician. He compared it with his sister’s funeral where they couldn’t see the end of the cars’ tail, but that funeral took place 2012, there were no pandemic restrictions then. He was mostly touched by how the 20years of age son, of the man being buried, spoke about his father.

After the funeral he went straight to his in-laws who live in the same city, lashing out at them how bad of a parent their son is, ‘the log’.

He passionately told me; “I went to my in-laws and made Mike (his father in-law) not even a river can wash him.”

It gave me the impression he had premeditated about it after hearing the speech of the young man. His conscience must’ve convicted him as a father and probably as a son too.

“I told Mike, call your son, now!

He called.

I asked his 3years old girl Did you like what your aunty sent you?

Surprised she said ““What did my aunty send me?”

I brought it to you yesterday in the gift bag. You remember?

My brother in-law, asked his wife to bring it. The little one’s face lit and asked her mother to help her wear it running to the mirror.”

(One wishes the advance of technology didn’t need to reach up to the video talking) J

After the short and ‘to the point’ video call his father in-law heard. “In her age your daughter’s children knew the names and talked on Skype with my friends and second cousins back home. I made sure they knew them. Your grand-daughter does not know even her one aunty she has. The gift was a way for them to bring to her attention that she has an aunty that loves her but that’s the type of parent your son is!”

His father in-law told him “No one compares to you, no one can do what you do, and we all know that.” It was just what he wanted to hear. Temporarily might have made him feel better as a parent putting down or diminish other parents’ priorities.

I interrupted him saying that his brother in-law is focusing on more immediate needs of his children, or he doesn’t want his children to associate relatives with the gift giving. I do not agree trashing someone’s parenting for prioritizing different than you did. Plus they both are working from home and have to manage an infant and a three year old. Introducing the extended family and relatives should not be the most important thing to a parent.

He cut me off by saying “You are brain washed!”

I stood my ground that even if it wasn’t pandemic there are more pressing things, preparing their food, reading to them, interacting with them, even more now that cannot take them out to the play ground.

He hung up on me.

Five months later, hearing his wife call her brother ‘the log’, and his daughter “explaining” to me why her mother did so, it was clear who were brainwashed and it became alarming to me. No one had used their brain to say ‘why in the world was so important to him to ‘trace’ what happened with the gift; what even triggered the ‘curiosity’ about it?

Am I asking for too much from people? Should a sister just automatically throw her brother under the bus for not making her gift priority? Is that supposed to be a family deal breaker?

How can a sister so easily be blinded about her only brother for such a trivial thing?

An Instagram post I had recently stumbled on from Samuel Say @slowtowrite made sense why the grudge lasted five months “If you are easily offended, you are easily controlled.” I would add easily deceived too.  

I looked for the other entry, spring 2018 ‘Be the Surfer Not the Wave Tossed and Driven with the Wind.’ dots started to connect.

What had appeared as sarcasm two years ago had progressed to condemning.

I’ve had an issue with the intention behind sarcasm all my life; is humorous, playful or belittling.

My discernment had concluded that the darkness must be interested in infecting the younger generation.

The conversation had been about few pieces of bedroom furniture to be moved from his house to his brother’s house. Being meticulous himself he loaded them safe to the vehicle, but, because his relationship with his parents is sour he didn’t want to be the one taking the task to the end.

To ‘save’ him the awkwardness of facing his parents, his sister’s husband agreed to take over. During the transporting one of the nightstands fell from the trolley and came apart, had to be thrown right then and there. Knowing that bedroom set had sentimental value, his sister’s husband was disappointed at himself and heartbroken for his in-laws.

After everyone, well most of them, had already comforted him saying, they were glad that he was not injured, he received a text from his niece by marriage “Woe to you” or can be taken also equivalent to “Shame on you!”

After learning that one of the nightstands did not make it to the next destination the accuser’s volume between her father’ s ears must’ve gotten louder than the inner ‘dialogue’ prevented him from going to his brother’s house in order to avoid being face-face with his parents. And it seems to me to quiet that voice he meditates in ways of spilling the misery.

I do not know why he calls to proudly tell me-‘the brain washed one’-what measurements he takes when his conscience convicts him.

He thought was humorous and ‘wittily’ to tell his son first, to send the text “Moses, Woe to you!” His son firmly said ‘No’.

The fact that his son said ‘No’ ought to have served as red traffic light for the father to STOP.

Then he asked his daughter to send it.

“Spell it!” she excitedly ‘ordered’ her father, since the saying was to be written on his language. Maybe she wanted to restore her relationship with her father. Few months ago she had said ‘NO’ in an occasion that wouldn’t have hurt her to say ‘Yes’. Full of pride he had asked his daughter to play the piano for his aunty with whom he was talking on Skype.

I looked for an entry in my journal which had come after the conversation with his daughter titled ‘Where Did the Spatters, Go?’ You know what I mean the ones who spat on Christ?

After his daughter deflated his pride he quickly ended the Skype conversation with his aunty and spat on his daughter, then in rage he grabbed her from her hair, dragged and twisted around, her body making circles. Her father spitting her in the face shocked his daughter more than the painful pulling from the hair and twirling around.

Writing the text “Woe to you Moses!” for which she eagerly said ‘yes’ to, was akin to stepping on someone’s fresh wound. She probably was more concern to make up for the inappropriate and unnecessary ‘NO!’ she had said few months ago.

Would her dad take responsibility for it if his daughter ended up making it a habit building a pattern of saying ‘yes’ to mind games, I bet every father wish their girls build their courage to say ‘no’?

Domino effects can start with sending a sarcastic text for which her brother said ‘NO’ to.

A dilemma to do or not to do the right thing is overpowered by self-righteousness or ego convinces him not to.

He then gets tossed around ending up premeditating misery needs company.

Not wanting to humble himself and face his parents he ended up feeling guilty for the broken piece of furniture. I saw a pattern

In the case of the nightstand’ s ‘funeral’ he premeditated how to put down the person who came to his ‘rescue’ his sister’s husband, throwing to him the shame.

In retrospect he must’ve realized even hiding behind the moving furniture would have silenced the mocking voice of the accuser.

We have evolved packaging mockery as “sense of humor” in order to smoothly share some of it in form of sarcasm.

How would he otherwise recognize a ‘brainwashed’ person?

Hmm maybe because he buys sets of mascara to his daughter each time he physically abuses her? When his daughter was asked “Why do you accept the mascara? Why don’t you tell him how you feel?”

She replied “Yea that’s how he makes up; he takes me on driving practice or buys me things. Oh well it does mess my head up when he treats me poorly but then I have mascara!”

When Hailey’s hands got frozen, fingers bent in strange positions, during a nervous breakdown few days after her father had hit her for the 3rd time. Panicked she yelled asking her mother to come urgently and see what was happening to her. Haley’s mother inexperienced asked for help her husband’s relatives having been through same sort issues few years ago.

To their warning, “Be careful how you treat her, prior to ending up irreversible!”

He replied “Nothing is wrong with her she just wants attention.”

Mental conditions turned physical were what Jesus healed. They are called miracles because that’s what it takes to reverse damages that come as result of not listening to our conscience when we are convicted by it for doing unto others what we wouldn’t want it be done unto us.

In that funeral home, on July 10th, 2020 he might’ve honestly asked ‘Would my children’s speech be as heartfelt and genuine as this young man’s about the loss of his father?’

“In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie” reads the last part of Ecclesiastes 11:3

May I suggest that if someone comes and makes logs out of cutting the fallen tree, ‘the logs’ will be much more useful.

We who know we are blood washed might be seen as brainwashed by the ones who hopelessly assume that few more works, or amount of mascaras, and the conscience will be cleansed, and the accuser will be silenced. The works kind of thinking is attempt to mocking God’s gift, also keeps us wondering “why bad things happen to ‘good’ people?”

We can either be blood washed by the One Whom was mocked and spat for humbling Himself before His Father declaring “It is Finished!” or we’ll be brainwashed, ‘Woe unto us!’ for assuming that our self-centered works and gift giving will please God.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall Who’s the Best God’s Image of All?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall Who’s the Best God’s Image of All?

I know we got to hold people accountable for their beliefs and words but the truth is that ‘good people’ too are prone to deception and that’s why they fall ‘victims’ for lack of discernment whose mouth piece they become.

One main reason, I have come to believe, that ‘bad things happen to good people’ is that the mirror of our conscience are the ‘neighbors’ we are supposed to love like ourselves as result it becomes a challenge to obey that commandment.

What triggered all these? One might wonder.

I spent the afternoon of the first day of the 2021 patiently listening to a nice lady in mid seventies.

Since I came out of the closet about ‘reading the Bible’ people either are sarcastic about it or engage in conversations to tell me stories how they found out that God is good. So on January 1st 2021 started “I don’t blame God any longer for taking my daughter at the age of forty four.”

She proceeded to explain why. “I read an article. A mother had been crying for years asking God ““Why did you take my son from me?”” Then one day God replied showing her how her son would have ended up if God did not take him at the time He did. The grieving mother then told God ““Ok, I am sorry for blaming you all these years.””

The lady, I was listening to, concluded “Then I thought ‘who knows how much more abuse Bella would have endured at her husband’s and his family’s hands?” She said that was glad she stumbled upon that post for the ‘comfort had brought but most importantly the clarity and wisdom she had gained’.

I felt responsible to stop the ‘infection’, this deception had spread. Anything that assists us to point the finger at others’ behavior it is infection of the mind. What makes it even more contagious is when we start believing that God ‘reaches’ grieving hearts’ with the intention to remove the blame from Himself giving us options, so to speak, to choose between blaming Him V/S glorfying Him, for the tragedy. It sounds He is saying ‘you really wanted your loved one  alive? I actually reduced you future heartache by taking them!’

All we have to do is read the Book of Job from chapter38 to the end, and see what God thinks of our victim states.

I recalled that her daughter spent most of her days off with her mother. If there were no medical appointments and no shopping for her mother then she had both parents over at her house. When we, her daughter’s friends, would comment in admiration ‘It must be rewarding to have such a generous and caring daughter’, we heard “Her husband and his family are milking the cow, why only them?”

The ‘clarity’ she had gained left me speechless and concerned. I was in her house and had just eaten in her dining table with my friends, her grown children. I faced the fact that I had no way of finding out how the grieving mother in the article had treated her son when he was alive. Probably the reader who stood in front of me had felt guilty for what her daughter had been through physically, psychologically, emotionally, as child and as an adult, in her mother’s hands. Recalling how obedient my late friend Bella was never left room for correction of any sort in all stages of her growth, I suspected her mother’s conscience and memory might’ve been busy bringing all that to the surface. Taking responsibility for unnecessarily tormenting an innocent child can drive us to look for dumping some of the conviction and where better than other image bearers.

Although she had taken some solace in ‘agreeing’ with the new found concept ‘God had saved her daughter from days of further abuse’, she still questioned His justice system, “I read biographies of Christian saints and it bothers me to learn they were beheaded; I cannot reconcile with God allowing that.”, shaking her left hand in the air in form of protest.

The more she talked the heavier the weight of powerlessness became over me. I wanted to tell her to read Matthew 14, the story of why and what for John the Baptist was beheaded. A woman’s little ‘I’ got offended by the truth and was waiting for an opportunity to show the truth teller, the price. I dared interrupting the one sided conversation using an earthly analogy that saints fulfill the law of Christ, bailing us from spiritual debt just like we bail someone from earthly jail by paying the required fine. If the sacrifice of Christ hasn’t awakened us maybe the beheading of saints will crack a little window in the hardness of our heart.

Of all I said she must’ve heard only the word ‘jail’. I say this because she jumped to a story when she was in her early twenties she had saved someone from full sentence jail. “I was the only witness that didn’t give in to the threats. As result of me telling the truth he served only three months because the false witnesses had testified at the days I couldn’t make it. I was pregnant at the time and twice on the day I had to swear I was rushed to the hospital with risk of miscarriage. “

She got the 9th commandment down! You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Can that save us when we violate the 10th?

After the brief story of courage, despite the threats she had adhered to the truth with steadfastness saving her colleague who had been falsely accused, a dead neighbor surfaced in her memory. Though I too was raised in the same neighborhood, as observant as I am, I had missed things while people were alive. I learned from the nice lady that first day of the New Year about the neighbor who had died five or more years ago “She was a controlling mother. She also assumed that anyone her sons hang out with had intentions to take advantage of them, even the mothers of her grandchildren. She wasn’t shy to tell her daughters in-law to go to work and not take advantage of her sons. If relatives on her side visited she commanded her sons to stop being hospitable.”

Since we “were” in the neighborhood she informed me about another neighbor’s stinginess. This one is still alive but his wife had died. “He accused his daughter that she purposely picked the most expensive flowers for her mother’s funeral just so to spend his money. And soon after that they became estranged.”

Prior to sitting around the table, I overheard her complaining to her youngest daughter about her son not making any attempt to find a job but he is charging his parents rent.

It is true that since March her son hasn’t been able to work because of COVID-19 lock downs and his position doesn’t offer the opportunity to work from home. However knowing how patient he has been with them and at their beck and call for fifteen years, it shocked me that none of it counts because he’s been asking back a fraction for ten months.

Though I felt honored she trusted me enough to talk about dead and alive it became food for thought. Does she feel the same way her late neighbor felt about the people that surrounded her sons? Is there any chance my friends’ mother has been commiserating silently with the other neighbor who got bitter about the price of the first and last flowers he ‘brought’ to his late wife? I couldn’t ignore the pattern. Then just to confirm my speculations she proceeded to tell me “North American taxes system is built to take advantage of working people.” This last one gave me an window of opportunity to explain why ‘I guess, that’s how the governments can cover the expenses of the surgical procedures you and your husband have had even though you haven’t worked a day in this country.’

She got up from her seat, went to the kitchen and returned handing me a plastic bag and told me “These are for you. But wait, my son will drive you.”

            For a week I indulged in delicious homemade vegetable pies and at the same time truly concerned what do I do with the gift of discernment. Is her eternity my responsibility? Am I a watchman failing to alert this lady of the danger of deception? How can I introduce the finished work of Jesus to a Christian by culture? Can I tell people who decide to vent when they have few hours with me ‘You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

I am not Christ Jesus though; I need Him myself.

I admitted that it is a rare thing that she has the courage to stand for the truth even in midst of threats, just like saints for whose end of mortal life she felt hurt about.

I realize from observations, any form of self analyzing and reflecting brings some sort of suffering. Every aspect of self exposing hurts pride or ‘dignity’ brings torment, emotionally and psychologically. Processing the truth that we are as bad as the next person we judge suggests need for change and reorganizing the life we have identified with. It is a task that might bring benefits in the long run but not money or peace in the present. Anything that shakes our earthly ‘citizenship’ we avoid grieving what we have to lose.

 Ideals require obedience and for most of us focused in the here and now, the ideals and obedience sound madness, nonsense but at the same time rejecting the sacrifice of the One Who stood obedient to the end leaves us open to become a mouthpiece for deception. It is true we’ll look like losers, people mock us if we dare and attempt to courageously withstand the fear and pressure of ridicule but we’ll be set free to never wonder in victim state or vacillating between pride and shame.

When the ideals offend us then we easily become prone to craftiness and deception. Mind games of deception makes us focus on the ‘I’, its goal though is to sabotage God’s order for the big picture and what better way to achieve that goal of sabotage than directing us to focus on preserving the ‘Me, myself and I’. Unless things grow there’s no order in the big picture which we, our children and loved ones live. Therefore it makes perfect sense why Bible stresses obedience.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

We were successful at coming up with all sizes of mirrors to see our face and physical body because we cannot otherwise know what we look like. However, we point the finger at the mirrors that God made in His own image. As long as we do that ‘the bad things will happen to good people’ who easily notice and therefore judge on others the expressions of disobedience most of the time shamefully hidden in our own sub conscience.

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