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What do we do; can we live on pickles?

What do we do; can we live on pickles?

I’ve come to think ideals are not a religion but our destination. What brought this thought? For eight months now I have been trying to pass the Jurisprudence exam and thank God there’s no limit of times one can write it, I still have chances.

The passing grade is 100%! My profession’ s Regulatory Body has set the standard high. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 However, if I dare and ask ‘Are you espousing Christian standards?’ most likely the answer will be ‘We are not a religious institute.’

We tend to choose what to borrow from God’s moral laws and commandments. If we don’t choose few of them but others do then we see those others as ‘espousing views that are homophobic, islamophobic and transphobic,” Phobias are fears and could spring from a trauma or imaginable traumas, arachnophobia, agoraphobia, claustrophobia, fear of heights fear of needles, so on and so forth.

While some 100% expectations are called phobic views or devisive and religious other ones are mandatory to get a licence to work on humans.

I understand that lack of compassion towards tendencies of humanity is a thing to be considered especially in health field but accusing and condemning people for promoting the order of life proved to have been working so far is another. To be impartial of minorities and the phobic majority we have to ask ‘Why and how did we get this phobias in the 1st place?’

Homophobic-“The AIDS crisis, as we generally think of it, began in the 1980s. First as a mysterious illness primarily infecting gay men in urban areas in the United States. Before the disease’s first mention in 1982 in the New York Times, people had been dying of AIDS for at least a decade, though probably not much longer. In Africa, HIV–the virus that causes AIDS–had jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime early in the 20th century. While it’s true that most emerging diseases affecting humans come from wildlife, it’s often human behavior that is to blame for the spillover. But the good news is: If we’re the ones causing the problem, we’re the ones who can stop it” EcoHealth  Alliance www.ecohealthalliance.org/2017/12/world-aids-day

Any meat eater knows very well that there wouldn’t be filet mignon, or lamb chops if the meat farmers attempt stubbornly to mate same sex animals. If we demand that the rest of the nature behaves in the order of life then shouldn’t we also recognise our human tendencies as out of order and harmony of life? The facts got to surrender to the truth of life; it is the maturity we ought to reach.

Let’s see another phobia “Islamophobia term may be defined sociologically as the fear that the Western society has against Muslims”. Even though the roots of that pathology, which especially escalated after 11th of September 2001, terminologically came out in late 80s, that fear and conflict has deep roots in the history of the West.” History of Islamophobia and Anti-Islamism – The Pen Magazine

And when we do not do our research of origins of phobias then we discriminate and accuse others, considering the ideals/maturity as “Legitimizing hate and discrimination has seriously dangerous consequences for people.” Partiality helps noone’s progress.

Yes, we are supposed to be like Christ who judged no flesh, but at the same time He told the truth in a way equivalent to our expression “Don’t be sorry, don’t do it again.”

John 8:10 “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

John 5:14 “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 

I relate to the discomfort of ‘what if’. There are all kinds of ‘hunger’ or identity confusion and curiosities that self, influenced by darkness and boredom, plays to us and with us. IF we bury the ‘What IFs’ inside us we turn into victims thinking we have been deprived. To me the gender confusion is not different than having the itch I had for ‘adventure’-aimless traveling. I was over thirty years old when I could ‘scratch my itch’-had the financial freedom that would feed that aspect of my selfishness. Needless to say I ended up careless with my finances by hiking mountains in Anglophone islands. Yes, it was important everything in my travells had to be convenient and harmonious. As result in my mid fifties my siblings took pity on their middle age homeless, eldest sister. I felt embarrassed for my immaturity and lack of sensibility towards my future. Late but I learned the hard way that ‘being true to myself’ or ‘empting my bucket list’ I ended up burden on others. It is ok to try to find out the ‘what ifs’, however, when we see ourselves in the bottomless pit we do no favor denying the consequences of our ignorance pointing to the fact that we got to turn from our old ways, which is the dreaded single word ‘repent’.

Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners,]to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32, Matthew 9:12-13

Luke19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Stuck in self we are lost, but humans do not see us as lost see us as burden or crazy, mentally sick or shameful to be around. Is no one’s duty to accept us when we want to change backwards. We are ‘out of order’ when we are obsessed with self.

Just like my mother was not proud of my hasty decisions in life so we have to admit that probably no human being wishes upon a star for his/her children to grow to have same sex attraction, or that their bundle of joy to grow with intentions to hire a plane to hit high-rise World Trade buildings, or be suicide bombers, neither spending their youth consumed how to reverse the gender that was or were born. The knowing of what is harmonious and orderly is built in us as God’s image bearers, though it does not always win the day that’s why we demand that others make our chaos more convenient to live in by pointing the finger at their phobic attitude.

Also we need to accept the fact that because ‘loving others as our self’ does not come naturally to us that’s the reason God made it a law Leviticus 19:18
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against any of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Mark12:31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Hence most of the professions are self-regulated which means have Regulatory Bodies to customize rules and regulations ‘“Self-regulated” means that the profession governs itself, has the responsibility and legal authority to act in the best interests of the public.’ explains the college that regulates the profession I am writing the exam to get registered with.

If we practiced love for others, and love is action and that’s why needs to be practiced then there’s never a dull moment in our life to be bored and confused about any kind of identity, we will always ‘have a bigger fish to fry’. The ‘horns’ of deception are the fruitless urges we feel which make us selfish, shortsighted, impulsive, confused of belonging. We end up belonging in the dump-the purposeless bottomless pit of immature adults. Once I had more than I needed I said “I am going to live for me; I owe it to myself!” Since when, I owed it to myself to be careless and purposeless with my life? Just because I spent sleepless nights studying to get my college diploma, it counts as sacrifice that justifies that kind of thinking and living?

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I personally see nature as our mirror; if we pay attention it tells us what we got to do in order to avoid ending up in hell. I lived in an island for 12 years and experienced hurricanes where the winds broke main brunches of avocadoes trees, palm trees and loquats got derooted. January-March was the season for the avocadoes in the yard of the place I was rented, to be picked. When the hurricanes hit us in September-October the avocadoes thrown in the ground ended up in the dump, because were not eatable, no matter how long one left them in a brown bag expected to ripe it didn’t work.

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I know avocados are not made in the image and likeness of God but were made for the God Image Bearers. Genesis 1:29-30 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. Nature doesn’t have the choice to ripe or not to ripe? We do.

We long to grow, ripe and become useful adults and that’s one way of expressing it-to fill big shoes.

The question then becomes IF I was a fruit or vegetable would it be better to be picked at the peak of ripeness to nourish a human and hopefully the human will plant the seed and multiply the benefit nourishing others too in the future, or be eaten by bacteria? To serve or retire without serving? Truly,truly,I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

But let’s look at our most basic standards and expectations towards others especially when we pay even a dime?

  • Do we return the plate in the restaurant if we find a hair or dead fly or any particle that is not part of the dish we ordered? (Could it be then that our willful wrongs, stubbornness-“That’s who I am” “I’s born this way” “Accept me for who I am.”-are to God just like that unwanted particles in the food we return and demand to be replaced without charge, or else we’ll write a horrible review?)
  • Does any of us go to the grocery store to pick up the blemished, bruised fruits and vegetables or food in torn bag/damaged container. (How would we feel if the grocery store worker would call our standards discrimination for not filling our shopping cart with rotten or the unripe produce and broken, damaged bags and containers?) After all the stores’ marketing standards display the ripe and appropriately packaged; that’s why they have returning policies to meet buyers’ standards and needs in order to attract them.
  • If the doctor misdiagnoses us and we find out about it or our loved one dies of neglect we sue him/her or them. We expect them to know and care, in other words to be seasoned and ripe in their profession.
  • If a bridge or building collapses investigations start to make the engineer or architect accountable for any miscalculations during design and building of them.

If we then,who are work in progress, have established our standards and expectations of ethics and morals how much more God also won’t reverse to bringing chaos out of order. God created us He knows we cannot live on pickled food alone it is too acidic. Beside the fully ripe produce we also need every word that comes from the mouth of God, to be fully ripe ourselves.

Even if we are too arrogant to accept the truth that only certain unripe veggetables can be picked to be eaten pickled which therefore give us LIMITED OPTIONS: PEPPERS, CABBAGE, ONIONS, BEETS, RADISHES, OLIVES, CUCUMBERS, EGPLANTS (YES WHERE I’S BORN AND RAISED THEY PICKLE SMALL EGPLANTS AND GREEN TOMATOES)

DID I FORGET ANY?

So, ‘Human rights activists’ When we are more afraid of hurting people with the truth we legitimize hopelessness and irreversible damage. Legitimizing reverse order of life is willfull distruction of society, shortsightedness.

“Truth brings the right people together” Bronnie Ware

Can we afford to reject become a new creation? We are the only species that are given the choice to ripe or not to ripe. It is ironic that we were also told to subdue the earth. What was God thinking?

When He realized we were going to blame Him “A loving God does not send His children in hell!”

!” Why do you accuse me of doing wrong?
    You are the ones who have rebelled,”
    says the Lord. Jeremiah 2:29

One way or another we are slaves and we do sacrifice. None of us are looking for pickled humans. In sports too once an athlete breaks the record it becomes the new record. And no athlete was announced winner nor broke a record at the starting point.

If we like to eat fully ripe produce then we might as well become so ourselves. We were born to be born again. John3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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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