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To my lifegroup

It’s been a long tiring day my dear because our journey into the promise was too long and the battle we fight is not yet over. I know, there are those moments that you ask, 

“how long will I wait? How long will it take? How long will I endure? How long will this season last? 

You long for the good old days because you feel that you are no longer growing. The progress was too slow, the process was too long.

There are those days that you are tempted to complain and compare your situation to others. There are times that you lose your battle within, your feelings surpass your passion. Your praise report now is getting worn out. You no longer hold the reason for your joy. There are those moments that you cry out to God but it seems like nothing’s happening, and there are those thoughts that you think your works are in vain. But 

please– keep fighting, fight until the end to fulfill your purpose, to finish your duty. Please don’t stop until you see the results. Don’t quit because we need you.

You think that when you quit we got nothing to lose because you’re just a small part of the group and you contribute nothing, but what you think is far from the truth; when you leave us behind we lose because you belong. Like a body that has many parts, you are part of this story. You are one of the chosen. When you feel pain, we also feel the pain. When you win, we celebrate. We rejoice and mourn with you. When you are in trouble, so are we, because we are one. Like a sequoia tree, our roots are destined to intertwine, to sustain each other for as to grow continually and survive. So don’t distance yourself, just stay. Because every time you choose to stay you motivate us to keep going. Every time you choose to endure, you inspire us to be brave, because for us, everything you do matters, nothing is wasted.

That small coal within you can ignite a fire within us. You, yourself is the harvest you’re looking for, within you is the answered prayer we asked. 

There are no small things when it comes to God. It’s not over yet, we will see His purpose at the end. So stand firm brave warrior, embrace again the promise you received before. It may take a long time before you conquer the promised land but along the way, we will realize that the promised land was really there and was near to us. Don’t give up your hope and keep on dreaming. It’s really a long process my dear, but be patient and believe that this long process will produce beautiful results. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist but it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We’ll see it all then, see it all, as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly as he knows us. But for now, as things are not done yet, keep that love within and wait until the fight is won.

And when the time comes that you need to leave, it’s OK my dear, When God calls you to another place and it’s the right time that you have to go; I will be glad and be proud of you. Your success will be my success. When you fail, remember that your failure will be your strength too. And when the moments you are down, remember how we fight together. My prayer will go with you wherever you are. Then you’ll see that you are never been alone in this journey.

notes: 1cor.13tmsg, 1cor. 12:12-31 tmsg

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My First Blog Post

What I write doesn’t sell

Even if it’s a really bad story that’s clumsily written, the part that seem real and appear to be based on the feelings that the writer experienced never fail to touch your heart. sometimes, such a sense of realness can repel readers. if that happens, the book won’t sell.

— Miss Hammurabi.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

I’m letting go

“This was the last thing I expected to hear, and I walked off with a heavy heart because I was holding on tight to a lot of things and I’m not about to let go……….”

I was ready on that day to come when I could finally meet him and be with him forever. “I am ready”, I thought —-ready to give the things that he would ask, in able for me to stay with him for the rest of my life. Ready to do the things that I must do just to gain his love. Thus, I prepared for him so that he would be pleased, and finally, that day has come. I built up strength and courage to stand in front of him and face him with confidence. I was so excited on that day because I thought everything will go right, but it was just a thought. A thought that sometimes was too far from reality, the thought that “I can” but reality says, “I can’t”. The thought that “I was ready” but the truth is, I was wrong.

I came to him running, as he was preparing for a journey. I greeted him with great reverence and he stopped from what he was doing, then he looked at me and smiled. That smile was my strength to continue my purpose. At that moment, I wanted to show my passion and desire for him. I wanted to do something, to prove that I am worthy for him and so I asked him, “What must I do to pursue you?” he simply told me the basic things, because I think the basic was always required. Though I knew that I’m doing it already and I kept it from the start. And so, I was thinking “What else must I do?” but I think he knew it already, the question that was in my mind. For a long moment, there was silence. He simply stared at me and as I waited for his answer, I looked at his eyes and I felt the earnestness of him. Then, he began to say the words, but when I heard them—I felt the heaviness of my heart. I didn’t speak a single word, crestfallen, I walked off. Then my tears began to fall as I’m walking away from him because those words were the last thing I expected to hear from him.

“In denial”– the state where you are unwilling to accept the reality or refusing to admit the truth. Sadly, I was on that stage before I came to him. I thought I was prepared to go with him and to follow him, but I didn’t know that I’m fooling myself. I expected those words but I avoided it as if those words never exists. It was my defense to go out of reality — the reality of making a choice. I kept myself from facing those choices.  No— I was afraid of my choice, of making a choice that can break me.

“There’s one thing that is left,” he said as he stared at me for a long time. “Let go and come with me. If you want to give all you’ve got for me then, let those things go.” these were the final words that I heard from him; the words that awakened me to face reality. I knew from the start before I came to him; I knew that I need to choose. But I just couldn’t accept it, so I convinced myself that it’s ok not to choose and I’ll just come to him without the choice to make. I will just offer him good things, serve him for the rest of my life, and be a righteous person for him. “There’s no need to choose”, I thought that this way of thinking would be easier for me, but the painful truth came and broke this wall. No matter how I convince myself, still, I can’t escape from it. The truth will still prevail, it will keep on hunting you. As the saying goes “the truth hurts” and I agree because it was really painful. It was a tragic ending for me and a sad story for us. I knew that he was hurting too; I could see it on his face. It was painted on his face, the hope that I would choose him, but I was holding too tight to a lot of things that I can’t bear to let go. I don’t want to hurt him but I did. I really don’t want to choose but what I did was the answer and so, I was disappointed.

“How come?” how come that I did not choose him? I don’t get it! I don’t understand! Why we must have to choose?  Why I must have to let go? Is it not enough to just have the desire to be with him?

I walked away from his presence. That was the last time I saw him. The last time I talked to him. I guess, not every story had a happy ending. Days have passed; months of loneliness and emptiness; Years of regrets. What he said to me on that day made a big impact on my life.

I really don’t understand it at first, but at the end of the story, there will always be a lesson that we learn. The experience will give us a realization in life. The decision that we make will bring results in the future. It could be bad results or a good one, whatever it is, surely it leaves us a mark that will be remembered forever.

Choices are a necessary part of life, and no matter how we try to escape from it, reality will always catch us at the end.

The truth is, most of us were afraid to make a choice. afraid of its results, because even from the start we have already what we will choose. And from the start I already choose a choice, I can’t let go of myself.

But to be with him means to let go. The way to him is surrender.

But—How can I let go when I put my comfort in those things? How can I let go when I put my happiness on them? How can I let go when the rest of my life I’m living with it?

Everyone would tell us to let go but all of them also have things they kept on holding on. But the more I hold on, the more I feel the pain, the more it breaks me. And so, the more I choose not to let go, the more I allow myself to be stuck; stopping myself to move forward. What I didn’t know was; these things hinder me from seeing the best. It would make me miss the greater things in my life. What I didn’t know, I’m allowing it to control me and making me a slave.

To hold on those things is like building my house on the sand and when the storms, floods and strong winds came and beat against my house it will collapse and crash. And now, I feel like that I am crashing, because I built myself on the wrong set of choice, of things. I am full of the things of this world yet I am still not satisfied, there is still an empty space in my heart. And I wish I could go back to that moment to change it.

I was lost, I can’t find the way back to him. But these words keep on flashing on my mind, “let go”. Day after day, I hear these, as if I’m really hearing the sound of His voice. The more I neglect it, the louder it screams on my head. And unconsciously, little by little I’m learning to let go. Eventually, the chain in my heart had now been broken, I may lose the control but I will be free. Finally, I’m letting go.

My heart wants to go back again to that place but what if, it is too late? Again, I’m facing a new barrier between us, but the barrier has been broken when I’m finally remembered how he looked at me.

I remember his word but I forgot the most important one — the message through his eyes. This I forgot; the real answer. Before I choose on that day, he was gazing upon me with his eyes filled with love. He looked at me hard in the eye and loved me. This is his answer, from the very start he loves me. No matter what I choose, he will still love me. His love will remain forever. He gives me the assurance as he looks at me in the eyes and that kind of love secures me now. I know this time, I can hold on to this and it will never fail. There’s no reason now, for me not to come back to him. I’m setting aside my pride because his love will always be greater than this. Now, I decided to go back to that place. While I’m still a long way off, I saw him; he’s waiting for me. So I ran to him and he embraced me. Finally, I’m ready to embrace him back. Finally, I can come with him without the chain.

There are things I’ve realized why we need to choose. For it is impossible to love two things at the same time. It will end up hating the other. One will be devoted and the other will be despised.  One will be given more attention while the other one will be given less. Just like listening to two different songs, you can’t listen to two songs at the same time, because if you do you’ll get confused. You can listen and sing along to the other song while, the other one, though you can hear it, for a moment, gradually it will never be heard, it will end up as if it was not played.

Love demands your undivided heart. The moment that you are at the end of yourself that will be the time that you are ready to experience real love. When you’ve lost what is most dear to you, only then can you embraced by the one most dear to you. If you are full of yourself you can’t hold on to love because love means dying of yourself. With less of you the more you will be filled with love. And if you think that it will be too late for your happy ending, remember that it always depends on you. It is always your choice on what would be your ending.

Would you allow him to write the ending of your story? Would you move or be stuck forever? Be free or become a slave? To let go or miss the happy ending? It’s your choice. Love is voluntary.

But as for me, I’m letting go and continue to let go all those things so I can hold on to this love and I think it would be the way to my happy ending.

Reference:

Mark 10:17-22, Matthew 13:44, Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 15:20-21

The choice by max lucado

A call of grace

Every day was a routine. What’s happening now has happened before. Everything was done repeatedly; we eat, work, and sleep. Things are the same over and over again. As the writer of Ecclesiastes has said that there’s nothing new in life, I guess I agree with him… until one moment comes.

That one day in your life will give you a big impact. Those moments are the ones that are breaking the habit; a moment where dyed-in-the-wool will disappear, a certain moment that even if it’s over; it will still go on. They are lasting moments that stays even after years have passed. These certain moments holds meaning in our life. They make the old ones become new. And at the spur of the moment, it happens.

I came from a well to do family so I almost had everything but I grew up in a tradition where everything that is written in the book of law must be obeyed. So I mastered everything and strictly followed the law that’s why they call me Mr. know it all, and then I became a prosecutor of the law. I do what it takes to be done when it comes to obeying the law. If there’s a violation, there will be consequences even if it means death. Because this is what I think is important in my life. This is what I know that life is all about, so I work hard every day. Until that one day came and everything changed, when the knowledge I knew became useless. In an instant, my life was never the same again.

I was on my way to do my work when suddenly there was a light that shone down on me. It was the brightest light that I’ve ever seen, and then I heard a voice calling me. At first, I thought it was one of my companions but the voice was not familiar. It is sounded like a sweet song in my ears but also like a clap of thunder that can make me tremble. I don’t know the exact feeling I felt on that day. Am I afraid because I’ve heard a voice but no one was there? Am I dreaming? How did he know my name? Or am I going crazy? But there is one thing that I do want to know; why am I being called? And who is it who calls me?

I heard him a lot of times but what I only knew was his name. Everything I did was against him and everything in him was different from what I know. Then there is this moment when light breaks the darkness. I experienced him for the first time. I saw a glimpse of who He is. I am amazed yet afraid because I know that maybe this will be my last time to live, but there is something in his voice that calms my fears. At that moment, what I saw is not how righteous I am but how sinful I am. What I thought I was doing the right thing is different from what I saw on that day: I saw how wretched I am. I fell on the ground due to the brightness of the light and my knees can’t deny that he is holy. He must’ve condemned me for what I have done. He must bring judgment upon me just like what I did to others, instead, I only heard him say “get up”. I don’t understand why there’s no accusation or condemnation but I felt something that I’ve never felt before; a sweet moment. My heart was beating for the first time with a new purpose. I didn’t get what I deserve but I got the opposite, something that I don’t deserve. I must be punished but he called me to be part of his work. In just a blink of an eye, I am changed. Yes, quickly as it is, I think there’s a power in that call. What I am now is the product of that moment. The moment that will never be forgotten. The day I decided to follow him.

What happens next is the start of my journey as a Christian. But in every story there are always two sides; the beautiful sides which are the ones that are mostly revealed and the ugly ones which are mostly ignored. The beginning was lively and exciting; the first time syndrome is what I call it: Breathtaking, passionate, the butterfly in the stomach and the “bring it on” mood, these are the experiences which are worth boasting about. But along the way what is an exciting moment becomes a tiring moment. when the path is no longer easy when the fields are now empty and barren when there’s no longer growth when the situations keep going wrong, when the passionate loses his own passion and when the fire burns out. These are the things that expose weakness and I know it is not worthy to boast about it. But I’m going to do it otherwise anyway and I’m about to tell you the other side of my story.

Everyone now knows me for being selfless, bold and passionate. My role now is really remarkable. I remember the first time I did things beyond my capabilities when I made prophesy to the wizard that he will be blind and guess what? It happens. That was the first time I saw the Holy Spirit working within me and that the same day a lot of people became believer including the governor. I was in awe for the many miracles and wonders which happened in my life like growing ministry, healing the sick and growth of the believers. There comes a time that the unbelievers made a plan to destroy our works but they didn’t stop us. I was full of joy serving the Lord that even though there’s plenty of difficulties it doesn’t matter to me what I only want is to glorify Him. Isn’t this is the feeling of being in love? You are so excited to tell about him, doing the things that you thought you can’t do even foolish things. Just like what you felt when you first encountered him is what I feel. It doesn’t matter if I’ll be beaten, be put in prison, have sleepless nights, gone without food and endure the exhaustion. The love that I experienced was too deep that I consider everything else worthless compared to the priceless worth of knowing him. It was really a turning point in my life. Because of these works, I am well known to people. There are times they used my story in preaching or for inspirational talks, and the other people treat me as a saint.

But the story will not always be about triumph and no one knows what’s happening behind the curtains. When no one is watching they don’t know the shameful things I did, because in the dark side lies all the secrets.

Do you know the hardest part of a Christian journey? It is not the troubles we experienced but the moment we fall into sin and struggle to go back to him.

Yes, you read it right. I have sinned, and every day I fall into it and keep repeating doing the same thing. Everyone thought that when we became a Christian the old has already gone, and we are no longer doing the sins that we did before. That’s what I also thought, but then again here comes the moment when my feelings surpass my purpose. Before, I do every kind of desire of the flesh because I live without understanding the command of God but when I became a Christian and learned his command, at first I am zealous to obey him and I always try not to do the wrong things but sin took advantage of those commands to kill me every day. The law is holy and spiritual but the trouble is with me for I am all too human, I am also a slave to sin no matter how I try to escape. I really don’t understand myself, for I want to do what is right but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the opposite, the things that I hate most. People see everything good that I do but the truth is, nothing good lives in me because of my sinful nature. Yes, I don’t want to do what is wrong but I do it anyway. I love God’s command with all my heart but this command also brings judgment in me. There’s a power within me that is always at war with my mind and this power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. And I am back of being miserable again. It was really hard; no amount of words can describe the pain within me. Every day was a battle inside of me and I am tired of it. Most of the time the feeling of guilt and condemnation arouses within me. I said to myself many times “I don’t deserve to be an apostle” because I am weak and there comes this moment I want to give up because of the frustration that I am a Christian yet I failed Him. I committed a sin that I mustn’t do.

That’s the moment I begged the Lord to take it away from me. At that moment, I wanted to escape from everything. Isn’t that the best choice we have when things are getting tough? When we can no longer withstand the pain?

Three times, I pleaded on Him, I pleaded on Him because I know in myself that I am not worthy to be chosen as part of His work. So I tried to get away from him and from His calling but He said to me, “My grace is enough. It’s all you need; my power works best in weakness”. These words took me back to the moment where I first heard His call: the call of grace. Flashback happened and I realized it was a gift to those people who are undeserving. Once I heard that I was glad to let it happen. At first, I admit, I didn’t think of it as a gift but when I heard His word I began appreciating the gift. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down but what he in fact did was push me to my knees. It’s not easy to talk about my weakness because we live in this world where weak people are losers. It’s not also easy to share your dark side because of the fear of judgment from the people. But what’s amazing with God is every single detail in your life is made beautiful. I have not already reached the perfection and I have not yet achieved that goal but I will fight a good fight for my faith and finish the race by His grace, I will let Christ take over on my weakness and so the weaker I get the stronger I become.

So whatever you’re going through and even if you’re struggling in sin right now let this sink in your heart again: His grace is enough and it’s all you need to overcome your weakness. So shut down all those lies from the enemy that you are not worthy to be called and that you always failed. Because from the very beginning, before you are born you are already called by His grace, with His blood poured on you He will bear your dark side. With His grace, He redeemed you from your sin. That’s why there’s no reason for you to stop. If He has not told you that you are out, then don’t stop running your race and for I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love even the greatest sin you have ever committed because there’s no chain that this love can’t break so throw your excuses, stand up and begin again. And if in case you forgot, I believe there will always be this moment that you will find yourself going back on that moment, when you find grace in His eyes and when it happens, allow that grace to change you because that’s all you need to keep going. And I also want to share this:

when you’re at the end of your rope that’s the moment you will find him carrying you through, with less of you there is more of him. When you are weak, he is strong. You’ll be embraced by him tightly and surprisingly you’ll see yourself that you make it through. That’s what I called grace and that grace finds me.  I am Paul, an apostle of Christ; a sinner yet I am who I am by his grace.

Did you hear it? Grace is calling you again:

 “GET UP”, you are now breathing in my Grace.

Notes:

Acts 9:1-19, 2 corinthians 12:1-10, Romans 8:38-39

Good Job

To the Brave one,

Good Job! For the past few days, you’ve done well. It’s amazing how you handle your stressful days and your sleepless nights. I see how you choose patience and understanding over being short-tempered. You know what? I see your confidence today, by standing strong this morning. I see how you are brave enough to face all the challenges of “tomorrow”. As the sun rises you also rise with a new hope painted in your heart and as you greet “good morning” you declared your victory to the world. I’m also seeing your beauty in everything you do. Your hands; on how you use it in giving, your ears; on how you listen to your co-workers, your eyes; on how you look at people with love and oh—your lovely voice, your words are an encouragement to other people and what I really like the most is your love for God.

I know that every day you struggle just to choose God over everything. You really did a good fight over your desires! Your prayers are like music in the ears of God. Your sacrifice is like an aroma that goes straight to heaven and when you poured out your heart it’s like an offering that could make the Creator’s hand move.

But—

I notice that you are tired and I can see that you are getting weary. As you lose your passion, the “fullness of life” in your eyes came to pass. You feel like you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere that you can’t move. Your purpose became so blurred that you can’t see anymore the clarity on how it began. You lost your Joy yet I know you are fighting, but you are fighting without the reason of “why”.

Rest. I know that sounds cliché because you thought you’re doing it already. But please, REST AGAIN. Rest, until you regain your life. Cry out, until you find your Joy again. Hold, until it finally let it go. Fight until you surrender. Cover, until you finally let that bruise and wounds unveil. Wander, but don’t wander too long and please… Make sure to COME BACK HOME.

Come back. Just come back and cling onto your calling again. I’m one of those who witnessed on how you look at those young people before with compassion as if you’re looking at your old self. You guard well your purity for them to save theirs. You share their burdens by simply making time for them. You listen to the shout of their hearts. You never ignore their complaints to this world. You became their light. You showed them their value by demonstrating the work of Jesus on the cross. You tell them how much Jesus loves them because you, yourself have experienced how the overflowing love of God works. And your prayer is not just about yourself but to this generation. I see how you love the young generation, I see your desperation for the revival, I see how you fight for them and I will never forget on how you choose to die daily for them to live.

so Don’t stop!. Because they need you. Bring it back! Because that is the greatest “why” you need so as to finish the goal.

I understand that you are tired, I know that just like them you are lost, too broken. That at this point in your life you just want to quit because your strength is gone. Yes, I tell you that it’s okay. it’s okay to feel that way because just like them you are still human and imperfect. That no matter how strong you are or how brave you are, how talented you are and how good you are, you will still fail. Just like the lyrics of the song we listen “even the best fall down sometimes”. So dear, it’s okay. It’s fine to rest. It’s ok to back out in the fight. It’s ok not to work and decided to go to bed all day long and not do anything. It’s ok to shut the door and to be alone. It’s ok to put that earphone so as not to hear the voices that surround you. Just for a while……

Let me share something to you; some realization from the movie I’ve watched which is entitled the good doctor. While watching it, I noticed that every time that the surgery went well, the doctor(Mr. Park) always tells the patient “good job”. at first, I wonder why? Because typically, we hear those words only from the surgeons who made the operations successful for they were the ones who did all the works and gave their best to save the lives of the patient, but I realized lately…. that the real one who did a good job is not just the surgeons alone but also the patient himself who fights until the end just to survive. A patient who chooses to hold tight to his/her life to be alive again.

That no matter how painful the treatment would be, how hard the process was and how they fear the result of not knowing what might happen next, still they hold on.

Dear, I just want you to know that there comes a time that you are the patient, not all the time you are the doctor who treats people to get well. In facing this world you’ll get wounds and bruises that are too deep for you to cure on your own because life is a battleground and just like those patients who faced the uncertainty of life all you have to do is to embrace the treatment and choose to live again no matter what. Make a tight grip to your life dear because that is what our true Doctor(God) wants; to see that we are desperate to live and seeing that we see our purpose in living. So GOOD JOB my dear! you went through a lot these past years and you’ve done enough. well done! Let’s always remember what Mr. park had said in the last scene:

In order to become a good doctor, one needs to have a lot of pain. To understand others’ pain, one must come to an understanding of one’s own pain. So I’m going to feel pain every day and I think I’ll be okay.

The good doctor

It’s just the same; we decided to feel the pain in order to feel theirs. We decided to be selfless in order to save them. At the end of the day, you’re gonna be okay and someday you will be a good doctor also, not literally but a good doctor to every soul.

So for now, just for a while let’s enjoy and be healed to the touch of our great Doctor Jesus ☺

THE BEAUTY OF A SHADOW

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gracepluggedin

Behind the scene

THE BEAUTY OF A SHADOW

This morning when you wake up, can you do me a favor? Before you go to your comfort room, before you brush your teeth, before you comb your hair and look onto your Smartphone, before you fix your bed and do the first thing you need to do; will you stop for a while? And stay on the bed where you are sitting right now. That’s it! Let him gaze upon you just for a little time, because this is the moment that he likes seeing you; your eyes, nose, lips and everything in you. Yes! Include those moles, pimples and warts…. Ohhh– even your dark spot, eye bags and your birthrights/marks. Let him captures your beauty and savor it for a moment because this is the perfect view he has ever seen and I know he would be satisfied; just enough to bring this all day long. You know what? You always put a smile on his face so that’s why; can you do it every day?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday, as you got off from your bed I saw you looking on the mirror, you stared enough in yourself with a wish of “if I were just…. I will be better”. When you left the room, you brought the thoughts of wanting to be someone who’s greater and better than yourself, and as I watched you eating with your friends, someone asked each one of you a question that broke your silence. “If you were given a chance to choose a role in movies, what would it be?” just as your friends; you answered her with the name of a main character yet that question remained in your mind until now.

“Who doesn’t want to be a main character anyway? The coolest role centered in the story, always on the spotlight, the most, the wanted, beautiful, the winning role and the one who shines brightly among the others”. That’s the thought you have in your mind. That desired… Is the desire I saw before I’ve seen it today. Just like them you also desire that role. That desire of wanting to be seen, desire of being appreciated, the desire of getting applause from the audience and the desire of perfection. I’ve seen it; yes, until now.

I see everyone keep on proving themselves; I see the competition of wanting to be great; they keep on doing their best to rise up to the top and when they fail, frustration happens. I see that their success based on how many achievements they have: diplomas, money, and businesses. I see how they put their worth on the number of likes and followers on social media. I saw it– and I know He also did. He sees that heart eager for perfection but never appreciates the grace and mercy. He sees those eyes that focused on the stage and spotlight but never look on what is “behind” the scene. He sees the desire for greater things but despised the small things. He saw people, which often forgot the real meaning of beauty, and was easy for them to lose sight to the things that are unseen. He saw everyone saying, they are satisfied but failed to show it. People who shows that they are okay but failed to prove it. No matter how they try to hide it they can’t conceal the truth to themselves, but—

What does it really mean to be a main character? What does it really meant about being great? What does it really mean to be beautiful? Is it having a pretty face? Having lots of talent? Or is it to be perfect in everything you do and not committing any mistakes? Why is it that most parents are proud of their children when they get the highest grade or excel in every area but disappointed when they failed? Why do people look down to each other when they make mistakes? Why do people need to compare when they don’t have to? And why do we lose focus on what really matters? These questions came up not just on me but also on you. Yet I know that the answer for such questions is to look again on his eyes and to go back again to the day he first saw you. He has seen it. He saw and he sees.

Before Paul became great apostle, he was Saul. He saw what he did. He was a persecutor. He was also the reason why Christian suffered. We called him a villain because of what he did. We saw Saul as antagonist but Jesus saw him as protagonist in this story.

We also know Peter as one of the great disciples, who preached in thousands of people, he healed many sick; he was also one of those who turned the world upside down. But he is also Simon. Who denied Jesus three times, he was fearful, the one who struggle in faith and forgiveness (see mat. 18:21). We knew him as a fisherman but He called him as fishers of men.

This other one may not be so known among the others. He only had a few scenes with the master unlike peter who was always present in every scene. We don’t know much about this person or his works. What we only knew was; he was the one who leaned on to Jesus’ bosom and the only one who’s present during the time of crucifixion. We don’t notice him but he recognizes him as John the beloved: the disciple whom Jesus loved. We don’t know the reason but John finds favors in His eyes. Another man was Jonathan. He must be a main character because he was the son of a king. We expected him to be on the spotlight and we thought he would be the next king but unfortunately, he was the supporting role. He should be the one who will replace King Saul. He could choose to be on King Saul side. He has faith and bravery like David (see 1 sam14:4-15) so He had all the rights to be the lead role. He could, but he chose not. He chose to support David no matter what. He chose to be sidekick of the hero than to be the hero himself. He remained loyal to David even in exchange was to disobey his parents and could cost his life. He embraced his role until the end. For us we saw him as just a friend of David but for him he saw his fidelity, he saw him not just a sidekick but one of the most admired figures in the story.

–The blind, the demon possessed the lame, the paralyzed, and the man with the leprosy, the Samaritan woman, the bleeding woman and the others. They are not so popular compared to the names that were mention. They don’t have the names. We just call them according to what we saw; their disabilities. We don’t know about their lives, what we know was their defects and their limitations. We called them as an extra in the story but not to Jesus. What Jesus saw on them was hope, hope that could show to the generation. He saw a miracle; for us to believe. He saw an opportunity so he can perform his glory for us to be in awe. He saw witnesses to spread the good news to us. Yes, we don’t know them at all but they made a big impact to this world. They are not just part of the story. They are the story.

And lastly; Judas. One of the disciples of Jesus. We knew him for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus. Everything that we knew about him was only the bad things like he was greedy and a thief. His life story ends with tragedy. We see him as annoying character in the story; we see him as people who don’t deserved to be one of disciples, but to Jesus– he chose him from the very beginning. He saw something in Judas that we didn’t see. He saw what Judas will do in the future even the night when he betrayed Jesus, but Jesus still called him a friend (see mat. 26:50). Jesus knew from the beginning but still he chose Judas. He trusted Judas enough that he appointed him to be in charge of moneybag though we called him a thief. We never saw Jesus deserted Judas even if he knew that he would be the one that would cause his suffering. He treated Judas as really part of his family. We saw Judas as the one who messed up the story, but to Jesus…. His betrayal was seen as setting in the events that led to crucifixion and resurrection that brought salvation to humanity. Jesus did not condemned him, he just give him grace when he said “my friend, go ahead and do what you have come for”. For Jesus, He saw him as the darkness that allows the stars to shine.

He sees Saul and Simon as Paul and peter. He also saw peter and Paul as Saul and Simon. What the world would throw and treat as garbage Jesus treats them as treasure in his kingdom. He has seen them from the very beginning and he has seen you too from the very beginning. The world may see you as a shadow; unnoticed, unknown. They might see you as an extra or supporting role, a small part of the story. They may not recognize your works; the crowds may not praise you because you are behind the camera. They may not appreciate you because of the failures they saw in you. But what He saw and what He see is greater than what they saw and what they see in you. I know, there would be times that you’ll get weary because of not being recognized by the crowds, there are struggles that you wanted to be upfront and you do no longer want the hidden role. Just like the disciples where an argument arose among them asking, “who was great?” to the point they asked their master. They once desired to be famous and to be on the highest rank. I don’t know how it started but maybe because they lose their focus along the way. Their eyes were now looking on the crowd and not on the purpose. Their vision was clear before, but they let the voice of the world blind them. The desire of pleasing the audience of one was replace by the praise and applause of people. So Jesus secured their insecurity with this answer “whoever becomes simple again will rank high in God’s kingdom and whoever wants to be great must become a servant”. His words silenced their proud heart; for Jesus the meaning of great is different to what we know and what we see. To be great is to be at the lowest rank. For us, we don’t see the beauty of being a servant, being a hidden piece, being a supporting or extra and being a shadow of the one who is great. We are longing for the fame, for the approval. You wish that someday you too will be the leading role, that the stage and spotlight will be yours. That sometimes you look on yourself as small because you considered the opinions of many. You keep doing everything just to reach the standard made from the lie of the enemy. You feared to commit mistakes just for you to be accepted by others forgetting how special he made you. You allow the voices of this world to identify you that you no longer see your true identity; just like them…you can’t see clearly the beauty of the shadow.

We see shadow as merely a black object. We see nothing special to it. Sometimes it is creepy because of his texture. Shadow exists but mostly ignored (not being totally visible). They are part of the picture but neglected. But the truth is shadow plays an important role. Yes, it exists because it has a role. Do you know what makes a shadow? It is when the light is there, when the sun is shining everything has its shadow. We see our shadow when we are in the direct light. The shadow will not exist when we are in the dark without light. What do I mean here? Shadow is an evidence that there is a light. Shadow is a reflection of an image. Someone told me that a shadow is a twin, an imitation where you go and what you do; it copies everything. Light and shadow is are twin. When where is light there’ll also the shadow. Without the visible shadow it means there is no light and when there’s no light we don’t see beauty in our surrounding. The shadow is what makes the beauty become real. The shadow also known as a shelter from danger or observation according to Merriam-webster. we see the shadow as nothing but without it I think beauty will not exist as Tanikazi said “we find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness. That one thing against another creates…. Were it not for shadow, there would be no beauty”. Shadow is beauty behind the glamorous we see. Maybe you don’t see your beauty because you’re looking on the small things you have, just like the story in the bible (matthew 25:14-25) you take it for granted the small things, missing out the greater things behind that small ones. But Jesus teaches us the small things also matter.  “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different but similar parts arranged and functioning together….. God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided his best.”(1 cor. 12:14-18) in his eyes you’re not just nothing; you are something that creates greater. In his eyes you are beautiful and desirable. To him you are seen, you are appreciated. Without you there’s no great story will happen. You are truly beautiful. let his word secured you today “to me, you are very dear, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).“You are fearfully and wonderfully made” (psalms 139).

I know; you have already heard this many times. Everything that I wrote here you might already know, you have read it many times in a different book what they say and what I say was just the same. This just a basic, but this basic is what you need. You need to hear it again. Again and againUntil this truth will make a home in your heart, until it dwelt and not just to visitted. Maybe today after you end reading this blogs you will finally see beauty of the shadow but I also know that many days shall passed it will be forgotten but in case you forgot again let this word be your prayer “rabbi, I want to see”. And as God opens your eyes, let him stare on you with love and secured you as you look at him and find your beauty in his eyes…

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart”. –Hellen keller

As I woke up today, as my eyes opened. I smiled. Oh I’m staring now the beauty that I’ve never seen before. I will be still and gaze for a while to this beauty as I’m hearing the sweet whisper telling “a little longer please just simply be with me”. I don’t know him a lot but one thing that I do know I was blind but now I see…

Notes:

Links:https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/05/28/in-praise-of-shadows-tanikazi/

Inspired by the series of she was pretty

behind the why

Everything always start with this question:

Why do we do what we do?

Because everything has a reason. Behind that passion there’s a story that lies there. Because every story has a start and everything start when the moment we think to answer the “why.”

So why does I write? At first, I find it as my comfort place where I could express my feelings (those feelings I can’t express personally) then later on I find it as a hobby and thinking that one day I will be one of the authors who write the best selling books. But as time goes by, this shallow reason turn into a deep reason. For a long time, I wonder what is really my reason behind this why then I pray for it; asking him to reveal and test my motives and direct my desire to His will. And it turns out to a-ah moment when I finally found the answer to my why. As I’ve, watch the series of the drama titled miss Hammurabi, when I heard that line I know inside of me: this is the reason why I want to write: to touch the heart of the reader and go beyond reading other’s stories.

More than just the passion its the heart; a love for everything we do, as one of my mentor said “puso ang puhunan sa lahat ng bagay.” Not at all is a good story to write, but i think its ok as long as there’s realness of love and that makes it a good story.
I’d love to hear your story. will you allow me?