Breaking The Silence

I typed quite a long essay just in time for a contest and to make up for the silence I practiced in almost a month but something happened when I was done writing (I think it may be intentional) so it was all erased. So much for the contest.

I might as well break the silence now.
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First, I would clarify that my silence has allowed for some time to rest and heal. I have been hurt, accused and insulted way beyond the norm. Yet in all that, I believe I am still not getting what I deserve. I deserve worse than what I am having now, for my betrayal and disobedience. By God’s grace, He has let me recover and even allowed me to speak on His behalf. What a great God.

The attacks I have received are the very things I have done to some people, maybe even worse. I hope my apologies, through this message, will reach those whom I have falsely accused, hurt and insulted. I know the feeling and I know how it is to be forgiven. I (same with Dale) forgive those who have mistreated me, intentionally or not.

There were things I wrote in anger, but because God instructed me to be silent, I was able to remain quiet and kept to my notes in private, painstakingly restraining myself from posting publicly. However, seeing that privacy is easily compromised, my words might have been read, after all. I am sorry again; I didn’t mean to be so careless, causing so much trouble. I know little in the reality but I feel the weight in the supernatural. I have finally accepted that God allowed it to happen, basically to humble and break my stubborn attitude. Not much of a matter now because I am out of the wilderness—redeemed and renewed both in mind and spirit. Thank God again. I am now at the mercy of Him whom I have offended—God Himself.

There is a message from God. Two actually. A warning first. Dale has been affected by the way I was treated. In his prayer, he spoke a curse, first in a foreign tongue and without an interpreter, we were only able to perceive the weight of it, so we couldn’t tell exactly, let alone rebuke it. This morning, (more than a month after), he said it again, this time in English. I asked whether I need to write it or not (writing it would set it in stone and I am frightened for the people involved) but he said yes. Everyone deserves to have a chance to ask for forgiveness. God will have mercy to whom He will have mercy.

“Our enemies will have their heads on the table,” Dale said. This refers to the ones responsible in harassing us day and night. At that moment, I saw the heads. There were many. It was a long table. Those who had ill-intent towards us. It was clear that it was not necessarily about death. It came with the figurative vision of those of us whose heads are on a plate ready to be served to these people. But God is saying to His people, “They put your heads on a plate, but their heads are already on the table.”

I have made a lot of mistakes in judgement, foolishness in my actions and unrighteousness, especially in using my skills. Along the way though, I believe I have made some friends with some strangers. Thank you to all who listened and did their best to protect me. I also have friends (even those who were more blind than I am of the situation) covering me in prayer, even now. Thank you.

Now I understand why some things should not be ventured into. If curiosity killed the cat, then I either have more than nine lives or I am not a cat. I also gained a valuable lesson that sometimes, withholding the truth from a person means protection, and prolonged silence sometimes calls for a state of trust. I was blindfolded with the good intention to be spared. The silence on my part, however, is a gesture of respect and breaking it is a way to honor my word.

In the end, I have learned that there is no shame when one is covered by the blood of Christ. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It does not matter what we did yesterday if we can look forward to tomorrow. The consequences come but nothing should hold us down. His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

After the tumult, there is always the promise. After the storm, a rainbow is expected. Let us hold on to His power and might.

To my friends out there, I believe I should call all of us to rise up. I see artists, writers, intellectuals fading into depression and death day by day, weighed down by weaknesses, sometimes shame and oftentimes loss. Let us rise up against the glorification of misery and hopelessness; it is time to glorify the One whom glory is due. We should uphold instead the beautiful, the noble and the pure—Jesus Christ. We are, after all, the great minds of today and we should not be intimidated by fear. Let us stop looking down at ourselves and instead, let us look up to God, who will use the very weapons used against us to destroy the works of the enemy—the evil that lurks around to steal, kill and destroy.

Arise, my friends, for what is there to lose? They seek to divide us, have us fight against each other when we should be working in unity. Each one of us has a calling and a specific purpose. Let’s use them together to fight darkness as we all side with the Light. What’s the point of a long life, barely living, if we can live fully for a day? What is there to lose?

We all have our flaws. We all can be tricked to do something against our honor in our darkest moments. Whether we have been caught or not, we all are not immune to sin and temptation. It is the beauty of God’s grace which is sufficient in our weakness.

What else is there to lose? But in Christ we have everything to gain. Let us surrender to Christ. No one can stop us from serving His purpose. We are all unworthy and that gives more power to love. His love is even stronger as He calls us.

Arise, friends. I have documented and recorded the darkest parts of me and I am caught in the midst of the shame. What else is there to lose? God is making me stand on solid ground, on dry land, for my confidence is in Christ. I am being talked about and ridiculed, maybe at this moment. However, I do not live to please these people. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. God restores my heart everyday. He is that good. He is in control.

I invite you into the presence of a holy God who knows how to love. Encounter Him. Be empowered by Him. Embrace Him.

His love is everlasting. I have learned that after all the pain and destruction caused by and inflicted upon me, love triumphs. For nothing can force-spark the flame of love as much as nothing can force-snuff it out.

If we are going to risk our necks anyway, let us do it as free men who have a purpose. Let us find something worth throwing our life into.

Matthew 10:26-31
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 13:44-46
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

2 Tim 1:7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Power of Love

My poem, Continuous is on Spillwords Press. It is about the ability of love to take over a whole being.

link:
http://spillwords.com/continuous/

The piece first appeared here July last year (2016). Hope you enjoy! Please remember to rate it. 

I wrote here a supposedly short description but somehow, my thoughts flowed all over the page. You may read it below.
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I have found myself in a most important journey of my life—in search for the meaning of love. As a writer, I looked everywhere including what people like to discuss the most, i.e., romantic love, and we have known that over the years in the lives of humans, romance has been the favorite subject of literature, poetry, art and even technological advances. Everything seems to be made in connection with beauty and romance and it is not easy to ignore. Everyone must have their own opinion and everyone has experienced it even for at least a moment in their life. Interestingly enough, I think the meaning of love in the context of romance remains elusive, for I believe when a topic is most discussed, it is left to be most misunderstood.

I pored over the Song of Solomon in this quest, since I believe Solomon himself had that zeal and passion (a hundredfold, perhaps) to search for the same thing— what with having experimented all his life with abundance of his riches and skills at his disposal—to acquire for himself 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines.‭‭ (1 Kings‬ ‭11:3‬) Surely an outstanding feat! The authorship of the book of Songs has always been attributed by Bible scholars to the king in the early days of his reign, so we keep that in mind.

The recurring verse(phrase) in the book of Songs, that I think is also most widely used is this: “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it is ready.”

The word love is a form that in other translations was noted to have an addition “[my] love” and is used several times in the book in the exchange of words between the lover and his beloved. It’s slightly different with the “love” used in referring to those of the other daughters of Jerusalem. The same form of (root of the word) love is God’s love for Israel (1 Ki 10:9, 2 Chron 2:11,9:8), Ephraim—his descendants (Hos 11:4), and the very love that Israel seeks (Jer 2:33); it is the love that covers a multitude of sins and keeps no record of wrong (Prov 10:12, 17:9); everlasting love of God (Jer. 31:3); it is also how Jonathan loved his own soul, as his love for David surpassed even those of women (1 Sam 20:17); and it’s the love of a bride to her groom in her youth (Jer 2:2) and Hosea’s love for his harlot wife (3:1). Love this good is poetically described to somehow season the food one eats (Prov 15:17).

I have only mentioned a few instances and we already see the power of this kind of love that gets knit to the soul. But in reference to the verse, there is a warning that is repeated even towards the end of the book (Songs 8) as a conclusion: “Do not stir up nor awaken love when it is ready.”(v.4) It is unquenchable, its bond stronger than death (vv.6-7) powerful enough that losing it (in the context of God’s love) is as good as being cursed and punished severely (Hos 9:15). There is power and hence a danger, that in the case of Solomon’s brother Amnon’s love for their sister Tamar, it resulted in rape and hatred greater than his love (2 Sam 13:15). It was the same love used as the emotional blackmail of Delilah to demand from Samson (Judges 16:15). The real danger of this love is found in Solomon’s life for it has led his heart astray from the love of God. It caused him to worship other gods and turn away from the LORD. (1 Ki 11:1-2).

In all this, I could only say that power in itself takes no side in good or bad, right or wrong, security or danger. Rather, it is us as humans and our flaws and vulnerability that can somehow transform the power. Love, as seen as the love of God, that is, devoid of human frailty can go so far it can heal, save, and conquer anything on its way. A pure love that is not corrupted by lust, greed or selfish ambition is the kind that should be celebrated and aimed for. Yet, we know that only a holy and righteous God is capable of it, so much that even His own jealousy is justified. For putting anyone above God offends His nature. Love like his can hurt but it does not harm, and is capable of a transformation that turns a heart of stone into flesh. So powerful.

It was displayed in His son Jesus and is seen in whose sacrifice was not only on that day on the cross but from the moment he was conceived, stripped off his glory as king of kings, born as the lowliest of lowlies, subjected to his parent’s and temple authority until he came of age and was not supposed to use any of his spiritual gifts until he was baptized (except in Cana which he clarified was before his time). He was challenged as he was tempted in the wilderness (showing his love was beyond lust, greed or selfish ambition). Shamed all throughout until his torment and death, all for the salvation of the people who persecuted him. Forsaken by his Father at the last moment and He went on. That is the power of love. There was once a book of fiction that opened a suggestion on how Christ must have married someone before (Magdalene), since his love would have been incomplete otherwise. They have overlooked one basic teaching of Christianity, i.e., the lovely bride of Christ, which actually exists and is being prepared even on this day for the grand wedding—the Church. The body of Christ. His people. Growing more loved and in her first love as the wedding day approaches.

“Do not…until it pleases” speaks of timing and preparedness. For love is like a seed that grows and the farmer needs to be patiently using time to till the soil, tending the plant, to be ready for the harvest. Love may come naturally to us as humans, but the fruits are unnatural. Kindness, patience, mercy, joy, forgiveness, etc. It takes time to develop these. A waiting before the appointed time and a hastening and discernment when it does come, for seasons change and the fruits should not be left rotting on the ground but enjoyed. Freshness of the fruit is important for as humans, the newness of something is significant, even in our love. Our love should imitate that of Christ—a covenant bond (Neh 1:5) that is everlasting, unquenchable, being renewed day by day until that hour approaches.

This is how I conclude, though not fully, for I am still starting in my quest, learning things the hard way. I believe anyone who has not loved at all must have been most unfortunate to be deprived of life’s greatest pleasures, but perhaps, fortunate enough to be spared from the greatest torment that a bond of longing for possesion can impose to an imperfect human being. There is much to see in this journey, but nothing more than looking at the life of Christ and imitating His love more than anything. Otherwise, the power of love will not be used best in His purpsose. We trust Him, even in our instinct to love and seek love. His will is good, pleasing and perfect, after all. Everything is beautiful in His time.

Evelyn

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Interesting points about God’s love for additional study:
Zeph 3:17 – the love that can quiet
Psalm 22:6- love that secures
Prov 27:5, Rev. 3:19 – love that rebukes/disciplines better than hidden love
1 Jn 4:18 – perfect love drives out fear
Ps 136 – God’s love that divided the red sea, struck down nations and armies, overthrew kings, empires and rulers is the same love that rescues, nourishes, builds, restores, preserves and heals. Love that is fierce and unrelenting is also merciful, gracious, generous towards His people.

Conversations

“I’m like a passing wind. I come and go.”

“No. More like a hurricane. You destroy things along the way.”

“But it’s so that people can restart. Anew.”

“Yes. It’s your destiny. How many times have you done that?”

“It just happens. So am I like the harbinger of death?”

“Nope. You’re more like The Plague.”

“Do I look that bad? I always look like the bad guy?”

“Well, you do the dirty work most of the time.”

“Is that why I can’t stay in one place?”

“Good things come out of it. God sees that. But it doesn’t justify the wrong that you did.”

“Yeah. Sorry. Now, I don’t know if I should feel better or worse.”

“It will get better in time.”
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This is some real talk with my husband; it goes in deep. We were laughing in the middle. Crying some time before it and a little more after.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”-‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬