Do I begin by saying how much I’ve missed the blog and its readers? Or do I begin with the story of how my life has been these past months? Well, I’ll start from the latter and arrive at the former. Continue reading “Where to Begin?”
This title happens to be one of my favourite songs by Birdy. The lyrics below speak volumes:
You don’t have to do this on your own
Like there’s no one that cares about you
You don’t have to act like you’re alone
Like the walls are closing in around you
You don’t have to pretend no one knows
Like there’s no one that understands you
I’m not just some face you used to know
I know all about you
And you should know that someone cares about you
I know all about you
She, like anyone else had baggage. Admittedly, she was a hooker and everyone knew it. She’d hear the whispers whenever she passed by. But really, how was a pretty girl supposed to make money and get by? Of course she wasn’t happy about the turn her life had taken. She always wanted to marry and well, have kids. But who was she kidding; she was just a sex worker.
Something about him drew her close. He wasn’t like the others. He was- different. She observed him. His eyes were so transparent, she could see his heart. There was something there…something she had never seen. Was it love?
Sneaking into the elite party, she found her way to his seat. His eyes still held that thing for her. It thawed the ice inside of her as her tears began to fall in torrents. She knelt at his feet and cried some more, then pulled her silky hair loose to absorb the tears. With the one expensive Miss Dior bottle, she sprayed his feet till the entire room took up the beautiful scent.
He looked at her with compassion in his eyes. Saw all she had done but didn’t judge her. He forgave her despite the pile up of sins. He loved her and she in turn reflected his love like her eyes reflected his.
She loved much because she was forgiven much. –Luke 7:47
You know why some of us still have the time to judge others for their sins or place ours on a scale and see whose is the heaviest? Well, because we love little. Thanks to God who loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us. In so doing, He set an example of what love is. He was sinless and had every right to judge us but he didn’t.
Why then do we see others who sin and think it’s unforgivable? We put them on the stand and sentence them guilty. This, they’ve gotten used to. And for this reason, they won’t change. We will judge them anyway!
You can’t say you love and find it so hard to forgive.
We love much when we understand the gravity of our sins and the extent of His forgiveness. We love others when we realize we’ve all sinned and fallen short but God loves us anyway. This love, He expects us to extend to others.
It’s Valentine’s season and I couldn’t help dropping a message on love. Let’s love much because we know how much we’ve been forgiven.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends! ❤❤
Song of the week: You Love me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets.
Sometimes God uses extreme situations to get our attention. I’ve found this to be true. Days when I’m doing everything right and following my usual routines seem ‘blah’ in comparison to days when I trip and fall into temptation. Days when imperfection is boldly written across my forehead. Such days when I feel like a worthless piece of rag God wouldn’t want to have anything to do with – those are the days when I hear Him. When I feel Him. When I know without a doubt, the undiluted grace of God. You wouldn’t know the gravity of forgiveness until you’ve done something really wrong. Continue reading “Extreme”
Have you ever loved someone? Or something? I mean, have you had a favourite pet you held close to your heart? A baby you nuzzled in your bosom? A lover you held hands with? A friend you danced in the rain with? A teddy bear that meant something to you? A parent who had become your hero? Continue reading “Just Because…”
It’s day 24 of the A-Z Challenge! Only 2 days to go! Thank you Lord! 😀
Thanks for the topic choice by Chile. It looked a little tough for me as I hate to delve into political issues or racism and the like. But then I saw the Greek translation of the word which is a ‘fear of strangers or foreigners’. Webster’s dictionary also defines xenophobia as the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners. If I were to look at this politically, I would probably examine countries which are hostile to foreigners partly because they feel the foreigners are there to take what rightfully belongs to the indigenous people. Now that’s a whole web I rather not dive into.
So what do you think of strangers generally? Imagine you’re walking on a deserted street and some random dude starts walking towards you. Do you wait and indulge in a conversation or do you pick your steps and scurry along? I don’t know if it’s just me, but I would scurry along. All I would be hearing in my head is ‘stranger danger!’
I fear strangers. Come on! I’ve seen too many movies of people being kidnapped in white vans to get past that possibility. I would not likely stop at the call of a stranger while walking down the road.
But let’s get back to context. What’s it about foreigners even in our individual none ‘xenophobic’ countries? Why do we give them ‘the look’?
Yeah, I know you’ve given that look before when you see some foreigner. Like dude, why is your skin so white? Or why are you so short? Or why are you so black? Why is your hair so coarse?
Do you consider yourself as one who would make friends first with the new exchange student in class? Or would you rather guard your territory and stick to the faces you’re used to?
It’s almost safe to say we would react differently when it comes to strangers. We may not be hostile as in the case of xenophobic countries but a part of us will feel slightly cheated if that foreigner begins to take the first position or maybe gain a political office meant only for the indigenes.
So what’s the remedy?
Love conquers all and perfect love casts out fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18
The fear of strangers is definitely not of God and we sure need love to get past it! So the next time you’re privileged to be in the same class with an exchange student or work alongside someone of a different nationality, instead of being overcome by xenophobia, overcome the fear with love.
Love your neighbours as yourself; Remember that dude in the Bible who asked Jesus who his neighbour was? Yeah, so Jesus told him a story of someone who was robbed and left wounded on the road and some pious men passed but looked away. And this foreigner came along and helped him. (Luke 10:25-37)
You never know when you’ll be in need of help and they may just be the only ones who can help you at that point. Accept the foreigners around you and treat them well. Be kind to them.
I know my thoughts are slightly all over the place but I just want you to take this with you; perfect love casts out fear. And perfect love casts out xenophobia. Love a stranger/foreigner and be kind towards them.
God bless you for reading!
Lots of love,
It was a day to Valentines and I wondered what the day would bring. Appointments or disappointments, make ups or break ups. Would he send me a gift? Would he not?
My eyes trailed the lonely path to see a beautiful flower with delicate petals. I picked it up and watched as the flower felt secured in my palms. I lightly tugged at a petal and said ‘he loves me’ as the mild February breeze seized the little petal. I pulled out another and said ‘he loves me not’. As I began to pick other petals still repeating the same words, my heart shuddered at what the end of the game would yield.
I’ve always believed in love and I’ve probably watched too many Rom-coms that I can’t help but dream of the fairy-tale. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen tons of them where the girl was unsure of her man’s love and trusted the petals of a flower to tell her if he loved her or not.
Who doesn’t want to know if they are loved? Or the extents to which that love would go? That’s why there are love calculators and apps like M.A.S.H valentine or even a simple striking out game of ‘F.L.A.M.E.S’ which help you ‘know’ the extent of love or degree of compatibility.
So I lingered with the flower. Most people would say it was a lame game but it kinda meant a lot to me because I was unsure of his love for me. I never really doubted his love when I was on my best behaviour; when I was the good lover that spent hours and hours with him; who made him smile by adoring him. Yeah, he sure loved me then!
But what about the times when I was too busy for him? Times when I defiantly did the opposite of what he asked of me? What of the times I cheated on him…? My heart sank. I unconsciously squeezed the light flower in my palm and when I opened it, it looked really pale. Just like my love. 😦
‘He loves me…’
‘He loves me not.’
Three petals remained in my palm. You could already tell the result of my game. A smile that had been hiding behind the creases of my face turned up like the sun rising in the east.
I smiled at the last petal and whispered ‘he loves me.’
The thought sent electric waves down my spine. Like every lover, there were days when I was insecure about his love for me; days when I felt undeserving; days when I didn’t just feel like it- like today. But the result of the game said otherwise and I was willing to believe it.
Look! Listen! There’s my lover!
Do you see him coming?
Vaulting the mountains,
leaping the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;
like a young stag, virile.
Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,
all ears, all eyes—ready!
My lover has arrived
and he’s speaking to me!
SOS 2:8-10 (MSG)
He loves me! I screamed as the realization began to give me more meaning. He loves me no matter what I do. He loves how weird I get. He loves how I smile one minute and cry the next. He loves how I get weak sometimes and reach out to him for help. He loves all of me. My beautiful imperfections are truly loved by a perfect God! Nothing could ever separate me from that love! 😀 ❤ ❤
Do you ever feel unloved or undeserving? Here is a quick note to self;
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. -Rom 8:35-39 MSG)
***song for the day- His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew***
©Mfon Etuk, 2016