Tag Archives: faith

A very strange man and simplicity

Today as I was coming home on the train I noticed someone peculiar enter the train and sit not too far from me.  He had a confederate style long-coat from the Civil War, army boots from the Vietnam era but fashionably shiny!  Long disheveled hair that came scrunchingly down to his shoulders and the back of his head puffed up like he had just removed his morning pillow and checked it at the El Train entrance.  When he sat down a thought came across my mind, “Why is he wearing a confederate coat?  Oh no…he is probably one of those hyper-southern boys who think the south will rise again.  Daaaang it!  I hope he doesn’t go off on any black people in here.”

Upon sitting down he creased his face with a smile ever so slight, that if he were to relax it at all, it might appear he was more constipated than smiling.  The smile didn’t disappear for the entire ride.  In fact it would ebb and flow from a full out toothy smile to a mere smirk.  Most of the time he was just sitting there with his eyes closed.  At first I thought “Man this guy has to be on crack!  He’s enjoying his lonesome self WAY too much.”  There was just something off about him.

It was then that I noticed something horrible!  His hands were in his confederate coat, with his backpack on his lap, moving towards his “mid-section area”.  He even at one point……never mind, this is a PG rated website.  Suffice to say he was feeling himself up.

That’s where my story ends, and where my introspection started!  I thought to myself…

What if he was mentally simple?

What if in being simple, his world was really really small?

What keeps me from just busting out in an all out smile on the El?

Here are my thoughts.  We all like to feel taken care of, on a very basic level.  We like to have food in the fridge, we like to feel well and not sick, we like to feel loved, we like to feel as if someone, somewhere is thinking about us and cares for us.  We have all those needs, plus needs that we wish we didn’t have.  We wish we didn’t have bills, rent, an ornery teenager to confront when you get home, a leaky faucet your wife has been nagging you to fix, or you just wish you would feel satisfied with yourself, but you don’t because you may be a perfectionist, always SOMETHING to improve on.

Now what if all those went away!!  Yeah, what if there were no bills, no nasty comittments, no uncomfortable appointments….Boom!  Gone!  What if it was just you and your family.

Our ability of satisfaction is deeply connected with our appetite of things we desire.  If a man has a big stomach, it will take a big meal to satisfy him, whereas a small stomach requires less.  A mansion requires much furnishing and decor for it to feel like it was meant to be, a mansion.  You don’t put a studio’s worth of furniture into a mansion.

Are you happy?  Do you constantly feel under-par with yourself?  Our life appetite just may be too big for us!

Coming back to the stomach analogy, it may not be what food we get to fill our stomach, but where we get the food from.  A question of sufficiency!  We are beings that have been created for eternity, therefore we may find ourselves with a life appetite that nothing mortal or perishable can satisfy.  We are in need of something divine, something eternal, something that will LAST!!

Enter into the sufficiency of Christ!!

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If woman not hanged, a reward for killing her has been placed

Justice is hard-wired into all of us.  We all have a sense of fairness, and when injustice shows its ugly face, something cries out within us, “NO!  This is wrong!”

As of December 6th, 2010, Asia Bibi a Christian field worker in Pakistan, mother of five children, wife to a Christian husband, is scheduled to be hanged.  Why?  The allegations are more shaky now, as the accusers are being less specific, as it “will complicate matters” worse if they do say exactly what Asia said.  Her crime was speaking against the prophet Mohamad.

There is a possibility that she might be pardoned by the president.  This great news is quickly sombered by a threat shared by many.  A local cleric announced, with the backing and authorization of Pakistan’s second largest local newspaper, that if the judicial system does not hang her, a reward will be given to anyone who can kill her.

“Maulana Yousaf Qureshi, offered a 500,000 rupee (£3,800) reward to anyone who killed Bibi if the court fails to hang her.”

– The Guardian

Canada and other nations have offered asylum to Bibi and her family, if they survive what their kinsmen are threatening upon them.  While Asia is in jail, her family is continuously receiving death threats, saying things like “Wait til we get our hands on you.”

Brothers and sisters, do not be angered too much.  Don’t burn with hate towards the people carrying out these terrifying acts of injustice.  Instead, remember the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ,

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”

– Luke 6:27-28

Why?  Does it even make sense to love those who hate you?  If this life was all there was, no it would not make sense.  But because we serve a God who has provisioned life after death, a life eclipsing this one in greatness, it makes every bit of sense.  We Christians have an eternal focus, that allows us to truly not be afraid of what mortal man can do to us.

Jesus said, “love those who hate you.”  Why would God want you to love those Pakistanis, or anyone who would hate you?  God want’s them as his own.  God wants to redeem them.  Because God is eternal he works in his eternal scope of work.  It may take a believer loving a very hard to love person for them to hear the good news of salvation.  In God’s divinely perfect plan he has deemed us as messengers to the world, of the good news of Salvation to ALL who believe.

But in this hour, remember to pray for Asia and her family.  Soon she will join her maker in perfect paradise, but her family will be left with a scar of a memory, a testimony of their mothers faith, and a life to live on earth for God’s glory.  Losing a loved one is difficult, and honestly I can’t relate to the Bibi, but much painful struggle must be the theme of days recently.  Pray for strength for them, pray for perseverance, and safety!!

Don’t forget to pray for the Pakistani’s who are carrying out this unjust deed, also.  As Christ prayed on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Here are some articles to read about whats going on;

The Guardian – Cleric Puts Price on Pakistani Woman’s Head

altMuslim – A sip of water (a Muslims perspective on the event and a look into the blasphemy laws)

His Peace Upon Us – Death for Blasphemy? (a missionary who’s writing I’ve greatly appreciated)

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UPDATE!: January 11, 2010

Politician working on revising the Blasphemy laws, was asassinated last week.

At a market in Islamabad on Tuesday, Mr. Qadri pumped more than 20 rounds into Mr. Taseer’s back, Pakistani media reported, and yet was not fired on by any other member of the security detail, raising still more questions about whether any of the others knew of his plans in advance.

Mr. Qadri immediately surrendered, called himself a “slave of the Prophet,” and indicated that he had killed Mr. Taseer for his campaign against the blasphemy law.