Bondage Broken

Dear Friends,

How long are grudges supposed to last for anyway?

Is it till we are tired of the extra pain in our hearts, whenever the person walks into the room, or is it till we are desperate to sleep well and finally get that unnecessary discomfort out of our own heads, whenever that one person crosses our minds?

Or seriously, are we waiting to realize what we already know, that we are defying the number 1 commandment? That we are hurting God? That we have no right?

Either way this casual form of hatred is fueled by darkness, inspired by an eternity of madness, that slowly waits to kill us across seconds…..

So how long is it necessary to prove a point , that “YES!  I will continue to live like my sister does not exist, like she wasn’t made from the image of God,  like my total disgust towards her is an approved form of worship to the devil, the prince of hate, destruction and grudges.”  There is a difference between wisdom and living in death.

How long do I have to lie to myself that I am not at peace with myself, because I have an invisible black book  of enemies knitted in my soul, and it keeps growing and growing until my undefined end, when I stand before the throne of God on judgement day, and give Him a 1000 reasons why I just could not repent:

BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE RIGHT!!!

But hell isn’t made for those who have always been wrong, or those who truly love God, because if we are true holders of the cross, we would know how to treat our brother or sister first,

as Christ came when He gave up His all for us; His money, His Home, His freedom, His privacy, His family, His dignity, His marriage,His food, His clothes, His life, His blood, His sweat, Himself.

So, how much is a grudge really worth?…………………………………….        ……..

The next time I see those who betray, gossip, lie and persecute me, I will smile and say hi first. And I will mean all of it, as Christ died shamelessly on the cross for me and the one I labeled as “enemy”.

Forgiveness is bondage broken.

Psalm 49:13-15     Leviticus 19:17-18    Matthew 25:35    Colossians 3:13   Ephesians 4:31-32

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When we visit the homeless.

My visit to the food shelf, Sharing and Caring Hands, was truly a humbling and convicting, and immersive learning experience.  Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I knew then, that it must have been a divine appointment. I left the food shelf not just physically fed, but with a deep spiritual and emotional satisfaction.

Last Tuesday, I looked around in desperation for any way I could get through this project successfully. The only challenge I was facing was time. As a student who works 3 part time jobs, I was not expecting to have the pleasure of a 2 hour bus ride. I knew the only day I could truly trust myself to get everything done was Tuesday because the entire week was meant to be jam- packed with events and preparations for the approaching finals week. I spent so much time panicking on how soon I could finish the assignment, I did not prepare myself mentally or spiritually for the encounters I was about to experience.

Finally at work, I was able to google a nearby food shelf which was meant to open as soon as I got out from work. So quickly, I rushed out earlier than usual, with the fear of traffic, and the ignorance of God’s overarching plan over my day. The food shelf happened to be only 6 minutes away from my workplace. I arrived more than 45 minutes early, in a car, while those who were truly in need walked wearily to the entrance. I kept asking myself insensitively where a parking lot would be at a homeless food shelf that catered for many living under the poverty line.  I cheated by parking in the back where staff and patients would park. I made sure to take off all make up and jewelry so that I could rightfully fit in without any suspicions. I even wore a scarf and painted sadness on my face.

As I was trying to get into the mindset of a homeless person, I was wondering what to expect from an experience like this. I was one of the first people to arrive to the shelter. When I got there, I was tasked with trying to figure out where I wanted to sit and with whom. I had to prompt myself once more to make an effort to socialize.  As much as I had tried to disguise myself, I realized that I still could not blend in, what betrayed me even more was my African accent.  I awkwardly sat next to a couple and their male friend, because there were only 2 women in the dining room at the time, and the second woman seemed like she wanted to be alone. As soon as I sat down, I received a dirty look from the woman who was sitting next to a man. I quickly got the cue that I was unwanted, so I left.

I then sat next to the other woman, the lonely old one. For privacy reasons, I will call her Jill. Jill completely ignored me for the first five minutes, and until then, I had to initiate every conversation with her. She answered with one word answers. Her eyes were tired, and her hair was extremely grey in just the front. Her face was covered with the wrinkles of worry and sadness, and I am glad I got to see her smile before I left. She later told me that her husband had just passed away the month before. She said this through smoke burnt lips, broken teeth, and tear stained eyes. At that moment I started noticing how dark  the room was becoming, and there was nothing I could really say to comfort her, because I was slowly slipping to the past of my losses also. We both cried together over past love. The room wreaked of sweat, spit, and drugs, and I started to realize that I was not that  far broken from anyone else in there. I had been there before, even if it was my first time there.

Then walked in Emma, a resilient Ecuadorean woman with her baby carriage. I mention that because she was so proud to be from her country. She burst into the middle of the line, cutting right in front of Jill and I . At that point I was too bummed out to care about the extra minute of waiting for my food, besides I was trying to fit in. But she had so much life, and so much to say. She told us about the love of Jesus Christ and how He had saved her from that dark place that everyone seemed to be slipping into. She sang out loud and quoted many uplifting verses. She poured her motherly love on us. Soon a sermon erupted from the midst of the long food line. She was the one who made Jill smile again. I’m glad she came when she did. There was only so much my melancholic temperament could do for Jill.

The food was served by teenagers. They were very kind and patient to us. They treated us like we mattered. One of them offered to hold and serve Emma’s plate, while she attended to the baby. Even though there were arguments and struggles between some of the men in the room, the volunteers were different. They were neutral observers, just like me, but like Emma, they gave a light to the entire room, not to mention the food they gave us was amazing. We had barbeque ribs, and fries with a pickle, and brownies, with dapples and ice cream. It was really sweet.  I actually enjoyed myself. It felt like a family dinner, with Jill helping herself to seconds and thirds, and Emma seriously preaching to everyone on the table. It was amazing. Sadly, there were grown men next to us, who were discussing how they were going to use their monthly earnings from begging to buy more drugs. Some people hid the food in compartments they bought with them, and kept going for more.

The volunteers were friendly and humble and offered more food to their guests. We all said a prayer together before we ate. This was led by the volunteers. However, they did not join us for dinner. In general, everyone was thankful for the food, especially since they knew it cost them nothing and they could always come back for more. It was somehow hard for me to accept that, because I know that unlike everyone else in the room, even though I came for food, I left with the bread of life, and empty pockets, as I came in.  That day, I made a friend, two in fact. I learnt that regardless of what we see  on the table, God’s love is always made available for us, if we can only see beyond our basic earthly needs, he will refresh and sustain us. Us humans, we have a hunger that not even a loved one or seconds or thirds at a food shelf can satisfy . I learnt more than anything that like everyone else in the room, I was wounded somehow or  broken, and my brokenness could only be mended by Jesus. I was truly grateful for this experience and the free food shared with brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

  • 1 Peter 1:6-7

 

“And when I come to die, Oh when I come to die, Oh when I come to die, Give me Jesus.”

Forgiveness meets Time

 

Grit needs grace.
Offended they are
when they deal with reality
and seasons.

Disgusted it seems
when they try to carve human beings. 
We all deal with daily battles
of poison and temptation.
We are trying to heal ourselves 
from broken love and sensations 
when we are bleeding in the
process.

We need to distance from ourselves.
Sow seeds for God first.
Disappointed they have been
with no doubt,
but we can be different.

We can keep our minds and heads centre north,
then we will reap seas like its our season!

 

The Bride is hooked on the King ;)

I didn’t let my attraction to women define me.

I didn’t think i was gay.

I refuse to let them make me

believe I was born “that way”.

 

I was born, covered in blood

but now I glitter in scars.

 

The One who loves me

has not chosen bitter

if He has overturned the past.

 

I’m worthy to be loved.

I’m painted by grace and days

of waiting.

 

I’m waiting on God,

until then I choose to admire the world

and enhance the beauty inside me.

 

I look from God’s eyes and see

My beauty in yours.

I see your glitter,

even if you are a boy or girl.

I’ve hurt before

but through all the blues, broken charms and green eyes,

their arms were soft; their souls were warm and pretty.

Still I never let my attraction to women define me

…or the long thread of broken promises.

 

 

Proverbs 31

There will always be someone else

stronger than me,

 

but does she or he become my boo

or my god?