Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Postal Stamp

So I was thinking about clothe tags, I have a friend who used to collect them! It was so cool to discover that... I thought wow how something utterly insignificant can mean so much to someone in particular.. and then I started thinking about stamps...

I love to write letters and send them by mail. I love post offices (“In black ink my love may still shine bright." okay maybe not to the point of reciting sonnets to it but you get the point!). I like to watch people there, I like to see them weigh the parcels and pick the right stamp and so on... And most of all, I love to have this small conversations with the worker at the desk (they often are so kind and let me do the job and put the date and all myself... I love it! It makes me feel so official, like wow I can issue and official postal card... People! look at me! (I think after this post God will have a lesson in humility waiting for me at the door...))
There is a moment when you feel like you're the champion...Sticking the stamp on the letter! It feels like when Jesus said "It's done!" (maybe not that dramatic... okay), and of course you know how we do that...
-Pick the stamp from the desk
-Lick the stamp
-Stick the stamp
Now if you see someone trying it for too long and not working... Let me remind you: we evolve... there are now sticker stamp... anyway!
Stamps in use are really cheap and are pretty useless unless you want to actually send something by mail or you are a collection-er. (One time the officer did not have enough change to give me so he paid me with stamps... I was never able to use them in the supermarket! ah well!). Collection stamps... they become so expencisve with age, so valuable! Old, vintage, authentic, new, limited, sort of coolness all over...
So stamps were on my mind and of course my birthday (25 September in case you forgot!)! I am getting pretty old ladies and gentlemen! 26 in less than a month! and I was thinking ouf what a stamp I am! (but please don't lick me!!)
We people are really like stamps... Pretty much useless unless we are to be in someone's collection, on someone's card... unless someone decides that we are so valuable, so limited, so cool, so whatever nice thing you insert... And we, like stamps indeed, gain value with age and become coolness all over (at least I do!)! I was thinking... we are stamped by the Blood of the Lamb... if for no one else, for no other purpose than to be His and in His collection, we are worth it all!

ps. If you want you can give me your address, I would LOVE to mail you something... 
pps. Tanzania was not picked by chance...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

They Beg, I'm Blessed!

Third world country. Developing country. Poverty. Paupers. Beggars. Burning sun. Streets. Homeless. Injustice. Cruelty. A million pejorative thought comes to mind when we're stuck in traffic coming or going to Beirut during rush hours.

About half a year ago I made a decision: I will keep loose money in my car and purse for whenever I see a beggar. Surprisingly, I got many lectures about how I am encouraging people not to find a proper work, or how I have no idea what this money is funding (some sort of theory that it's going to terrorists) or simply people telling me that I am out-rightly supporting child labour and such... Maybe they are right. It seems that I am always wrong when it comes to logic (ah well... I was born with limited functioning brain cells... which reminded me of one of the greatest quotes ever: There runs a strange law through the length of human history — that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility. G. K. Chesterton.-- Do you ever wonder how the brain associate thought? I am there writing about beggars and bam! Humility and Chesterton then bam! brain association... Anyway!!)
So rolling the criticism off my back (the expression is I think, roll it off the duck's back, one dear friend taught me that and since I decided to make it my own... and to become a duck! (I already heard your laugh in my mind!)) I went on with my decision and gave one pound to each beggar I saw. Time flew, I did not become any poorer...I did not get any richer for that matter.
I was driving to work today (I guess this is becoming the "once upon a time" sentence to me) a beggar came, I gave her some money and she started to bless me saying things such as "May God make your future bright", "May God make you prosper", "May God protect you"... Every single time I gave some poor person a ride or money or whatever, they blessed me compulsively. That made it sort of mechanical or a habit to hear and it did not really trigger any thought until today! Today I thought, wow! I was showered with blessings for just one pound! And I thought, wow! of course God will hear them, God gives ear to the broken hearted! I thought since when the name of God was taken so lightly by those who hear it? like right yeah God will bless me just because you! said it?! YES! He will!! The name of the Lord, the psalmist says, shakes mountains and moves oceans! People dared not use His name Allah, Yahweh without reverence, awe and fear... or even really at all and some Jews/Messianic till our days will not pronounce the name of "I AM" and would even in typing type it Y-hewh... And I refuse to take it lightly!
I thought, I sure am buying blessings that count! I am truly blessed, come to think of it... More than I deserve! And maybe the lovely shouts of beautiful blessings did work in my favour, somehow... 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

You Have Thought of Me in Kindness

This is a smallish honouring to the wonderful people I met this past week...

I am back! I know you all missed me terribly... Okay not really, plus anyway I was not posting daily to miss anything... But, in all cases, I am back. I am back with a few things that really pierced my heart.
There was no special image that triggered what I strongly want to express.
I was driving work today and I was thinking wow! These people I worked with are so holy, so set apart, so different! One essential element before I go on: I work for a Christian NGO and I have seen, with the very eyes of my soul and body, the goodness of the Lord and His tremendous work among His people. I have seen His image reflected in every face I looked upon in this community but what I experienced this time was something beyond and above. Something that made me long even more for heaven (and that IS something!)
I know Love is above all things like St Paul says but there is one thing that struck me in this mission trip to the point of tears (to the point that I dared take up a microphone and speak before 75 breathing bodies (which is much more difficult to happen than tears)! and yes they all laughed first, and yes I was shaking but I DID IT!! and I contained my tear in my throat! yey me!)
I was thinking. I was thinking that I was thinking. I was thinking what is it that really moved me that much! It is odd because I am not easily shaken by people. An elephant yes, a turtle maybe, the sun definitely can inspire me, but people... people are different... What was it in these that mesmerised me?! And the face of so many of them came back to my mind and I was in awe before their thoughtfulness...
I thought that I was thinking. I thought God has us in His mind. God thinks and it becomes. I have often thought that animals can think which is true maybe but they cannot act their thoughts. This is God! He thinks and we are made. These people thought and they acted. They thought in care and consideration and their actions came accordingly! They took what is of God. They acted at the impulse of His Spirit! The kindness they manifested was exceptional. The readiness to serve was inconceivable! I could not believe that these young men and women were just so holy. I saw walking miracles. I was healed. I have paid in physical effort, I have gained much much more in spiritual currency! 
I was treated in kindness I have never seen before! I had no expectation to build any new friendship let alone interact with people but what happened was just nothing I could imagine. I have never expected someone to cry because they hurt my finger by accident or someone asking about a story I mentioned randomly three days ago... I have seen the goodness of the Lord, but I never saw it that clearly among His living image(s), His living sacrifices!
Their thoughtfulness was nothing I could think of.
There is so much more on my heart that I want to tell  but I feel if I put it all at once it will take away the worth of each separately. So! if anyone want to hear some of these stories, just let me know!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Clock Ticked... and August Rushed!

A couple of years ago my sister got me a very nice sport watch. (She is very very generous, I dare not say there is something I like and hop I see her working hard saving money and getting it for me... I guess she contributes to my spoiling, so if you complain that I am too spoiled, there you go! someone to blame! (how nice of me, I know!))
I do not usually wear one and I am pretty dumb, I need it to have numbers on it because otherwise I might just waste your time trying to get the right time... Now the watch was so very nice and had all the number on , pretty practical and waterproof and... (I might just change job to a saleswoman! don't you agree?!) but you get the idea, it's one special watch!! So I wore it and! that was one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life (and don't just assume that biggest means worst!)... This watch has, like the usual I assume (probably wrongly because I saw pretty funny ones trying to find a picture for that post, one with fork and spoons, one with fingers and so on... way to go people for being creative!), the long one for minutes, the short one for hours and a happy little slim one for seconds... and every second could be heard from a meter away! I think one might imagine hell just one endlessly ticking watch that follows your wherever you go! 
Being such a sensible human being, I stopped wearing it, but last night I so remembered it and I decided to give it another chance because I thought I needed a watch (that is waterproof and has all the number... you know) for the following few day... And just today something in my perspective totally changed... It's a good idea to give things a loudly ticking second chance!!
Why I need a watch... To watch the time for cooking and to be on time on a schedule running, I suppose, like a clock! August... I thought this  August will be the calmest month of this year. Of course! Why! It is the sunniest month of the year! But against every odd, against every wilful will of mine, August came rushing in, and I got a little bit overwhelmed. (I guess that did not surprise you... I know I get overwhelmed pretty easily but but... anyway). I thought I will be just busy about four days of that month and for the rest I am going to be the cicada of Jean de la Fontaine*... But God spared me that fate. Friday I get a phone call from a friend asking if I can replace her being a cook in a mission trip of almost ten days. Panic! I want to do it from all my heart but my heart is so weak and I get pretty scared I will mess things up and be a horrible servant and so on... plus a few things happened that weekend that made me have unpleasant dreams and just freak out! (I know it sounds dramatic but believe me I almost fell in tears!) but I decided to do it anyway...
This morning I wore the watch (I am going to be gone this afternoon, I know you're gonna miss me when I'm gone ♪♫♪)... It ticked and ticked and ticked and first I thought, dear me what a stupid human being I am but one tick and one thought hit my mind... It is constant, God is constant! It does not change, God does not change, it does not fail to tick, God does not fail... And one second and my whole idea changed, from panic to rest, for if I change, God does not, if I fail, God does not and if I feel rushed, God is not. And every ticking second from that moment became a sweet melody to my ear, playing invisible Music, whispering words of comfort from Him... I pray He will be glorified through it all!!

The Cicada and the Ant

Cicada, having sung her song
All summer long,
Found herself without a crumb
When winter winds did come.
Not a scrap was there to find
Of fly or earthworm, any kind.
Hungry, she ran off to cry
To neighbour Ant, and specify:
Asking for a loan of grist,
A seed or two so she’d subsist
Just until the coming spring.
She said, "I’ll pay you everything
Before fall, my word as animal,
Interest and principal."
Well, no hasty lender is the Ant;
It’s her finest virtue by a lot.
"And what did you do when it was hot?"
She then asked this mendicant.
"To all comers, night and day,
I sang. I hope you don’t mind."
"You sang?" Why, my joy is unconfined.
Now dance the winter away."

ps. I hope you appreciate the pun the the title!