Featured

A Lenten Poem

cross

The sky darkening
Thunder
It was as if the heavens themselves wanted to let the earth know of their anger
It was more than they can bear.

From the lofty heights, the clouds saw what was happening below
“What insanity has taken hold of the mortals?”, they wondered.
He was the One to redeem creation itself
Yet it was He whom they were intent on killing.

The trees began to whisper to one another
What madness is this that they chose one of our own to bring about His death?
They wanted no part in this folly
They wanted to clap their hands in praise
Instead, they mourned that one of their lot became a weapon of His destruction.

The winds were often thankful in His presence even if He did rebuke them that one time for their excitement
The words that came from His mouth gave them such pleasure to spread all over the world
Today, his cry was too much for their hearing
Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani
They wept at the message they had to send to the Father.

The rocks grumbled their disapproval
They could remain silent no more
The mortals had the audacity to nail his hands and feet
This can not be!

Michael, readying the legions of angel
Raphael, sharpening his sword
Gabriel, in utter disbelief that these puny beings should dare lay a hand on Him
Azrael, waiting to wreak vengeance.

They waited for the signal to lend Him aid
He but needed to speak the word
None came from his lips.

It is finished.

Advertisements

Reflections on Good Friday

cross

A lot of the times, I really do feel that everything in Christianity is just so incredibly messed up in comparison to how the world normally works. Normally, people want to live. And yet, Jesus says that if we truly want to live, we have to die first. A lot of us would avoid pain and suffering at any cost. And yet, Jesus willingly goes to the cross. It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe I should re-phrase that. It just doesn’t make sense in the natural order of things. Because in the heavenly order of things, it’s the only way that actually makes sense. The Bible speaks of Jesus being someone who became man and identified with humanity  so much so that we can never ever use the excuse “well, you just don’t understand” to Him. He actually does understand. Like a lot. Because he was put in the same situation as you are now in. He lived in a broken, fallen world, filled with corruption and politics (some things never change), teeming with both nice and mean people. If you think that you’re the only who was falsely accused of doing something you didn’t do, well that happened to Jesus. If you think that you’re the only who was forsaken by friends when the going got tough, that happened to Jesus too. And on the off chance that you think that you’re the only who has enemies in high places who wants you dead, yup, Jesus got that too. He identified so much with humanity, that years later, many would still deny His divinity because He wore the garment of humanity so well.

Why would the cosmic king of the universe deign to debase himself by being human? Here’s a hint: It’s the same reason why people do unbelievably crazy things for others. It’s because of love. A love that is so incomprehensible that words cannot even begin to convey what it means. Sometimes, I do think that our limbic system cannot fully understand the emotions that such love can make us feel. Our amygdala doesn’t even know how to process such a thing. (Yes, my undergrad is in Psych… lolz) That is what I am forced to wrestle with and rest in during Good Friday. I truly stand amazed that such a beautiful thing can happen through the most horrific experience. Crucifixion is right up there at the top when it comes to ways to torture people. The Romans mastered it and perfected it into an art. And through this violent and heinous act, the antithesis of Pandora’s box is opened. Whereas Pandora’s box released all manners of evil things in an otherwise perfect world, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross released love, grace, mercy, compassion, and all manners of good things in an unimaginably flawed world. This is the awesome beauty of the cross. What was meant to be a hopeless and tragic event becomes the event that would bring countless Christians hope and joy.

My friend, Renee, and I recorded a remix of a song called “Lead me to the cross”. Since it is Good Friday today, I hope that the lyrics of this song becomes the prayer of our hearts

The power of the tongue

your-words-they-surely-kill

With a new year upon us, I think it’s always important to take the time to reflect on the past year and think of how we can forge ahead in the new year to come. One of the things that I am ever so mindful of, and I really want to implement in 2013, is the power of the tongue. This is what I mean: I am a firm believer that the power of life and death is in the tongue. The words that we speak over our own lives and the words that we allow other people to speak in our own lives have tremendous impact on how we live our lives. I know that personally, I am very good at negative self-talk. Words like “you’re such a failure”, “you won’t make it” or “no one can ever love you for who you truly are because you’re worthless” are unfortunately, a major part of my vocabulary. Who needs enemies when you clearly are your own worst enemy! Studying the Sacred Scriptures has helped me realize how wrong this is. Hatred, either directed towards self or others, should never be tolerated nor condoned. In the same way that these negative self-talks have profoundly affected me and given me a warped sense of self, it is the positive affirmations from others that have helped restore my heart and my soul. I remember when my friend told me that she thought I was wise and how my actions do not go unnoticed. Or when another told me that he appreciated me for who I am. I still remember when I got an e-mail from my professor who I asked to be my Ph.D. thesis supervisor and was talking about doing future collaborative projects with me. I remember thinking “I can’t believe he wants to work with me!” I guess I’ve looked down on myself for so long that I was astonished that someone would want to work with me.

I admit that it’s hard to believe the positivity that other people say about me. However, I am working hard to receive the good words that they have spoken over my life. I am also working hard to make sure that I eliminate saying negativity over my own life. I find it way easier to encourage others than to encourage myself. That needs to change this year. I will be making a more concerted effort to celebrate my mini-victories as I work towards my end goal. I need to re-conceptualize what success means to me because it will definitely NOT look like what others view as success. I want to make sure that I am running my own race and not get so focused on running the race that others want me to run in. At the end of the day, I am accountable for the things I have done and not what others have done. I am responsible for myself and what I do with the time and talents God has given me. It does me no good to get sucked in to ideas of conformity to others’ expectations, as good as they may seem. The words we speak over our lives can be our destiny. Let’s make sure our destiny is one full of love, hope, and redemption.

Wednesday Writings

Hi everyone,

I’m thinking of adding a new component to this blog entitled “Wednesday Writings.” Basically, this is a time for me to post some of the writings I have written (and potentially the writings of other people!). So to start it off, I wanted to share a poem I wrote a long time ago. This is a part of the “Song of Sid” chronicles. Based on the title, it’s obvious that this is heavily inspired by the Song of Solomon. However, instead of writing about lovey dovey stuff, it is poetry based on different life events. As I mentioned in my “About Me” section, there are different facets to who I am and the arts play a huge part of who God has made me to be. So, to inaugurate this new blog component, here’s my poem.

 

Song of Sid I

O, to throw off this mortal coil that binds me
The shell of humanity that seemingly binds me to this world and all its lascivious desires and perversions
Wanting to throw off this mortal husk, to glory in the presence of the Almighty
Alas, it is not yet time.

Each day, a battle is waged against the heavenlies, and the battleground is I
The destructive thoughts that silently and surreptitiously stalk my higher faculties
I am weakened, weary, wishing, wistful, waiting
Quietly, I bide my time.

Thoughts of You fill my mind, my heart, my soul, my very being
The streets of gold, the crystal sea, the angels singing haunts me
But all I have right now are trials, temptations, refining me till I am as gold
All things are made beautiful in Your time.

Why, O Lord, must I stay in this earthly prison?
How long shall I wait till I am free of these vanities that engulf me?
When shall I come out pure and holy, completely surrendered to Thee?
Thou, Who setteth everything in Your books, Why did You form me in my mother’s womb?
What purpose must I serve, what purpose must I fulfill, that I may flee this shell that binds me here?
Surely Thou knowest how I long, how I yearn to be in Thy presence.
Yet, I am shackled to this existence, a stranger in a hostile land.

Revulsion and disgust fills me, to live in such a wicked and depraved generation
The longer I stay in its destructive atmosphere, the more I am infected
I must wage war constantly, unyieldingly, with utmost vigilance
I might yet be disqualified before my time.

So, I remain in this state of despair
For this is my lot
To remain alive in the land of mortal men
Angrily, I bide my time.

O, to throw off this mortal coil that binds me
With gladness of heart, would I leave it behind
But thanks be to God that He gives me strength
To accomplish His will in His time.

Sharing is caring. Please feel free to like, tweet, share, +1 this post. I would also love to hear your thoughts. So please comment away! Just remember… be nice! Just because this is the Internet does not negate needing being respectful and all that good stuff. =)

The importance of free speech

Image

We live in a world of diverse ideas and opinions. Everyone seems to be an expert in something. The concept of right and wrong in a pluralistic environment can seem so rhetorical and passé. Absolute truth does not exist (or at least, out of our grasp) and relativism reigns supreme in terms of the prevailing ideological zeitgeist. To live amidst such a chaotic world can sometimes be infuriating and overwhelming. But, there is something quite beautiful about it all. There is beauty in the chaos.

When I think of communist countries, or countries ruled by dictators, the picture changes. Voices of dissent are stifled, sometimes stilled, by either threats, persecution or even death. There is no flourishing of ideas. There are no arguments. Silence is the name of the game. To break that silence is to court potential harm and danger. In such a world, words are rendered impotent.

When I went to university, I was exposed to a lot of ideas. Some ideas I agreed with, some ideas I disagreed with. In fact, I STRONGLY disagreed with some ideas. As much as it boggled my mind that someone could actually think such foolishness as I believed their views were, I am really happy that they are free to say whatever they said. I’m happy that just because they disagreed with me did not mean that their life should have been threatened or eliminated. I’m happy that my country (Canada) stands up for the rights of people in the minority whose views are decidedly different from others.

Armed with this freedom to speak whatever we want, let us be cognizant of the responsibility that we all must share in having this gift. Let us use this gift to further causes that will help humanity and not to oppress it. Let us use it with kindness and not with anger or malice. It’s ok to disagree with others. But it is never ok to humiliate or denigrate others who have differing views to ours. It is never ok to use this freedom to promote immorality or injustice. Let’s make sure that this freedom will promote more freedom with the people we encounter.

Words are powerful. They have the power to bind someone in chains of oppression or it can release them from bondage as well. The fact that we have the freedom to use words freely, does not entitle us to freely waste it. I love this phrase from the Book of Isaiah where it says “come, let us reason together.” We may have conflicting views, but it does not mean that we should live in conflict with each other. Let us use our words to persuade, not mandate. May our freedom to speak freely allow us to speak more humbly and wisely. May it encourage more words of life and encouragement instead of death and despair.

and scene…

Sharing is caring. Please feel free to “like”, “share”, “retweet” or “+1” this post. Also, don’t forget to subscribe. =)