who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Dolphins, Life and Lessons...


I love dolphins. I didn’t know just how much I loved them until I read about them. Then I met Estu and I knew the love was real. They really are amazing creatures… Playful, compassionate, friendly with beautiful minds. They are said to be the most intelligent animals on earth.
I got to hug, tickle, play with, dance with, and kiss ten year old Estu, one of the dolphins at Atlantis The Palm’s dolphin bay in Dubai. He was such a delight to be with. I was so love struck, it’s a wonder my kiss (and that was from the deepest part of my heart) didn’t turn him into a handsome, rich, smiling Arab born-again sheik (yeah, unequally yoked is not an option, even in fairy-tales)…. Oh well, at least we now know the myth of a frog turning into a prince is questionable. Estu is still in the water, charming the hats off other ladies… as a dolphin. Life!!!

Estu and I sharing a Kiss...
I noticed a couple of bite marks/scratches on Estu’s body during the interaction and the dolphin instructor explained that when dolphins play, they tend to bite each other and leave marks, It is unavoidable. He assured us that he would shed the skin off and be as good as new. Isn't that amazing? Every two to four hours the entire top layer of a dolphin’s skin sheds off. Dead cells are replaced with new ones in quick successions. Probably why Dolphins recover from extreme injuries rapidly. I hear gaping wounds are healed in a way that its shape is restored back to normal… isn’t that amazing? Though the exact methods used to achieve this are not known, dolphins can tolerate and recover from extreme injuries, such as shark bites. The healing process is rapid and even very deep wounds do not cause dolphins to hemorrhage to death. Furthermore, even gaping wounds restore in such a way that the animal's body shape is restored, and infection of such large wounds seems rare.wikipedia

His smiley face... *Sigh*
There are one or two things humans, or specifically Christians can learn from Dolphins. In human interaction, we tend to get into situations that cause us to fall in our Christian walk and hurt ourselves, like dolphins play and leave marks… it’s almost impossible not to get angry and mad, and exchange words, and gossip when we interact with fellow humans. But who says we should walk around with the scars of our carelessness breaking our hearts and making us hide away from God’s presence. God’s love is renewed every morning…. 
He gives us fresh grace for each day, each moment. Grace that sheds off the scars of our mistakes and gives us a spanking new skin… don’t go around beating yourself up and refusing to walk in the grace available for you. Like the dolphins, allow your skin/heart to shed, and be clothed anew. It says very deep wounds do not cause them to hemorrhage to death… There isn’t a Sin you can commit that will make God love you less, You can never be too bad for the love of God to reach you. Don’t let your guilt hemorrhage you to death. 

As I wrote this, I got a mail from the ‘convo on devotion’ group I belong to. The devotional for the day was ‘A sense of unworthiness’ by David Wilkerson. It was so timely (definitely not a coincidence) as I could relate it to this. Here’s an excerpt “it is certain that we will stumble at times because the race is going to continue until our Lord returns. But we must always get on our feet and continue moving on, “for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”(Revelation 21:7)
…… “The fastest way to get rid of “a sense of unworthiness” is to trust In Christ’s forgiveness. And He is ready to forgive at all times: “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (psalm 86:5)
Our first dance(forgive my unflattering wetsuit) Estu did.


Something else about Dolphins…  However, dolphins can establish strong social bonds; they will stay with injured or ill individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed. This altruism does not appear to be limited to their own species however. The dolphin Moko in New Zealand has been observed guiding a female Pygmy Sperm Whale together with her calf out of shallow water where they had stranded several times. They have also been seen protecting swimmers from sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers or charging the sharks to make them go away.”  Wikipedia
What a show of love, and compassion from animals.

If only Christians could be that loving. If only we could be the hand that helps pull up a spiritually sick/fallen Christian, to surround them with love like the dolphins and pray for them, encourage them… Protect them from the shark attack that comes for the final kill. Sharks are always ready to attack at the slightest whiff of blood. They are so ruthless; they would even eat their own, as long as there’s blood. Unfortunately many Christians are more of sharks than Dolphins… We’re always ready to crucify, and label another as a failure because they have a struggle. To point fingers and spread the word of their failure and bring their past to light. With our judgment we ‘finish them’. You know like the mortal kombat game, after you’ve won the battle and the opponent is obviously dying, and with relish you eagerly tap on the control pad, to display your moves when the voice commands, “finish him”... That final blow that kills them dead.

That’s what we do as Christians, we kill fellow Christians dead when we find them bleeding, it’s more fun doing that than trying to help restore them, to push them to the surface for survival… Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived” Galatians 6:1-3
                        
Oh there’s so much more we could learn from Dolphins… Isn't God so amazing? How He thinks up certain creatures, I have no idea. I just simply remain in awe of Him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dreaming Of Reality...


I’m on vacation, with my sister and cousin. I love it… but I miss reality. Isn’t it weird to miss reality? I just want to be back in the flow of it all. There’s an illusion of perfection you get from holidays. You shop till you go broke(so maybe i didn't shop that much), forgetting there’s a life after your moments. You lounge in a luxury hotel and get waited on… You live like you were born to spend(yes I was, but that's not the point :))
I used to love all that. I used to love breakfast buffets…  Now all I want is just home. I want to be back to where I can start figuring out how to figure things out. Like make the calls I have to make, to make the things I need to do happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the privilege to be away. I am extra grateful for this holiday… I am beyond grateful. Maybe the anesthetic wasn’t strong enough; maybe it’s fading away. I’ve never stayed in Dubai for more three nights… probably why I feel this way. I snapped out of holiday mode on day four. That's not going to stop me from enjoying the rest of my stay though, I wouldn't let it. :)

I went dune bashing yesterday. The last time I went dune bashing, I promised myself that I would never ever do it again… not ever. I found myself bashing the dunes again yesterday…. I saw myself being brave and enjoying it while i held my sister to keep her calm. Never say never. Lesson learned? Don’t give up on anything after the first try… it may have been bad, but you never know how good it’ll be when you try again. What's that Aaliyah sang? "if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself up and try again..."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Everything...


Woke up two days ago with a song in my heart… and it’s been playing in my head since then. Such simple words, but they stir up such emotions within … “Lord it’s me again, and it is from my heart, that I wanna tell you how I feel… You are everything, You’re so amazing”
I had to do a video upload for it :)




He is indeed everything, and He’s beyond amazing. I have seen the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. He’s given me heaven on earth. He’s draped me with His goodness and showered me with love so great, I’m soaking in the rain of His faithfulness and dripping of favor. (Did I just make sense?)
In simple words? He loves me so and I can’t say thank you enough.

Love Note...


Dear Jesus,
It’s the day we celebrate love. Isn’t it weird that it gets some people depressed because they’ve got no one to give them a nice dinner, flowers and a present? Why anyone would feel unloved because of this day, I may never understand. Don’t they know You love them and that’s all they need to be happy?

Sweet Jesus, I write to say I love you.
What greater love have I known but yours? You see, You’re the lover of my soul, my Rose of Sharon, my Bright and Morning Star.
You’re beautiful in all your ways. Holy and glorious and yet You choose to come down from Your royal splendor and love me a lowly servant, despite myself.
Your love is so amazing.
Your love is healing to my ailing body. Your love is that scandalous grace that I receive time and time again.
Your love is that comforting arm I fall to in my time of sorrow.
Your love is that drug that takes the pain away and gives me a high.
Your love is that peace I feel in the storm.
Your love is that joy that strengthens my spirit when it feels weak.
Your love Is unassuming, it is good, it is kind, it is patient, it is true and it is pure.
Oh how lucky I am to have it… despite the times I have strayed and driven the nails into your palms again and again. Despite the pain I caused you.
Your love looked on in patience, waiting for me.

Jesus, you fought the battle for my soul and emerged victorious… You’re my super hero, my knight in a shinning armor glorious splendor.
You hold me in your arms and everything is right.
You make me brand new when I remain in the radiance of your love.
The one who loves me like no other can or ever will.
Nothing compares to your endless worth
I am honored to be a recipient of this love that represents all things beautiful.
Lord Jesus, I love you.
My heart can never express it enough
My lips can never say it enough
I love you!!! I have nothing to offer except my words of worship which are less than adequate.
Take my life, and make it yours…

I love you.
Inyamu.

The whole buzz of valentine kind of chokes me… We’re so caught up in the material aspect of Love that we ignore what’s important. The funfair of Valentine we’ve come to accept sort of mimics the way we view love… It’s all about what we can get out of it, the more you get, the more you think it’s working out fine.

Don’t get so caught up in the world’s definition of love and how it should be celebrated that you forget to remember your first Love.(Yeah roll your eyes at me, easier for a single lady to say this.. but hey)
He’s the one who loves you against all odds. The one who loved you enough to die for you while you were a rebellious and disobedient child. The one who keeps stooping to pick you up whenever you fall. The one who makes your life beautiful and fills your life with wonderful gifts of life. The one who knows all the skeletons in the closets and still chooses to love you.
The one who receives no gifts from you and still cherishes you.
His love has sheltered you in your time of distress; His love has made you whole. His love has opened shut doors; His love has been the comforting arm in your time of sorrow. His love has encouraged your frustrated heart; His love has made all things new. His love has redeemed, restored and released you. His love has given you that grace that is so scandalous; if He were human He’d be ridiculed for been so merciful
Be thankful for love, Gods love.

Thank you for loving me despite my ugly self, thank you for giving me a chance to be beautiful. Thank you for not giving up on me or basing our relationship on what I have given you(would never have lasted that way)
I love you.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snow...


I think the snow is beautiful.
It’s so beautiful when it’s untouched, looking all light and fluffy as it lands like a blanket covering the earth, turning the world around you into a white mass of heavenly goodness. Gives such a picture of purity that makes you think the whole world is one perfect place… from the comfort of a well heated room though :D.

untouched and beautiful snow source
The beauty leaves you in awe… till you have to thaw your car, shovel your driveway and struggle not to be thrown off the road while driving.
Then the sun comes out and you realize how ugly the snow has become after it has been driven on and stepped on so much. The trails left by the cars and footprints from boots turns into a muddy and slushy mixture.
trampled on and ugly snow.



You forget how beautiful it looked in that moment and get all disgusted at how messy and ugly it looks. Then you slip and fall, because somewhere along the way, some of the fluffy transformed into ice from the heat of the sun… The pain when you slip and land on your butt is real yo! 



You wonder if it is really the beauty you loved causing all this pain and chaos. That’s how deceitful the snow is… you think it’s a harmless beautiful fluffy pile of goodness that’s only good for making snowmen, snow angel, playing in and having great photo ops, till you have to start dealing with all the complications buried in it. All you saw was the perfect definition of beauty as you stood admiring it from your home. Before the elements came to play.

"Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by;
To be trampled and tracked by the thousands of feet
Till it blends with the horrible filth in the street."
John Whitaker Watson
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How many of us are so beautiful on the outside just like the snow? Do people look and see how pretty we are, until the sun shines on us, and turns the beauty to ice and sends cars skidding off us? Do people slip and fall in shock at the ugliness you reveal when they walk with you? After watching and admiring you from the comfort of their homes/from a distance,  are they disappointed with what they have to deal with when they get to know you?
Does it take a little pressure of the heat from the sun and a footstep or two to bring out the slushy muddy ugliness in you?

How deep is your beauty? How much ugliness spills out when you’re turned upside down and inside out?
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I have my bad sides, I tune off sometimes, I'm not very nice to be around sometimes, especially when the sun has shone a little too much on my fluffy side... I try to avoid human contact in those moments, because it isn't such a pretty me. There's probably other flaws people who've loved me from afar notice when they come close to me, I don't know. I am not perfect, but i strive to be skin deep, deeper than my well put together exterior.

I am desperate for beauty… I am desperate to be so beautiful within, that when I’m turned upside down, you can only gasp at how much more beauty spills out in my service to God and my interaction with people. 
Humans don’t make it easy, but who says it’s impossible? It's not impossible to forgive, to let past hurts go, to love, to tolerate and not be taken for granted... to serve God, love and obey Him with all your heart.
I want to have more substance in my beauty than the snow. To remain beautiful even when the sun shines, and I have been stepped on and driven on. Even when trials trample on me and I feel like God isn't listening, I want to glow in my trust in Him. I don't think that's too much to ask.
Just how beautiful are you?

The following scripture refers to wives, but I think it's all inclusive and drives home my point.
"....Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful...." 1 Peter 3:1-4
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