The Doughnuts

"There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain." - Dietrich Bonhoffer


My family descended the steep street and traced the footprints we left 2 years ago that led us to a familiar, antiquated tiny shop.

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A lady was already ahead of us, waiting to be served patiently to the lady who owned this shop who seemed to know her well.

"I'm sorry..." the lady's voice directed to us when our turn came.

"No!No!No!" "That was okay!" my husband, son and I replied in a harmonic unison.

"What do you like?" she asked the three of us.

"Please give us 3 chocolate-glazed, 3 of the plain ones...hmmm..."we paused, not confused with the variety of delicious, freshly-made doughnuts inside the glass case as there were only a few. Her son cut in and just put one freshly-made ring-shaped favorites.

"May I have coffee-crumbed ones?" my son uttered, as his index finger pointed at those.

"4 more and you will have them in the same price as 7 pieces," she said.

We looked at each other. We knew those choices were not healthy for us but we remembered this mother and son pair who made those delicious doughnuts when we came in this special place where we enjoyed taking a break from our busy schedules. And we wanted to bless them by going back and buying a dozen though we won't be able to eat all.

"I have to tell you something," I started confessing.

"We were here 2 years ago and we remembered how delicious these doughnuts were."

"Oh, thank you!" the old lady replied as a wide smile slowly appeared.

"We have been doing this for 43 years," she added with this secret that was supposed to be known.

"Here," I handed her some cash and was received by those wrinkled hands. She opened the cash register and started counting the amount that she was supposed to give me back.

"Please keep the change," we all said. "Thank you and we'll see you again."

Back at the place where we were staying, my son hurriedly removed the top lid covering the box and exposed the choices that we had made. The smell of freshly-brewed coffee filled the entire atmosphere surrounding us, as my son poured some cold milk in his glass.

Grabbing the doughnuts with our fingers through the holes, we savored the avoided treats for so long.

"Yummy..."

After downing 2 pieces each, we decided to stop there. I knew that despite the self-control we would always long for these. However, there seemed to be something always missing...Was it because there were holes in those little fried cakes?

And how true it is, too in our lives. How we often grab and take a hold of those things that truly do not matter. Things that never satisfy us. The truth is we should aim for those holes that we do not see.We should reflect on the void that God applies in each human life He creates. The gap that only He can fill...

"So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)
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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends