Tears

I wiped my fogging up lenses and put it back on again and confirmed that the man before me who was cleaning a car in their garage was my uncle I hadn’t seen since 1986. The aged face…The movement of his hands as he continued to clean the car’s windows mimicked that of his brother’s…My father who had been gone since 2007. I decided to get out of our just-parked car and told my son that I would go ahead and ran up to him. He didn’t recognize me at first but I already hugged him tight like a bear’s grab which wouldn’t let go. And tears flowed from us. Tears of healing and joy.

Several years ago, my father and him were involved in a court battle over a piece of land from their parents. My father got involved in order to fight not for his share but for the nephew and nieces he had from their oldest brother. The fight took long and the sad part was my uncle’s kids got involved, too. My siblings and I didn’t. We knew we shouldn’t.

“D wants to see you,” my cousin called my cell phone out of the blue. For many years, I welcomed her into our old home and then with them getting involved in the court battle, she stopped visiting us. I never understood as I welcomed and opened my home to her as if she was my own sibling. Situations like that ended up hurting us. Not only her. But many others we treated with love and acceptance ended up hurting us in the end. Her phone call raised my husband’s cautious level. I understood where he was coming from. He didn’t want me to get hurt anymore.

But forgiveness was a must. I knew that if I professed I was a Christian, letting His love penetrate the wounds could only be possible if I start “letting go of any offenses” and if I wanted to conform to Jesus’ likeness. I shouldn’t say “I am a Christian” if my footsteps would not go toward the directions where Jesus’ were leading. If my footsteps would go the other way, it would be better for me not to say anything.

I never mentioned the court battle that occurred without any resolve. Our laughter were deafening as I joked around so much as my cousins and my uncle and auntie enjoyed and perhaps were baffled how much I had changed from being a quiet, naïve little girl into what they were seeing and hearing over lots of foods they prepared and some which I brought. My son enjoyed his time meeting my extended family and it felt like we all had known each other for many years.

As we wrapped up our conversation and hugged my uncle again and took some moments to take pictures, tears flowed again from my eyes. Suddenly, I felt that my being funny was the same spirit that my earthly father had and was known for. His brother. He must have sensed my father’s love and presence through me. My cousins and my uncle and auntie must sense the love also that came from our heavenly Father Who loved us all. They must know that it required an extra-ordinary effort for me and my son to visit them despite what happened from yesterday’s ugly memories but it was possible to break that and start creating more loving and warm ones.

“I love you, uncle. I will visit you again and again and I want you to know that you can come to our house anytime and see us,” I whispered to his now slightly deaf ears. He hugged me tighter and didn’t say anything but I saw tears flowed, too from his eyes. And they felt good. They were tears of healing. They were tears of joy.

Because forgiveness frees…Forgiveness breaks heavy chains…Forgiveness heals even the deepest wounds…Forgiveness forgets the scarred hearts and wants to start anew with a new heart…Forgiveness is first received and shared. Forgiveness comes from Jesus’ scarred hands. Scarred as all the sins were nailed on that wooden cross as He opened His arms and in His death, welcomed all with those spread arms. But the best thing was that He lived…Because love is eternal. His love that does not go with outward circumstances but remains joyful and accepting.

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"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (TNIV)

Father, thank You for Your love and forgiveness. Thank You for my son and I's wonderful time of healing old family wounds yesterday and breaking down walls that separated us for many years. Thank You for the prompting of Your Spirit to look beyond the outward circumstances and letting Your love guide and lead us in that path of forgiveness. I ask that You please touch many hearts today and may You open up their hearts and minds in able for them to see the path that leads to the Cross. May they come to know Your love and forgiveness through Jesus, Your Son. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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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