I barely knew her. We just started talking from work. Learning each other’s cultures and different customs, we hungered for more. Every night, our phones were busy. Learning more. Encouraging each other from the same frustrations we encountered at the hospital where we both worked. We started exchanging foods. I gave her some of the noodles I made. And when I asked her if she liked it, the words above were her answer.
You would think it would hurt the first time I heard that. But I knew then, I found an honest friend. Funny how back in elementary schools, or high schools or college days, how often I would say “this is my best friend.” Not realizing what a “best friend” truly meant. But as I entered many seasons in this life’s journey, going through many friendships, I had learned that it wasn’t having many friends that would make me feel fulfilled nor happy. I could only have one friend and that would mean everything to me. To find that rare friend who would be honest enough to tell me if I had lipstick on my teeth. Or that an outfit didn’t really look good on me. Not that she is being judgmental but knowing that she wants the best for me. That what hurts me hurts her. That what makes me happy makes her smile, too. It’s knowing that whether it’s the ups or downs of life I’m going through, I know she is there with me, never leaving my side. A true friend who cares enough to know if something is bothering me when my face and voice shows sadness or frustrations. A true friend who shared tears with me when I lost my parents. Yes, I know what it means now to say “I found my best friend”…“Actions speak louder than words,” she used to tell me many times. And I know now how true it is! Someone can say “I love you” yet does not show loving actions. Someone will say “I’ll be there for you” but really is nowhere when a crisis comes. Or how someone can easily ask “How are you?” but deep inside is not truly concerned.
That person who told me she didn’t like the noodles I gave is now my best friend. Best friend in this life where I have to weather so many storms, yet, she is there for me. I rejected her once by not acknowledging her extension to make friendships. “Actions speak louder than words.” She never gave up. Until she broke the barrier of mistrust I created in my heart from previous hurtful relationships in my life. Her actions were to continue to believe in me. She kept calling me, brushing off my ignorance. She kept believing that there is goodness in my heart. And if she gave up on my aloofness, I wouldn’t have known how much I would have lost.
God gives us special friends at a special time in our lives. That is another faith marker for me. That He gives us friends to encourage us, comfort us, accepts us no matter what flaws we have and who will believe in us, the way He does.
“Actions speak louder than words…” It’s all actions that Jesus did to prove how much He loves humanity. He spoke about a loving God, walking many miles to let hurting people know. He prayed. He healed. He performed miracles. He carried a heavy cross and gave His life to save us. “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s so easy to profess we are Christians. God demands obedience when we choose to follow Him. “Actions speak louder than words”…Walk the talk!
"17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." ~ 1John 3:17-18 [NIV]
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
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 himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT 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].