The Dash

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." - Charles Spurgeon

We visit to remember not what we lost but what remains...(And now these three remain:faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love...-1 Corinthians 13:13)

“Hey! You wanna’ come?” asked my friend on the other line. She knew I worked the night before but I had told her in advance that if they would go to the cemetery to pay a visit, if I felt okay, I would rather go with her and her mother if that was okay with them.

“Of course…If you don’t mind…I respect your privacy, too.”

“C’mon. Get ready and come down and go with us,” she replied.

The familiar graveyard site they both visited since losing her sister came to view. The brief laughter we shared in the car was replaced with silence as I veered my car to the left and entered the huge, white metal gates that welcomed those who mourned daily for their loved ones that they lost.

We washed and wiped the marker, as her mother placed some roses in the vase secured on the ground. I saw her grief but the eyes seemed to have run out of tears. But I knew deep inside, her heart was forever marred with a hole. The size of the daughter she lost 13 years ago.

“Must I forget remembering the day she died?” my friend vented out.

I didn’t know what to say as if she had caught me off-guard. I remembered looking at those dates on her sister’s marker.

1960 - 1998

Careful not to break her already scarred heart, I replied, “Yes.”

“But don’t forget the memories she had spent with you. I know those loving mem’ries were your connection to her love that remains…”

As I was saying those words, what stood out in my mind was that “tiny dash” from those dates. I never met her. But I knew so much about her life. I knew she was a great teacher who passionately taught her students with the best she could, always encouraging them to reach their full potential. I knew she was a loving wife and mother to her two young kids at that time, not minding all the tasks on her hand daily even if it meant little relaxation. I knew she was a loving daughter to her mother who always coaxed her to enjoy her retirement life by encouraging her to go on trips with her family. I knew she was a loving sister to my friend because she served both as a sister and a father figure on those times that they had to fend for themselves without a father. She was that strength that held her family amidst life’s trials, shown through her faith in God and love that was poured into her heart, which in return, she readily applied in everything she did. People who knew her would understand what I just wrote though I didn’t know her. People who had grown to love everything about her because she loved genuinely.

Yes, I never met her in person but it felt like I had known so much about her because of the way she lived her life. That dash…That mattered. She had left so much loving, warm mem’ries to all the people she came across with. It was because she always put her heart in everything she did. Her passion to help others…The way she looked after her loved ones… She truly left a never-ending impression because her deeds were always done with love.

If only I could see these people's hearts who knew her...I know it would be easy to spot her place in those hearts. She must have left fine prints that were etched and would not be forgotten. Only some would do that. Like her.

Dash...A short symbol…A reminder how short life is. But this is the one that would stand out because what we do here matters. It may not mean anything to some. But to God, He is recording that dash…

 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”- Revelation 14:13 (ESV)

"Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless" - James 2:20 (ESV)
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


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 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].