I Was That Leaf

leaves all over our front yard
My son stood for a few minutes, with mouth agape upon the sight of wind-strewn leaves all over our front yard. The forceful gusts of wind kept coming in increments it seemed.

“Drive safely,” I cautioned as he prepared to go to his school.

I walked back into the house and heard the phone ringing. I didn’t pick up the call and let the caller leave a message on purpose. I wasn’t ready to give any answer, careful not to rush with any decision.

The winds outside blew harder. I saw the palm trees bending more and more as more leaves were scattered down the street and into people’s yards. The howling seemed threatening. Yet, I was grateful for the warmth and silence inside our house.

The red light kept blinking, catching my attention every time I passed by the answering machine, begging to be heard and be replied to. I did listen to the message. Then, decided not to reply. At least, for a while…

The powerful winds were created by people sitting in higher positions at my workplace almost a year ago. Fueled by their ill intentions to end my career, they tried to show their force. Their roaring accusations were all baseless. They were just loud. That was it…Loud and with empty promises. I wanted to quit at one point. But when I took refuge in His shelter, it became a different story. The strength, courage, peace and joy immediately surrounded me and sheltered me from these people.

“Just wondering if you’re able to come and help us out. Please give me a call back…” I played it over and over. Their intimidation to make me feel that I was useless because I couldn’t work longer hours was their main reason to not allow me to work the usual hours I worked for 11 years. It didn’t make sense. Now, they kept calling me many times just to request and sometimes beg me if I could go and help out a certain shift. It felt as if they were the ones caught in these powerful winds they created themselves.

this leaf caught my attention
I heard the flapping of the white tarp on our side yard as the wind blew again. I looked out and saw more yellow leaves fell from the tree across the street and down they went with a rustling sound as if they were marching down the street. I went out to take a few pictures and found one particular leaf right next to our palm tree in the front yard. Nestled on the frozen ground. Unmoved by the forceful winds. Displaying its own splendor crafted by the Hands above.

Like that leaf, I knew I found the truth that no matter how forceful the winds of evil men planned for me, I would be unmoved and would forever feel secure because the God of impossible was and would always be with me. The God we serve can turn around even these powerful winds into our advantage. I still was not sure where this battle would lead me but one thing was true from the start: wherever the winds had taken me and would take me, God had a purpose already planned from the start. I was that leaf, blown by the winds all over the place and down the street. Yet, I remained intact because of His grace…

And my tears flowed…feeling His love was always more powerful than any forceful winds here in this world. I was swept away. Landing on His merciful hands. Nestled on His loving arms. Unmoved because I knew Jesus’ hold never lets go.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." - Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

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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].