This is Who You Are

“To everyone who’s lost, He gives a new identity that’s grounded in the kingdom and a new reality,

It’s found in loving kindness and a mercy that is free,

You can become the child that you were always meant to be”

– Michael Card

 

Advertisements

Breakfast by the Sea

Over my meal of fish and chips, I am suddenly brought back to the sea shore of Galilee.

“Come and have breakfast.”

Peter looks like crap. Despite sitting by the fire, he’s not quite dry yet from his swim – neither here nor there. Uncomfortable, but not just because he hasn’t completrly dried; Peter’s gaze is fixed on the fire dancing in the burning coals – a painful reminder of his failure and betrayal. But perhaps it is a relief that he has something else to look at instead of Jesus’ eyes.

 

But Jesus asks for a response.

“Do you love me?”

savida_acre_IMG_20160906_163649308_HDR
Image taken from https://www.google.com/amp/s/munchies.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/bm37z8/this-israeli-restaurant-is-bringing-jews-and-arabs-together-over-a-love-of-grilled-fish?source=images

On a separate note, I wonder if Jesus liked fish.

The Narrow Road

Something has been tugging.

As my colleague and I left this really fancy property sales gallery to return to the office today, we drove along narrow roads with broken walls beside it.

And there’s something about leaving somewhere sanitised and posh to find yourself traveling along an ulu kampung road dengan semak samun bukan main padat.  

There’s something about narrow roads – the mud, (invisible) speedbumps and all that jazz. The desire to u-turn and  return to “civilisation”, where the roads are wide and tarred, is real.

But the narrow road beckons adventure. It invites you to come discover – to come roll up your sleeves and get dirty, rebuilding what has been torn down and restoring what has been taken away.

Confessions of a Young Punk

Cerita-Naruto-Dari-Generasi-ke-Generasi-768x554

I must confess I’ve been watching a… wholesome amount of snippets from Naruto Shippuden and Boruto. And I must say, for a shonen, it really does stir some serious feeeeels.

Funny how revisiting the anime / manga has made me realise that people have lives in the sense that every life is a story; every person has a past, this past has shaped who he or she is today, and this person still has a future. (And so it seems that it took me 27 years and comics to realise this.)

But yeah, even if it took me 27 years (and comics by a master storyteller), this realisation – that lives are stories – has changed the way I look at people. Sure, Naruto may be fictional, but watching this fictional character really grow from brat to Hokage – understanding his struggles and successes,  knowing the stories of those who invested and poured their lives into his – makes you realise that our stories are intertwined.  People matter. What has been left behind for you matters. And what you in turn leave for others matters.

Also, seeing how Boruto only knew “Naruto the Hokage” and not “Naruto the gutsy No. 1 Unpredictable Ninja of his youth who shed a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears to overcome a whole lot of crap”,  I realise that I am like Boruto – a “young punk” who doesn’t actually realise that people more senior than I were once “young punk[s]” too! (And I quote the boss when I say “young punk” :P).

And suddenly the stakes rise; investing in a younger person’s life suddenly seems to be of increased importance. After all, we won’t be here forever. And life is a marathon; all must train, all must grow stronger, and all must end well, fighting the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith, but passing on the baton.

 

At the Workshop

Me: Abang sudah lama sini hor?

Workshop Abang (“WA”): Tak.

Me: Ya meh?

WA: 2 tahun saja.

Me: 2 tahun bukan panjang meh?

WA: Kalau jadi foreman, kena 7 tahun.

Workshop Abang got grit.

Perhaps the key to lasting a little longer is going to the workshop. Kereta pun kena servis. Apatah lagi manusia.

P_20171021_110330

Sniffly kids

As I entered the lift, a kid, clearly red faced from crying, saw me looking at him and immediately hid behind his mum (or at least some lady who I assume is his mum).

All I could think of was how I just wanted to put my hand on his tiny shoulder or give him a pat on the head. It didn’t matter if his face was red and sticky with tears, or even if he did some crap that legitimately warrants a nice scolding. All that mattered was that he was crying. And something in me kept poking and pressing my internal sympathy buttons.

But the more I looked, the more he hid from me in what I suspect was shame (or maybe just fear la sebab ada creepy stranger tengok kot. Siapa lah tidak creeped out kalau macam tu). But I was thinking “budak nangis biasa la tu, kau tu malu kenapa?”. 

And I saw myself in him.

I am that sniffly kid – snivelling, snot nosed and puffy eyed, hiding from God out of shame. As if hiding would make any difference. As if God doesn’t see. As if God doesn’t know.

Not that God doesn’t discipline his kids. I’m thinking that hand in hand with the role of disciplinarian is this other side of God: the father who just really wants to tuck us under his arms and wipe away all that snot from our sticky, tear stained faces. That Father, who actually wants us to come to him, with whatever shameful thing, rather than sniffle and snivel alone in a corner. Yang malu, aku jer.  God boleh jer handle.

 

“He’s in town!”

So, Ravi Zacharias will be in town to speak in April. And boy, am I ridiculously excited to go listen to him speak!

It somehow feels different if you’re hearing someone speak live, or if you’re watching them speak on Youtube. I dunno why. But there is excitement in the fact that this person will be here, well, in person!

Then I wondered: if this is how excited I get over Ravi Zacharias, I wonder what it would have been like when Jesus was in town! The people must’ve gone nuts! Absolutely bat shit bonkers over the fact that Jesus was coming to town!

When I think of prominent RZIM speakers and my other heroes of the faith, I find the need to constsntly keep myself in check so that I worship the God whom they preach and not the one doing the preaching! Which is why when I overheard someone comment that Michael Ramsden of RZIM is a “phenomenal speaker”, my self-righteous inner Pharisee was doing inner eye rolls. BUT AFTER HEARING MICHAEL RAMSDEN SPEAK, I am in complete agreement that he is a “phenomenal speaker”! And this makes me think: if this is Michael Ramsden, what was Jesus like?

Did the thought of Jesus coming to town make the people restless with excitement?! How soon did it take to become talk of the town that Jesus was coming?!

I think of those people who took pretty extreme measures just so they could meet Jesus in person – the friends of the paralytic, Zachaeus, the crowds who swarmed after Jesus sampai Jesus kena duduk dalam sampan while they gathered at the water’s edge to listen to him speak – and I’m in awe.

This guy. This guy who, at the start of his ministry, goes to the synagogue, stands up and reads out a portion of Isaiah, and then announces to all present that on that very day, that scripture was fulfilled in their hearing. And “[t]he eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.” Crazy stuff! Absolutely crazy stuff. :)

To see and hear Jesus live. What an amazing, amazing thing to look forward to!