Finders Keepers.

Despite our immediate gravitation towards deflecting the question “what’s your special talent?” with a general murmur of expressed humility, we all have hopefully experienced moments where we discover that we do, in fact, have unique skills within us.  Mine, as I have discovered throughout my life, is my penchant for finding things.

A bit of background and evidence, when I was really young, perhaps five or six years old, my grandmother lost her ring in our house.  I was aware of this and tried with all the effort a child at that age can muster, and eventually a glittering in a corner caught my eye and I produced a lost wedding ring.  Along the years, I must have found over a hundred pennies, nickels, dimes, or quarters on the streets.  Fast forward to winter retreat in 2010 (I believe) at Pali Mountain, a sister lost her iPhone somewhere outside in a snow-covered area, and hours after I heard the bad news, a bar of black appeared in the corner of my vision.  Picking it up, I found that it was the missing iPhone.  In the summer of 2011, at a church activity at the beach, one of my best friends lost his glasses in the ocean, swept away by the current as he lay down.  Tracking the motion of the current, I tried with what little power I had to follow where the glasses might possibly have gone.  Looking down into the water, a plume of sand suddenly cleared up and I found a pair of glasses lodged in the sand, looking back at me.  Now, in 2012, I was biking to the Pavilion Gym for some volleyball when my left pedal snapped off.  I left it and kept going on foot because I didn’t want to be late (even though I was) and when I was walking home on foot, I found it laying in the grassy area.

Now, the purpose of the above paragraph wasn’t to boast about my past and extol myself on a pedestal. It was merely to chronicle events in my life where I have been shown my own personal talent.  However, the main thing that I would like to focus on this evening is the use of this talent.  I used to take inordinate amounts of pride in my ability to find material objects, but of late, I reflect upon what else my talent could mean.  In my heart, more and more each day, I have a desire to find things that aren’t material; specifically, I have a yearning to start finding lost souls.  The verses that particularly affect me are James 5:20 and Luke 15:7, both shown below:

James 5:20 “20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

The first covers the logistics behind my desire to find lost souls, and the second shows the ramifications of my potential actions. And yet, I can’t help but think how often we believe we can do something and the Lord shows us otherwise.  So now all I do is just wait on Him and see where He leads me.

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Getting Dull.

The stars in the sky, how much they used to mean

to a little guy with big thoughts and even bigger dreams

who would fly high with thin socks and even lighter seams

and would just try to shoot hoops and cheer for smaller teams.

The moonbeams forayed into the depths of his heart

when his mind thought of pure things, like motion in art.

The rays of light shined upon a world undiscovered

as he gazed into the solitary world of another.

He lost himself, his identity, in the eyes of a friend

who brought him to the last chapter of a story, the end.

And so he moved on, grieving the loss of one ‘mongst many

The world’s a pretty dime, but he would have kept this little penny.

Then his mind changed, his surroundings just shifted

and alone he drifted, till one day he sifted

through the contents of his body, of his soul, of his spirit,

blowing through it all like sand, with no one else near it.

With slow acknowledgement, he found what knowledge meant,

discovering the purpose for which he was really sent:

A warfare raged on, and only he was well-prepared

to take the hard tasks on and quite well he did fare.

But somewhere along the way, he lost the living romance

The beauty of the moment, the seconds in a slow dance.

It all faded as his heart became silent on guard,

standing vigil, wary of the tales from many drunken bards.

A history of mystery, to himself he mainly kept

dwelling on a past mistake for which he would have wept.

But this bright soul, how dull did it actually become?

It did not even shimmer in the brightness of the sun.

With a heavy sigh, he pushed his fatal mistake away

staring at the mountains, through which he’d live his day.

Tumultuous at times, and rocky through and through

He tried to pray each moment, asking God what he should do.

He felt like losing hope, a thing which bears feathers

he felt like giving up, despite the storms that he did weather.

Yet in the depths of depths, the dreaded mire of gloom

The Master of his life did closely to him loom.

The Son shined down, and his life was made bright

giving him the strength to stand and persevere through the fight.

He gave him a love, and knew when to take away

before a mere human did his whole soul and spirit sway.

On that day, his favorite color became gray

A mix of pure white and the black in which he’d stay.

A metal with no luster, yet regaining a quick edge

As he retreated from the beck’ning grip of death’s ledge.

Giving praise to God, for it was all he felt

as he cried above and on solid earth he knelt.

Another thought on the topic, then no more

for the poor human being was once again poor.

The subtle flexing of his craft refreshed his mind anew

as his fingers spun the rhythms and the pictures his mind drew.

He remembered the color of life, vivid and vivacious

learning of the little things, like staying tenacious.

A spirit of fear was not granted, but one of courage given

providing him the motivation that kept him fully driven.

Pressing to the end, with his God fully in sight

Leading through the bleary night into the warming light.

He forgot what was wrong and left for what was right,

Living blind no more, for he regained his sight.

Forgetting the future, forgiving the past;

the young man found his peace at last.

A Cube.

I’ve been meaning to write a poem, but really haven’t found the time nor the inspiration.  Or I haven’t sat down and actually tried, but that’s beside the point.  I’m hoping this reflection stimulates the old creative juices and leads up to a poem in the near future, but I can’t be certain.  Even now, as I write, I struggle more and more with the imprinting of coherent thought on cyber-paper.  However, I do know the general concept of what I’d like to share about, and that topic would be the different dimensions in shapes.

More specifically, a cube.  Each side of a cube is different in that it takes three different dimensions to construct a cube.  Mathematically speaking, they’re all the same, but at the same time, they are individual dimensions: the length, the height, the width.  Each one has a purpose in the cube and without the measurements being equal, it ceases to be called a cube.  Rather, it becomes a rectangular prism and no longer retains the spectacular quality of balance, unity, perfection.

What a cube also represents, to me, is a part of how the Body of Christ operates.  More and more, I am beginning to see that there are indeed different dimensions to His Body.  Perhaps it was because of growing up with the same people in the Church that I thought everyone subscribed to a more or less unified view of the Christian life, but all I know is that by placing me at UCSB, God has shown me that the brothers and sisters in the Church bring so much more to the table.  The year is not even close to over, and yet I have discovered a number of things that I hadn’t even given thought to previously.  By attending all the meetings (finally) that I could with AACF (Asian American Christian Fellowship), I found the immeasurable riches of Christ truly does exist through the saints as it says in Ephesians 3:17b – 19: “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

It appears that my writing style has gathered a bit of dust, yet God continues to prove Himself ever new and fresh.  No longer do I attempt to attain all spiritual knowledge and contain it within myself; to do so would be impossible.  All that’s left for me to do is to serve faithfully and press on towards the goal, taking comfort in the fact that He has provided, once again, brothers and sisters with whom I can truly be “rooted and grounded in love.”  There is a hidden geometry in the fullness of nature, and there is a perfection in the manifestation of His life in each one of us; a cube, in human thought, is merely a six-sided geometrical figure, but how much more does it represent within the context of His Body.