Revisiting May 23rd.

I’m not even certain how to begin writing this, but perhaps sincerity will do the speaking.  Three years after the Isla Vista shooting, I’m finding myself thinking about what transpired in my beloved college town.  This is the first time I’m finding myself not in Santa Barbara thinking about what happened, and the sorrow, shock, and surrealism of a tragedy striking far too close have been replaced by a longing to understand.  Frustrated confusion mingled with silence are all I have left this year.  The obvious question then was: why? But the more compelling question now is: how?  How did a life become so distraught, so self-consumed, so unrecognizable to humanity?

On the night of the shooting, I found myself reading up on what had happened, watching the intensely disturbing YouTube video, and reading the “manifesto” that had been written, and I remember thinking that this was the work of a person who deeply misunderstood the source of value in life.  Tonight, I re-read many portions of the manifesto, and I still think that intuition was correct.  Perhaps the more religious among us would be inclined to chalk the enormity up to “man’s fallen nature,” and I don’t disagree.  Nevertheless, I’m not certain that I’m fully persuaded by a description that seems so bereft of the utter darkness that we witnessed.  It just doesn’t seem like a complete enough description given the implicit resignation of the phrase; it seems more like the manifestation of radical despair and unmet desires.  Upon reading the manifesto tonight, I was met with conflicting pity and disgust, yet there was also a part of me that wondered if our world hadn’t groomed such a tragedy from the beginning.  Obviously I am not trying to justify what the killer did nor am I pinning the blame on society; this was truly a case of senseless, hopeless violence.  Yet, the questions are overflowing.  Did he have friends to help him through these troubled thoughts?  How did his parents not perceive the issue from an early age, when he seemed to have begun his deviation from living a full, vibrant life?  What could we collectively have done differently?

I’m not entirely sure I’ve had enough time to understand – it may very well be the case that his story is not one to be understood.  But more than anything, I find my heart broken once again for the families who lost their loved ones in the most unnatural way.  I will never know the depth of suffering that the friends of the deceased endure every year around this time.  All I can do – all we can do – is be faithful each year to honor the memories of those whose lives were claimed and be reminded to love those around me with kindness and with respect.  I believe that the end is drawing ever closer, and so I must believe that a loud voice from the throne will eventually say, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And yet, in the middle of an especially dark night, I am finding it difficult to bear the burden of tears that have yet to be wiped. 

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Isaiah 53.

Who will come to hear the story

one that God has painted true?

With no part about Him special

why should we keep Him in view?

Some before us did mistreat Him,

jeered and scorned the One who saves;

He became a man of sorrows,

Every grief in life He braved.

Though we failed to love His presence,

yet He bears our burdens whole.

We saw death, and thought, “He earned it,”

didn’t see He saved our souls.

He took the beating meant for us –

because of sin, the Son was killed.

He laid His life down for our peace,

and by His wounds, we are healed.

So all of us, who’ve turned away,

had our wrongs and burdens laid

silently, upon His shoulders,

He, our Lamb, atonement made.

He was treated by His people

like a robber or a thief.

He did no wrong during His years

yet the Lord put him to grief.

Now we see what our transgressions

bear as fruit: the death of Him.

We’ve become now seen as righteous,

He intercedes for us, praise Him!

 

Our Daily Bread.

Jude 1:17-18 says: “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.'”

We now find ourselves, as a body of believers, walking in the aforementioned “last time.”  Yet, as we approach the return of our Savior, a striking problem becomes more and more visible: the generations have become more and more faithless, aside from the occasional flicker in the darkness.  The love of the Church (and I am not speaking here of the Catholic Church; rather, I am referring to the body of Christ of which Christ is head, as found in Colossians 1:18 and various other places in the Bible) has been mangled by the violent passions of each new wind of doctrine we hear in contemporary society.  Even some of the youth who faithfully attend Sunday services at a church find their vision of Christ obfuscated by their vision of social justice.  Now, this is not to say that the pursuit of social equality in its various manifestations – feminism, black lives matter, etc. – is somehow wrong or to be despised; they are all reasonably good causes, and causes in which we ought to feel a leading to be ambassadors.  I would, however, argue that Christ and His Bride are of far more importance in that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us so that we might have a heart for the brokenhearted circumstances we find ourselves in.

The problem with the love of the Body of Christ is a two-way street: our generation of believers holds our faith with grips that say, “Christ is coming soon, but my future is coming sooner.”  The church is at times both lukewarm and overzealous, creating a veritable chasm in its pursuit of the hearts of our generation.

As believers, we encounter the scoffers in our lives, certainly; in the context of social media and the online world at large, we may even fall perilously (but silently lest we disturb our friends, our co-workers, or anyone, really) into the margin of the quiet minority, bleating along with the loudest voices of the next polarizing issue.  When we say that we know Christ is coming soon, that we know He will come as a thief in the night, that we know to not be like the five virgins who came unprepared with oil in their lamps, what are we really saying? Is it something to the effect of, “I know all I need to know about Christ, but let’s be real; He isn’t coming yet,” or “It’s nice to be a Christian and all, but God probably wants me to be more concerned with helping people in the now and being a good person, you know?” As much as these thoughts are for an audience, they are also the manifestation of a deeper self-critique because I too find myself adopting these positions.  However, just as the disciples never stopped asking questions about Jesus in hopes of understanding Him more, so too should we ask questions about the Christ who lives in us.  Where does that certainty of His delayed return come from? Perhaps it’s because we don’t really have a hope in Christ’s return at all – then again, it may also be the case that we simply don’t know, in all of our “knowledge” of Christ, what exactly to expect of Christ’s return; we exchange our ignorance of His glory for the comfort of facing the present reality when, in the most prostrate of faiths, His return is the reality.  But no, we don’t actually want that, do we?  Jesus wouldn’t want us to just kneel before Him all day when people need to hear the Gospel, right? It’s true, and yet how much Gospel are we honestly sharing in our lives? If we answer the dormancy of our spiritual lives with sound, but empty, spiritual doctrines, how can we expect to speak life into the world around us?  Maybe we shouldn’t be so critical of Judas in John 12 when he is mortified by Mary’s “wastefulness” before the Lord; after all, doesn’t he have a point?  It would be better to use that money to help the poor, wouldn’t it?  If it wasn’t apparent already, many of the questions asked are asked sarcastically; what Judas is doing is not caring for the poor, but opting for his own comfort when witnessing true worship because giving up his own comfort to fall at the feet of Jesus is a greater price than the perfume Mary poured out for her Lord.

The church also has its share in contributing to the lackadaisical faith of its members, but less so because of what the church is doing and more so because of what the church has become.  Defaced by the actions of Westboro Baptist and other very publicly “Christian” groups who passionately stain the testimony of Christ on Earth, the church we love fights a war both against the unbelievers and the believers.  Its plight with the unbelievers is the tremendous loss of trust that being human within the church has produced; society looks with rapt attention on scandal and misrepresentation, and when the humanity of public Christians shows, it pounces on each anomaly as if it were a fact of faith.  And yet, the hope is that they would understand that we are not perfect people seeking to make unbelievers perfect; we’ve merely found a perfect hope that restores our imperfection before the eyes of a just and loving God.  Since this is the case, the church has begun a gradual retreat from the public sphere, believing discretion to be the better part of valor and not wanting to offend anymore people by its “radicalism.” The church’s ability to love has been crippled by humanity’s ability to hate, and so, the church is found at odds with its own body, as an adolescent going through puberty.  It is awkward and no longer knows how to present itself.  Show too much love, and it worries about being a cult; show too little love, and it loses the hearts of men.

In this very long-winded and ill-conceived post, I suppose the most important thing I have to say is that we no longer feast on Christ, the living Bread.  Our appetites are slaked by more present satisfactions because we are blind to God’s reality.  The church we ought to love has become marred by its inescapable past, and believers and unbelievers alike shoot fish in a barrel when criticizing it in its present state.

All that remains is to simply pray, “Father, give us this day our daily bread.”

Give us Jesus.

To Battle.

As I reflected on the Lord’s Table at this past weekend’s young people’s meeting, I began to make ties to the current season of Easter.  The matter of the blood being sufficient to overcome the ghastly feeling of sin that enslaves the soul identified itself to me, and all at once, I began to realize that as Christians, we are ourselves caught in the middle of an ongoing, spiritual warfare.  Just as Paul defends his ministry in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, saying, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (ESV), so too must we adopt the attitude as we passionately seek to further Christ’s ministry on Earth.  This matter of Easter, of Christ’s resurrection from the dead in particular, should not just be confined to a yearly acknowledgment of and rejoicing at Christ being risen – though that is a spiritual cornerstone that we all must take pains to remember in our daily lives.  Christ’s resurrection is victory over all; Isaiah 25:8-9 says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (ESV).  When Christ’s blood was spilled, what was a fleshly defeat became a spiritual conquering of Satan, sin, and death.  In this warfare, we align ourselves with a majestic King who gives us confidence in His victory, having foreknown it before the foundation of the world.  

And how ought we respond, then, to this warfare deemed victorious? We have no other course before us to run aside from what Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Our strength comes not of ourselves; it is the strength of His might. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, it is by the power of His resurrection that we gain His life – a life characterized by victory, righteousness, and hope.  Our King reigns over all, making it possible for us, through the spilling of His own blood, to be His servants and work His will among men for His glory.  And so, when we come to the Table, when we celebrate Easter, what we are doing is proclaiming the victory that has already taken place.  Christ is risen, and death is defeated.  Let us celebrate well, run well, and make His everlasting glory known to all nations; our King died not in vain, but to save us from certain demise at the hands of our sin.  

Our King is calling – blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on [His] holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near. (Joel 2:1)

Del Playa.

This may be a dangerous post to write, but perhaps those are the posts actually worth writing.

https://www.change.org/p/berger-bros-entertainment-shaun-hart-josh-berger-halt-release-of-del-playa-movie?recruiter=356467616&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-no_msg

The above link is something that is being shared by friends and schoolmates of mine as of late, both past and present.  By all means, I encourage whoever reads this to go and sign the petition; it is a call to action to stop the making of a film that seems to bear a vague relationship with the May 23rd tragedy that occurred at UCSB due to the film being insensitive to the tragedy.  I have not watched the trailer, nor have I done any research on the film itself and what it is actually about.  For all I know, it could be an unfortunate misreading of a low-quality film’s premise because of the emotionally charged location and plot.  What the people sharing this have said about the film is that it glorifies the shooter, that this is what he would have wanted, and that the making of this film is profiteering from a tragedy that affected thousands of students – all fair sentiments to be shared.

However, two things give me pause about this sudden deluge of protests against the film: the disintegrating clarity of rights and the limitation of human sympathy.  I’ll start with the more unsavory of the two so as not to leave my readers with a bitter taste in their mouths.  The notion of rights being infringed upon here is evident when we take a step back from it emotionally: the freedom of speech.  It is possible to claim that the film is infringing on public order, in which case someone who is vehemently against the production of the film might take Berger Bros. Entertainment to court.  However, at the core of it, what is being called for is the prevention of some people, however misguided in the context and plot they chose, from expressing a story that they want to convey.  Now, this statement comes not with support of their actions, but in defense of an idea; the more passionate among us might challenge this claim by asking, “Well, why don’t I make a movie glorifying the terrorists who flew the planes into the Twin Towers?,” to which I respond, “Because you have the decency not to.”

The interesting thing about having freedom is that it can be abused.  Just yesterday, in fact, we had Bible study and went over 1 Peter 2:16, which says “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (ESV). While not all of my readers may be believers, this notion itself still can apply; it’s about how to use the freedom we’ve been given.  As a believer, that freedom is the freedom to operate within God’s will because the freedom is not a freedom to act on my own, but a freedom from sin.  In the same way, the freedom of speech that we have all been given according to law is a freedom that can be used to encourage and a freedom that can be used to disparage.  How we choose to use our freedom is based on our individual sense of respect for one another and the imagination of how other people would respond should we choose to say one thing or another – which brings me to the limitation of sympathy.

It hurts my heart thinking about the incident, and even the poem written soon after the shooting could not fully encapsulate the fear, sadness, and disillusionment that followed after.  Nevertheless, this depth of sorrow only extends to the realm of my own personal experience, for no other tragic shooting that has happened across the nation brings me to a yearly remembrance of the tragedy each year with a deep personal sadness.  There are certainly people who feel the anguish of tragedies that occur across the nation, much less across the globe, and yet fewer still are those who consistently remember global tragedies with a deep personal investment.  In many ways, the tragedies of Sandy Hook elementary, or many other shootings, are only remembered when something similar has happened.  Our compassion only remembers with repetition; that is to say, we only recall tragedies when similar situations occur, and it compiles into a vast amount of temporary grief.  Perhaps it’s that we haven’t learned anything from these tragedies which brings them back in different manifestations time after time, or perhaps it’s just that for all of our ability to commiserate, we prioritize our sympathies based on our own personal experience.  People who rarely share these types of posts have been seen sharing this one, and why this one? Why not share about any of the atrocities occurring around the world?

Our hearts are far too small to help one another; our brokenness is illuminated by tragedies, and we are loathe to gaze on it, believing that we have progressed.  We believe that our world is getting safer, that people are learning to love one another more.  And yet, look at the darkness that is filling our world.  We are so overcome with grief that we have forgotten to love out of the grief; we seek justice too soon, we dry our tears with our fists.  For those of us who believe, it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves lest anyone should boast.  We have been loved from the depths of grief.  God is not pleased that we bear sin’s shackles, but His great response to that sadness is sacrifice, and with sacrifice, a love that sets us free.

I do not support this movie.  I do not support the glorification of perpetrators of tragedy.  This is my opinion.  But, I do not want this single case to arouse my sympathies; I want my sympathies to extend around the world that exists within the boundaries of “all nations.”  Because if I am upset at this case but not the circumstances of people being killed on the other side of this planet, I am involved in too small a vision.  The only effect that will bear any useful fruit from this opinion is to be loving towards all around me, that they might share a similar view of the world – perhaps even the view of the world from the eyes of one who believes in a God who loves perfectly.  It may sound naive, perhaps, to believe that the desires of people to profit from tragedy, to commit enormities, to discourage those around them can all be changed by loving more.  And yet I know how I have been changed by the love of my Saviour, and so I believe.

If You Are Willing.

This finals season, I’ve just been meditating more and more on Luke 22:42, which reads: “saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (ESV)  The more I think about it, the more, “if you are willing,” begins popping up and being bolded, italicized, and underlined – sorry, I’ve been working on papers. This short post is just a reminder to me, and all my brothers and sisters out there dealing with finals, or even something else, that Jesus’s will was purely centered on God’s will.  He had a request for the cup to be removed from Him, but ultimately, He acquiesced to the Father’s will.  We can request all the straight A’s we want, and if it brings glory to God, then we may see those results; however, let us continue to remember and reflect on how often we ask God about His will and keep God in the conversation in our daily lives. 

He Lost First.

Time for some shower thoughts.  This is entirely unrelated to what is at hand, but in the bathroom or in the shower is where I do some of my best thinking.  Something about how the light illuminates individual cells of the fiberglass sliding door while gradually heating water sprays my feet really helps me connect the dots.  Anyways, enough of that.

As a hopeless romantic, the fundamental basis of my thoughts stems from a strong inclination to romanticize.  This ranges from the standard, stereotypical, love-type romance to the true appreciation of love that abides in the core of nature.  The key to being a hopeless romantic, however, lies in the necessity of being romantic beyond reason; where I have been crushed, I only allow my shattered heart to become finer and finer dust, waiting for the heat of reciprocation to weld it into something whole again.  In terms of Christians having dual lives, I suppose this would be my alter ego.  This is the area of my life that I keep “hidden” from God, the part where it’s just about me and my desires, not really having anything to do with God.  It’s not necessarily the healthiest thing to do, but it’s a human fallibility that plagues me to such ends.

However, in the shower, the two lives intersected, and the unintentional emotional masochism of being hopelessly romantic resonated within my perception of Christ’s love somehow.  In a way, I go through what Jesus goes through except to a far lesser degree.  Just as my pursuits have ended in nought, Jesus still pursues those that He loves.  And because He has the advantage of foreknowledge of whether or not they’ll return His love, it makes it an even more beautiful image of how much He loves.  If I knew that there wasn’t a chance the people I pursued would feel the same way as I did, then I would drop the venture at once; Jesus, however, knows that some people will never accept Him, and yet He still loves them.  Jesus is the original hopeless romantic, and His love story is one that defies genre, with the narrative changing in certain aspects per person based on their own experience of Him.  It just so happens that chancing upon this facet of Jesus’s love reinforced my faith and love for Him.  If He can love the unlovable, what’s stopping me from going beyond myself to love people for more than just a purely selfish reason?  We love because He first loved us, and it’s that pure love that I should be focused on expressing, not some fantastical love borne of present solitude, because I have an eternal companion in the form of Christ Jesus.

Tired.

Long has it been since my last post due to the lack of time; however, the winter break affords me joys that I would not know during the school year.  Despite the “break,” it really feels as if I am in a constant struggle.  Tension at home from transporting people to and from an area leaves me wondering if the head figures in the house understand what they say.  It is one thing to mention my fault in this act; it is quite another to question my faith.  Certainly, conditions with health and mind may play a role in this hopefully absent-minded utterance of frustration and anxiety; if not, much needs to be said of the way we treat our verbiage towards other brothers and sisters.

“I thought you said you couldn’t drive others.  And you call yourself a Christian.”

The last six words comprise of one of the most frequent phrases in the family from a faithful person.  Though it may seem unimaginable to do so, it is quickly becoming an earsore and needs to be dealt with quickly.  Though I myself have never so much as thought of the phrase, it seems to be treated lightly, especially when I am the target, and I have finally decided between writing this post in hopes that the offender may see it or leaving home and not returning.  This six-word phrase should be the most offensive, disgusting, self-extolling object human voices have graced, yet remorse witnessed after its appearance is non-existent.  It is not within my nature to do such a thing, but edification may be gained from the writing of this post, and I hope that I may extract human bias and emotion from it and rely on the Word of God.

Two aspects of the phrase must be addressed: the judgment and the lack of forgiveness.  I certainly hope calling myself a Christian does not mean that I judge others as the Pharisees of old did, and I also pray that it does not lead me to relinquish my sense of forgiveness.  However, the assault of my faith seems to contain an inherent lack of forgiveness and a heaping portion of condescension.  How many souls have been lost by holier-than-thou Christians!  Yet from history, have we learned nothing that we may continue on in this fashion?  Asking me how and to what extent I’ve read the Bible as a way of condemning me engenders not guilt, but skepticism.  Certainly, I have not read the whole Bible; the genealogies and such serve to be a stumbling block in my many attempts.  However, this is not to say that I haven’t taken to heart the Lord’s exhortations and lessons.  Following are a few verses that might prove to be helpful to those who struggle with judging others, and they frequently remind me to keep a civil tongue and reflect upon my own transgression before doling out condemnation to others.

Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Galatians 6:1 ESV

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

These two verses alone speak volumes of how we ought to conduct ourselves in regards to others in the Body.  In Galatians, it says, “you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”  How easy it is to hear words of edification when spoken without animosity and human venom!  It is indeed difficult to maintain gentility while enraged, however, so I will pray for this presence of mind in my own life.  In Matthew, it obviously addresses the issue of judgment, and there is no greater example than in John 8, where Jesus spares the adulteress.  Let him who him who has no sin cast the first stone indeed!  All others would do well to beware of such judgment, lest they be judged accordingly.  Judgment is indeed a persuasive temptress; for this trespass, I forgive the offender, for I myself am weak in this.

The next verses relate to forgiveness, and I am not attempting to boast, but I am glad that the Lord has given me a measure of patience and an iota of forgiveness.  Patience and forgiveness, as I now realize in the writing of this, are heavenly gifts; I have too long taken them for granted and these virtues call to be acknowledged.  The following are verses on forgiveness that have aided me in consciously forgiving others while also praying that I might be even more forgiving.

Luke 23:33-34
33 “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Even as I seek these verses, I gain more and more light.  For I do this not to lift myself up in glory, but to understand further the conduct in the Church and in the Christian walk.  Being a Christian, to me, represents following Christ, who was God’s Son and the only one who pleased Him.  Even as He was nailed to the Cross, He pleaded forgiveness for His murderers.  What manner of love and forgiveness is this?  Is my act of “indecency” truly enough to call into question my faith and just not forgive me my foolishness?  Had anyone been injured, then certainly, I would feel extreme remorse; however, good food and fellowship were had, so I fail to see the harm in the situation.  

It truly must have been God’s will that moved me to write this.  It removed all my furious thoughts and has replaced them with a spirit of introspection.  The writing of this has been a very intensely personal discovery of how to better conduct my own person among God’s people, and I hope that it may shed some, even if only a single ray, of light on any reader of this discourse.

Fearless

Post script: All tension has been relieved within 15 minutes of the writing of this post!  Praise the Lord!

Typewriters.

A typewriter is, all in all, a rather antediluvian machine to imprint man’s thoughts onto sheets of paper.  Yet I find it to be an incredibly romantic machine; though I have yet to lay my trembling fingertips on the metal keys and listen to the peals of clacking that emit from it, I find myself constantly thinking about it, wondering where in the United States it currently is as it travels homeward.

Now, many have asked, what in the world is the point of the typewriter? and to this I have only been able to produce a sheepish smile and an incoherent response.  It is not so much the pragmatic reason for buying it as it is the romantic notion of having the capability of sitting in my room with a cup of tea and an open window from which I can gaze out into the vast expanse of sky and meditate on what words I am about to impress upon the patient paper.

In its romanticism lays its unique value in my eyes; for esoteric reasons, I simply desire to have a typewriter.  Though the notion of a typewriter having any sort of romantic quality to it may be absurd to linguists who study the essence of the romantic movement in literature, it is because of individuals such as myself that the English language continues to evolve, with more and more forms of quasi-prose poetic pieces springing up from the earthy soil.

Indeed, having a typewriter is of the utmost importance to me in this specific juncture of time.  However, how important is it for me to have God?  Sometimes, I feel that I let myself be carried away by the tide of what this world has to offer, and soon I forget the One who has delivered me from all sin and continually intercedes for me in heaven.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to Earth in man’s lowly body and accomplished things with man’s body that none before could and none after was able to do.  It is also the Holy Spirit who infuses me with the supply to write more and more and improve in increments.  But, really, how important is having God to me?  This question alone is what we must continually ask I feel, as too often we flex our own muscles, not realizing that our muscles were already crafted in heaven and made in the likeness of God Himself, coursing with godly strength.

What have we to offer that is more than what God can offer.  If anyone has the nerve to say that he can compete, nay, contend with God in His works, I laugh without mirth in wonder at his folly.  How great is the arrogance of man!  Should He desire, He can expand the true proportion of the universe in relation to man before man’s eyes, and man will certainly bow down and realize that he is facing his Creator, he will realize that he is but a speck of dust in the time continuum, and he will see the utter lack of space that he actually has control over.

And so I also see many writers who claim their own merits.  I must admit, I was one of this type.  But I am no longer, for I too have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me! And the life I live now in the flesh, I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I cannot but contribute my successes to my Lord, and I cannot but claim my failures as my own selfish desire to achieve more than what God predetermined.

So now, to all other believing writers, I present a solemn challenge: though of present, I desire a typewriter, I know in myself that I desire God more. I cling to my faith in Christ as the only source of my craft and talent; I am a Christ-type-writer.  What type of writer are you?

– W.L.