THE MOST PRECIOUS OF GIFTS

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I hear ‘myself’ (a distant voice), telling ‘me’ (the very present ‘I’) to breathe, but the instrumental organs of my lungs refuse to co-operate! Don’t get me wrong! They want to but cannot. They’re unable to inhale and exhale sufficient amounts of oxygen to inflate and deflate themselves, so that I can breathe with ease.

In the silence of the night while the whole world sleeps, I hang in the balance of my own existence, feeling the heavy weight of darkness wrapped around me like a suffocating blanket. A severe asthmatic, I desperately try to breathe – gasping for any amount of air I can capture – only to secure it in short supplies with every rasping intake that my weak lungs can concord. I know the breaths that allude me are not mine to claim by ‘rights’ yet I need them like: skin to the bone, blood to the veins and water to the thirsty soul!

When God created man ‘He’ breathed into his nostrils and man became a living thing[1].

So where is my breath”, I ask in dismay! “Where is my portion? Where is my entitlement? I need it as much as any other so why is it being with-held from me – only to be administered in short bursts – agitating my ‘convulsions’ and ‘compulsions’ for more?

In panic, (tight chested with raised shoulders), I again appeal for air – struggling in deep affliction as I try to take hold of something that I cannot grasp – my own breath! In that moment my strength is my own. I cannot afford, nor can I allow myself to depend on anyone to supply such an essential, vital and fundamental source to my Being. Air! I need it in great supply but the supply I’m getting is just not enough! I clutch onto whatever little I already have – gasping, rasping and grasping for more and more – before letting go. In truth, I don’t ‘trust’ my ‘supplier’ but in my own deficit I’m forced to depend on Him!

The words of William McDowell’s gospel song: (I Need You to Survive), literally take on renewed ‘life form’, as the Revelation of: “I Need You to Survive”, manifests its reality in me. With a sharp ‘intake of breath’ (in this all-consuming space), ‘my’ breath is taken away as my entire being is subdued by the Spirit of:

I Need You to Survive”!

Life is but a breath[2] yet here I exist in its limbo – hanging between it and death – waiting for ‘breaths next flow’ so I can breathe again!

I liken the experience to that of foamy ocean waves drifting out afar, before rapidly returning. As each wave returns it crashes into the shore’s rocky edges – dissipating into vaporized foams with every cycle – leaving me breathless again! I wait anxiously for the next tidal wave – choked by the ‘undercurrent’ created by the taunting ‘absence’ of breath! There’s a sense that if I’m not able to breathe then it’s ‘me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’ who are going to die – rather than just this mortal vessel ‘housing’ my entire ‘Being’.

In a fear-filled moment, I establish a false belief that I’m both ‘supplier’ and ‘sustainer’ of my life and as such, can rely on no-one nor anything but myself. I am my own ‘hope’ and ‘life’ until I die! (I’m not proclaiming this in vain glory or self worship, but I do so in recognition of ‘self-sufficiency’ and ‘self-dependency’ as I rely solely on ‘me’ for every intake of breath). At best, this is (lack of) ‘faith in innocence’ or at worst is ‘idolatry’ – (despite the ‘higher knowledge’ I have of:

have no other gods before Me for I am a jealous God”!)[3]

At my core however sits a ‘spirit of distrust’ – that is I don’t ‘trust’ my Maker!

How can I not trust the ‘Creator’ and ‘Sustainer’ of life, when fundamentally every fiber of me being able to inhale and exhale, depends on HIM!?”

Nevertheless, I continue drawing deeply from the ‘well of my lungs’ but they’re empty! My need for supply is swifter than the pace of supply so I remain ‘lacking’ – lacking in my own inability to ‘draw from eternity’ a source, resource and reserve which represents the ‘Most Precious of Gifts’ (from God). My life is literally in ‘God’s Hands’ yet I try to ‘possess it’ – believing that I’ll never be ‘without’ if I own it for myself!

But how can I hold onto something which is not mine?” For though it’s a loving gift, it’s still not mine ‘to have and to hold’. Like all gifts, it is simply ‘given to receive’. That is, I must ‘exhale’ (give), so I can ‘inhale’ (receive). Therefore, if I ‘hold’ onto my breath I’m unable to fully ‘receive’ of ‘this most precious of gift’ in its entirety!

From above these shadows (despite my constrictions), I sense ‘His’ still presence watching over me. ‘He’s’ a ‘slip of comfort’ in a ‘space enclosed’ and is my only ‘real’ hope of maintaining connectivity to a ‘breath source’ and a ‘life flow’ that I can neither see, nor hear, nor possess!

Meanwhile, amidst the whistling wheezes of my narrow airways – (being the only audible sound that assures me I’m still alive), another presence lurks! This ‘doomsday’ presence roams around prowling in waiting, to see if I’ll draw ‘breath’ from the well ‘down under’. If I do, he’s poised to devour me like a savage lion tearing into the dead corpse of his overpowered prey. But alongside ‘his’ debilitating force, ‘Life’ hangs in the balance. I cling to ‘Life’ dearly as ‘He’ extends a ‘string of hope’ amidst the darkness surrounding me. ‘He’ keeps me from ‘shortness of breath’. ‘He’ instills a supernatural peace as, (like a nurturing mother stroking the head of her sleeping child), He ‘breathes’ for me.

Though unseen, ‘His’ presence is strongly felt as a patient, caressing, loving, tenderness. ‘He’ hears, sees, feels and knows my struggle. When I gasp for air, ‘He’ gasps with me. When I breathe deeply, ‘He’ reserves for me. When I momentarily stop breathing, ‘He’ breathes into my nostrils. For every breath I take, ‘He’ freely gives ‘another’. ‘His’ breathing makes us inseparable! ‘His’ is the ‘most precious of all gifts’. I need ‘Him’ to survive!

Dear Yahweh. Thank You for the breaths that sustain me through ‘the nights’, for though they are ‘short’ – they are and remain ‘sure’. Amen!”

[1] Genesis 2:7

[2] Psalm 39:5, Psalm 144:4, Job 8:9

[3] Exodus 20:3-5

VALENTINES: THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL!

Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee, How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art. Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee, How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art”[1]

‘LOVE IS IN THE AIR’ and today I’m going to tell you about ‘TheGreatest Love of All’, about how I found it and how you can find it too if you take the three simple steps of:     S, R and B!

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Repent! Confess your sins! Give your heart to the Lord and your soul shall be saved!

These menacing words of trepidation resounded in my family church. I’d hear them bellowed as great ‘sermons on the mount’ – extending ‘soulful pleas’ to kneel at the altar.

The heart stirring phrases would descend from the pulpit and like cupids arrow, shoot towards me, and hover over my conscience before finally weighting me down with piercing guilt and shame!

Now as a young child with limited understanding of what these religious declarations meant, I felt as though I was being: reproached, rebuked and reprimanded for something of which I had no knowledge that I had done! As I sat on those hard wooden benches squirming with resistance, my cousin would mock the preacher. He’d say:

I’m not giving my heart to the Lord. If I give Him mine, He’ll have two and I’ll have none!”

Filled with fear of my own submission, I watched others go forward to say the ‘sinner’s prayer’, only to then feel condemned further by the ‘laying on of hands’, so in silence I willfully remained seated asking myself:

Is God really going to burst through those doors and arrest me, and drag me off by the collar saying:

Come with me. You’re going to hell!?””

After much guilt-edged itching and twitching, I gripped my nerves, scurried to the altar, dropped to my knees and in silence blurted out a ‘mocking’ sinner’s prayer:-

God please forgive me for eating that box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day – when I knew that I should be ‘giving it up for lent’!”

Then I got up, hung my head low with as much reverence as I could imitate, spun round and went back to my seat ‘unchanged’. However, little did I know that my cousin’s words (though spoken in cruel innocence), were one day going to become ‘clothed in reality’ as they took ‘seat in my soul’.

Now I had a great childhood. We were loved, taught how to love others and how to love God. Yet, like most young adults ‘flown the nest’, I wandered aimlessly for a time with little awareness of my Divine Being (and I certainly had no love for the ‘Lover of my Soul’)! Consequently, this led to tragic ‘love losses’. Losses which emptied my love tank; decimated my character and flat lined the pulse in my soul!

Some years later, I experienced what Gary Chapman in his book entitled: The Five Love Languages; describes as the first stage of love – Romantic Love. Soul Bliss!

Spiritually speaking, I was being ‘graced with grace’ and in that moment I rediscovered: ‘The Greatest Love of All’!   It was that awesome miracle of existence in the face of one’s Divine Being! It’s what The Holy Bible describes as: ‘the new birth’ and it sparked as the risen ‘Lord of my life’, during a ‘dark night of my soul’! It compares with the passion of Romeo and Juliet, except a zillion times more potent and death defying, as it fought without mercy for the ‘redemption of my lost soul’.

As this ‘Great Love’ enraptured my ‘Being’ it was then that my cousin’s words became real, for I had indeed given my heart away to lovers departed, except the void within had been filled by a bigger, better and brighter love!

This ‘Great Love’ is celebrated globally by Christians as the: ‘Love Song of Songs’ and is the same ‘Love’ understood by the Swedish Poet, Carl Boberg when he penned the Christian song: How Great Thou Art! This ‘Great Love’ is the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who died for YOU and for ME![2]   This ‘Great Love’ is the ‘Greatest Love of All’ and is still transcending and unconditional today!

Over the course of my life, I realize that unequivocally, everyone experiences tragic ‘love losses’ at some point during their lives. For example:-

  • The loss of valued possessions
  • The loss of unaccomplished dreams, ambitions or aspirations
  • The extreme loss of health and well being
  • The loss of a family pet, an estranged friend or the death of a loved one
  • The separation/divorce from a ‘lover’

Each of these encounters can result in a ‘broken heart’- leading to ‘spiritual death’ along with the ‘lost’ object or subject of one’s love.   However, it’s often when we’re in these ‘valleys of afflictions’ that we are ‘spirited’ upward into the Greatest Love relationship of all and of all times!   I found this ‘Great Love’, which enabled me to live, to laugh and to love again.

Regardless of age, gender, health, sexuality, religion, cultural background or life circumstances, we all can too if we take the 3 simple steps of: S, R and B.

  • S – Surrender our wills to the lover of our souls
  • R – Renew our minds in the splendid ‘Words’[3] of that Love and
  • B – Believe in our hearts of hearts that: “God is the Greatest Love of All”!

[1] Boberg – 1886

[2]The Holy Bible: John Chapter 3 verse 16

[3] The Holy Bible

DWARFISM!

Drat!!!”

“Do I really need more resisting forces hindering my lethargic uphill morning rise, from a night of inadequate sleep!?”

I take a deep breath and make a grueling growling sigh as I react to this unexpected, uninvited and unwelcome representation of day!

My 15 x 20 square feet bedroom, with its extra-large glass windows and access doors, showcase a first-floor balcony to the great outdoors – a picture super imposed when viewed from balcony heights.

The balcony is accessed off the bedrooms, initially stepping bare feet across the oak color laminate unheated floor – if you dare to bravely embrace the ‘chill of the morning air’. It’s invitingly tempting but I’m no friend of the minus cold temperatures commonly associated with this season we call ‘winter’. So, I edge my bets and remain where I am.

As I lay spell bound, cuddled up by the bodily consumption of electric heated blankets, (enjoying the last moments of this triumphant ‘bed liberation’), my thoughts turn to the public announcement I hear in my head. It’s the same public ‘announcement’ which calls ‘all to order’ as the Presiding Judge enters a court room. I hear the ‘resounding’ words of the bailiff (represented by my ‘voice of conscience’) say:

All Rise!”

Before I do, I sweep my right arm across the night stand, gingerly feeling for my eye glasses, so I can put them on to see at a distance, all that to which I must now respectfully rise.

Drat!”

The frenzied mind screams at me:

They’re not there! They should be there! That’s where I leave them every night when retiring to bed!”

The voice of reason responds:

“Oh! For goodness sake! The day’s not even begun yet and you’re already FEELING IT!”

These taunting pieces of information pop up from nowhere – flashing before my blurred ‘frame of reference’, like ‘gate-crashing’ images on my computer screen. They simply add yet another layer of resistance, to the ‘early morning syndromes’ of mental and emotional agitation – that this ‘unhinged’ human being is in no mood for!

As I emerge from underneath the double tiered softly piled covers, (of the ‘centrally heated’ dwelling house – I call ‘bed’), I surface, slowly propelling my 170 lb. ‘human sack’, into the shivering cold clutches of the immediate surroundings – which rapidly envelop me in exchange for what was!

Now fumbling around like a zombie on over ‘doze’ (at 10.00 a.m.) with nerves on ends, (seemingly as crazy as the ‘mop head’ that greets me in the morning mirror), poised as though hunting a ferocious bull without a shot gun, I blurt out through clenched chattering teeth and tight fists:

Where are you?”

But the eye glasses remain obscured as though in hiding, fearing that I will break them in my ‘over-night sugar depleted’ rage, for having deluded me in the first instance. I search high and low, wide and desperate in this winter, sun-lit fueled bedroom, in which I find everything except the one item I need – (metaphorically and literally) to ‘see me’ through!

I’m like an addict without heroine, a baby without milk, a robotic human without morning caffeine and an ‘obsessive compulsive’ being held back against his/her will!

Underneath my breath I again, aggressively mumble (to no-one except my own disdained, disparate and disparaging self):

Where are you?”

After five minutes of ‘looking’ for the ‘said’ glasses, (which incidentally is needed to seek that which I’m seeking), I finally give up the search! The battle is over! The conquest has been won!

You win! I lose! So, go ahead and hide but I’m no longer interested!”

In my sullen, break-fast starved, blinkered, shortsighted moment, these rhetorical ‘words of attack’, confront the missing inanimate object. I shoot them like pellets, regardless of the obvious fact that it has no ‘theory of mind’ nor ‘emotional intelligence’ to understand what has just been said.

Duh

Of course, this equally gives you the reader, no assurance of my ‘soundness of mind’, but it’s the best I could do during that ‘animation’ of ‘my vexations’ and amidst my ‘super irrational tempestuous mood’.

“(Like my eye glasses …. I guess you could say that I had momentarily lost ‘it’ too!)”.

I resort to the next best option! That is, I’m forced to wear my spare pair for the day. It’s a ‘designer’ pair but one which I rarely use because it’s difficult to see through them. Although they seemed right at the time of purchase, (and I’d paid quite a bit for them), they have a shallow depth from my eye brow to the eye seat, so they look slightly wrong on my face. In addition, my broad fleshy nose, (too flat to uplift them towards my eyes), offers no solution to achieving the best uninterrupted line of vision. They also make my face hot due to the material they’re made from. However today, I wear them because:

A little sight is better than no sight – right?!”

Throughout the day I re-establish my ‘love-hate-relationship’ with these glasses – periodically nudging them upwards on my nose (as a gentle reminder of who’s in charge), every time they too threaten to slip away to ‘greener’ pastures new!

But check this out! Talk about a comeuppance, for in keeping with my morning’s dedication to ‘seek and find’, I get my ‘deserved rebuke’ (or sentence) for limited perseverance!

It’s the end of the day and I’m preparing to go to bed. After having negotiated significant compromises with the spare pair of eyeglasses, (and now ready to banish them overnight in contempt), I turn around only to stumble upon my ‘lost’ eye glasses – (which, as though humoring me remain stationary, staring right back in my bewildered face!)

Where I find them is truly bizarre! It’s as though someone had removed them earlier, then returned them secretly while my back was turned – positioning them in this semi-conspicuous place – as though they had always been there and had never moved!

As a side post …… although I’m a mature adult of 50 plus years, I have a ‘child- like spirit’ and a love for stuffed cuddly toys. In my bedroom, I have 7 soft toy-sized dwarfs. Yes! The 7 dwarfs as in: Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs – except I don’t have Snow White.

Each dwarf represents a day of my week, which I subtitle: Mood Swings. That’s because I swing precariously in and out of them – sometimes like a ‘desk top pendulum’ that’s been hit too hard (disrupting its natural rhythm), and so subsequently spin out of control. These are how the ‘moods’ play out: –

  • Grumpy Monday – Tempered by a non-alcoholic ‘hangover’, I’m awakening to the ‘anti-climax’ of the ‘weekend high’, ‘fizzling’ out from the ‘effervescent’ overflows of the vicarious enjoyments – that had kept me going all weekend.
  • Sleepy Tuesday – I’m awake but still in a ‘dream state’ – praying that the weekend has been extended, just so that I can hang onto the perpetually intense joys, excitements and idyllic conditions that ‘weekend breaks’ make ‘sacred’.
  • Dopey Wednesday – I’m fully awake to the vivid reality that the week has begun, yet I remain duped by mental sluggard. I resist break-through, just so that I can indulge further in ‘sneak reviews’ of the socially engaging and recreational liberating weekend activities, upon which I now reflect and lament.
  • Bashful Thursday – I shy away from my responsibility to embrace the fully ‘awakened’ week – which (in accordance with ‘life’s rich blessings’), is afforded everyone who chooses to call it ‘the present’. Instead I slowly unwrap the day – elongating the process – so that it can be ‘covered up’ with trivia, while I prepare for: ‘welcomed’ Friday.
  • Happy Friday – Thank God, It’s Friday (TGIF) because Friday brings the long awaited ‘closure of the working week’. This means I get to ‘throw caution to the wind’ and ‘let go’, as I embark on another weekend pursuit doing exactly as I please – no alarm clocks, no calorie counting and no pressure!
  • Doc Saturday – With my own devised ‘quality mark’ of success and attained PhD in ‘worldly wisdom’, I’m ‘living it up’ to the fullest! After all, it is Saturday all day, so I have the ‘right’ to ‘live and let live’. However, this is just another temporary delusion about ‘longevity of time’ – because it too is just another day. A day which shall come to its own end – as all the ‘good ones’ do – to my dismay!
  • Sneezy Sunday – My sinuses start to tingle as my unsuspecting, semi-rested body, experiences something of an inconvenience – a retraction from the pending and unavoidable ‘merry-go-round’ of weekday busyness! My ‘over anxious psychology’ cannot cope with the provoking reality that ‘Grumpy Monday’ will soon be back with a vengeance. Meanwhile it goes into a conflicting state of shock, rendering me temporarily immune from returning to work on Monday!
  • Grumpy Monday The week begins and here I am again!

This verbal meandering my friends, is a cowardly digression from having to return ‘the verdict’ about my lost eyeglasses. During this mini detour from ‘insanity’ to ‘sanity’, I trust however that your perspective has been extended so you get the full ‘staged performance’ of my moods and the part they play in relocating my glasses!

I’m delighted to inform you that I found them! With an assumed authorized, esteemed authority and stature, they sat perched on my dresser beneath the feet of my 7 dwarfs, (in full view of my unsuspecting eye), while I had frantically (but halfheartedly) searched for them.

As far as I was ‘self-righteously’ convinced, I had justifiably (in haste), ‘glanced’ above, beyond, behind and both sides of the dwarf display. It never dawned on me however to look in between them!

Yes! They were there! Sandwiched between Sneezy and Dopey (just to ‘tone the mood’ further), with the other five Dwarfs innocently looking on!

Duh

How I overlooked them ……. Only God knows! The only thing I can say in my defense is that:

I was simply too close. Too close to see.

So close to ‘the lost’, that ‘the lost’ couldn’t be found!”

As I reflected on this drama, it occurred to me that ‘my sight’ had been ‘limited’, ‘restricted’ and ‘inhibited’ at the ‘feet of dwarfism’. That is, I was unable to ‘see’ clearly because I was ‘short’ sighted in both my mental and emotional introspective. Consequently, this resulted in an ‘abnormally miniaturized attitude’ that did nothing for positively expanding my ‘spiritual altitude’.

The truth is, ‘reality’ had been impaired by my missed concepts, sleep disorientation, overnight hunger and ‘resistance to change’. I had lost sight (and ultimately clear perspective) – only becoming angrier, more frustrated, impatient, indignant and intolerant – adding further distance between ‘the’ reality and ‘my’ reality – (although in ‘virtual reality’ the two were entwined)!

In fact, I had failed the 360% ‘screen test’ because I was ‘singularly blinded’ by ‘ignorance’. I had expected to routinely find my glasses where I believed them to be on my nightstand, which unfortunately ‘distorted’ my ‘peripheral view’ – ‘truncating’ my ability to see the ‘new horizon’ that: I could just possibly have put them somewhere else!!!

The glasses were right ‘underneath my nose’, yet I had failed to see them because I chose not to extend the ‘scope of my vision’ beyond that of what I was accustomed to – (the length of my own nose which was a little too close for comfort given the scenario)!

Rather, I was so ‘tunneled vision’ on ‘the find’, that I did not ‘telescopically’ ‘seek to find’. Instead, I took a ‘snap shot’ overview, then gave up! Essentially, I was ‘dwarfed’ in my ‘outlook’ and so equally ‘dwarfed’ by the outcome!

Sometimes, when you’re too close to a thing (or person) – it’s easy to ‘overlook’ it (them)! You become so ‘familiar’ with your ‘surroundings’ and ‘enmeshed’ in its ‘illusion’, that the ‘panoramic perspective’ of your ever changing ‘situational awareness’, becomes ‘stunted’ and ‘narrowed’ – short sighted!

It’s like looking from a distance at the dots on an optician’s screen through a magnifier. As you hone in on a ‘singular’ dot, it becomes enlarged but at the same time you lose sight of the other dots in your ‘peripheral’ view – until eventually they disappear completely.

I was so ‘honed’ in on ‘finding my glasses’ in a ‘specific place’ (the enlarged dot of my nightstand), that I missed the opportunity to see them in a ‘conspicuous space’ (the peripheral view of the dwarfs on my dresser) – though they lay right in front of my eyes, within the ‘precise’ and ‘broader’ context (the global surroundings), of resting between the feet of the dwarfs (who are intrinsic components of the holistic tapestry)!

Often, it’s only when we achieve ‘corrected vision’ (beamed onto the ‘screen of our consciousness’ and thus lighting up our instinctive worldview), that we are enabled to see ‘openings’ and ‘opportunities’ in our lives. These ‘openings’ and ‘opportunities’ sight the way for ‘discoveries beyond boundaries’, ‘extended visions’, ‘greater clarity of insight’ and detailed ‘accuracy of foresight’ – which combined, ultimately ‘eye-lights’ the ‘ends’ we’ve constructed in ‘our own mind’s eye’!

The moral of this story therefore is:

  • Always keep your ‘emotions’ in check by ‘swinging’ in your ‘elevated’ rhythm
  • Keep your ‘eye on the dot’ of a ‘visionary perspective’ to achieve ‘life’s goals’, but
  • Don’t lose ‘sight’ of the global and holistic picture in which personifies, ‘life’ in its fullness.

WAS JESUS’S DEATH A SUICIDE?

Greetings to everyone in JESUS name and a special THANK YOU to those who responded to the above question I posed on Facebook 24th March 2016. I now share my own views on this with you as promised when I asked the question as a survey.

During Holy Week (week leading up to and including Easter Sunday), I meditated on Jesus’s death and as I did, my mind flashed back to an attempted suicide I disrupted some years ago. I recalled: the lonely and dejected heart, the confused mind and how the spirit of fear had replaced the Spirit of hope – all culminating in a seemingly bleak outlook for the person attempting suicide.

I recalled: the lonely and dejected heart, the confused mind and how the spirit of fear had replaced the Spirit of hope – all culminating in a seemingly bleak outlook for the person attempting suicide.

This led me to deeply question why and what would drive a person to such a place of destitution.? As I pondered this, from out of nowhere the question:

“Was Jesus’s death a suicide?”

presented itself before me.

I had never thought about Christ’s death in this way before! The idea was initially an abhorrent one because (I imagine), just like the anguish and sorrow experienced by a person who loses a loved one to suicide, so is the thought of The Lover of Your Soul taking Life – leaving you the beloved, behind!

Immediately however, The Holy Spirit (known as a ‘gut’ instinct to some), revealed The Truth and I instinctively knew the answer to the question. So like the overcast shadow appearing on the day of The Crucifixion (Good Friday), this was a moment of darkness in thought, that was then illuminated by the resurrected Light of Grace!

So like the overcast shadow appearing on the day of The Crucifixion (Good Friday), this was a moment of darkness in thought, that was then illuminated by the resurrected Light of Grace!

Nevertheless I wanted to hear people’s views on this issue, because if the question had presented itself to me then how many other people had it presented to, and what was their perspective on it?

I googled to see whether such a question had ever even been asked and to my surprise it had!! I didn’t proceed with reading the articles though because The Holy Spirit had already answered – so this written response is totally independent of any reference material out there. My only source of reference is The Bible and its interpretation as inspired through prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Before I offer my perspective however (as a UK citizen), I want to first say that England is still a privileged country, in that it publicly acknowledges and honors Good Friday and Easter season as national holidays. Unfortunately, this is not the case in some other countries. Consequently daily life carries on as normal during Holy Week, with little or no meaningful time re-dedicated to Christian devotion.

In addition, a common daily activity for many people, is time spent on Facebook. I therefore thought it prudent to capitalize on this media by turning faces to address this question, (although my response is written as a blog so I’d have enough space to write a full perspective on it).

I mentioned earlier how abhorrent the idea of Jesus’s death being a suicide is, but in posing the question I particularly wanted to open up people’s minds, by piercing their hearts in the same way the sword pierced Jesus’s side. After all we do live in a dark and decadent society bought into worldwide secular promotional (mis) offers about life, liberty and justice – hence The Bible says:

We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in high places”. (Ephesians 6: 12)

These false bulletins (whether via adv er-se-ments, tel-lie-vision, world wide web entanglements, spiritually debilitating mediums of news, views, movies and reviews, or ed (behead) ucational institutions (prisons/prisms), are the principalities and powers in high places – intended to profit the secular bill at the expense of mortal souls!

False ideologies have continuously under-minded soundness of minds, so my best defense against these flimsy, depraved and shallow beliefs, is to eradicate them with The Gospel Truth! I aim therefore to open up discussion, which hopefully will put a sting in the tales of: death through complacency, death through ignorance, death through arrogance and death through lies, delusions and deceptions!

With this said, Christ is Risen yet many people (including Christians), live as though He is dead by not even taking time out to acknowledge Him during Holy Week! I want to invite people at least momentarily, to come out of the tombs of self-selfishness, secularization and religious traditions, and behold Christ The Light of The World – in Spirit and in Truth!

So back to the question: “Was Jesus’s death a suicide?”

My answer is a RESOUNDING NO! JESUS’S DEATH WAS NOT AND IS NOT A SUICIDE!

Christ came and died for ALL (though SALVATION is a very personal experience!) Suicide is a resulting act of extreme mental illness which distorts and robs people of soundness of mind. The Bible says:

I have not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind!

(2 Timothy 1:7)

A sound mind!! Therefore a spirit of fear is the driving force behind suicide and as such, I compare it to the Bible reference (Matthew 4: 3-6), where Satan confronts (CON-front) Jesus saying:

If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: “He Will Command His Angels concerning You and on their hands they will bear you up so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.””

Satan’s strategy was deception of the mind, the tool used to entice Jesus into killing Himself. The statement Satan made was (and is) a LIE and is S.H.I.T (Sin Heightened in Temporal), which thankfully Jesus in Wisdom did not succumb to!

The Bible says that Satan came to Jesus in this manner during and after Jesus fasting from food and liquids for forty days and forty nights. Jesus the Man naturally would have been extremely weak in body and maybe even delusional – so the opportunity to tempt Him and dis-empower Him was maximized at this point in His Being.

Satan represents the deepest darkness of the mind, and it is when people are at their lowest and weakest point, that Satan appears to lure individuals into committing all kinds of depraved activities – including suicide! Jesus however (though fully human), is The Son (Sun) of God and is thus above darkness – He is pure light (and life) in Spirit as well as in the flesh!

We see in Matthew 27: 3-10 where Judas committed suicide because he betrayed Christ. In short, Judas had sold out his own soul (Jesus Christ), then could not live with himself because without Christ he was nothing! He was empty! Void of humility and void of grace. Self centered and self possessed! In light of this, Judas took his life (that is, he denied himself of the Life-giving gift that God had given him in the form of Jesus Christ.

Incidentally, when one takes their own life it’s as though they have literally ripped out their own heart and thrown it away with The Gift of Life still within. Unless a new and complete heart is offered and received supernaturally, then the body remains void and essentially DEAD – (for the heart is fundamental and foundational to life). It is this that is suicide (that is, disposing of life in its form and in its essence).

A person therefore who commits suicide does not recognize nor value life beyond the here and now (and is unable to because of their limiting functioning of mind). In the depravity of their minds they only understand their own limiting grave existence. This grave existence in morbid terms, is essentially a narrow, isolated and exclusive place/space/state to be and this is not where Jesus ended up! Jesus is risen from the grave! (Luke 24 and Mark 16)

Peter the Apostle (Mark 14: 66-72 and Luke 22: 54-62), too could have committed suicide after denying Jesus three times. He was after all extremely stricken by his fall from grace, (momentarily dwelling in the grave of guilt and shame). However, he relied on another (Jesus) for his existential redemption.

Through remorse, confession and repentance, Peter acknowledged his deliverance could only come from another another outside of and beyond himself – Christ! Conversely, Peter’s whole being (both mortal and divine) were concealed (momentarily in darkness), but was eventually revealed through Jesus’s Word to him (as light and life):

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16: 18)!

So again …… “Was Jesus’s death a suicide?”

If Jesus really had taken His Life this would have been an act of self-selfishness rather than self-endlessness in living on. Had He done so, He could not have returned from the dead for He would have essentially arrested Life as His own – (staying in the grave eternally) while dis-establishing LIFE’s availability to everyone – us! Suicide is therefore a one way ticket that takes you to the pit of hell where one remains in fear and darkness forever!

Jesus GAVE HIS LIFE in return for OURS! Without HIS LIFE we would remain in the grave of our own mortality buried forever in carnality. . Jesus’s LIFE was an exchange to safeguard us from such a fatal ending. That is, it was and is a reciprocal arrangement between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit which is extended unto believers who LIVE in HIM.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

Jesus’s mortal DEATH was a paid RANSOM guaranteeing eternal life in HIM. Without this ransom our lives would be short lived, but because of Jesus’s death we are assured of eternal life in HIM (and not in us alone).

Jesus thus came from heaven and died on earth so that humanity might live on. That is NOT suicide by any means, rather it is the gift of long life (through divine grace), in the same way that (for example), a soldier may give their life in service for their country, or a person gives life through blood transfusion, organ transplant, CPR and any other human acts that can be defined as life-giving! None of these examples result in eternal death, as the original lives live on in the memories of loved ones or in the lives of the person(s) receiving the donation.

Accepting that Jesus’s death was NOT suicide, is it possible that while on earth He was however on a suicide mission? That is, Jesus orchestrated (by pre-design) His own death by deliberately defying the laws of the land – knowing that He inevitably would be crucified in accordance with the criminal penalties of those times?

Despite Jesus’s death being foretold (Isaiah 52 and 53), it was NOT a suicide mission by any means.I would describe Jesus’s life simply as a transition from one sphere of life to the next. That is, Jesus came from Heaven to earth. He died here on earth and ascended back to heaven in renewed form. (John 16:7, John 20:17, 20-22, Acts 2:1-4). This does not mean that it was a mission for death nor does it mean that He died absolutely or eternally. His BEING was for LIFE. The BEING form of LIFE changed (from flesh to Spirit) as He died and lived on for our sake’s (as our stake nailed to the cross).

I would describe Jesus’s life simply as a transition from one sphere of life to the next. That is, Jesus came from Heaven to earth. He died here on earth and ascended back to heaven in renewed form. (John 16:7, John 20:17, 20-22, Acts 2:1-4). This does not mean that it was a mission for death nor does it mean that He died absolutely or eternally. His BEING was for LIFE. The BEING form of LIFE changed (from flesh to Spirit) as He died and lived on for our sake’s (as our stake nailed to the cross).

The death penalty therefore was an unjust reward for the LIFE Jesus gave. It implies that Jesus was guilty of a crime and as such He was bruised (for our iniquities (evils)), crucified (for our transgressions (sins)), then placed in an unmarked tomb, instead of being buried as a King, hailed The King of Glory, and exalted as the martyr that He was and is today!

Jesus WAS NOT GUILTY of any crime! His only crime (if it can be described as such), was He “came from heaven to earth to show the way back to God”. (John 6: 38) He served as Mediator between God and Man and this was His just service! (Hebrews 9:15 and Hebrews 12:24).

To put all this into context …………. Mental illness is real! Satan is real! God is Real! So let’s get real!

Suicide is the result of a sinful world. It is the resulting act of a depraved mind riddled (confused) by and with mental illness. Suicide therefore should be acknowledged as serious a threat to life, as is schizophrenia, alzheimers, dementia, poverty, abortion, homicide, genocide and other equally serious clinical, social and moral health issues (too numerous to mention).

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O. 2015), over 800,000 people die by suicide every year. There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those ages 15-44 and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Someone you know is suicidal – whether resulting from genetic or neurological disorders, induced or none induced chemical imbalances, emotional trauma or physical injury.

My interest thus is not in whether or not Jesus’s death was a suicide (because I already know this Truth), but is primarily concerned with the relationship between religion, faith, spirituality, mental illness and acts of suicide.

Though I share my perspective, I do not claim to be a qualified accredited counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, theologian, professional preacher nor expositor of The Word. Who I AM is a living being – born of The Holy Spirit, having:

  • intervened in an attempted suicide

  • known someone whose loved one committed suicide

  • heard confessions of those who previously considered suicide

  • residence in a world of people who contemplate or commit suicide everyday

  • daily observations of people on suicide missions of: complacency, arrogance, ignorance and defiance of The Gospel of Jesus Christ,

but whom with power, in love and with soundness of mind, knows and believes that Jesus MY Redeemer lives on today!

My final words thus to anyone reading this blog (and who maybe considering or have considered suicide), please know this:-

  • Jesus DID NOT commit suicide, instead He paid the highest price for YOUR life, with His LIFE – so that you can keep yours!

  • Don’t throw away your life because it ‘hurts’ in the moment. It is in the hurting that you gain ‘new life’ to take you into the next day!

  • Seek the love of God in your heart and He will reciprocate!

  • Talk to someone about how you feel – whether it is a loved one, a spouse, a friend, a counselor, a pastor, your local doctor or even a Good Samaritan (someone who will listen without judgement and condemnation). They will gladly help you with what you need!

  • Be kind to yourself and cherish the precious ‘gift of life’. Hold onto it until Jesus returns to take you home with Him where He will exchange it for a new and better life!

You can hear the words of this ‘life giving’ blessing in the lyrics of the following ‘You Tube’ video by GWMA Mass Choir entitled: “No Greater Love”

A NEW YEARS’ RESOLUTION OR A RENEWED RESOLVE?

As I entered the New Year 2016, I pondered about whether or not I should make a New Year Resolution.   Like most people, in the past I was good at making them but not so good at keeping them.

This tendency to ‘give up’ was further endorsed by an article I was reading.   In the article it said that every January, roughly 1 in 3 Americans resolve to better themselves in some way, but that only 46% are still on target 6 months later.

As I read, I reflected on a Bible Reference – {Proverbs 16 verse 9}, and I quote:

                                 “In his heart a man plans, but it is God who establishes his footsteps“.

I was humbly reminded that while we may think we are in control of our own destiny, there is without doubt a greater and higher power that determines our end result.

By comparing human willpower to that of a ‘dog with a bone’ I concluded therefore, that we simply hold onto New Year Resolutions with vice like grips, in our own efforts to succeed.   However as the New Year progresses, that ‘jaw lock’ strength starts to weaken as we become tired – and we ‘drop the bone’!

But……. “fear not“, because by the end of this blog, I will have offered you two instruments which (if used daily), will guarantee you achieve your New Year Resolution!

First however, I want you to pause and imagine you’re going on a long distance journey by car.   Before leaving  you make a plan, you pre-determine your destination, you map out your route, you service your vehicle and organize all relevant documentation to take with you.   You are packed and ready to go!

You’re now on the highway coasting along to the rhythm of the music on the radio.   All is well.   The weather is bright.  The road is clear.   There are no accidents, no detours, no potholes – no hazards – no delays whatsoever.   The journey could not be better.

You’re in the driving seat and you are completely in control.   You are cruising along.   You are making good progress and in your mind’s eye you have already arrived at your destination.

About 6 miles into the journey you slow down as you approach queuing traffic.   You eventually come to a halt.   You get out of your vehicle and join the crowd of drivers and passengers that have already congregated on the highway.

With a peeping curiosity you soon discover there is an oil spillage up ahead.  The ‘clean up’ is going to take hours and you need to get ahead with your journey!   Instead, you find yourself enclosed in the car, tapping your fingers aimlessly to the same music you were previously rocking.

In your heart and mind you had great plans for the way ahead, but life, time, chance and circumstance, said differently!   The outlook now is very different from when the journey first begun.   The oil spillage has added a new dimension and the queuing traffic has also put some obstacles in the way.   Further more, you have no idea when you will arrive at your destination, and by the way things are going, you may not arrive at all!

New Year Resolutions can be a bit like this journey ………. whole plans …….. in part completed!

Each new year we make resolutions and develop plans to accomplish them.  We anticipate good results but often as time passes, we face the reality that we have not met our own expectations.

Sometimes other priorities get in the way.   People’s demands on you take precedence or serve as distractions.   An unexpected change of circumstance can throw you off route.   The unknown can present itself without warning and force you into reverse.    The road ahead that was initially clear, has suddenly become blocked by life’s external forces (some of which are out of your control).   Any number of un-expectancies like illness,  redundancy, assault, divorce, pregnancy, housing relocation, bereavement or job change can have an impact on your progress.

So how can we ensure that we reach our destination?!!!    How can we be certain that we will achieve our New Year Resolutions?

We can achieve them by adopting a new resolve – that is by having  an intimate connection with divine love – in having our heart opened up to our ‘higher being’!  

How do we do this,” I hear you ask?   Well, as promised at the beginning of this blog, I offer you two instruments.  The first is ‘prayer‘ and the second is ‘ meditation‘.

Prayer is an innermost hope or desire that is dependent upon God.   Through prayer, we release every conscious and unconscious ‘sense of self’ that permeates our being – keeping us incarcerated in our own identity – that is in our limited belief of who we are as mortal beings.

Meditation is a deep state of peace that occurs when the mind is free.   When it is totally and absolutely calm and still it exists in the present without recourse to memory.    Through meditation we open up ourselves to divine love which invokes greater insight, inspiration, intuition  and intellect – which in turn evokes knowledge, wisdom and deep understanding of mind, body and spirit.

So let us return to the imaginary long distance journey.

Prior to making the journey you made unwavering decisions (e.g. pre-determined your destination, packed your personal belongings and gathered documents of identity – for both yourself and your vehicle).    You ensured sure that you carried out all necessary and relevant actions which would endorse who you are as well as validate your sense of direction and travel.

When you stumbled upon life’s obstacles (the oil spillage and subsequent queuing traffic), you stopped.   You then asked questions, waited and listened for answers.  As you sat enclosed in your vehicle meditating upon the immediate circumstance, you became more aware and accepting of your place in the broader scheme of life.   This led to re-evaluation and minor adjustments to your journey – so that you could carry on.

These motions are the key components of prayer and meditation.   We simply need to exercise them more deliberately and consistently in order to achieve our New Year Resolutions.

New Year Resolutions stimulate and regenerate.   They get us on route.   They drive us on.  They keep us connected to the road and light up our journey (despite the unexpected or the unknowns that come along the way).

Stood alone however,  they are simply an expression of intent.

New Year Resolutions with prayer and meditation as road maps, enable us to feel better, do better, be better and guarantee we achieve our New Year Resolutions through arrival at our destinations!

 

NEVER ALONE!

Why is it that when you want to be ‘alone’, life sends you company like an unexpected or unwanted guest?

We often struggle with accepting that ‘one’ is as good as ‘two’ or more, so instead we remain uncomfortable and unsettled when we feel alone or see a person for long periods of time on their own.

When confronted by someone ‘seemingly’ alone (especially if the person is in some way considered ‘detached’ or ‘anti-social’ – say at a celebration party, cocktail bar, night club, in the woods, on the beach or even at a movie), our eyes start to glance over with suspicion or curiosity, as though something is not quite right.   As we focus our attention on the subject of interest, probing questions start to trip around our minds:

Why is s/he alone?”  “What is s/he doing on their own”   “What is s/he up to?”     “Is s/he hiding?”  “Is s/he afraid?”   “Is s/he lost?”  “Should I join him/her?’  “S/he can’t possibly be happy on their own!”

And so on and so on and so on continues this transmission of our thoughts.

Instead of embracing the notion that ‘company with oneself’ might be the desire of that person for the moment (and therefore a blessing (if not one  in disguise)), we draw conclusions that reinforce a perspective that the person is somehow ‘less than’ – that is – something is ‘lacking’ and needs to be ‘fixed’!

The reality is that (more often than we can count), this is not always the case.   Some people are simply on their own because they choose to be or need to be, and perhaps (if the truth be made known), it is the fear of our Being Alone that makes us so inquisitive towards them.  Consequently we keep ourselves occupied and busy, but the overwhelming intrusion of life and the constant demands of people, can sometimes become so intense and frustrating that the only way to get away, is to be completely ‘set apart’.

This ‘alone’ place/space however, is neither alienation nor isolation but is refuge and retreat for meditation and contemplation.  It’s a place/space where one can be alone in ones own company, without interference of external demands, so that one can, recompose ones ‘sense of self’, as in the ‘awesome and wonderfully’ made beings that we are.  This is where I find my needs on many occasions.

One such occasion goes like this.   I desperately and urgently needed to get away from ‘the crowd’.   Life seemed full of people and not just full of people, but ‘busy’ people.   People cackling like chickens.  Bellowing like foghorns.  Buzzing around like bees.   Bobbing up and down like ships on the sea.   Swirling around like leaves blown by gale force winds.   Invading your space like aliens.  Extracting your energy as though suction cups, whilst’ fracking’ your mind like oil workers on the rigs, trenching from beneath the wells.   People constantly in motion chasing life, liberty and happiness like they were all victims of a famine and had to ‘grab’ at what they could get, as precious reserves for themselves.

So I decided to wander off.    While no one was looking I quietly slipped away through life’s backdoor, in search of a moments retreat.    At first, I left the office and went into the restroom  and hid in one of the cubicles, but someone came and used the one next door as I stood, holding my breath, squeezed up against its wall, trying to be inconspicuous.

Eventually I arrived home but the children were there with their clanging  toys, the banging doors, surround sound music, interrogating video games and the bellowing phone ring tones.  Then I went to the local park but there awaited the shrieking kids,  the barking dogs, the thumping footballs,  the swishing cyclists, the pounding joggers, the ghetto blasting ‘personal’ stereos, tooting car horns and business men and women in suits ‘talking shop’, as though everyone was there to ‘buy’.

I was frantic.   Despair loomed over me like a menacing shadow.  I held my head trying to stop the myriad  of motions swirling around my shoulders.   Panic!  I have got to get away from all of this!!!

“Ding ding!”  Like a light bulb switched on in my head revealing ‘the hidden’, all at once I pictured the perfect spot!   The cemetery!   No one goes to the cemetery except briefly to visit their beloved who speaks no more, but whom instead simply listens.   I concluded, there will be plenty of ‘silence’ and ‘stillness’ there!

After much trial and error crawling like an over cautious or elderly driver on a busy highway, I stumbled upon a dirt track off the main road and followed its route into the fields to a small country church with a steeple.  I parked the car tentatively looking around, and walked through the iron gates to the distant rear of the building.

There, I was greeted by bliss!  A small slightly overgrown graveyard at the back of the church!   It was heavenly!   Picture perfect, it portrayed: fall season colors, glistening rays of sun shine,  speckles of deer like serenity, the freedom of quietness, an enveloping peace and a stillness that suspended time and space.

I could smell the air and the evergreens releasing their vapors upwards and into my nostrils.   I could hear the trees swishing in the light breeze and the sound of the birds singing in my ear.   I could hear the silence of those ‘resting in peace’ around me.   The melancholy of this all consuming and captivating oasis was  tranquil.   Most importantly there was no noise.   Solitude became my companion.   There was no one around.  Alone at last,  or so I thought as I sat on a sturdy rock boulder, taking in the atmospheric contentment  of ‘BEING’ alone.

Then, it calmly appeared, unassumingly as though invited.  It disrupted my trail of thoughts sending them down a path that I had not chosen.    It must have sensed my ‘BEING’ alone from a ‘land far away’,  because it – a small dog – came from out of no-where to visit me.   Like the human instinct, it too must have been wandering what was I doing out there on my own.

Amazingly, for a ‘dog fearing person’, I didn’t move.  I just sat and watched as it completed its inquiry of me.   It came up and gently sniffed around my feet then without further a-do, sniffed around the garden patch where I sat, before tottering off as though nothing of value was worth hanging around for.   I was dismissed!

Incredible!  Here I was sat on a rock, in a graveyard, behind a church with a steeple, in the middle of a field, off a dirt track road and a small dog comes out of nowhere to ‘question’ me.   How ironic!   I  had thought that of all the places I could get away and find space for myself, this would be it.   But even in the drawn out distancing of my time and space, I was still not alone.  As though by coincidence this small dog, (indifferent in its activity like humans), reminded and assured me that I was not alone.

On reflection, it’s as though in my ‘minds eye’, I had been seeking a place/space of refuge hoping to find peace and solitude there.  I had pursued this the only way I knew and that was to withdraw from activity and people.   The reality is, that it was my spirit (and not the world outdoors), that had been in turmoil and I had projected my inner whirlwind into the outside world.  I had blamed the business of life’s activities as the cause of my inner disarray.

However, what was really going on inside was that I had been yearning for true relationship.   A relationship that manifested: companionship, connectivity, intimacy, belonging and sacred union.  I had falsely believed that I would find all this in the ‘things of the world’ like status, image, possessions, people – even in my chosen hobbies, interests and professions, but I was until now – deluded!  These gifts whilst good to have, are superficial and do not entirely ‘feed’ nor do they satisfy ‘my spirit’ the way it longed to be.   I was hungry.  I was thirsty.   I was discontented.   I was lost!

Despite all the evident blessings in ‘my world’ and the ‘adornments’ of life, people and activity around,  I felt completely alone.  However, unknown to my consciousness, God, The Universe or  the Power Beyond Me had heard the cry of my heart and had sent a small dog to let me know that: regardless of all things, I was not alone!

Society often refers to: “a man’s best friend and companion is his dog“.

Mother Teresa says: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”

The Bible (Genesis 2:18), says: “It is not good for man to be alone“.

I have learned that although each of us routinely need time-out to ‘find’ or ‘recollect ourselves’, ‘time out’ does not mean we are alone.   There is always a ‘presence’ with us – within and without.  Whether it comes in the form of another person’s physical company, through the audible sounds of people talking,  through a memory of something once seen or imagined, through the constant noise of machinery and equipment,  through the natural life form of animals, trees, wind, rain, ocean, sand, sea and all created things, or even through the beat of our own hearts or the echos of our own silence, we are never never in living BEING – alone!

FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

I was driving on the highway Monday – minding my own business whilst traveling along to the rhythm of the traffic. I positioned the vehicle to the right and started to proceed up the acceleration ramp. Up to that point it had been a relatively uneventful day.

Suddenly, out of no-where, I saw something scuttling across the road right in front of me. I slowed down immediately, whilst asking myself: “what on earth is that?!!” I peered with curiosity over the dashboard, whilst keeping my eye on the road and reducing my speed further so that I could get a better look at the moving object.

To my amazement, it was a kitten. It was the tiniest, cutest, fragile looking thing that I had ever seen! It could not have been more than a few weeks old. With an intake of breath, my heart skipped a beat at the thought that, had I not seen it in time, I might have ran over it. (Oh! – The thought!)

Now imagine the entire scene as though looking through my eyes! The acceleration ramp as a long corridor running on for miles. The ramp bordered by concrete crash barriers with no break in the design. Vehicles injecting speeds of 60 – 100 mph moving in one direction. Cars, trucks, bikes, and vehicles of every kind – rushing like tornadoes down this highway corridor. No pause, no brake, no diversion – just the constancy of the traffic flow.

Then without notice (in this mayhem of activity), appears this young, innocent, adorable kitten in the midst of the chaos. There was nothing around but it, the highway and traffic.

The kitten had no sense of what it had stumbled into nor in fact, where it was. Then suddenly, (like Goliath looming over David the shepherd boy in an amphitheatre), vehicles accelerate down the corridor in full force, towering over the kitten like spot lights amplifying the dark . It is instantly exposed, without cover or protection – defenseless, vulnerable and petrified!

I carried on driving real slow, to give it time to run from one side of the ramp to the other. Its little tottering legs could not get it across fast enough. I crawled patiently as it ran on hastily, to take cover from the menacing and imminent danger of my vehicle (and that of others).

For a split second I thought about stopping, but I was so bewildered by the unexpected scene, that I just continued driving. “Why not? What else could I do?” Fear had gripped me too! The voice in my head asked:

What if I pull over and get cautioned by the police? What if I stop and cause an accident or pile up on the ramp? What if I stop and a vehicle runs over me? What if I stop and pick up the kitten, only to discover that it has fleas or a disease that I might catch? What if? What if? What if?

It all happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to come up with any rationale responses to my own ‘fear filled’ inquiries. I drove on looking through the rear mirror to see where it had gone.

There it was! Frightened, timid and cowering up against one side of the ramp wall. Despite its already tiny size, it was conspicuously huddled in as small a bundle as it could possibly convert itself, attempting not to be hit by oncoming traffic. Quivering, it continued to crouch looking on in fear. Momentarily it twitched, hesitating – not knowing whether to run or to stay put.

I hoped that someone would stop and pick it up but the vehicles continued to skim by dangerously close – like knives swishing from skilfully controlled hands of a knife thrower in a circus.

For a moment there was a tug on my heart telling me to turn back and rescue the poor little thing. However, the one-way design of the highway and the unrelenting traffic made this a ludicrous idea. So I drove on until the kitten disappeared out of sight.

I will never know what became of the poor little thing but this I do know……..

In that moment, we were both faced with danger. Both our hearts skipped beats. We were paralyzed by surprise shock and gripped by potential death. We both clung desperately to our lives – our primal focus solely on ‘self preservation’.

Fearfilled by the ‘unknown’, all we could do is look on helplessly – hoping for the situation to be redeemed.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is this:

All life is precious – human or animal. Everyone and every living thing experiences fear. Besides love, joy, pain and suffering, fear is a common denominator for all breathing creatures. Fear maybe what sometimes holds us back, but it is also the phenomena that propels us forward into the unknown”.