In childhood’s pride I said to Thee:
‘O Thou, who mad’st me of Thy breath,
Speak, Master, and reveal to me
Thine inmost laws of life and death.

‘Give me to drink each joy and pain
Which Thine eternal hand can mete,
For my insatiate soul would drain
Earth’s utmost bitter, utmost sweet.

‘Spare me no bliss, no pang of strife,
Withhold no gift or grief I crave,
The intricate lore of love and life
And mystic knowledge of the grave.’

Lord, Thou didst answer stern and low:
‘Child, I will hearken to thy prayer,
And thy unconquered soul shall know
All passionate rapture and despair.

‘Thou shalt drink deep of joy and fame,
And love shall burn thee like a fire,
And pain shall cleanse thee like a flame,
To purge the dross from thy desire.

‘So shall thy chastened spirit yearn
To seek from its blind prayer release,
And spent and pardoned, sue to learn
The simple secret of My peace.

‘I, bending from my sevenfold height,
Will teach thee of My quickening grace,
Life is a prism of My light,
And Death the shadow of My face.’

– Sarojini Naidu, 1879 — …Masterpieces of Religious Verses, J.D. Morrison
Harper & Brothers Publisher, New York and London

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You laid aside Your majesty,
gave up everything for me.
Suffered at the hands of those
You had created.

You took away my guilt and shame,
When You died and rose again.
Now today You reign,
And heaven and earth exalt You.

I really want to worship You my Lord,
You have won my heart and I am Yours.
Forever and ever, I will love You.
You are the only one who died for me,
Gave Your life to set me free.
So I lift my voice to You in adoration.

– Noel Richards (piano by Keith Routledge)

(more…)

I saw a white tiger laying on the street of Braga;
May be it’s just a dream;
He saw through my eyes, through the flesh;
Through my heart, through my soul.

I saw the tiger drank water from Cikapundung river;
May be it’s just a dream;
He chased over flying ducks with green-necks nearby;
Happily swimming, catching gurami, like a cat.

I saw the tiger traveled from Bypass to Dago;
May be it’s just a dream;
It took him less than forty five minutes long;
Like a wind he ran, arrived on time.

I saw the white tiger chilled on Tegallega Park;
May be it’s just a dream;
It shivered, probably because of the cold – who knows?
Or because of butterflies perched on his nose?

I saw the tiger playing hide and seek with Garuda;
May be it’s just a dream;
Not only great birds, crocodiles, whales, and sheeps;
They were looking for nice food here, it seems.

I saw the white tiger staying under bushes of Bougenville;
He crossed his legs and stayed there idly, looking at the mountain;
He began to close his bright blue eyes and slept soundly.
Then I know it is I who dream of him.

— Bandung, 2014
A little dream for Parahyangan

There is “no such thing like small miracle”, they said, and for me, it is kind of true.
But it is still considered “small”… at least, no press coverage or whatsoever.
Gather ’round, people, let me tell you my story – a real miracle.

Once upon a time,
When I was first grade student in senior high school, there was a swimming PE every Monday. I remember there were two PE teachers, one of them was “killer” type. In our first meeting, he told class we had freestyle practice and so we did. Then, in second half of class, he said we need to swim diagonally with freestyle or we won’t be considered absent.

The horrifying part is, I couldn’t swim.And back then (until now), I was a reckless brat.
so I swam (read: drowned).

It was the worst, my feet suddenly cramped and then I realized the swimming pool was quite deep – I couldn’t touch the floor at all. The gravity pulled me in and I was like a cat inside large bathtub – if it was the most fitting metaphor to someone drowned in 2m pool. I remember I saw the rest of students had finished swimming (because they could swim and they finished faster than me, obviously) and went to the teacher to write down their names in report card. I didn’t remember anyone was present inside the pool beside of myself. It was just like a horror story.

When I felt really tired, I told myself “Lord, I’m tired”. I gave up and stopped struggling. Then the miracle came. Suddenly I moved my hands under water and swam to shallow water, without realizing it. I didn’t think of anything that time. I’d given up already. So I appeared to be alive, not tired anymore and alive, standing beside the pool and looked very dumb. I asked my friend why she didn’t hear me screaming when I was drowning, she looked shocked. She thought everyone had already went out from the water and she definitely didn’t hear my cry.

That was a small miracle which kept me away from doubting God’s presence until now.
Whenever I felt I am doubting Him, I will remember this experience.

Humans are doubtful creatures. They often drift away from their ideology and belief if something looks more interesting, such as works/ business/ and so on. I think it is important to keep these small-miracle memories fresh inside us. In my case, it’s just a drowning experience (definitely not a murder attempt or fall from 7th floor) but from that nasty experience alone I come to understand the meaning of miracle. Miracle is something that you can cling to. It happens and a fact. It defies logic, but still a fact. When you question its validity (because it is absurd), you immediately recall that it is your experience. It’s like doubting gravity’s existence and you see an apple fell from the tree. When doubt comes… when you suddenly question His existence, try to remember all good things – or “small miracles” – that He had done in your life. Cling into it.

To a young physician, with Dore’s picture of Christ healing the sick

So stood of old the holy Christ
Amidst the suffering throng;With whom His lightest touch sufficed
To make the weakest strong.

That healing gift He lends to them
Who use it in His name;
The power that filled His garment’s hem
Is evermore the same.

For lo! in human hearts unseen
The Healer dwelleth still,
And they who make His temples clean,
The best subserve His will.

The holiest task by Heaven decreed,
And errand all divine,
The burden of our common need
To render less is thine.

The paths of pain are thine. Go forth
With patience, trust, and hope;The sufferings of a sin-sick earth
Shall give thee ample scope.

Beside the unveiled mysteriesOf life and death go stand,
With guarded lips and reverent eyes
And pure of heart and hand.

So shalt thou be with power endued
From Him who went about
The Syrian hillsides doing good,And casting demons out.

That Good Physician liveth yet
Thy friend and guide to be;
The Healer by Gennesaret
Shall walk the rounds with thee.

– John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892 — …Masterpieces of Religious Verses, J.D. Morrison
Harper & Brothers Publisher, New York and London

Once upon a time, Asep goes outside to get some fresh air. Along the way, he meets the infamous Budi, his town’s mayor who is known for changing the dirty town to beautiful tourist spot. Asep approaches him and invites him to visit his house. Surprisingly, Budi accepts despite him being famous and all.

After exchanging greeting, Asep introduces Budi his little brother Cecep. “Here is Cecep, my brother,” he says. Then he leaves Budi with Cecep to make their guest a coffee and get some snacks. Of course it is rude to make an infamous person an instant coffee! Asep thinks he should prepare the most delightful service for him.

It is exhausting to go to market to buy some luwak coffee, brews it, searching for better snacks than potato chips and all. Asep shouts in disappointment, “Lazy brother go help me a bit! Don’t you care about me?”

Budi frowns and tells Asep, “You don’t have to be so busy, after all, Cecep is here to accompany me chatting.”

Now, replace the word “Asep” with “I” and “Budi” with “God”

I was so blessed by today’s Sunday sermon that I decided to put my reflection here; to share the blessing with you guys dear reader… and for myself. Its topic is about “too BUSY” and the verse – you have known it already just by reading the story above.

It opens by the derivation of word “BUSY”, “B – Burdened” “U – Under” “S – Satan’s” “Y – Yokes”. We all know that being too busy means deteorating health, withdrawn from our dearest, depression, etc. We don’t want to become “Asep” but we often forget that what “Asep” does isn’t wrong! Preparing snacks for guest is obligatory in… yeah, Indonesian culture – that if we don’t, it’s extremely rude toward the guest. But accompanying and chatting with the guest is far more important than just prepare the snack — or else we will think we are just feeding the guest free food and drink…. that isn’t visiting, I guess.

So why “Budi” scolds “Asep”? Because “Asep” scolds his brother; he starts burdened by uneccesary preparation (it leads me to think he is thinking too much about his pride and image, not for the guest’s sake) and he blames other person for it!

God does hate lazy people: He told us “if you don’t work, don’t eat!”

The time you are trapped by business means two thing. If you are burdened by it, it is certainly not from God. If you feel happiness and joy, it is from God.

I have shared about one thing I found to my friends about being too busy (it is the fourth time I share the exact same material, eh). If you have read C.S. Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters”, it is from that amazing book.

It is the letter of senior demon to his junior demon. He says, “the easiest way to make humans to forget God, make them busy with their work!”

Make them busy with research! With school! With their friends! With social life! With grades and examinations and money and money and government and decision and job and thought and philosophy and internet and everything!

And you’ll just go, “Whoa! Hey, Screwtape, it works damn well! I even forget about my parents, my siblings, my health… and God”. You then will realize that all you need is a simple… retreat. Retreating yourself from the crowds and business and job and burden – and have an intimate talk and chitchat with God.. with coffee and potato chips in a silent undisturbed living room called “your heart”.

–wait a minute, it looks de ja vu… have I share this too before? Oh well!

Purify my heart,
Let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart,
Let me be as gold, pure gold…

Purify my heart,
Cleanse me from within and make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin, deep within

Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire
is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord.

I choose to be holy,
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Brian Doerksen, 1989