Friday, February 17, 2006

Going home.

I believe all of us are storytellers. There is not one or two, but many stories of life, of living; that we carry with us. When I look at the person standing across me in the train, and another browsing at the Sociology section of a bookstore; I thought, “Surely, this man/woman has something to tell me”.

Well, I never did approach them. No one would be quite mad as to strike a conversation with a stranger unless by some divine intervention, I suppose. But I am reminded by how great an effect stories can leave us. Especially of Isaiah- a prophet, who told a great story of comfort to Israel.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins”. – Isaiah 40:1-2.

Now, I must say, I have never wronged against another greatly. I was a school prefect, for goodness sake; surely there weren’t linear relations between me and any law-breaking incidents. Given such 'righteousness' upheld, I never knew what it meant to be pardoned- til now.

I watched an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show ( a talkshow which I consider evangelistic, if only given large injections of theology; instead of mere namby-pamby anthropological sentiments). 2 men were seated next to each other- one having crashed his car into another, dragging his wife and child some 50 metres across the street; a consequence of mindless car-racing.

How courageous both of them must be- one, facing his family’s murderer; the other, facing justice. Perhaps, appearing on national television required them to retain their composure at all costs. Yet, when the man who lost his family finally spoke, clearly; all composure from both sides was shaken. “I just want to tell you that I forgive you”, he said; as tears rolled down his cheeks. By then, the man, least expecting forgiveness;broke into a sob. “You have no idea how it feels like to be forgiven when you least expect of it- I do not understand this at all, but I thank you”.

This man nailed it across the wall. We have no idea what it feels like to be forgiven when we least expect of it. The Israelites were least expecting God’s flood of mercy and forgiveness; certainly not when they had been in exile. Exile was, in biblical sense; a punishment for disobedience. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden, after they fell into sin. (c/f Genesis 3:23)

But now, we are bombarded with the ultimate act of forgiveness- God telling His people that they were pardoned- their sins were counted no more. They were flabbergasted. Well, so am I. Yet, I feel a deep sense of relief and peace. My burden of not knowing when I have gone far enough or done enough is lifted. Not because I earned the reward, but because God has called- “Comfort, comfort my people”.

Perhaps, there are among us who are in exile. Some of us, caught in a cyclic trap of work and toil. Some of us; in an emotional turmoil. Some of us; drained from aimless walking.

Be comforted. You are going home- and what a story it is!

4 Comments:

Blogger jacksons said...

What an edifying post, makes me wanna break out and sing...

Ps 32:1-4 ESV

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven ,
whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Selah

Ps 76:7 ESV

7 But you, you are to be feared!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?

Gen 1:1 - Ps 130:4 ESV

1 But of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

2 O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand ?

4 But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

Ps 6:4-5 ESV

4 Turn, O LORD, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise ?

Ps 32:5 ESV

5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,"
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Selah

6:10 PM  
Blogger everquint said...

Shalom!

Home is where your heart is~!

1:59 AM  
Blogger Anon said...

when is the next post?

3:32 PM  
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3:10 PM  

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