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Archive for March, 2010

“Nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an antigovernment uprising.”

So I’m browsing the news as I sit here at work, and the first article I come across is one about the Hutaree, a far-right group that desires to use violence to spur rebellion. The catch? They claim to be doing this in the name of God. The article even kicks it off with a bang by immediately deeming them as Christians.

Things like this jacked up my idea of Christians all of the time. “Christians oppose gay marriage.” “Christians deride Muslims as ‘terrorists.'” “Christians support war in Iraq.” “Christians this,” “Christians that.”

And as I was reading this article, I realized, How many other people in the world are having their views of Christianity and God messed up by these things, too? Countless, I imagine.

My high school days found me surrounded by a respectable group of people who were more or less non-religious, save for one or two. We cursed, drank, smoked, drove dangerously (Okay, maybe that’s just me.), and didn’t care much for God or how He could affect our lives. What we had was not a dislike or an aversion, but a choice to not seek any sort of religious solace. We, for the most part, deemed ourselves as liberals, people who greatly disagreed with the status quo of America. We had varying opinions, but the for the most part, what we sought was change from what we believed was a fundamentally Christian nation that had instilled fundamentally Christian laws into place.

And in a way, we were correct in our assumption: America was built upon Christian foundations, and many of our laws have Christian roots. But in a large way, we were wrong. We were wrong to generalize our idea of Christians into people who were brutally opposed to anything besides what the Bible told them. We were wrong to believe that all Christians were the same. And (I say this with the greatest amount of love possible) those who were Christians among us supported our claims with their actions and ideals.

Even moreso, however, was how the media painted Christians. Every time the church appears in media, it’s around some sort of conflict that’s going on. How churches are exempt from certain taxes, how churches feel about the war in Iraq, how churches feel about same sex marriages. And despite having learned with great impression that the media is incredibly biased, we accepted what the televisions and radios spoon-fed us about them.

But remembering that media is, indeed, biased, and having gone through what I can only explain as an experience of Jesus this past quarter, I have to say: the media does not represent, in the least bit, the vast majority of the Christian community. You only ever hear from the Christians who “hate gays” and “want those Muslims to get what they deserve.” Or, if they’re not captured in such stern opinion, Christians who would say otherwise are certainly not affiliated with their church. Or maybe it’s because those with harsh opinions are prone to utilizing God or the Bible as their evidence against same sex marriage or for war.

In a country with a burgeoning population of Christians, one who is not might think, “Wow, those people are all the same.” However Christians are denominated — Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist; Intervarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship, Korean Campus Ministry, Grace on Campus — if one is not part of the church or the fellowship, Christians seem to get lumped into a giant mass in which individuals are indistinguishable from one another.

In a country where individuality and independence is prized, you’d think it wouldn’t be that way. But more often than not, it is.

This is what the Hutaree believes:
“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment. The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it.”

First thought: Clearly, God did not will it. After all, you were arrested.

Second thought: If a class of thirty-seven high school students based their opinions about Christians on what they had read in news articles, seen on TV, heard on the radio, and experienced with their peers; how many people must think worse of Christians by reading this news article? I can imagine it making headline news; it must be getting tons of views as I type this out. Heck, I can even see the headline: “Christians plan to overthrow government.” Overexagerrated? Yes. But have headlines been overexagerrated before? You bet.

I won’t lie to you, I was pissed when I read this article. Pissed that not only had the Hutaree taken what was essentially an opposite path to what I’m learning with my fellowship, but that the media had taken that, reported it, and done nothing to distinguish them from me.

But in that moment, I also realized that what anger and rage I felt was probably similar to what drove the Hutaree to violence as their way of doing God’s work. They might be angry because they feel that this government, founded upon the ideals of Christianity, has strayed far from the path that they believe God set out for us. Or they might be angry just because they think the government screwed up. Far be it from me to deride opposition to authority; I’m all for that, but one thing I detest with utmost certainty is violence. One thing I’ve learned in life is that violence really isn’t the answer.

And as I write this, analyzing as my fingers move across the keyboard, I’ve had time to calm down. And think.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Christianity and I were at ends with each other. I’ve had time to see that the reason for that was because I had been surrounded by Christians whose beliefs were on the other end of the spectrum from mine. See, I believe in pro-choice under certain circumstances, I believe that same sex marriage should be allowed, I believe that war is wrong, I don’t believe that any one religion is right or wrong, I believe that God loves indiscriminately, and I believe that love is the answer. It’s not that the Christians I grew up around were wrong; maybe they’re right. But they are different, and they never really gave chance to a teenage firl to explain her beliefs, understandably. And I can safely say that the reason that it’s possible for me to even remotely exist amongst Intervarsity is because they accept how I feel and what I believe. Because some of them believe similarly or they see validity in my belief or they work to understand it.

So, if you’ve made it this far, take one thing away from this oh-so-rant-like blog post of mine: not all Christians are the same. Because I, who am a Christian, do not believe in banning gay marriages or in instigating war or in using violence in the name of God. Because the people I’m surruonded by now, who are Christians, do not all believe in banning abortion or that everyone who isn’t Christian is wrong. Because there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions or even more Christians out there who are not who you think they are. And so I tell you: we are not all the same.

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Spring!

I’m back! It’s been an interesting and adventurous spring break, but I guess it’s time to get back down to the nitty gritty.

That means school.

That means studying.

Now, anyone who knows me know my adversity to studying, but I’d like to think of this quarter as a comprehensive exploration of three different possibilities in my life. It goes like this:

Communications Studies 10
Sociology 1
Physiological Sciences 5

In all technicality, I’m still a Physiological Sciences major. And who knows? Even though I’m fairly determined to change majors to Communications Studies, things could turn around again by the time spring quarter of next year rolls around. Life happens, you know? And besides, I’d take a miraculous C- in Chemistry 14B as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card from God any day. The big man upstairs could be telling me to stick to it. Or he could just be redeeming my GPA so I never have to see chemistry again.

It’s all a big mystery; Lord, You sure work in strange ways.

So I find it necessary for me to do this whole “exploration thing.” I could end up liking Communications or Sociology or Physiological Sciences more than the others. Either way, I think of them as convergent paths; I still don’t think I’m going to medical school, but I like paramedic school as an alternative.

In the meanwhile, it was nice having a break from all the studying and stress. I’d like to think that my acne levels have gone down significantly in the past nine days. I find myself sorely missing all of my friends and experiences at Cerritos High School, but I can’t live in my little bubble forever, right? Besides, the bubble wasn’t that great. It really wasn’t. But the people were, and they’re the ones that make the experience count. We just have to remember that it takes effort to stay in touch and maintain the friendships that we’ve built. They say that you never really keep your high school friends, but there are always exceptions to every rule.

It’s even more interesting when two very separate parts of my life become intertwined. With my high school friends one day and with my fellowship the next; two things that are very different but both make me extremely happy. It’s odd when that happens. It makes me question whether this life is actually better. It certainly is different, but better?

But then I remember. Both lives are better because of who I am now. I don’t know if I’m any better, but I certainly am different. And I like myself better this way. And I am very much happier this way. And because of that, my life (singular) is better.

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Hey, everyone! How are your spring breaks going? Well? Good to hear.

I’ve been spending a good chunk of my time during break with my friends from high school. We watched Alice in Wonderland in 3-D in IMAX (my first IMAX experience!), frolicked around an empty Irvine Spectrum, went shopping… it’s been really good. I’ve truly been blessed by having these people around me over the past dozen years of my life.

Two of them in particular, Melody and Sarah, have been especially great friends to me, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. So in a time when they need my help, I figure, “Why not?”

These two chicas are starting up their own organization, called RECYCLEDinstincts, making their own eco-friendly jewelry and selling it to support a non-governmental organization of their choice. This year, they’re working on helping Invisible Children, a group dedicated to freeing children from military conflict in Uganda.

Even if you might not be into jewelry (like me), their bracelets are pretty bomb diggity in a non-girly way, and if you don’t want to wear those, you can buy it for someone who will. Just keep in mind that every purchase will help Invisible Children achieve their mandate.

All of the jewelry that they make is hand-crafted by each of them. Pretty crazy, eh? I thought they were just putting together a bunch of beads and stuff, but when I was chilling out at Melody’s place, I realized that they were actually making the beads themselves. It blew my mind; no wonder they were taking so much time to do it!

You can find them on Facebook or WordPress:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=108670819152530&ref=ts
http://recycledinstincts.wordpress.com

These links are also in my links to the right!

Anyway, enough with my shameless plug for their business. You get the point.

Me? Well, I just like to put my money where my mouth is and go out there to provide for the causes that work towards what my heart goes out to.

Expect a bigger update on what’s been going on over break another time. For now, peace out, suckas.

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Finding the hero in me.

As I continue to long numerous hours playing Final Fantasy XIII in Earl’s room (Thanks, Dookie!), I keep thinking about the hero question. And, as promised, I’ll be exploring who heroes are in the Bible.

But don’t misinterpret that statement; I won’t go hero-hunting in the text, picking out every single mention of someone who does something great or saves someone or whatnot. It’d be wrong of me to do that. Many of you might think, “Wait, then, what’s the point? You’re not actually pulling this out of the Bible…” In a way, I’m not. But one thing I do believe is that if I were to go hero-hunting and pulling out instances that others had never heard of before, it’d never hit home. I don’t know who reads my blog, but I’d like to think that I cater to all sorts of audiences. I believe that elaborating on something that people already know about but haven’t gone in depth with (for instance, our college majors) is what interests them, right? Or so I’d like to think, at least part of the time. That’s not to say that I won’t be doing my research to find out some fact, but all of the stories will be easily recognizable.

Hero 1: The Obvious.
The story of David and Goliath is well-known, so much so that many people don’t even realize that it’s from the Bible. It’s simple: the Philistines and the Israelites face each other on the battlefield, and the Philistines, with their behemoth of a warrior, Goliath, are dominating. Goliath challenges any one of the Israelites to step out and face him, and King Saul offers a reward for whoever can strike down the enemy. Hearing this, David comes out onto the field with just a sling and five stones. Boom, headshot. Goliath goes down and the Philistines flee.

But who was David before all of this? He was a son of a servant (Jesse) to King Saul. Not a warrior or anything, just some kid who happened to be there to bring something to his brothers. There should be no way that David won this fight, yet his victory is one of the most celebrated in mankind, period. It proves that even the small can defeat the large, the weak can take down the powerful, the few can overcome the many. It’s a lesson that is well-received in society. But it’s not as if David had absolutely nothing on his side; it wasn’t just dumb luck that gave him the strength to win. He had…

Courage: David had previously killed a lion and a bear, something that tells us that he’s more than meets the eye. He certainly is brave; braver than all of the Israelites who took one good look at Goliath and went, “Oh, heck no.” He is an individual who stepped out beyond what his peers were willing to do and accomplished it himself.

Confidence: Can you imagine how crazy confident David was to step out before Goliath with no armor and just a sling (and a staff, right?) in hand? You don’t do that unless you already know that you’re going to win. Or you have a death wish. He was assured of his victory; there was no doubt in his mind that he had already won. If there was, he probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Faith: Before striking Goliath down, David proclaims that he does it so “that all on earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” Basically, he’s giving glory to God. Anyone, especially David himself, can see that he alone is no match for Goliath based solely on physical prowess, but with God’s strength, David was capable of putting his enemy down with a single shot.

David singlehandedly saved Israel, not because he was ultra powerful or anything (no Super Saiyan powers here…), but because he had these three qualities that permitted him to succeed. A slightly out of context quote to highlight the point: “It is not the equipped who are chosen, but the chosen who are equipped.”

Hero 2: Caw caw, caw caw, rawr!
Equally if not more well-known than the story of David and Goliath is the tale of Noah’s Ark. God sees world. God thinks world sucks. God decides to flood the world. God sees Noah. God thinks Noah is a pretty cool guy. God decides to give Noah the chance to save his family and the animals of the earth. Noah builds the ark. God floods world. Noah and company survive.

Before this (to my understanding, anyway) Noah was just a prophet. God judged him to be righteous and decided that he and his family were worth saving along with the animals of the corrupted world. What was he in the vocational sense? Dunno. Farmer? Fisher? News anchor? Whatever it was, I doubt that it gave him much preparation for the daunting task of building the ark. Can you imagine how huge that thing must’ve been to fit sets of all the animals on earth except for fish? Massive. Qualities of Noah…

Determination: As I was saying, this ark must’ve been insanely huge and difficult to construct. Time, resources, pure hard work — all of this pumped into something to save the future of every living species on earth. Talk about perseverance, right?

Will: A sort of conscious motivation/desire to do something, if you will (Hah, I’m punny). Noah’s will is to obey God and to save himself, his family, and the animals. In other words, he has a reason to do it. I mean, if God gave you a direct command, would you disobey it? Doubt it. Nobody really does something this epic without reason, either.

Faith: Just like David, Noah has a lot of faith in God’s work. He wouldn’t build the ark if he didn’t think that it would work, right? And besides, who else would you listen to if they told you to build a huge boat? He also has to believe that the Flood is actually for the benefit of all living beings, removing the corruption from the earth, otherwise God would just be setting them all up for a fall.

Unlike the Abraham and Isaac story (God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham intends to obey God without question. God stops him at the last second.), the Flood seriously occurs, but because Noah had the determination, will, and faith to construct the ark, his family and the creatures were saved.

Hero 3: The Savior
Jesus Christ, who else? Is born, grows up, is baptized, spreads the word, performs miracles, gathers disciples, is crucified, comes back, leaves for Heaven. In a nutshell, anyway. He was a carpenter until his baptism, after which He began His ministry. Crazy thing is:

Jesus’ ministry was only for a couple of years — three, tops. After that, he left it all in the hands of his disciples and took off for the big place in sky. People read about Jesus’ time and think, “Wow, that was crazy,” but who ever stops to think about what a short time he did this all in? I mean, what do we ourselves do in a matter of three years; what do the most brilliant, well-equipped people in the world even do in three years? In that amount of time, Jesus built the foundation for the biggest religious movement in the world today. Yeah, that crazy.

Purpose: Jesus entered those years of ministry very intentionally; he wanted to plant the seeds of the word which would then grow exponentially after he left. And that it did. He didn’t go around trying to get the whole world in one shot, but instead, he gave deep strength and faith to a select few people and told them to go and do the rest. Homie knew exactly what he was doing the whole time and exactly what was going to happen as a result. He was a genius!

Love: Jesus loved in a very indiscriminate way, and it’s a shame that many people misconceive that Jesus came for the good or the righteous or just the Christians. He purposefully went out and sought the people who were burdened by sin and ailed by sickness, then he took all of that away from them and changed their lives. And how deeply he loved was awesome, so much so that he gave himself as ransom for the lives of all the people of the earth.

Faith: Granted, Jesus did some amazing things: healing, driving out evil spirits, defying the laws of physics. And it’s not like by mere human power he could’ve done those things, otherwise we’d all be stomping around walking on water and stuff. Rather, he had God give him the power to do those things, and even later in the Bible, God gives those same abilities to the disciples who carry on Jesus’ ministry.

—–

So if you can’t tell, the common factor amongst these three is faith. The hero has to believe that what they’re doing will be right and that it will actually make a difference, and in their case, they do it with God. Courage, to face difficult times and trials. Confidence, the knowledge that the hero will succeed despite all obstacles. Determination, the ability to press onwards with great persistence. Will, the motivation and desire to do what has to be done. Purpose, a reason and a rhyme to everything that is done. Love, a word that is only defined by itself. A love for the people that the hero helps and a love and passion for what is being done.

All of these things probably work in conjunction with each other, all existing in a symbiosis that adds up to a drive to do what we believe is right. I won’t claim that this is a perfect grasp on what a hero should be like or that these seven characteristics alone make up a hero. Heroes are much more complex; each with a separate history that made them who they are and drove them to do what they do. And each of them does it in a different way, views themselves differently, has the world view them in different ways; they’re just different. Their paths neither converge nor diverge; you can probably say that they’re just parallel.

So maybe finding the hero in me is just finding what I have the courage, confidence, determination, will, purpose, love, and faith to do. In a checklist sort of way, if I’m lacking in any of these areas to do something, then maybe it’s not for me. But somewhere out there, there’s something that’s just calling my name, and God’s like, “Hey, homegirl, this is it.” And I’m assured that I’ll find it someday. Or maybe it’ll find me.

What an adventure.

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Heroes.

No, not the TV show.

I’ve been thinking about something lately. Or rather, someone. She’d be a senior in high school this year.

It’s been far too long.

In this time of seeing all of the high school seniors I know being accepted and rejected, rejoicing and crying, I’m just reminded of her. Where would she be right now? Would she be rejoicing, crying, comforting her friends?

I’m curious. I’ve been given peace over this, but I can’t help but wonder what would be going on right now. I sometimes still think about how she never got her chance to live and laugh and breathe and just be… Not really.

But everything I have now, it’s thanks to her. Because she brought me to Him. Because in those moments at that piano, I know that it was her, without a doubt. I’ve never been very superstitious; I’ve never believed in ghosts or spirits; I’d never experienced anything extraordinary before that point. But that was pretty extraordinary.

Still, where was her chance? I wonder.

It’s still been far too long.

But thanks.

Everything that you gave up, I have a chance to do now. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But I don’t think I have to, anyway. After all, the journey’s just begun.

When I was younger, there was one thing I wanted to be: a hero. Video games, books, movies — everything I was into had a hero involved, someone who’d save the world or the one they loved or destroyed evil. There was magic and swords and fighting and companionship. It was great.

Playing Final Fantasy XIII reminds me of those times. I haven’t been playing enough games or reading enough books or watching enough movies to bring it up as often as before. I used to do those things a lot. Now… not so much. I’m occupied with other things. Like chillin’ out with my own personal hero, God.

But that’s not to say that being reminded isn’t kicking me into second gear and making me want to dive full force into the next part of my life, whatever that may be. I’m excited. I feel like I can do anything right now. And people say that video games are bad for you.

So, what kind of hero do I want to be? Wait, what is a hero anyway? I don’t particularly see myself as a badass crime fighter like Batman or a world saver like Frodo. I can’t do magic or leap across rooftops or — well, I can wield a sword, but people use guns these days.

But you always hear about the “real heroes” in society. The people who don’t do all the fiction stuff, but they actually go out in the world and do what they can. Setting slaves free, fighting for human rights, extinguishing fires, protecting innocents, putting away the bad guys, negotiating for peace, striving for change in a world so ridden by crap.

I think all that’s kind of cheesy.

What is a hero?

Just watch.

Preview for the next post: Heroes in the text– who they are, what defines them, what they do, why they do it, and the aftermath. I’m gonna dig deep on this one.

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Home.

This past weekend, I headed home for less than twenty-four hours with a mission in mind: tell my mom about my faith and about my decision to not go to medical school.

I was scared out of my pants.

Now, anyone from a strict Asian family can tell you that we’re all expected to grow up, become something big, get rich, support our parents in old age, and lead successful lives. But success is relative. It’s subjective, immeasurable, by all accounts, by anyone but the sole subject himself/herself.

My idea of success? Being able to help people. How? Dunno.

But I don’t plan on being rich in the process. I don’t like money. Money corrupts. Money’s probably already corrupted me pretty badly. I mean, I spend thirteen hours a week at work, right? There’s a lot more I could be doing with that time. It would’ve been easy to pass all of my classes, but I’m probably going to end up with an F and a C (Thanks, chemistry.).

And my mom, being the kidder that she is, suggested that I work thirty hours a week so that I could attend school basically for free. This was about five minutes into our drive away from UCLA. I groaned on the inside, wanting to smack her (working thirty hours isn’t even possible or legal as a work study student) and not tell her anything. I then proceeded to tell her about my summer plans, which consist of attending summer school for the first half and taking EMT training for three weeks afterwards. Immediately, she went on about how we “talked about not being a paramedic, but a doctor instead,” and I slyly explained to her how a lot of doctors work as paramedics initially. In my head, I wanted her to shut up; it’s true, a lot of doctors do work as paramedics at first to get a feel for the field, and she ranted on without even knowing what she was talking about.

Sometimes people just need to shut up when they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

If you can’t tell, my mom frustrates me a lot.

And of course, I wasn’t even planning to be a doctor, and I didn’t say that I was, either. Which my mom found out later after lunch the next day, amongst other things.

Two people that I’ve talked to recently have had difficult situations with their parents regarding their faiths and their futures. I easily heaped my mom into the grouping of parents that would freak out, especially over both. Would I get kicked out of the house? Would I be disowned? Would she cut off funding for school (not that it matters, she’s probably more broke than I am at this point)?

Nope.

She was fine with it.

Just like that.

I was relieved. It was like trying to dig up hot stones from inside my throat, and saying it was like pouring cold water down my esophagus and letting those stones dissolve.

She was fine with me being Christian. The explanation was that she wanted me to be old enough and strong enough to make that decision before I did, which is why she always disapproved of me going to church when I was younger. To me, it sounded pretty silly, but I wonder if I’ll feel that way about my kids in the future, if I have any.

And she was fine with me changing my major to Communications, though she immediately rushed to “Oh, you can be a psychologist then!” Mom, please learn when to shut it. I had dig into her mind that I didn’t plan on being rich; she accepted it with some disappointment. I told her that I didn’t know what I would do with a degree in Communications; maybe go on missions or something. “Well, you can still learn some medical things…” Mother, there are times to spew crap and there are times to not spew crap. “Well, as long as you’re proud of what you do, go ahead and do it.”

Relief. And then a tinge of anger. And then a bit more. You hypocrite! You spent fifteen years of my life literally beating school into me, and you’re fine with this? Am I supposed to be happy? What was all the yelling and screaming for, then? What was all the expectation to get A’s in school? What was the disappointment on your face when I was rejected from UCLA and the glee when I was accepted? What was it all the times when I asked to donate to a cause that I was working for and you blatantly said no? Why the hell would you say “no” when I asked you to drive my friends home and they’ve driven me home dozens of times because you weren’t there?

You piss me off.

Are you proud of what you’ve done with your life?

“Not really.”

Oh.

You hurt, too.

I didn’t know that.

I thought you could only hurt me.

Lesson learned: though my mom can be a class A doofus sometimes, she’s still human. She’s fifty-eight going on fifty-nine this year, more than three times the amount of life that I’ve had. I wonder what went on in the forty years that I wasn’t there? I still have a lot to learn and a lot to live.

So yes, my mom is fully okay with… everything. And to add to the good news, my grandma, who had a stroke this past summer, is learning how to walk again almost seven months later. She’s been in Taiwan for the past two months because the doctors here told her that she wouldn’t be improving anymore and took her out of the nursing home. Wrong, you are, doctors. There’s really only one possible explanation for this:

God answers prayers.

In the words of one Michael Eubanks, “Now, if you had told me just one of those things, that would’ve been pretty cool. But all three?” Yes, Mike, all three. In short, I’ve been praying for my mom’s acceptance for a couple of weeks and for my grandma’s healing for a couple of months.

And I could’ve found out that my grandma was learning to walk again a while ago, but my mom chose to be ambiguous via e-mail because, well, she’s a jerk like that. And God basically went, “Hey, I’m going to reveal to you three amazing things in your time at home, it’s going to be awesome, and you’re going to see me in it.” That, I did. Good job, big man.

Photos later, hopefully, and I’ll attempt to update the photos from a couple of posts ago. It’s been difficult keeping up, not even because of finals or anything. Photography funk, I guess. That’ll change over spring break, for sure.

This is me, stuck at a five hour work shift, saying, “I believe in miracles. (Where you from? You sexy thang!)”

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In truth.

I’ve been thinking recently that the world is full of “I love you” whores. People throw around possibly the most impactful phrase on earth like it’s a toy. You’ve dated someone for three weeks, and you love them. Someone gives you a gift, and you love them. You think someone’s incredibly cute, and you love them.

Everytime I use the phrase, I try to be very conscious of who I’m using it with and how I feel about that person. I admit that I’m guilty of misusing the phrase, and I sometimes even use it haphazardly without considering the consequences.

But I’d like to try something new. I’d like to try something a little OGDAD-ish centered around God: showing and telling people that I love them everyday. Contradictory, right? Here I am, griping about “I love you” whores and confessing my own abuse of the words, and now I want to use them everyday.

The difference? When I show and tell people I love them, I want it to be completely, one hundred percent true. I want my thought in that moment not to be “Wow, I really like this person and I think they are wonderful.” I want to think “God loves this person, and they are wonderful. And so I love them and desire for them to know just how wonderful they are.”

If I myself am aiming to discover the truth about God’s love for me, then I have to believe that God loves others as well. And that through me, He can show His love for them. Them meaning people from all walks of life, all religions, all races, all places, all beliefs, all sexualities, all genders, all lives. I have to believe that God doesn’t discriminate in the way that humans do.

Because for some people, the words “Jesus loves you.” mean nothing. But the words “I love you.” can mean everything.

I once promised my life to those I loved; I would have gone to the ends of the earth for them just to protect them from an ounce of harm. And I always felt in my heart that they didn’t think much of me, that when they saw me, they saw very little. And I always knew that I’d hurt them somehow, in ways that I never intended and that I’d carry with me for a very, very long time.

But now I promise my life to Jesus, to the things that He has to offer me and to others through me. He has love.

—–

Happy 1337 views!

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