Monday, February 05, 2007

A hurting person spoke to me...

... and when I finally had the patience to listen, this is what I heard:

"Don't assume you have the right to tell me whether I should or shouldn't cry. Whether you would have cried if faced with the same pain doesn't make a difference to me and what I am currently feeling. Anyway, you can't possibly feel the exact same pain I feel because you're not God. My nerves are my nerves; if you saw me cut then took a knife and cut yourself, that would be your pain, not mine. It's the same with my heart. You can't know what it feels.

"However, if you dare admit your inability to do anything to remove my pain, you may sit by my side, take my hand, and cry with me."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Deprive me not

What are the things that you absolutely must have or achieve in your lifetime?

For most people, it boils down to: a home of their own, meeting and settling down with "The One", making a name for oneself in a given industry... or maybe climbing at least one really tall mountain ("really tall" being a relative measure) or owning a European car with an unpronounceable name.

For one man, at least, it was different.

"Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die)," this man prayed.

"Remove falsehood and lies far from me..."

Not "keep me far away from annoying people like that family down the road that's always sending their kids over to borrow a few shekels of salt for their baking".

Or "deliver me from travelling Persian salesmen". (Maybe I read too much Asterix when I was younger.)

Or "please grant me a really hot wife with thighs like jewels, a neck like an ivory tower and breasts like twin fawns... by the way, that sounds like it would make a really great song!"

But a humble request for a truthful heart.

"... Give me neither poverty nor riches feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You, and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God."

I used to think I have simpler tastes than most, because I really don't aspire to own a huge bungalow or win a Pulitzer. Ultimately, what I want out of life is to pursue the best in every moment, and everything else will follow. And maybe one way to get to the best is to remember, and pray with, this old-time proverb writer that I will live a life of truth; a life of constantly "being content".

"Deprive me not before I die."
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