Blind, Deaf & Dumb

To my fellow Quiet Time Prayer Ladies (and others), this post is what I want to share this week.

So I was reading a number of different Bible chapters from Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms, and Matthew yesterday, and discovered something interesting.  For those that are currently using one of those reference Bibles, you probably caught onto this awhile ago, so bear with me, as the connection really hit home yesterday for me.

We know that through the Gospels, Yeshua (Jesus) talks in parables.  In Matthew 13:14-15, Yeshua eloborates as to why he does this.  I actually had read the section in Isaiah 6 just before reading some chapters in Matthew, and finally understood why Yeshua was always saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt. 13:9)  Another is, “Are you also still without understanding?” (Matt. 15:16).  He was referring back to this chapter of Isaiah 6:9-10.  God was telling Isaiah to go and tell the people that they keep on hearing, but don’t understand, they keep on seeing, but don’t perceive.  Because if they actually saw with their eyes, and heard with their ears they would understand, they would repent and be healed.  What did Yeshua come to do: bring the truth, and through faith in Him which required repenting, bring healing.

In Ps. 135:15-18, it talks about the idols that can’t speak, hear, or see, and how we put our trust in these things.  We would like to think that we are better than these inanimate objects, but we are just as blind, deaf, and helpless, and put our trust in most anything, often before God.

We think we are better than the people Yeshua was speaking to all those years ago, that we are enlightened, and we know so much more than they do.  I think we are being a bit cocky when we take this approach, because I think for the most part, we have lost a great deal of knowledge in our “enlightment” that has caused us to be blind and deaf, and therefore, totally tossed by the latest drama, dogma, charismatic speaker, etc.

It is this idea that we are better than those that preceeded us that is our downfall.  Look at the rich young man that came to Yeshua asking him what he needed to do to have eternal life.  He bought into the idea that it is something to own, that you can obtain it somehow with enough effort.  He wasn’t prepared when Yeshua told him to keep the commandments, and he says, I already do all that, so why don’t I have this thing I desire?  Yeshua tells him to sell everthing he has he loses interest, as he can’t imagine a life other than the one he knows.  He can’t imagine a life without privledge, without power and control, without prestige and popularity.  How could that be better than being rich?

Have you heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees?”  We get so focused on what is right in front of us, we can’t imagine anything being different, we can’t imagine their might be a better way, another viewpoint, another option.

Look at Moses, the man who talked to God directly.  He spent all his time hearing case after case for the people.  It took his pagan, father-in-law, one day of watching this nonsense to step in and provide an option to Moses (Ex. 18).  Spread the workload was the message.  It seems so simple, but even Moses couldn’t see it, as he was just so used to it being done this way, since he was the “go-to” man.

Yeshua was doing the same thing as Jethro.  He was pointing out the issues where the traditions that had been taught were now more important than what God had actually instructed.  He wanted to fix this problem so that people could see, hear and understand in a way that would produce action.  He didn’t want people doing things just because they had been told this was the way they needed to do it, if it didn’t serve any real purpose.  That was just total insanity.

It is like the division of different doctrines inside Christianity.  Everyone believes their way of interpreting the Bible is right, and they are the only ones going to heaven, but I have to ask, “What did Yeshua say?”  Not what the apostle Paul said, not what Peter said, not what the Pope says, what did Yeshua say?  He didn’t contridict the hebrew scriptures, he brought further explanation, the correct interpretation to them.  He didn’t discard them, he makes it very plain that he had no intention of doing so (Matt. 5:17-19).

So what is holding you back from really seeing, hearing and understanding what God wants to do in your life.  What road blocks have we put in our way, what walls have we built to keep God from shining His light in and leading us out of the forest?  What things are we holding to close (idols) that we are afraid to let go of and trust that what we know may be keeping us from experiencing something greater.  Something we cannot comprehend, like the rich young man.  If we hang onto what we think is most dear, that gives us status, sustenance, glory, etc. we can never move forward.  We will always stand in the outer court wishing we could enter into the Holy Place, when we have been invited to join Him there.  Is today the day the scales will be lifted, the ears unstopped, and your heart of stone turned to a heart of flesh?

I’d like to think I am not still blind, deaf, or lack understanding, but the sad reality is, I do.  I just want to try to be a bit better at seeing, hearing and understanding today, than I was yesterday.  It is a journey, and I am still running the race!

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Invisible Women or Blind Society?

So a friend posted a video blog post today about what makes women invisible/vulnerable/shameful.

I like to think about these esoteric kind of things so I began to ponder the question. I had a chat over lunch with a friend and brought up the question to them as well. It was a very interesting discussion that went off into a couple of different directions, but it was good to get another viewpoint.

I think there are other questions we need to ask and answer first before we tackle the one presented. Are women invisible or is it a much larger society issue that needs to be addressed? My discussion with my friend brought up the issue of whose point-of-view are we trying to answer this question from, a man’s or a woman’s? Throughout history, you tend to think of the various roles of women. Until the last century or so, women have been viewed by men and society quite differently than they are today. Again, you also have to ask this question from different cultural perspectives as well. There are still cultures today where women are still considered property. From this perspective, they don’t exist in and of themselves, they belong to someone else as an “asset” so to speak. They have one purpose, to bear children. I’d have to say that they would be considered invisible in their society, from our western perspective, but would they feel as if they are invisible? Some might, some might not.

With these biases mentioned, I am assuming you are interested in the western perspective of the question. However, I don’t see women as invisible, but rather the issue being that society is selectively blind. For example, you see the homeless person on the street begging for change, but you pass them by and ignore their plight. You might volunteer at a shelter, or give out care packages, to do something good for those less fortunate, but does that really mean that you “see them”?

We all can look at a situation and see what we want to see in it. Often you will get different responses based on a person’s personal history and experience. It is kind of like the glass being half full or half empty. Depends on your personal point-of-view and biases. How can one person look at a bleak situation and find something to be thankful for, and another person only dispair?

I think the real problem is people are trying so hard to fit in, that they are afraid to stand out and let themselves be seen. Why is it all the girls think they have to be a size 2 to be desirable and pretty? They are trying to fit into what society has put a positive spin to. Self-esteem and image is the very thing our “enlightened” society has degraded so as to manipulate us into what it wants us to do.

One of the questions I asked, was when did it become unpopular to be a stay-at-home mom? Why is it that society puts more emphasis and praise on women who are in the workforce, than the one that chooses to stay at home? It is a huge sacrifice to stay at home and live off of one income, I know, I did it for 7 years. Did society think I was doing something great for me and my family, no. Was there pressure for me to go to work to help support my family, absolutely. It was a tough 7 years, at one point we were almost homeless. I did end up having to go to work part-time to help pay the bills, but my husband didn’t want me to go to work full-time, as he saw value in my being at home to give the kids their best start in life. Is it paying off now that they are teens, absolutely. So my question was, at what point did society decide a woman had more value if she was working at a “job” than if she “worked” at home? Why do women have to feel incomplete if they don’t have a career path? In the 1930s you wouldn’t hear women saying this.

Why is it that teenage girls (or adult women for that matter) think they have to have a boyfriend in high school to be “pretty” and feel wanted? Why is it girls are allowing men to tell them what is pretty? I see a huge self-esteem vacuum with teenage girls (and adult women) that is causing them to do all kinds of ridiculous things to get the attention of a boy, all in an effort to feel wanted.

Isn’t that the whole reason social media has become so popular. It is a way, through “likes” to feel wanted and important to someone out there? To feel like you matter. Isn’t that why a girl will give away her virginity to a guy that she knows will eventually dump her (at least way down in her gut somewhere she will if she is being honest), to feel wanted and loved, even if it is only for one night?

Let’s face it, we all have a desire to be wanted…to matter in this crazy world. The question is, why are we allowing society, or someone else to tell us whether or not we do? This is what makes us invisible…when we allow another to make us feel like we are less important than they are. When we allow someone to judge us and tell us we don’t measure up to their ideals or standard, we make ourselves invisible.

Every person has within them, the ability to shine…when are we going to stop allowing society to keep us in the dark, to remain blind to who we are? It is those that are willing to stand against the conventions of what is deemed “normal” that make the biggest changes in the world. I want to see them shine…I want those that feel like they aren’t worth more than dirt, to know they are precious. There are no mistakes, no junk, no worthless when it comes to people. It is time for society to take the blinders off, and celebrate the uniqueness of each person, and allow them to shine. You all matter!

Love’s Revelation

I wrote this poem almost two years ago now.  I came across it, and thought it would be a great blog post.

Heavy, heavy burden

I bear

Stess and worry

weigh down on me

No time to stop, to rest

to share.

Lonely, lonely life

is mine

Consumed by fear

pressed for time

Family, friends

left behind.

Needing, needing more

I say

Always a void

empty; unfulfilled

Around I go

lost my way.

Waiting, waiting there

for me

Whispering my name

so patiently

Is today the day

I’ll finally see?

Longing, longing always

so near

My voice, my touch

some time together

My heart feels warmth

love so dear.

Why, why must

I wait

His loving arms

to embrace

Memories of needs He met

promises still to create.

Enemy, enemy time

past by

Forgotten my tresspasses

my faults, my lies

Rest with my beloved

no longer denied.

Molding, Molding life

once dead

Open, Open eys

once blind

Listen, Listen ears

once deaf

Shout, shout lips

once mute.

Silent, silent teacher

is time

Stronger, stronger child

of Abba am I

Revealing, revealing truth

down the lighted path

now led.

Love that Beats the Odds

Two years ago I celebrated the Feast of Purim for the first time.  I had no idea really about the holiday, but a group of friends decided to give it a try.  We made the typical holiday treats that go with it, but opted out of dressing in costumes.  I wrote this creative retelling of the Book of Esther.

In a foreign land steeped in grandiose history as renowned as legends of old, lived a young woman, of the tender age of 16.  Esther was beautiful to behold, but her real beauty came from deep within her soul.  Characteristics like honour, loyalty, and sacrifice, the kind forged from suffering.  These would be the real jewels in her crown, but them I am getting a bit ahead of myself in this story.

Esther was orphaned at a young age and raised by her older cousin, Morrey.

Morrey didn’t have an easy life, and to be burdened at 28 with the task of raising a 5-year old was hard even on the best of days.  Morrey knew a thing or two about honour and sacrifice, so he never complained about what he gave up by taking Esther in.

While Morrey couldn’t boast in Esther’s outward beauty, he was a most proud “Father” as her character was a reflection of his.

One day, the king of this great foreign land had thrown a fancy party for all his rich friends and politicians.  His wife, Vanny, whose nickname might as well have been Vanity, refused to attend the party.  This embarrassed the king in front of all his guests, and was the rudest, most disrespectful thing a queen could do.

Due to her behaviour, the king, Ashton, removed the crown from Vanny’s head and decreed he would give it to another woman.

A search went forth throughout the kingdom for young single women of great beauty.  Esther never dreamed she would be asked to go to the king’s palace as she was born into the poor class of people in the kingdom.  Her people had been taken as slaves when the previous king, from another kingdom had destroyed her people in battle.

However, the official in charge of the search, Hagar, saw Esther and he insisted she come to the palace.

Morrey had spent what little money he had to buy her a nice dress to walk about the town square, ensuring she would be noticed by Hagar.  Being so finely dressed, Hagar never questioned Esther about her family, nor did she volunteer to give away any of her secrets.

Esther’s modesty and loving nature won Hagar over immediately.  She wasn’t like all the other girls; demanding, ungrateful, whiney or pouty.  This made Hagar very generous when it came to ensuring Esther had the best of the resources the palace had to offer.

After a year of learning royal protocols and undergoing rigorous beauty regimens, it was Esther’s turn to spend time with the king.

The king took notice of how different and special Esther was, more than any of the other women.  She had captured his heart and his favour.

Ashton, the king, wasted no time in making Esther his queen.  The party he threw in her honour was lavish, but he loved spoiling her after all.

As time passed, Morrey spent more and more time in the town square market places, where business for the palace and king was conducted.  He did this to hear any stories he could of how Esther was doing…oh, how he missed her.

It was on such an occasion that Morrey overheard Bill and Thomas planning an attack on the palace.  Terrorists in the king’s palace sent chills down Morrey’s spine.  What would happen if they were successful and Esther was killed in their evil plan against Ashton?

Morrey was able to send a message to Esther about what he had heard so she could warn the king.

When the investigation was concluded, they found the evidence of the terrorist plot to be true, and Morrey’s tip was noted in the case file.  Bill and Thomas were justly punished for their crime.

A few years later, King Ashton, started to favour one of his personal security team, Hector.  Hector rose to the top of the leadership command, and wanted everyone to show him respect, whether or not they felt he deserved it.

Morrey didn’t like Hector and refused to show him respect.  Morrey felt you needed to show respect in order to be given it in return, and Hector wasn’t one to give respect to others, only demand it.

This enraged Hector; “How could someone of Morrey’s status, a slave, the lowest of all in the kingdom, be so prideful as to think he didn’t have to show respect?”

Hector wasn’t just going to teach Morrey a lesson, he was going to teach all the slaves a lesson, a lesson that would cost them all their lives.  Did Morrey really think he didn’t have the power to end his life?  He was just a slave after all.

Hector convinced King Ashton that this kind of disrespect from slaves would be contagious and the best way to stop the spread of this devastating “disease” was to squash it.

King Ashton had no idea the woman he loved was part of this group and told Hector he could do whatever he thought best.

A law was passed that on a set date, not to far in the future, that all slaves from this specific region were to be killed, including the women and children.

Morrey kept a vigil in the town square, crying and mourning for his people.

Esther’s friends in the palace told her about what Morrey was doing.  She sent a trusted friend to find out what was going on since Morrey couldn’t come into the palace.

When Esther’s friend returned with the news, Esther’s stomach tightened up, the blood began to drain from her head so that she became dizzy, sweaty, and felt her heart palpitate, causing her to stumble back and almost faint.  Her friend grabbed her and helped her to a chair.

Esther knew she had to do something to not only save her life, but everyone else’s as well.  The only problem was; how to tell the king what was going on.  She wasn’t allowed to enter the king’s chambers without permission.  The penalty was death to do so, unless he held out his sceptre granting that person grace and mercy.

Esther being no stranger to sacrifice, knew that if she didn’t risk her life now, it would be taken anyway by Hector.

Esther created a plan to spend three days fasting and preparing herself to put operation “Enemy Overthrow” into motion.

After the three days were complete, Esther, dressed and looking as beautiful as possible, went into the king’s chamber.  As soon as the king saw her, his face lit up with delight and he extended the sceptre to her.

The king had been so busy with palace business that it had been awhile since he had spent quality time with Esther.  He told her to ask for whatever she wanted, the sky was the limit.  In our time, it would have been like he told her she had won $1 million dollars.

All she asked for was a dinner party with the king and Hector.

Hector being a conceited, boastful man, went around bragging to all his friends and family how great he was, as evidenced by the special dinner party he had attended with the king and queen.

This special honour wasn’t enough for Hector, he was still angry that Morrey refused to respect him.  His friends said, “Why don’t you make a public display for Morrey where he can be put to death for his insolence?”

Hector wanted nothing more than to rid himself of Morrey and ordered the building of the public execution place.  This special delight was the icing on his cake as he was going to have dinner with the king and queen yet again.

The king was having trouble sleeping that night because he sensed something was troubling the queen.  She still hadn’t asked for anything and she promised to tell him at dinner tomorrow night, but he worried about what it could be.

He decided to read through some old case files (a sure cure for insomnia).  He remembered the foiled terrorist attack and asked for that case file.  He noticed that the man who had reported the plan had never been rewarded, and he wanted to do something for him.

Hector had come to ask the king’s permission to carry out the execution of Morrey, the next morning.

“Hector, what gift would you give someone who honours the king?”  Hector, being the self-righteous creature he is, thought the king was talking about him.

“Have royal robes put on him, and put him on the king’s horse, give him a crown, and make one of the king’s most trusted officials parade him around the kingdom declaring his honour”, said Hector.

The king loved his idea and told Hector to go get his horse, robe and crown and take Morrey out and parade him in front of all the people.

No sooner had he finished what he considered the most humiliating task he was ever ordered to do, he was ushered to the dinner party with the king and queen.

King Ashton took Queen Esther’s hand in his after dinner and asked her to please tell him what she desired.  He couldn’t bear another sleepless night and it made him so happy to do things that would please her.

Esther asked the king to spare her life and that of her people.  The king not aware of the plan to exterminate her people asked who was responsible for ordering her death.

Esther, no longer afraid to speak boldy, knowing she had the full support of the king declared, “Hector, he is the one!”

King Ashton got up from the table enraged by the betrayal of his friend.  He had to get some air

Hector stayed with Queen Esther begging for his life.  He was so ardent in his pleas that when King Ashton come back into the room he thought Hector was trying to take indecent liberties with his wife, and ordered him to be executed on the very spot where he planned to execute Morrey.

Hector’s belongings and position were then given to Morrey as Esther had revealed his relationship to her.

Since a previous law couldn’t be broken, a new one was made, which allowed the slaves the right to defend themselves on the day planned for their annihilation.

On that day, the slaves were triumphant in overcoming their enemies and were able to live in peace as a result.

To this day, a celebration is held to commemorate Esther’s willingness to lay down her life for others, and the victory over their enemies.

The Feast of Purim is that day, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

 

That ends my little tale.  I hope those that are staunch Bible followers are not offended by my creativity with the story, it was not my intention to offend.  I wanted the story to be relatable to the kids that were participating in the celebration, hence the reason for the paraphrasing of the Biblical story.