After 9 months in the USA, I’m finally back in Singapore for a short stint for the holidays. This period seemed like God’s way to mark and reflect on the old season as it melds into the new.
I met an ex-girlfriend today.
We dated more than 12 years ago, but we are great friends today.
“It was really scary to be with you at that time”, she said with a sense of gentleness and regret.
“Because as a young Christian, I knew you were such a good person. Yet you suffered so badly. It totally rocked my own ideal version of faith, God and reality.”
Those words punctuated my own reflections at that time. Her thoughts were actually in sync with mine, although unspoken. We never talked about it then, partly because I couldn’t formulate my thoughts clearly at the time. Dissonance is what it is.
Even more so, my mere existence threatened the convenient worldviews that many cling to in order to feel comfort in their own existence. What my ex-girlfriend felt is surely what others did as well. They might have thought, “surely good people like me won’t fall to darkness, can I?” Many took this threat out on me in different ways. Some ignored. Some placed me in a box. Some had to assume I was doing too many things wrong. Their collective worldviews crushed me as it had to place for me.
Job of the Bible experienced it. Jesus experienced it.
How apt this conversation occurred today. Christmas time.
It’s the end of the year. The reason of the season.
Do you know He came?
He came to give Life and to give Life abundantly. He came to give hope when there was none. He was the father to the fatherless. He is what makes everything make sense.
Today, all the past events in my life are slowly converging to make sense. A picture is forming that is more beautiful than it’s parts. Even the dark and painful memories, taken together with the rest, is starting to be beautiful.
CS Lewis said,
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
This “sun” has been birthed today.
This sun has changed everything in my life.
When the “sun” or “son” comes, there is a newness. You won’t do things the old way.
9 years ago, I gave up on music because my hands were so cracked that I couldn’t hold an instrument. I gave up that I was a ‘normal’ human being when I realized that the outdoor climate burned into my skin, triggering my immune system in the process. I gave up on people when they shunned me because they could not figure out how a good God could allow such extreme despair into my life.
I lost confidence in myself. I lost confidence in God. I lost confidence in mankind.
Pursuing music became a bittersweet memory. Collaborating with other Christian strangers was uncomfortable… I couldn’t trust. Going outdoors was a dreaded idea. Seeing my own reflection in a mirror or picture reminded me of how far I had fallen.
Here’s my response today. I’ll do music, with video, with new Christian brothers around the world. I’ll just do all the things I was afraid of doing. Why not? There’s Jesus. Perfect love drives out all fear.
Thank you Jesus. Happy birthday.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpaKHlftwYM