Life in Monochrome

Do you sometimes attach a particular color to a thing, an idea or event? I do. I’ve been doing it ever since I can remember. Unconsciously, I might say. When you think of the number 8, what color is it in your mind? For me, it’s always been red. Eight is red, 4 is dark blue, 5 is green, and so forth. Always. In my mind, they never change in color. What about words? When I think of the word sin, it’s always black; love is red; hate is light blue; and Jesus? It’s bright red – scarlet. In my mind, the name of my Savior – JESUS – is always scarlet. I know that will never change.

If I would color pleasures in the world with bright colors – like gold for a European vacation, red for a US tour, green for trips in Asia, yellow for every shopping expedition, blue for days at the beach, pink for concerts, lavender for a weekend spa, orange for the farmer’s market – then my world would be colored with hues of an unbleached sheep’s wool, a pure cotton boll, or the transparent whiteness of my bedroom’s granite floor, or the comforting grey wall of my bathroom, the shiny white porcelain of my lavatory. Or maybe the matte white frames of the French doors, the smooth and supple fair face of my soon-to-be-7-year-old son, or the dust that had gathered on the frames on the wall. You know the color of dust, don’t you? It’s the thing that adhered onto the Lord’s sandals and feet as He walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem and the limestone grounds of the Mount of Olives.

Those are the colors of my small, often silent world.

If we would color every heart and soul that —

has luxuriated in a grand vacation

is filled to the full reuniting and celebrating with friends

has squealed in pleasure

has conversed with a BFF until the wee hours

has enjoyed a cup of mocha latte in Starbucks

has breathed in the mountain breeze during a hike

has almost touched the clouds on the mountain peak

has sung like there’s no tomorrow sending the neighbor’s dogs in frenzy

has walked barefoot on the sand, hands intertwined with the love of one’s life

has dined out with fragrant candles on the table, maybe a red rose, and piano music in the background

— with vibrant colors like that of the Fall foliage in all its flaming splendor, then my heart and soul would be colored like the clouds above, slowly passing, rarely noticed, or the rain in late summer. Can you put color to the rain? For me, it’s always colorless, transparent, but it’s there nonetheless.

I’m thankful that, when I think if there’s someone in the whole face of the planet who can truly empathize with me in my monochromatic life of illness and suffering – there is indeed one. He is the King of kings, yet, never lived kingly when He walked on earth.

When sorrow captures my soul, I find immense comfort in thinking that I share a monochromatic life with the Messiah. When do we ever grasp what the Lord Jesus Christ has been driving home from the moment He came to live with us?

He was born in a manger in a stinky barn with itchy hay for mattress.

He didn’t have a pillow on which to lay His head.

He only had a pair of dusty, shabby sandals.

His robe was not of bright purple but homespun using fabric in earth tones.

HE DIDN’T LIVE A POSH, LUXURIOUS LIFE.

So, yes, I have Someone in this whole wide world who can relate with me. And He’s the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Creator of the Universe. Whenever sorrow comes to visit my monochromatic world, I think of the King who walked the dusty and narrow streets of Jerusalem in His worn sandals and homespun tunic.

“And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mat. 20:27-28)

And yes, I love Him so.

If you have been blessed by your visit here, please like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. Thank you!

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs and Still Saturday and Coffee for Your Heart.

Journey with Jesus,

 

Thankfulness

Since we can’t go away for vacations even during long holidays, my husband and I treated our kids to Walt Disney’s Holiday on Ice show at the Araneta Coliseum the Saturday after Christmas. My husband chose the location which was nearer the ice rink but it also meant pricier tickets. But we wanted to make the kids happy, so it didn’t really matter. Just to see them so excited about the show brought gladness to our hearts.

Late in the afternoon when they returned, I was anticipating them to be bursting with excitement and stories of their date with Walt Disney characters. But I was surprised to see them gloomy and sulky and not speaking a word. When I asked why, Hannah said that their Dad did not allow them to buy souvenirs. Oh. She said Tim wanted the light wand but Dad said there was no way he was buying it (P700 plus ~ $20). “Oh, yes, I wouldn’t have allowed that, either,” I said.

When their Dad came into the room, he murmured what ungrateful kids they were, shaking his head in disappointment. I was very disappointed, too. And sad. I just murmured for my husband to hear, “We’ll need to explain it to them. This is a serious matter and must be handled properly.”

Hannah quietly left the room while Tim continued to sulk, expressing his discontent by saying things like, “I’ll just give away all my toys because Daddy didn’t buy me the light wand.” And so it went.

As I pondered on this thing, I knew how far our old life in the province was compared to the life our kids were having now. When we were kids, life was hard. And even though our father worked in Guam, USA, life in our small town was generally simple, without the modern-day comforts. We were always grateful for what we received and enjoyed every moment of every treat that we were given, like a trip to the beach, for they were few and far between.

Yes, the life our children are exposed to now is far different from what my husband and I had. They are two different worlds. And I understood that we couldn’t force our kids to live that life which they hadn’t known. But we never wanted to rear our kids as spoiled brats, either.

In the early evening after I had rested, I called for them. I gently but firmly told them to bring their own plastic chairs and sit in front of me for we were going to talk about something very important. They were quiet now and subdued. In fact, they were no longer sulking. I began to tell them about the King who wore a sparkling robe and a crown that was bedecked with priceless jewels and who sat on a magnificent throne in heaven. And this King chose to come to earth, become a baby and be born in a manger.

“Do you know what a manger is?” I looked at Tim.

“It’s a — crib?” He answered, smiling.

“Yes, but this one is not made of brass and not lined with soft beddings like your comfortable flannel. A manger is actually a feeding trough where barn animals like cows, carabaos, horses, and sheep eat. And because these animals eat grass, what do you find in the manger?”

“Grass,” Tim answered quietly.

“Yes, and that also served as the bedding for the baby King, our Savior Jesus Christ. His mother Mary wrapped Him in swaddling cloths. They didn’t even have cute baby clothes or pampers.” I then demonstrated to them what a swaddling cloth was and how to use it. It’s just a long piece of cloth.

“Why did the Lord Jesus choose to be born that way  – prickly manger for a bed in a barn where animal dung and noise could disturb Him – and not in a very comfortable house or hotel?”

“To teach us to be humble,” Hannah answered.

“Yes. And to teach us that material things don’t really matter but love. He wanted to show His great love for us.”

I then proceeded to tell them about the things we enjoy: our big house, their rooms and comfortable beds, their clothes, the cars, the food on the table, their toys, their Mom and Dad who love and care for them. I reminded them how blessed they are, even going to shows like Walt Disney’s, while there are many children around the world who don’t even have food to eat.

I looked at two pairs of eyes becoming bigger and rounder. The two had become so quiet and listening intently, taking in my every word. My voice began to crack as I continued to tell them about the importance of being thankful with all their hearts in everything.

“Dad and Mom treated you to a wonderful show but when you got home, all you did was —“

“— complain.” Tim butted in. Hannah and I burst out laughing. Tim, chastened, sounded like a grown-up.

But before I was finished, I could see how sorry they were. We closed in prayer, with bowed heads and raised arms, expressing our deep gratitude to the Lord for all His goodness and blessings. After the Amen, they both hugged me tightly and told me how thankful they were for everything.

 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess. 5:18)

 If you have been blessed by your visit here, please like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. Thank you!

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,