Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Multi-Colored Bracelet

I don’t know why, but today it came to my mind a conversation I had with Aldo L. a few days ago, while having a terribly hard "churrasco" for dinner at a local restaurant. I happened to be wearing a rainbow-type multi-colored bracelet on my left wrist that I bought to a girl on the street a while ago, and decided to finally use it. Almost immediately, he noticed the bracelet and pointed out that this could be misleading to others, for it is well known that the gay community has adopted the rainbow colors as a way to identified themselves. We laughed and joked a bit about the thought and the possible implications of it and short after, almost instantly, we changed topics to something serious. After a while, I just took it off, because aside from the fact it was too tight and it was already cutting the air in there, the mere thought of been wrongly labeled made me somewhat uncomfortable.

We switched the conversation to something else and struggled with the medium well "churrasco" which was real hard, impossible and not that good anyways.

Today after meditating about the incident, it occurred to me that while carrying a Bible below the arm does not necessarily make me a Christian, the same way wearing a multi-colored bracelet does not makes me a gay, but it may bring an opportunity to draw some people to me that would otherwise wont, if they see me with a Bible below the arm. Then, there is the question of, if it is wise to expose oneself to such a party of people and in the process be wrongly labeled as a guy and even damage ones reputation. After all, we all have goals, jobs, family and our reputation have become part of our identity and tool of trade one in their right mind will sacrifice it knowingly and willingly.
But......then again, there is a precedent, and as a disciple I am, I am bound to fill in his steps. Jesus was labeled a friend of sinners, prostitutes and the real low people in the society hierarchy. Interesting enough, Matthew decided to record this into his account of the Gospel for a reason.

9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other
disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?"

12 When Jesus heard this, he said, "
Healthy people don't need a doctor-sick people do." 13 Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

After this episode on a common day, no big revelation, no big show, no miracle, just a mere incident that bring me back to the line where I should be walking, a line drawn by Him who I have decided to follow, not because of my own righteousness, but because His love for me is so much that I cannot ignore it and can´t help it but to embrace it with all my strength.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father´s Day a day to think and meditate about

Yesterday we celebrated yet another father's day down here in Panama amid the eventful sunday, while our national soccer team fought hard to give a memorable gift to all their fans including lots of dads.  Another opportunity to get together as a family, as we all get older and busy with life, job, etc.

Early in the morning I texted dad and said thanks for his love, sacrifice and life. I am well aware that in a world where the word love and sacrifice means something total different, I have managed to understand and get it clear to myself that most of what I am today is because of daddy's sacrificial love. He stopped buying things for himself in order to meet not only my needs but my desires and I can remember how out of love he would enjoy it all together.

Daddy taught me to ride my first bike, to play my first guitar chord, to shoot my first camera, to drive his car, the importance of saving and not wasting the money, but most importantly, he taught me to love God, he taught me about Jesus' sacrifice for me, about my sin and how without him I had no hope. Daddy taught me since a very young age the importance of a united family who worship God together and depends upon Him for everything.

I then told him, that I have a role and example to follow and that one day I would rise my own family and would have the foundation to build it from. I expect to do it even better, but based on the solid example he and mom set for me and my siblings to follow. My parents were far from being perfect, but one thing I am convinced of, is about his unconditional love, a love that goes beyond description, a love that is hard to catch on a few lines and get it on a piece of paper.

I still remember the times before him and the belt that would correct my bad behaviour. He would say something like this: "son, this hurts me more than it does to you, but I do it because I love you, and I want just the best for you...I dont expect you to understand it know, but one day you will thank me", at the time I was "yeah, whatever" and as time has past......boy, does he was right.

Thank you dad. Your shoes are still big for me to fill up, but I am on it, confident that I have what it takes and what I need and most importantly the Holy Spirit's guide.