I'm trying to decide if I am going to buy a used computer or a new one. There are quite a few computer shops in my neighborhood that sell used ones for very reasonable prices. I like the idea of using something that would otherwise be thrown away some time in the future. Also, I like the idea of not having to spend a lot of money. I think that if I buy a used computer, I will have to learn how to clear history and get rid of viruses that could have been on the computer when the previous user had it.
My mother is fifty years old. I think that she is still very young and even attractive. When I look at other women her age, she looks at least ten years younger. The only thing that messes up her look are what's called “bags under eyes“. She lives a very healthy life and she doesn't know why they appeared. Maybe it's genetic. Recently I found a video online that had advice and instructions on how to get rid of those bags. I showed my mom the video and she listened to their advice. I must say, she looks a lot better now and she is very satisfied with the change.
It is not unusual to hear a friend complaining about an sd card recovery problem. People face unpleasant situations regarding files that contain important data because they don't pay enough attention to what they are doing on a computer or because their computer simply crashes while the sd card is still connected to it. These things happen and there are few things we can do in order to prevent them. If you have a friend in such a situation, help your friend by letting him or her know about the specialized recovery software now available. It is easy to use and contains step by step instructions, so these unpleasant situations can now easily be solved.
I was having coffee in the mall today, and I met an old friend whom I haven't seen in years. We went to a vacation together, and I remembered that he had sent me the photos in an e-mail. I decided to look for them and bring back the memories from those days. When I tried to open my Outlook, a message appeared saying that there is some kind of a problem. I tried everything I knew, but I just couldn't access the e-mails. I browsed the internet for some solution and I came across a video on YouTube about stellar outlook pst repair software. I installed it and I managed to fix the files easily.
I can still remember the time when my friends told me that my decision to try factoring account receivables for my business will fail me. I was very disheartened then because I did not get the support I need from them. My business was in a really bad situation that time that’s why I cannot really for bank loans to get the funding I need. Only the interface financial group extended their help and offered a great deal for my business. I was so afraid that time because I don’t know anything about the method by I was more afraid to lose the business so I gathered all the courage in me and proceed with the transaction. The transition process was not easy because some of my customers freaked out after knowing that I sold their unpaid invoices to the factoring company, but the interface financial group stood by me and helped me explain to them the need to do the action. I told them that there’s actually no reason to fret because the factoring company is just there for the collection and will not interfere with the other transactions. It took me 2 months to completely pacify and convince them that everything is okay with the Interface Financial Group. Thank God I was able to resolve the problem with the collection; otherwise, I would have had another problem and that is finding new customers. Well, things turn out great. Thanks Interface financial group! I would have not survived this challenge without your help!
When buying an asus pc, always start with the latest updates once you connect to the internet. It's a very easy thing to do, just search for an asus driver update with any search engine, and click on a safe verified result. Asus can't guarantee that you'll have the latest drivers on your machine, simply because they are changed daily, being constantly upgraded and a necessity if you're planning on keeping your pc safe and working the way it's supposed to. Install an anti virus as well, only after you've done updating the drivers. With these things done, your machine will be in a perfect condition.
Long before I started photographing, I was moved by images that captured my attention and enlightened my awareness of the world at large. On many a rainy afternoon, lost as a child in the photo essays of Life Magazine and National Geographic, I entered the lives of people around the world, pondering the contrasts between my life and theirs.
In my teenage years, there was an abundance of images that sank into my heart, cut short my innocence. Images from the March on Selma, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, from the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, all showing a level of violence and intolerance I was not prepared for. I was impressionable then, as I am now–moved by what I see, changed by what I experience, led to action by what I believe.
Most of us, at some point, have a desire to make a difference in the world. We want our lives to matter, our words to be of use. And for those of us who traffic in images, we want them to speak eloquently of that which matters to us, to be the metaphor for who we are, what we believe in and stand for.
Dorothea Lange was invested in creating images that would alter the public’s attitude about migrant workers. Walker Evans was committed to making photographs of tenant farmers that would inform and inspire people to action. Lewis Hine, in his crusade against child labor, created images that did what dry statistics and lengthy speeches never could do. Robert Capa, who despised war, photographed five of them in an attempt to record its horror and monstrous stupidity, believing that “the truth is the best picture, the best propaganda.”
Having seen their work and read of the national response and reforms their pictures generated, I understood the power that photographs could have on a level beyond the personal, saw how images could help shape a national consciousness, create an awareness that could lead to enlightenment, action, change.
Buoyed with this knowledge and faith, in the mid-80s, during the massive global buildup of nuclear weapons, I embarked on a peace pilgrimage around the world. Armed with 200 rolls of film and a slideshow of the U.S. peace movement, I was determined to use my photographs in the service of the people, to share with as many folks as I could these images of activism, of commitment to harmony and a safe home for all the world’s children.
In order to create a culture of peace, a culture that reflects our reverence for life, we need stories and symbols that heal and guide, that help us remember we are part of a whole. It’s hard, in a society bent on power and profit, to remember what life is really for. Harder still to connect with one another when most things serve to keep us separate. But stories help. Pictures help. And every contact with a lover of life brings us one step closer to loving our own.
My journey was a search for those images and stories, an attempt to discover and reveal our oneness around the globe.
In Japan, I was invited to speak to a group of A-bomb survivors at the Nagasaki Association for the Promotion of Peace and to present my slideshow, Focus on Peace. Before that we would watch the premiere of a Japanese film, one which included recently released American military footage of the Nagasaki bombing.
I sat in the back of the room with Mr. Matsunaga, director of the organization, who served as my translator. The lights went out and the film began with a slow pan of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Paper cranes and colorful flowers filled the frame until a jump cut took us to the cockpit of a U.S. plane on August 9, 1945.
We watched the bomb drop. Watched the deadly cloud devour the city. And then from the ground we watched what followed. Mr. Matsunaga, his calm voice silenced, collapsed into tears by my side. The survivors in front of us sat still as sculptures. Frozen in time, they stared ahead, some gasping as they saw themselves on the silver screen, stumbling through the rubble of charred corpses. Dazed and burned, they were calling for families they would never find. Quiet sobs filled the room while we witnessed the re-run of a nuclear holocaust.
When it was over, no one moved. No one turned on a light. We sat there in the dark amidst sobs and tears, trying to recover. When the lights came on and I was introduced, I stood there before them and started to cry, and it was only at their urging I could carry on.
I spoke slowly about the slides we were going to see, with Mr. Matsunaga at my side translating my words and my hopes in whatever way he could. Then the lights went out again, the music started, and images of millions of people working for peace began to dissolve into each other.
There were no words being spoken. Just the pictures and voices from the International Children’s Choir singing Let There Be Peace on Earth. These images of colorful, festive, life-affirming demonstrations had more power that day than any I remember. Symbols of a solemn commitment to peace washed over and comforted us. They delivered us, if only momentarily, from the fear of such a holocaust happening again, for how could these millions not make a difference, their passion so clearly exposed and revealed?
After the slideshow, the survivors came to the microphone and one by one spoke of the profound impact these photographs had on them. “I did not know so many people cared about what happened to us…we thought we were all alone in our struggle to prevent this from happening again…seeing all those Americans caring about peace encourages me in my struggle…how can we fail if there are so many of us?”
I had been so immersed in the peace movement during those years of nuclear frenzy that, until that day, it had not occurred to me that others weren’t aware of it, had no idea of its magnitude. These survivors did not even know there was a U.S. peace movement doggedly resisting the production and proliferation of nuclear warfare. And it made a difference to them to find out, to see all those pictures, to witness others in solidarity with them, working as hard as they were for the same cause.
One photograph could not have done it, but those eighty images, one after another, blended with that music–it had an impact, told a story that bolstered their courage, honored their experience. What had happened to them did matter after all, and these photographs were evidence of how much.
Nothing in the world could heal their physical wounds, their irradiated organs, their burned and disfigured faces and limbs, but a healing occurred in their spirits that day, passed on through these portraits of comrades in action.
We can and do inspire each other in this life, and if a photograph does nothing more than inspire one person to feel that, somehow, his life mattered, her pain served a purpose, then that one photograph ought not go unseen. We can never know the reach of our work, never know when we share a photograph to whom and why it might make a difference, never know how our small images contribute to the global picture as a whole.
But what we do know, from our own experience and the experience of history, is that photographs can change the course of the things, turn one’s head, alter one’s thoughts, enlighten one’s darkness. To shoot with that awareness, to know our images, made of light, can contribute light–that is the true joy of photography.
King Arinok’s penetrating stare cooled the candle flame. His thin body folded in to a full lotus position. He exhaled, disturbed by the screams of his people. No, he was devastated by the pains of war.
The Rajashans were well built, strong and fast. Led by King Tunggul they bludgeoned the Kidans. Captain Norigg staggered into Arinok’s camp, bleeding he fell on to his wasted carcass.
Startled, Arinok leaped to the almost lifeless Norigg, shouldering the wounded head on his lap. “Your Majesty, we are falling,” escaped from the cracked lips of a great Kidans legend. It was now up to Arinok to hold the fort but he was no material for plunging swords and clashing spears. He was a holy man, one that preached the religion of brotherhood and unity. A rare king he was that remained loyal to one wife and lived amongst the peasants.
The heartbroken Arinok dashed out of his encampment. He blew the royal horn. The sound traveled across the berated land reaching the ears of Tunggul. It was a call he was glad to receive. He bulldozed over wretched faces and limbs, mounted his feisty horse and rode into the grip of bitter-sweet childhood memories.
“We are brothers, Tunggul. Our fathers came from the same root. Why are we fighting against each other?”
Tunggul laughed. “It is because we are brothers, little Ari that I must groom you to be a man. There can be many kings but only one emperor. And you have to earn it.”
The peace-loving Arinok wept. He pleaded to Tunggul to call off his troops. The air in the canopy whirred as Norigg watched his beloved sire begging on his knees. He inhaled for last time; the air deflected his disappointment to the angels.
Arinok quietly said a prayer for his faithful captain as tears washed the dust on his blistered fingers. “I give you my throne. Just stop this madness,” he said.
Tunggul refrained from assaulting Arinok. He threw his sword on the ground and demanded for Arinok to wield it like a warrior. He removed his amour and exposed his muscular chest. “Arinok! Kill me this instant if you want to keep your throne and safe your people. I dare you to do it.”
A pair of lifeless hands picked the sword and returned it to the grip of its owner. “No my brother. No life should be sacrificed for the vanity of power, control and wealth. Enough.”
Tunggul marched out with anger welding in his eyes. He did not understand the philosophy that terminated the spirit of his cousin brother. One that had forgotten the role of a king was in the building of an empire for the glory of the nation’s flag. No citizen will die in vain protecting his country whether or not victory was on his side. He shall die a hero if it was to serve his people. Those who hide behind the banner of peace were cowards even if victory was theirs to claim.
Tunggul raised Kidan to the pit and won. He took over the state but was fair to the Kidans as he was to the Rajashans. Food was equally divided, children were taught to read and write while the collection of tax was regulated to stop bribery. Arinok and his family were treated like nobles but he had decided to take a different route.
Arinok visited his wife and son. He spoke to them and assured that everything will be fine. He will find a solution. An answer shall be revealed to him.
He sat in his study. Took out a razor blade and sharpened it on the belt. The first flock of hair touched the floor. He chanted the name of the creator as he shaved himself bald. He did not sleep the entire night but was in deep meditation. At the first break of dawn he left the Kidan capital without any possession but a walking stick, a water bottle, a wooden bowl and a thick blanket to cover his body. Arinok started his journey to salvation leaving behind his kingly past.
The roads led Arinok to Nirut a small village to the south of the Kidan capital where he decided to stay a little longer. At the beginning some people might have recognized him but because of his unkempt appearance they discarded the possibility of his real identity. He moved along unnoticed and was fairly pleased with it.
At Nirut he sat under a tree near a shed. He sometimes sat for days without moving absorb in his state of bliss. In this position he asked the fundamental question of why people dominated each other. What is the purpose peace if it instigates violence? Most importantly what was the purpose of his birth? But he received no answers and nothing was shown to him except for silence.
In the world outside of him people still fought over a sweet potato, a woman and who owned the biggest cow. What he didn’t notice was that since Tunggul took over the reign things were kept in better order. There were less looting and many illegal gambling joints were closed down. For some strange reasons peace was beginning to recover.
A group of misfits approached Arinok. They frisked his body and found nothing valuable except for his water bottle. There were some figs in his wooden bowl and the think blanket was stained with mud. He opened his eyes and saw three young men probably between the ages of seventeen and twenty. He smiled and told them to take what they wanted for none belonged to him. The boys felt insulted because a beggar was offering to them his stale belongings. They instead beat him up to teach him a lesson on humility.
Passing by was a beautiful maiden named Shirta. She shouted at the boys and told them to stop bullying a beggar. The moment they saw her they began to harass her; touching her hair, molesting her breasts and one held her waist from behind allowing the other two to pin her down. Arinok was shocked and a weird sense of anger bellowed in his stomach. He instantaneously felt that he needed to do something. He had to take action.
Arinok stood up, grabbed a stone with his right hand and hit one of the attackers on the head. Without much hesitation he smacked another on the throat and the final one was hurt in the stomach. His breathing grew heavy as he looked at the three boys rolling in pain on the ground. And slowly fears crept in. What did the peace-loving Arinok do?
Shirta pulled Arinok away from the scene to the river bank. He threw himself on the grass. His heart was bulging with guilt and disbelief. He looked at the blood stained stone and lunge it into the river. He shut his eyes and released a loud scream.
Feeling nervous, Shirta placed herself next to Arinok. “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to,” she stuttered. Arinok looked at her almost perfect face, the cute button nose and the rose bud lips. “My apologies, ma’am. It is just that I have not caused another human to suffer physically before. It is not right to do so under any circumstances.”
“You are a holy man, master. Although your attire is untidy and your hair unwashed I know you are a good man. So please don’t blame yourself. Those boys deserved it.”
Arinok shook his head. “No, ma’am. This is not the case. I must do what I preach, walk my talk of peace and unity. And here I am exercising violence on three innocent lives. I am ashamed of myself.”
“But surely you must have acted in self-defense or protected loved ones from harm. It is a normal and noble thing to do. But you know master, it is the first time for me too,” she said with a shy smile on her face.
“Your first time?”
“Yes. The first time ever a man kept me from danger and did not fight another to go to bed with me.”
“I beg your pardon?” Arinok lowered his gaze.
“I was born into the brothel and have since served men when I turned sixteen. It was a late age the owner complained because they couldn’t make more money out of me earlier.” She paused and looked at the glances of dismay that were directed toward her.
Arinok was quiet. “Why don’t you leave the place of vice? There are many things that you can do at Kidan,” his words were hard and fell upon Shirta’s ears like daggers.
“Do you regret saving me from them? That you had to taint your sacred hands for a woman that sells her body? You are judging me, sir.”
“No! This is not what I mean. I mean you have a choice of walking out from doing anything that you do not like. You have a choice.”
“Are you born free? Is this what you like to do?” she asked gesturing at Arinok’s appearance.
“I like peace on Earth, ma’am,” he replied in a solemn tone.
Shirta smiled. “I like that too. I want to get out of that horrid place. Work for five more years to make enough money and I will run away with my daughter. Get the hell out of there”
“Of course,” she chuckled humouring herself. “I am not proud of being part of three generations of brothel girls. No one should stay in that stinking hole especially my little girl.”
Arinok nodded. His world suddenly expanded. He was promoting peace, love and unity but was not aware of the real pain and sufferings of the human race. He thought that by demoting his status he could inspire but it showed to him that he what he did was stemming from arrogance. It was his narrow belief that it was unfair he was born into prosperity and high power. But he didn’t know that he could not teach others peace if he was not peaceful within himself.
They watched the sun set together that evening. Arinok’s buzzing questions rested as the stars filled the sky. He slept dreaming of his wife and son.
Arinok lifted a fig and placed it in his mouth. He slowly chewed on them when all of a sudden a violent thud landed on his face. The misfits were back with two more helpers. They kicked, punched and assailed him. They dragged him to the river side tied a heavy boulder to his foot and drowned him. The last thing Arinok felt was blood running down his face and the stinging sensation of water filling up his nostrils, eyes and lungs. Darkness surrounded him.
Two loud voices accompanied Arinok’s awakening. He looked around. It was an unfamiliar place. It seemed as if he was in a cave and he was placed before two judges. They were odd looking. One was round and bald and had thick eye brows. The other was a midget wearing a red suit. They were seated behind a huge oblong-shaped table on two steel chairs that didn’t seem to belong to any kingdom he knew. They were chattering and discussing, writing and flipping through pieces of papers.
“I see that our inmate is alert, “said the round one. “I am Wendoo, the guardian of the gates of Hell.”
“I am Lowdoo, the keeper of the gates of Hell.” The midget’s voice sounded like a mousy teenage boy.
“What? What hell?”
“To make things simple for you, Arinok son of Palinogg, you died,” Wendoo replied twitching his eyebrow.
“Oh! Don’t believe him. You are technically not dead yet that’s why you can’t enter Hell and are held at the gates. Some foolish humans are trying to revive you. So you have a seventy…”
“A seventy percent chance of making Hell your new home,” Wendoo interrupted.
Arinok sat up and examined where he was. He pinched himself and tried to recall what happened. He knew the misfits came by for revenge and he was brought to the river side and drowned.
“Why am I in hell? Shouldn’t I be in heaven?”
Wendoo and Lowdoo gasped and laughed so loud that Lowdoo nearly fell of his chair. “Well, there is a quota. And you didn’t get in. So welcome to Hell.”
“No! There must be a mistake. How can that be? I didn’t harm anyone and I was a peaceful king. I was kind and caring and I loved my wife. I was loyal to her. I looked after my son, my people and my state. I was a good man. I am a holy man.”
Lowdoo was busy scribbling down Arinok’s confession while Wendoo explained to Arinok. “That my friend is your greatest sins. From our records, you didn’t do anything for others. You only did things for yourself. You were selfish. You merely wanted to look “good”. Be a good king, love everyone, no war. But when your state is attacked, you allowed your soldiers to die for you while you pray and pray and pray out of fear! By the way, we love it when you do that. It is our favourite dessert.”
“King Arinok’s prayers. Delicious!” Lowdoo chipped in while his pen was still jotting down notes.
“So you are guilty as charged. You failed to carry out your duties as a king. If you don’t get it by now, there is a reason why you were born a king. I know, don’t tell me. You wanted to be like Baddhu and Sejus. They are great souls. Even from the depths of hell we respect them although they are not my cup of tea. They are just too nice. The problem with you Arinok son of Palinogg is that you copied the steps of the Baddhu without understanding what in heaven he was teaching. Not that I do or else I won’t be here.” Wendoo threw his head back and snickered.
“That was supposed to be funny, by the way…now where was I? Yes! You basically wanted to preserve your ideology of peace at the expense of your people who sincerely looked up to for protection.”
“How could I have taken the life of another human? That is the work of devils, like you!”
Lowdoo stopped writing, jumped down from his chair and walked toward Arinok. He was serious, almost menacing. “Look here King Arinok!” He inched closer. “You didn’t take the life of a man with your hands but your cowardice and selfish intentions allowed half the people of your nation to die in vain. You allowed an enemy soldier to slash down your maids because you couldn’t kill that bloke. Haven’t you heard, be in battle at times of war, be in peace at times of peace but have the brains to know the difference. Although in Hell we are constantly at war so you don’t need your brains!”
“But Baddhu said that…” Arinok stammered.
“But…but…but…you are not Baddhu, so quit pretending to be him,” Wendoo exclaimed. “And remember Baddhu said don’t follow his foot steps blindly. Test, learn and decide for yourself. You are your own Baddhu. Why am I telling you things about the Baddhu? I can’t believe this. I need to re-wire my head.”
“The point is you are guilty and you shall be punished,” said Lowdoo grinning from ear to ear.
Arinok started to cough. Wendoo and Lowdoo looked at each other. They panicked. He felt as if his entire head was tied in ropes and that he was being pulled up. There was an immense shot of electricity running through that caused him to scream and squirm. He lost consciousness.
Sunlight permeated all over him and recharged Arinok’s drenched body. He heard the murmurs of people around him and someone was shaking him gently. He opened his eyes, sat up slowly and released out a big pool of water. He was catching his breath as a heavily built man slapped his back to allow him to vomit out more liquid.
“Ah! He is alive,” a woman said.
Arinok calmly entered the capital of Kidan. He climbed up to the tallest tower with a bucket of water. He cleaned himself and cut his long entangled hair. He looked down at the busy streets and saw that the Rajashans were getting along well with the Kidans. Children were giggling and playing. The people were happy. He gazed upon heaven a place he knew his prayers didn’t reach. With that he summoned his people for the final time.
“My dear Kidans. This is your king. No, the one who used to be your king is hoping to speak to you.” Everyone stopped what they were doing. Parents commanded for their child to be quiet. They arched their necks and glared at Arinok.
“This is Arinok son of Palinogg. My father was a great king. He brought peace to you where I failed. My father was a brave warrior while I was weak, hiding behind the strength of my soldiers, which should be honoured and held in high esteem. When I ran from my responsibility, you fought and sacrificed yourself. I owe you everything but my life is worthless for I have not done anything for Kidan. My speech of peace was meaningless as it is obscured by the wind…”
Underneath a tree, Wendoo and Lowdoo were watching the Kidans. “It is very touching. So do we get Arinok again?” Wendoo asked.
Lowdoo opened his books and shook his head. “No. It is unfortunate. He is going to heaven.”
“Why? Because of his great suicide speech?” Wendoo raised his voice.
“Our quota is full. There are way too many human dramas. Arinok’s is excusable.”
“That’s a shame. I was having so much of fun with him.”
The crowd muttered as Arinok dived head down into the main city square. Wendoo and Lowdoo were anticipating an out roar.
Someone shouted, “Hail King Arinok! He is the true man of peace!” And very naturally everyone said the same thing in unison. Their voices echoed as Wendoo and Lowdoo shudder in disgust.
“Don’t worry, brother. The will remember Arinok as the man of love and pillar of peace. They will erect a statue right when he died. And schools will be set up because he is a martyr. He died in the name of peace, his philosophy will be taught and man will go to war again to prove his interpretation is correct and the others are wrong. Either way, our quota will always be full which means there will be more work for me!” Lowdoo lamented.
“More work for me too! But I don’t mind losing some weight,” said Wendoo squeezing his bloated stomach.
Arinok’s remains were covered with the nation’s flag. Tunggul knelt beside him and wept. The citizens of Kidan paid their respect. The priest was thinking of canonizing Arinok remembering him as the man of love and pillar of peace.
We learn so much about others, and therefore much about our own human lives, when we stop awhile and simply watch – watching for the sake of just watching.
Car parks are perhaps a salient example of human behaviour and decision-making; a nice high vantage point affords the cherished bird’s eye view – life’s peaceful up high.
There is nothing sinister in our motive; we simply take a moment to reclaim our peace and to learn a little about human nature.
PEACE AND HUMILITY RETRIEVED
Taking time to simply watch our active world is the cathartic space of aloneness in the lap of God; to consider the vastness of the Creator’s created world.
Such a surreal aloneness is joy – bereft of lack, not fellowship. The best of peace is known to the mind’s space in God-abiding reflection. Such a sense of aloneness is present before humanity, anywhere, anytime, yet most of our lives are spent so much in a blur we don’t retrieve it.
Peace is secured when we think at depth about others’ lives-and that aloneness engenders humility which, in turn, promotes learning.
WHAT WE LEARN FROM OTHERS ABOUT OURSELVES
Ever wondered why someone did something and then thought, “Actually I do that, too”?
We may be different – us, personally, and others – but we are not that different.
So, as we observe others in their going about their lives, we watch with a baited question: “What is common in these behaviours with mine? And, why is that?”
By far most of the observable features of others’ lives we notice are negative – times when they are taking short cuts, showing scant consideration for others, or making dumb errors because they were overloaded mentally or were awry emotionally.
This is not altogether a bad thing. If we are reflecting, honestly, on the commonality implicit in others’ actions with ours, we will draw down what God is saying to us through the account of our own lives.
God will speak. Indeed, the Lord delights through visitation in circumstances such as these – it is honest and availed learning before the feet of the Father. And our Lord will pour in much insight, and enough grace to deal with it, via the Holy Spirit.
To stop and watch the world in all its flurry of action is peace. Simply observing life in full flourish is nectar for learning. There is much to learn from others about ourselves. We can only learn when we stop and honestly reflect.
Have I ever told you of my aversion to tears? Or maybe I should say my past aversion.
The eldest daughter of two people pushing their way toward divorce, I knew little peace in my young years. I grew up with a dad who feared tears and knew less about how to handle them. So, he progressively drove them out of me. He never abused me in a traditional sense, but he did sentence me to a tearless life.
Never wanting anyone to have access to the deep personal recesses of my mind, I hid tears so often, I stopped feeling them. Even years after my Dad’s death, I still couldn’t or wouldn’t cry.
This bothered me.
Some people might like it but I felt as if I’d become some sort of robotic being with no feelings. Fake tears, I would happily avoid but genuine feeling and compassionate tears eluded me.
Have you ever experienced this?
In desperation, one year I prayed for God’s help in my tearless world. I prayed He would help me to let down my self-protective walls and be capable of feeling whatever it took to genuinely cry. It probably sounds silly to you, but I did pray this.
What did I think would happen? A spear would fall from the sky, skin my little toe and I’d burst into tears. I don’t know, but whatever I thought, nothing happened.
I found myself sitting with a bunch of teenagers from my church watching a Passion Play put on by another church. We watched the story play out before us of Jesus birth and life and eventually His death.
It should be mentioned, I was an adult at this time, studying to become a pastor. I’d recently visited Israel and walked in the steps of Christ along the path they call the “The Way of Suffering.” Plaques along the way stated things like, “he tripped here.” It felt artificial and surreal. I couldn’t take it seriously even as I stood on that ground in that space.
The memory of Jerusalem rose in my mind as I watched the story of Christ unfold on the church stage. As if a synapses newly formed, something clicked in my brain. I thought about how I live and where I live. I envisioned wars around the globe and prisoners who cling to the hope of Christ.
I suddenly saw my Best Friend struggling on the stage. The One who listened, the One who gave, the One who loved me stumbling and unable to stand. The actor disappeared and I was one of the people on the street, that hideous day. I stood there and let it happen. I watched my Best Friend get led to His death.
It hurt my being in such a deeply profound way, suddenly a little bit of H2O formed in my eyelid. I felt it and found myself tempted to quickly wipe it away and push back the thought, instead, I let it roll down my cheek. Then, another came. I didn’t convulse like an infant. As a quiet observer for whom a painful gift was offered, the tears flowed.
A struggle came to my mind. Would I stop it if I could? Of course I couldn’t, but had I been there, would I? No.
I would have been just as scared as the disciples. I would have cowered in a corner and hoped against hope it would stop. But I would not step up. Would you?
He did it for me.
Perspective moment. Jesus walked on water. He spoke and huge waves stopped. He touched people and unhealable diseases vanished. At His word, a dead man and a dead girl came back to life. Jesus wasn’t a passive observer in this experience. He chose it.
He chose to take this torment to relieve mine and yours.
My tearless eyes had held within them pride and arrogance but also fear and personal loathing. I couldn’t cry for anyone else, because I couldn’t cry for me. Now, suddenly I could.
I could cry for me.
Because I was so sorry. Deeply within my being I felt such a sorrow for my failings before God. Here Christ had done this courageous, life-giving thing and I didn’t deserve it, me who wouldn’t have spoken for Him.
As we sat in the church watching a play, the tears streamed from my eyes. I understood for the first time a verse I’d known for years.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
After the tears poured out of me, a peace washed over my soul in such a graciously wonderful way. As if God Himself were comforting my saddened heart and letting me know it’s okay, I felt calm.
My daughter often wonders why we call it “Good Friday” when the pain Jesus experienced wasn’t good. I reminder her, His peace and love is good, and that’s enough for me.
Have you experienced the peace God wants to give you?