Bravery even in the face of adversities.
It is a quality that the late Muhammad Ali had and I am reminded that faced with my own mortality and challenges, the one thing that can keep me going is to be brave and to face these head on. Muhammad Ali – a fighter in the ring as a professional boxer but also in battling with Parkinson’s syndrome and in championing human rights. The example of one person doing so many things is truly remarkable and it has taught me that even if it is just one person, that person can do great things in small ways.
This semester is starting to get hectic as everything is packed into a few weeks. I hope I will be brave to face the challenges that are looming. This post took longer than usual because I was trying to find the right mood to write as my mind feels very preoccupied and that has drained me mentally.
The gospel reading lets us in on the miracles that Jesus performed when he was with his disciples. But it was interesting as the reading touches on a young man who had passed on and was resurrected by Jesus. It is without a doubt that Jesus has power over the living and the dead. The man who had died was the only son and the mother was a widow. The mother must have been devastated on the loss of her son as she has practically no family left and she must have felt miserable at that moment.
“When the Lord saw her, he was moved by pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said,”Young man, I tell you, arise!”The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to this mother”(Luke 7:11-17).
In these moments of great distress and anguish,we are put to the test, but even in death, Jesus comes to bring the dead back to life and also to bring us back to our feet again when we are down or have turned away. The words of Jesus have the power to calm hearts of sorrow and to turn them into hearts of gratitude and joy.
I had a hard time trying to adjust my body clock back to going for classes in the morning instead of in the afternoon. At the end of the day, I am exhausted but I know that Jesus tells me to get up and get going every morning because it is a new day and another day where I am living and breathing. It is something to be thankful for in starting out on a new day.
Being alive is the difficult part as sometimes, I find it hard to have the energy to embrace life due to my self-consciousness and state of mind. It is tough to feel alive sometimes as life tends to get the better of me. To be alive in Jesus is a challenge to me as there are some days when I feel inadequate or stained to turn to Jesus for help; yet that is where I found my answer.
I am sure many of us have been to the grocery store to pick up produce or items for the household or our own consumption. I like to look at the fruits and vegetables sections as they are brightly coloured and I might chance upon either a fruit or vegetable that I do not know. People who go to the store tend to pick up the best fruit or vegetable. The criteria is that the fruit or vegetable has to be fresh and perfect.
This observation led me to a simple analogy. It was about me feeling inadequate and stained to feel that perhaps Jesus would not want to come near me. On the contrary, it is through our bruises and imperfections that Jesus chose to heal and work through us. He did not choose the top people in society to be his disciples but fishermen (ordinary people) to be his disciples.
It was his affirmation to me that Jesus calls me to be alive and to be life giving unto others and that even in the most down of moments, he is moved and he wants to enter to bring comfort and healing. He understands what is bothering us the most, just like how he empathized with the woman who almost lost her son and her family. He calls us to be brave amidst all the troubles to stand firm on his Word and that he will stay with us if we make room for him.
I almost did not want to complete writing this post as combined with the feelings of tiredness and writing blocks, it seemed like a uphill task. But I know that Jesus is probably telling me to reflect more and that it is possible to find him in all things.
Thank you Jesus! Please stay by my side and those who need you the most (especially the sick and the suffering). Amen!
God Bless! as we continue to pray for each other and those who have asked us to pray for them.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong