Our Lord’s final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him “Master.”
Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal.
Such a pleasant face!
What a wonderful disposition!
What do you want from me?
Or is it just that you have nothing to lose?
How easy it is to be pleasant
And helpful and polite;
How easy it is to show one self noble
And virtuous, even saintly
When there is something to be gained,
And the one with whom you are friendly has it.
Here, take what it is you are after.
I am so happy to give it to such
A pleasant fellow as you…
As long as you’ll promise me
To keep your end of the bargain.
I expect you’ll be as congenial as you are now,
When once you have what you seek from me.
You tell me you are honest;
You tell me you are reasonable and deserving
And just and upstanding and unselfish.
Fair enough! Here it is!
I could not have given it to a better man.
But sir, what about your promise?
What promise!? A misunderstanding?!
I was mistaken? But you said..!
I’m trying to get blood out of a stone you say?
Unreasonable?! But it’s broken!
You guaranteed it worked!
“As is” you say? “Buyer beware” you say?
Why is your face clouded?
Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty?
Where are the meekness, the gentleness,
The politeness, the smiles?
Where are the tears and the impassioned pleas?
Why do you stomp where once you stepped softly?
You asked for sympathy and I gave.
You asked for generosity for your sake;
I gave that too.
Now I ask you for the same
And my request falls on a different man!
Are you the one with whom I dealt?
My, how you have changed!
You have what you want!
And I am again without.
So is the lot of the one who trusts in man.
Beware of those who want what you have;
Beware of yourself when you want
What others have!
Lethbridge, Oct. 11, 1984
What did the religious who accused Christ of blasphemy do with what He told them about themselves and their sins? They blasphemed! And that’s the way it has always been for God’s children, who serve as a mirror of light that reflects the image of those who come against the truth. Didn’t Jesus warn His followers about those He called the children of Satan, “If people call the head of the family Satan, what will they say about the rest of the family?” (Matthew 10:25 CEV)? And we, as Christ’s ambassadors, admonish His children, “For consider Him Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3 MKJV). Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Wherever did you get your gall? I’m not guilty of such things at all! Mirror, mirror, take a fall! I have a different image in my mind, Of myself that’s much more kind. A finer person you’ll never find; Surely, mirror, you are blind! Mirror, mirror, full of lies, What you show me, I despise, What I see, my heart denies, Things not fit for holy eyes! Who holds this mirror before my face? I find your judgment cruel and base. Is your agenda my disgrace? You need to learn and know your place. I will now even the score; I will escape what I abhor. Crash goes the mirror to the floor, A false impression to give no more. But now I have only shattered dreams. There’s no more peace, it seems, Only eyes full of beams, A sta...
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79
I have heard it said many times that whatever divides is not of God. Of course, that simply depends on what is being divided and why. Is it not of God to divide sheep from goats, fleece from sheep, truth from error, heretics from the faithful, wheat from the tares? The problem is that those who make the statement above presume to be sheep or, they are under the false notion that pain and suffering and sorrow arising naturally from division are products of Satan and not of God. But these same people indulge in dividing others in the Name of God and think nothing of it. And does not God wound and break? Does He not call to forsake wife, children, parents and friends? Is forsaking easy and pleasant? If so, it would not be forsaking. I am not sent for division's sake; I do not come to attack; Strife and debate I do not sow, Yet all these are found where I go. I haven't come for evil's sake, Bearing trouble, sorrow and pain, Yet the sword I bear Will cut in two And each half in two again. There are those who wish to take the truth And claim it for their own But others, joined to them, declare "If you go, you go alone." I cannot help but cause this woe If I am to speak what is true; I can only hope as time goes on That your loved ones will come too. But you cannot wait for them to come, The time to take heed is now. Just as you cannot wait for yours, The call cannot wait for you. As friends increase, my enemies...