Dear Woman

I want to remind you that we are living in a time of crisis. I want to you to look at the family and see how broken it is. Each one of you knows a broken family due to divorce, infidelity, immaturity, lack of faith, and failure to dream.
Dear woman, you are my mother, sister, niece, god daughter, god mother, cousin, and friend. I love you and need you. When I am around you, you brighten my smile. You inspire me to dream big. I become a man because of you. You make me live my manhood more completely. You have educated me, raised me, carried me, inspired me, and wiped my tears. Thank you. The moon, the sun, and all the stars in all their surpassing beauty do not come close to your beauty. You are the most beautiful phenomena that God has ever created. You know how to console better than any other creature. You know what soothes and satiates my deepest anger and hunger. Of your own, you are a wonder. I want you to know how important you are in my life. In my sorrows, the kindness and sweetness of your voice change my sadness into joy. To you I turn for love, friendship, companionship, motivation, faith, and wisdom. I hope this gives you a glimpse into what you mean to me.
Dear woman, the world needs you right now. Just as God turned to a woman after the Fall to bring about redemption, the world needs you to put its train back on the right track. I must admit that due to a lack of focus on your value, you have taken your eyes off the right path. The world needs you right now. The world needs you to show its daughters how to grow to become women respected by all. The world needs you to educate its boys how to treat and look at women. The world needs your deep motherly love for family and desire to build a world founded on love, truth, peace, and justice to fix our broken society. The world needs your concern for values to teach its young women what it means to be mother. The world needs you to tell its young men how to be a man. The world needs your genius. Please come back; we are perishing in this valley of tears. If we ever did something that hurt you, we want to pay four times more. All we want is you. We will do whatever it takes to have you back. We cannot afford continuing on this path without you.
Dear woman, you are the only who has the power to rebuild my broken life. Even if a man has everything he needs, without you he is like broken Frigidaire. These and many other concerns tell me that you have the solution to my problem.
Dear woman, do I have to make an argument to convince you? If arguments ever mean, yes I will make one. When humanity was standing at the threshold of life and death, when humankind was galloping toward its bitter destiny, when the world was facing the greatest crisis it had ever known, it was to you that God turned to save us and you have not failed us. Though Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas found no reason to condemn Jesus, they did not have the courage to go against the current. However, veronica did not fear the soldiers to wipe the face of the world’s savior. Pilate’s wife did not fear the fury of court officials to tell her husband that the man is innocent, so have nothing to do with his death. Was it not to a woman the greatest news in history has been announced? We need your genius because we have failed. You have the secret of this dark hour. So to you, we want to entrust it. We, man, have been governing the world, but it keeps on collapsing. Our strongest qualities are evaporating. Reason is gradually being abdicated. As philosophy no longer seeks truth, as psychology is concerned more and more with cavernous instincts of the subterranean libido, as right and wrong are decided by pool numbers, as democracy is no more about arithmocracy, we need your genius to stop this train wreck.
Dear woman, do you see how much I need you? Thank you for listening.

The Irrefutable Road

I know this is a very spooky topic. my telos is to help you reconsider where you stand in relation to it.

It is an intersection that we all will go through no matter who we are. St Augustine, foreseeing the sacking of Rome, struck the perfect note when he said that the only thing we can be certain about is death. Whether the uncertainty of the time stimulated him to think that way, it is evident we are no permanent wanderers in this passing world. St Augustine so urges us to be always ready if we long for our true fatherland. Especially when tragedy strikes, the wavering capacity of life appears so palpable; none of us knows when death will trample us with its hoof and end our journey. None of the victims (May God have mercy on their souls) in the Colorado shooting expected their lives to take such a sudden turn. On the following week, thirteen people’s lives were smashed on a car accident in Texas. The Sikh Community in Wisconsin could never foresee such a tragedy on a Sunday morning. We are anything because we have the breath of life; taking it away, we are reduced to dust; the master of life can be so callous about how quickly he calls us forward. So what is the right attitude to maintain in the face of such wavering certainty? What is the right mindset to have when we know death can be so cruel and abrupt?

 Socrates saw in death a way to put an end to the annoying disease called life. Interestingly and rightly so, he did not encourage suicide because he believed that we are the gods’ property and so we have no right to destroy what does not belong to us. His last words before he rendered his last breath were—we owe a cock to Aesculapius (the Crito). Aesculapius is believed to be the god of healing and wellness, so the cock is to be offered in thanksgiving for healing Socrates from the disease of being in the body, which hampered him from encountering true knowledge. For him, as he argued in the Apology, death is a good thing and nothing we should fear. “To fear death is like thinking oneself wise when he actually is not” (Apology 40c). As Socrates saw it, “death is either to be non-existent, or it is a trip to another place where all souls go”. If the former is true, then it would be like a “dreamless night from which one never awakes” (Apology 40d, e). If the latter is true, then he would gladly go there for there are quite a few great thinkers he would like to meet (Apology 41a). Finally, he would have knowledge of the really real (things in themselves). The body would no longer be a hindrance to knowing the really real as it is (Phaedo 72e-77a). What do we see here? Socrates deals with death by believing that death does not end our journey here. Death here, as he saw it, is the end of the first phase of the journey; it’s an end that opens to a new beginning.

A new beginning is what Christianity claims as well, but it is a beginning that may open to true happiness depending on the kind of life we live here. If Socrates did not weigh in the possibility of [dying completely], Christianity does. Christians know that there is death and death [beware of the language here]. One is what Kierkegaard calls “The Sickness unto Death”— to knowingly refuse to conform oneself to the image of humanity revealed by God in the person of Christ. So death in this case means choosing hell. The other is to close our eyes here and open them in the Happy Jerusalem. When most people are talking about death, they mean it in the first sense. It’s kind of hard since it involves being separated from our loved ones; however they know they will have a better one after the separation. They don’t speak of it as if they have no hope and future.  

Christians acknowledge the power of death [in the first sense] over their lives here on earth. At the same time, Christianity recognizes that there is something or someone more potent than death. Without that something or someone, we would indeed succumb to the fear of death and would/should have every right to do so, but it is not so. So, we can repeat with St Paul: death where is your sting and your victory? Love, I want to say, is bigger than death; it conquers it, soothes its sting, calms its biting power, and reduces it to nothing. Christ is stronger than death. His sacrifice of love on the cross annihilates all death’s arrogance. So after the breath of life is taken away, we continue to live. If we follow Christ and his church, if we love God and neighbor, death is not the end. If we try our best, we have hope that we will inherit a much better life than what we know here.

How does that help us thwart our fear of death? Well, if we want to be happy, if we want to live where all our dreams become true at once, if we want to gaze upon the face of the Trinity for eternity, then we should welcome the prospect of death. We should absolutely fear death if it means not enjoying the “New Zion”; however, if we have tried our best to live the gospel, we should not be so tense when death is in the horizon. If we live the good life; if we truly try with our mind heart and soul to do God’s will, we should not be afraid of death. Though death seems a punishment in the eyes of those who are not in Christ, we Christians know our citizenship is in Heaven, and so death is one of the steps that we need to go through before we can reach our true country. We need to stay in the race, and not give up for our prize is greater than all the hardships we are enduring here. That’s where we draw our strength as Christians. Who am I kidding!? I know my and your natural inclination is to hold on to what we have. No dead has ever come back to tell us how it is over there. So I am well aware that I am not advocating an easy task. My hope is that you become less afraid over what we cannot control. My hope is that we understand what death means to you who call yourself Christians. As people of faith, we believe in Jesus, we rely on what He tells about the kingdom of God. We bet everything on it. We know if we win, we gain it all; if we lose, well we lose nothing.