An Old Prose

This little piece is actually pretty relevant in my life right now, considering the fact that it was written many years ago.

I sit on the grass beside her, wondering what her thoughts are now. The sun melts into the horizon ahead, burning the sky above it and casting an overbearing shadow on the ground below.

I quickly glance at her from the corner of my eye, hoping she won’t notice, but I wasn’t quick enough. She smiles gently and blushes, then turns her eyes upward and stares on into the sunset.

After a brief silence she asks me what I’m thinking—how ironic—and I notice I’m choking up, searching for the perfect words to say for this perfect moment. The words that explain to her exactly how I feel: how she’s the most beautiful woman on the face of this earth, putting all the rest to shame; how I would buff up in muscle just so I can protect her; how her hair is so smooth that no matter how many days she went without combing it, it’ll still flow perfectly with every stride she takes. How her smell awakens every good feeling in me, and how every time she walks into the room my eyes brighten and I lose focus of everything around me, because nothing else would matter.
And just how undeserving I am of it all.

A girl once told me that the greatest blessing God can present a man is a great girl. I now have the second best blessing of understanding completely what she meant.

Still trying to capture the moment, I answer, “How much brighter the world is sitting right beside you, even if the sun is setting and the skies darken.”

She giggles and looks away, probably to a blade of grass, probably to a grasshopper, probably to a flower—I don’t know.

Or maybe it was a flower. If she were to walk into a field of premature flowers, they would suddenly bloom to their fullest potential because of the light and warmth she brings them. And she already has, too. She’s so good with kids…

I’m only good at helping out the elderly. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t run in the family. I’m good at it nonetheless.
It’s funny I guess, how many qualities are brought together when we’re together, her and I.

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Giving Up is Like Giving Up

I was talking to a friend of mine about choices—choices we make in life that determine the future of ourselves and those around us.
Later that night I went to thinking on my own for a bit, and my mind was drowned in all sorts of thoughts.

Never do I want to hurt people, or offend them, or mock them, or act as if they’re lesser than anyone else.  ‘Cause that’s crap.

Everyone has a purpose; I’m a firm believer of that fact.

You don’t need to give your body up for someone else, just because you think they’ll love you more if you do it.

Don’t do what others do.  If people tell you it’s fun, that it might feel good—they’re right!

Of course it feels good!  If it didn’t, then it wouldn’t be tempting, now would it?

But the difference between this stuff and reality is that anything that’s not real doesn’t last.

There is no tomorrow for it.  You won’t stay like that person forever.  You “grow” up.  You mature; you learn from your mistakes.

And then you got people who are like, “Hey, why not?  Why not go for the thrill?  You live only once…”

Like I mentioned earlier, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, over dinner at Subway, and I was talking to him about temptation and stuff, and he pitched in the following two cents:

“You know, you got people who tell you it’s okay, that you only have one chance to do it.  But I ask ‘em, why?  Why do it in the first place?  Give me one good reason.”

And it hit me—there really is no good legitimate reason.

Sure, you might justify it by saying “Why not?”  Or, as I mentioned before, “You live only once.”

But that’s it: You live only once!

And there are some who insist that if you’re saved, you’ll be going to heaven anyway, right?

Well, that’s true.

Then again…

Why treat what Jesus died for like it doesn’t matter to you?  Did He really die so that you can keep on destroying yourself?

I’m not saying that we all must agree with each other on every single detail.  We haven’t a thousand years ago, and I don’t really think we are now.

And neither am I saying to be perfect.  Shoot—I know for certain I’m not.  I’ve got so much baggage that there’s too much to even start talking about it.

Though, at the same time, I’m trying.  I’m trying to get rid of the “junk” in my life, to say that I’ve got a purpose in this world, and that Jesus says I matter.  So I’m going to live like I matter.

And I think that counts.

I think that matters.

I’m putting in some effort, even though I know for certain that I can’t do it on my own.  But that’s why we’re in this together, isn’t it?  God gave each and every single one of us to each other, that we might encourage each other and show each other love, kindness, peace, and hope.  Show each other strength.  Show each other that we’ve all got second chances.

I’m not going to give up on you, telling you that you’re worth so much more than both you and I believe.  That you’re so much more beautiful than anyone can ever express.

So don’t you go giving up on me.

A Dream

Here’s a passage I wrote of a dream I had some time last year, and I wrote it as quickly as possible so that I wouldn’t forget a single thing.

I was walking down the streets of London, towards uni, and as I approached the train station I apparently take every time, I realized that it was boarded up—it was obviously closed.  So I turn to go to the other train station (which, in reality, is the one I usually took) when Victor Pal comes running up to me, exclaiming how he had a bizarre date the day before.  For some odd reason, I remember this date, even though I wasn’t there: he had the date with Mallory Rockwell (who’s now married), and in that date she acted somewhat goofy, which is the reason why he had a bizarre time.

So he comes running up to me, and tags along, and we go to the station together.  Then, as random as dreams can get, I see Luis Rodriguez and some other seminarian that I can’t remember at the moment getting chased by the authorities.  They end up getting caught, and I dive into hiding; at this moment, Victor leaves the scene and the rest of the dream altogether.  So then Luis is caught, and apparently it was for reasons of faith: he was evangelizing, and in the dream it was against the law to do so.

As in most dreams, the scene suddenly shifted and we were all now standing at the edge of a cliff.  I was still in hiding, and Luis and the other seminarian had their arms bound behind their backs, cloth covering their mouths so as to refrain their speaking.  Two persons held each, and one of them shoved the other, unnamed seminarian over the cliff.  I thought for sure he would die from the fall.  Then, as Luis saw his comrade go, he volunteered himself to go over.  I looked as he stepped over the ledge, and saw a small cascading drop, where running water flowed from the edge of the cliff to the ocean only a few feet down.  Luis walked that small slope and plopped into the water.  Though the fall wasn’t great, the fact that he dived into the ocean still gave the impression that he was a goner.  Feeling a sense of duty to my faith, I leapt out of my hiding and, before the authorities had any chance to notice me and capture me, I bounced in after Luis and his comrade.

When I reached the surface of the water, I looked up and the cliff was now towering over us.  Though it was a mere slope before, it had somehow grown to where it almost blocked the moon—the only source of light in the blackest night I’ve ever seen.  Me, Luis and the other dude looked around helplessly and almost gave up hope.  But right when I was ready to give in to cold death, a face sprung out of the water.  It was one of the most beautiful faces I had ever seen; almost as beautiful as Megan’s.  It was without flaw, and completely made of water.  Water was its body, and water was its mass.  The figure then lifted itself out of the water gracefully, and floated over us.  It came back down, hugged me tightly, and hoisted both of us out of the water.

I looked down at Luis and the other person, and realized that they too had figures of the water lifting them up into safety.  I felt so at peace with the mysterious figure; it then lifted me higher and higher, and soon we passed the clouds.  We went so high up, that I could see out and over our planet: the starry galaxy was now within arm’s reach.

I looked towards my savior, and then it hit me: it was an angel.  We stood floating above the earth for a while, and as I looked down, I could see from the corner of my eye that it smiled at me.  I knew what it was thinking, so I braced myself: we tipped over our sides until our head faced the earth, and plummeted down.  Faster and faster we went, gaining an incredible amount of speed throughout the fall.  It was a rush of adrenaline, and it felt amazing.  I could feel my stomach turn upside-down and inside-out, and I loved it.  I loved every moment of the fall.  When we finally splashed back into the ocean, we touched the bottom and, with my own hands, I shot myself back up.  When I broke the barrier between water and air, the angel was there to greet me, looming over me with the biggest of smiles.  I knew then what to do: I lifted myself out of the water on my own and, as if by instinct, I flew past the angel and back into the starry universe.

Then, my dad woke me up….

An Email from 2007

Here’s an email I found that I wrote to a certain someone way back in ’07.

Hey, I know we’ll talk tonight, but I want to email you about how I’m doing.  In no way is this to be anything else but positive, both on yours and my part.  Maybe this could be one thing we talk about tonight, maybe not.  But here it goes.

It’s not that I want to bring you down or whatever, but I feel compelled to let you know, just so that I don’t leave you out in the blue.  Like Flores said, “You guys talk.”

There are times when I feel the burden trying to creep up on me, you know?  Like, I’m over there thinking about you, your amazingness (that’s not a real word) and beauty, and then I feel Satan trying to deceive me by bringing up the burden of the past, the monster of history trying to justify our present; overanalyzation (that’s not a real word either) trying to get the best of me.
To let you know the truth, I just want to be done with it, like, right now, you know?  I just want to yell, “Okay, I get it!  Can we please move on now, please?!”  So that this way I can finally experience complete happiness without a splinter of pain.  To let go completely of all what is long gone, because, well, it’s long gone.

I know that this will happen, and I’m praying that you will know too.  I’m praying that, if this is really what Dad wants, then I need not fear the past or the present—or the future for that matter.  Dad will pull us through—He always has, always will.

Jesus has already taken away all sorrow, all pain, all anxiety and all imperfectness, so there’s no reason I need to carry this weight any longer.  Jesus has already forgiven you, and I of course have too.  But maybe it’s still lingering so that I can deal with it honestly instead of just trying to pretend it’s not there.  So that I might deal with it entirely and perfectly, and completely understand that it’s not mine to handle.  So that I can look past that with no strings attached and fully understand the heart that Jesus sees in you—the beauty, the warmth, and the joy.
Please understand that I’m trying here, and that whenever the past tries creeping up on me, I pray to God that He gives me the boldness and courage to stand up against it; I cannot run away from what He wants.
I think it’s also me dealing with my own past, almost as if I never dealt with it completely.

I still remember you saying, “Yeah, I guess my story’s not that bad…”  Trust me, I’ve heard a lot of crazier stories.  Stories you’d probably never believe!

There are no “worse” sins, because it doesn’t make sense for there to be a “better” sin.

Dad’s saying to me, “Look at yourself, kid.  You think you’re any better?  There is no one better, not one, but I.”

And yet we can have that assurance that we can hope for the best, the perfect, even when we don’t deserve it.  The ultimate gift, I believe, is the gift of salvation.  And with that, there is nothing—not one menial thing—to ever, ever fear.

My life has changed completely in the past five years or so, and I’ll never be the same again.  But thank God!  Know and be assured that your past will stay in the past, and you need not linger on it anymore.  But if there are habits or old scars that need to be bound that are preventing you from growing in Christ, approach Him and tell Him to help you overcome these issues.  It’s possible, trust me.
Or don’t; trust Him.

But yeah, I guess it’s something that I want to tell you, because who else can I?  Everyone keeps telling me I’m such a lucky and blessed guy to be with you.  But they just won’t ever know how much like I do.
I look back to the times we hardly knew each other and just think, Man, we’ve gotten far…
Jaci probably did put in a little word, and I’m grateful for that!  That little snot…

I’m also asking that despite how hard it may be at times, that you stand there with me, helping me out through this so that I can finally just let it go.  Encourage me, support me, tell me that everything is going to be okay, to trust in God, and that the past is history.
I know, I know: I want to be finally done with it too.  But it’s going to take time, like my mother told me.

So I guess the winds will try and blow, and the waters will try and drown, but the Lord will be there to be our rock that we might not sink or be knocked down.

PS

Will you still give me permission to take your hand?

Great Grains of Ants

On any typical day, which is pretty much every day, my girlfriend and I have one last quotidian conversation before departing into sweet slumber.  In recent weeks, I have recognized one common element recurring in a few conversations: she’d suddenly interrupt, and I’d hear her either shriek or the phone would muffle any distinguishable sounds.  Then she’d return and say there was a bug nearby, and she had to kill it or get one of her relatives to do the dirty work.

I brush it off.  “Girls,” I think.  “Why can’t they get over the fear of bugs?”

So I was over her house this past weekend and, before our departure for Sunday morning service, I wanted to have a lovely meal of crunchy cereal and cold milk.  I asked her where the cereal is kept, she pointed the way, and I scrounged about for the proper selection.  I hit the jackpot: Post’s Selects Great Grains cereal.  I’m a big fan of Post’s Selects line, especially the blueberry one, grainy one, and the banana nut one.  All very good choices.

Yummy

I dip the box over and pour out my cereal.  Before I pour the milk, I notice a baby ant crawling out of the bowl.  Thinking nothing of it, I brush it away.  I pour in the milk, sit down at the table and begin chowing down.

A few minutes later my girlfriend walks in and sits at the table with me.  We strike a conversation, when, after peering into my cereal, I notice another little ant crawling away, desiccated and unaffected by the milk.  “Odd,” I think to myself.  “That’s the second ant in my bowl.”  I’m not afraid of bugs too much, so I brush that one away too.  But then sense hits me, telling me I should look into my bowl again to see if I spot any more of the tiny critters.  I look, and, what I had thought where minuscule crumbs of the great grains were far from dried wheat–they were shriveled and dead baby ants, drowned by my milk and camouflaged by the similarly-colored cereal, which is probably the reason I didn’t even notice the population of ants residing in my bowl before consuming them.

I immediately stop the conversation, and my girlfriend asks, “What?”  I don’t say anything, lest ants fall from my full mouth and she becomes appalled with disgust and grows faint.  I walk calmly over to the garbage, empty my mouth, return to the table and eplicate, with as much equanimity as I can conjure, the scenario that had just taken place.

As suspected, she grows sick, grabs the box of cereal from which I ate, and pulls out the bag: the rim is filled with swarms of baby ants.  I guess I didn’t catch that before because I hadn’t taken the bag out of the box.

I go to the bathroom and rinse my mouth thoroughly with water and mouthwash.  After a few minutes, I actually laugh at the situation.  I mean, it’s actually kind of humorous!  Maybe I was just being silly and wanted to make the situation as light as possible, but I wasn’t really grossed out or anything.  She felt pretty embarrassed and apologetic, but it was no fault of hers or anyone else’s; my girlfriend’s family had a minor issue at hand, and everyone has had their share of unwelcome visitors.  I’ve had my share of bug infestations, and they were always a quick fix to get rid of.

But now I have to credible excuse to not eat bugs.  After all, I felt a strange sense of boosted power and energy after that bowl of cereal.  (Just kidding.)