Friday, June 28, 2013

Leah. [Weak Eyes]

[Image via Pinterest]

On the morning after the night Jacob paid the price for the beautiful Rachel he woke up with Leah in the marriage bed.
She couldn't resist the command to fake Rachel by Laban her father. 

Who would? We all need love by the way. So we try to act as who we aren't to get it.

This is the story of Leah.

A woman put in love but left unloved.
A woman in the bible times we hardly mention in our bible studies. She was Jacob's first wive, Rachel's sister and Laban's daughter and was said to have 'weak eyes'.
I don't know if it was the anger of deception, or that there was no chemistry, or that Leah wasn't beautiful that made him make babies and not love with Leah.

This is the story of Leah.
But do you love those that don't love you even when you put in all you can?
I do.

I have discovered that love must dwell in some places even if its unwelcome. 

A few weeks ago I held the hands of an estranged friend and said ' I love you even if you don't love me. I choose to'
Love is the possibility of joy and pain, of rejection and acceptance. We try to exhibit love only in places we know we will get it back but that is 'safe'. And this 'safe' love isn't love. Cause to be safe isn't an inherent characteristic of love. 

For family we must. We are joined by God and not by circumstances. We were born in and didn't walk in. You never had the luxury to choose your family. God must be saying something.

This is the story of Leah, a story of us. For when we find our selves in love beds we think is ours and the owners of these beds look right into our face and say with disgust  'GET OUT!' because our eyes are 'weak' and we are not 'beautiful' GET OUT! I DON'T WANT YOU! I WANT MY RACHEL!'.This is our story.

So what exactly do we do when we give love and are left unloved? stay with me on this.

Leah had four babies for Jacob, the story of their names might just shock you.

For the first she said Reuben: this is a sign that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.

Sounds familiar? Maybe the next.

For the second she said Simeon: God heard that I was unloved and so he gave me this son

Sounds close? Maybe the next

For the third she said Levi: now maybe my husband will connect with me- I've given him three sons.

Now pause.

How often do we let a relationship that never worked determine our story. How often do we freeze our lives because God never brought back that parent, friend or lover that walked out on us back home.

Now maybe my husband will connect with me

Sometimes we apply all the relationship principles and it never happens. We work so hard and 'birth children' doing all we can just to satisfy the one we want to love us back.
But realize friend, to be unloved is not a sin, I think making it the barometer of our lives is the sin.

Then Leah became pregnant for the fourth time and I think she had an epiphany of sort, cause when she gave birth to the next one she said Judah: this time I'll praise  God.
Does that name sound familiar to you? The lion of the tribe of Judah? That was the lineage the Savior of the world came from.

I have heard so many theories of how pain is for gain and read quotes of how 'those that left were not worth your love', but please again I repeat please, if someone left and it hurt so bad cause they were important in your life and you felt unloved; mourn their absence. See and acknowledge the space they left and don't use the band aid of pop culture - chewing gum - wise sayings to cover up a wound that needs to heal. It's the pain we take to God that yields a gain. A wound looked over or ignored becomes an infested ulcer, an addiction, a dysfunction of sorts.

Leah became pregnant the fourth time and when she birthed this one she said Judah: this time I'll praise  GodDoes that name sound familiar to you? The lion of the tribe of Judah. It was from this son of Leah, the point where she changed her perspective of what it means to be unloved that Jesus was birthed from.

To be unloved doesn't mean we are unlovely even if they say we have 'weak eyes' and aren't Rachel. To be unloved is to realize God loves us. To be unloved is to let Him come in and fill the space of those who walked out on us.

To be unloved isn't rejection 
in the long run If we aren't passive about it. It is an invitation for God to come in and be enthroned so that we can say in that moment of disappointment: This time I will praise God.

I think it is then we realize that even if they didn't love us, we can and are able to love them because God loves us.

"... in my dream, I seemed to see a woman
both young and fair; along a plain she gathered
flowers, and even as she sang, she said:
Whoever asks my name, know that I'm Leah,
and I apply my lovely hands to fashion
a garland of the flowers I have gathered." – Dante Alighieri (Purgatorio) 

To return good for evil is divine. Good for good is human. Evil for evil is barbaric. Evil for good is satanic. - Lecrae

Then Leah gave birth to another son. She name him Judah, because she said, "Now I will praise the LORD." Then Leah stopped having children. - Genesis 29:35

P.S. - The biblical account of Leah can be found in Genesis 29:16-35, 49:31. Biblical scholars believe that the term 'weak eyes' or 'Tender eyes' meant Leah wasn't beautiful.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

[The Boy] Next Door.

[Image via Pinterest]

Next door always fits one description, our expectation.
We always want what we want next door no matter what's happening indoors.
Sometimes I think it's all about appearances as our Neighborhood is more important than the state of our latrines.

In my Neighborhood is a house that looks like the Eiffel as long as I live next door I can famz* and really it's okay, that's okay.
I once caught myself telling a girl "I live next to that house, yes that house that looks like the Eiffel." I also caught myself grinning from ear to ear.

What is wrong with us that we cant stand alone and exude uniqueness?
Why do we have to always lean?
I know it's better as houses than a house but community is for an entirely different purpose.

What's wrong with being a lighthouse and saying "come, come I am for safety too"
Or being the tree instead of the bird on the tree and choosing to grow till every branch is a refuge.

For whatever is going to be situated next door is a definition, a criteria if not met then is discarded as weird. And we do this with people too. in case you haven't figured it out, we are the houses.

I wanna be the light house. I wanna be unique not just to show off but to serve the ones who are asking God big unique questions, bent on not entering in until they have answers. I wanna be that answer.

And I believe individually we are too.

I wanna be that tree thriving on the healthy symbiosis experience discarding the parasitic nightmare, growing branches through the strong wind blowing across the forest. I won't be knocked down.

I believe you won't too.

For trees are to bear fruits some peaches, some mangoes, others apples. The vineyard keeper loves them all but WE have preferences.

Next door is a phrase we came up with in the twentieth century cause every generation has its expectations but not too fast every generation has its needs too, and these aren't usually the same.

I stand for the need. Cause expectations are desires and fantasies sometimes necessary but most times plastic.

I stand for the need cause when the chips are down, the need is the core

You should too.

So a note to my Neighbor and your neighbors too: whatever you want built next to your house isn't necessarily what The estate owner wants to build next to your house. You could do yourself a favor and take care of the interiors so you wouldn't be wanting words when the owner arrives.

So to my Neighbor and to yours I say again: whatever you built next to your house isn't necessarily what God wants built next to yours (cause he's more particular about the needful things).

So look up and stand alone, be strong for you and for the guests coming.
We want many things next door, like the girl with the perfect hair and body or the boy ready to 'play'.
I'm leaving those definitions, criteria and labels because I'm seeing them as restrictions.
So I beg to differ, I'm not the guy next door.

I think you should too.

“Do you think I'm wonderful? she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple. No, he said. Why? Because so many girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon. You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are.” 

 Jonathan Safran Foer, from the book Everything Is Illuminated

“You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold.” 

Max Lucado, from the book Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot

P.S- a little bit about the writing. If you told me I would use the word latrine in any of my writings a day before I wrote this, I would say 'NEVER, no way". Don't like the word much, I prefer 'toilet' (which means the same in this context) but Latrine works well for this piece.

*'Famz' is a word used in my community for trying to take on the reputation of another. It's not in the English dictionary, at least not yet. :)


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