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Avra Amar Filion

Eli Eli Lama Sabacthani

Growing up, some people fail to actually grow up, they learn no lessons, they are stunted at a level of maturity, a level of little respect for everything, and hungry for everything another has. I use to think that I had a moral obligation to defend myself from even the tinniest of things, I use to think I had the duty to fight the world… until one day my entire view changed..

I was in 10th grade and there was this one girl who every other day would pick on me, and I threw verbal punches right back because it was my right, she finally crossed the line when she insulted my favorite teacher.. her and I had it out,…… it  was war for a few days, until the teacher she insulted informed her that she was failing and she had a make-up test , that she had missed and it would determine her entire grade. When I was leaving the class I was thinking “PAY-BACK” until I heard her say “Please,….. Can’t I do more papers, my dad will kill me if I fail, I really am trying, I just don’t get what your teaching.” You could tell she was about to cry..

So I waited for her, when she got of the class, she wiped her eyes, she had been crying and I asked her if she wanted help on the test, since I just took it……

She snapped at me “oh what? Now you want to be nice to me because I’m stupid, you must be soo happy that you got to hear that.. I don’t want your help…. Don’t you get it.. I HATE YOU.. Your ugly, your stupid and nobody likes you.”

She just told me everything she had described to our teacher that she felt about herself….

I told her “ No, I’m not being nice to you because I think your stupid… I think your very pretty, and everyone likes you and I think you could ace this test, if someone just study with you.. If you want to hate me that’s fine.. But I think we got off on the wrong foot, I want to end this war, because I think we could be actually quite good friends.”

Her only response was “you think I’m smart?”

We went on to study for that test.. we skipped lunch the next day, we sat in the hallways and I guided her as to what were the main points to remember. We didn’t become as you say “Friends” but we socially accepted each other and chatted… if we had the same class she would ask to be my partner. She was a mean young girl who felt like she was everything a young girl shouldn’t feel she was. (By the way she got a B+ grade)

I learned, I had the capabilities to crush someone verbally if I wanted, to say things so short and mean that another wouldn’t feel worthy to die in their own bed. But it took her, to know fighting, returning insult with insult only wounds and I don’t know what wounds that person already has… I don’t know what hell they must be living in, that they can be able to release such ugliness for the world see, all I know is that’s them and I don’t know if this horrible persona is just a mask or who they really are ……and I am not willing to take the chance to hurt someone if they already have been hurt many times before and this is the product.  Don’t get me wrong I am more than capable to this day to defend myself,…………IF I feel it is called for and rarely do I feel its called for.

People think that a lack of defense is weakness, but its much more difficult to look at someone and not see what they are portraying but rather what’s hidden deep inside.

I volunteered at an old-folks home when I was 15 (I still do, when I can) and there was this mean old man, you would have to hide his cane because he would try to hit you with…he was just so mean and like a beast ready to attack anyone, he lured in his corner that was his room and just stayed there.

So they asked me to deliver his food one day.. I was scared… so I sneaked in and lay food down and tried to sneak back out… he yelled “yay get out here” and the look in his eyes was painful, this mean old man was not mean… he was lonely!

I simply told him that I was going to wash my hands and he was going to talk to me.  He said he didn’t want too, … and I said okay and as I was about to walk out,  he said in low tone “what were you thinking to talk about?”

We talked for over an hour and everyday after I had finished my hours, I would go and talk to him. His daughters left him there because they got married and their husbands found him to be a great imposition in their personal life…….they NEVER visited, his wife died about 8 years before they put him in the home. The nurses would just give him his food and didn’t talk to him, and if they did, they talk in a tone as if talking to a baby.. Everything inside him burned with upsetment, sadness, loneliness and a heartache he could only express with anger. He told me about his wife and how I reminded him of her, not on looks but personality. He loved puzzles but hated when the nurses would give the puzzles that had a 100pieces as if he couldn’t do a harder one and they always had a missing  piece and he would be sooo angry!!!!! So I would bring the hardest puzzles I could get my hands on and he would light up, he found the difficulty exciting,… I played gold-fish with him, he would try to help me with my homework and say “what is this?  Back in when I was in school…..”               

He told me about HIM!!!

He was a delightful man, who was a pleasure to be around, I would take him for a stroll in his wheelchair, he simply wanted to feel he was a joy to be around, he wanted no more than any other person… to simply feel wanted, accepted, that someone .. didn’t matter who, truly enjoyed his company, that he was still worth the time of another and not just a dying old man living his last few breaths.. This mean old man was actually a magnificent human-being, being subjected to the mistreatment of others.

Hemmingway said “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime”

Yes, he was speaking of guns and swords but there is a yet a double meaning, we live for war.. when we speak, when we act, when we condemn, and we hold pride instead of forgiveness… God said to turn the cheek, but now we give a punch before even being slapped. We forgot what it means to bless another with our silence, its not that you don’t have a great come-back, you probably have a hundred… but every word spoken, every action performed is a stone on one’s head and though everyone is to pay for their choices, if we give another the opportunity to sin even greater because we wanted to have the last word, we share part of their sin and their actions are placed upon our heads… Our true obligation in life is not be the best warrior or defender but the best example of a Godly person regardless how you feel.  We are to live so that another may see Christ in us.

So this is how I see life now……………

We are all climbing a mountain, at the top lies our salvation, our blessing, our heart’s desires… but like every video game, every time you make it to the next level your presented with a new gift and the tasks become more difficult, that’s the same with this mountain.

The higher you climb the greater the resistance of others, the greater the stones in our path… we are asking to move up, but we rather fight with the store clerk, the guy who purposely sabotaged you at work, the girl who called you names… and we can’t move up because emotionally, mentally, and spiritually we’re not capable to make a leap upwards and then we say “God oh God why haven’t you answered”.. God made a clear path all the way up to the very top for you, it’s you choosing to stay were you are every time you fight an unnecessary war. Every time you choose to insult someone, be grumpy, complain, conspire, manipulate, throw the stone and hide the hand, you there and then choose where you want to stay and if you let another bring you to their level, you put them in control of your destiny. Why? Because your still too weak to notice where the attack comes from, and discern how little their insult is actually worth..

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Proverbs 18:6 A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Proverbs 18:7A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 15:21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.

Proverbs 14:16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

MARK TWAIN:   “NEVER ARGUE WITH A STUPID PERSON, BECAUSE THEY WILL BRING YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE!”

No, Eli Eli lama Sabacthani, He hasn’t forsaken you, your pride deprived you of what you wanted.

I was asked today, why was I happy??? Obvious and good question to ask… and my response is simple “ I know what I have, and the only one who’s opinion matters to me, knows who I am.!”

In our hands we can either destroy life, rob someone in more ways than one, we could be the void of darkness that tries so hard to ruin what another righteously has, OR our thoughts, our words, our actions, our silence, our intent can produce life. We can be for a mere second a mirror for another, a righteous conviction, and sometimes and a lot of the time its takes being strong enough to handle the attack of another and give forgiveness in return

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you….”   Matthew 5:44

As hard as that may be to follow, it’s a rule we must apply to ourselves, and practice until it’s a habit!

I listen to this song repeatedly (Forgiveness- Matthew West) right now because twice a year I give up two months of no worldly music, no bad food, no alcohol and I simply focus on what’s truly important to me and what may be God’s will in the next step in my life. I have peace and joy… right now because He already gave me so much and I will not remain in the same place tomorrow as I am today because I let futile life moments steal my peace, my confidence, my joy or my blessing; I will not murmur or complain, I will not walk around the mountain for another 40 years because everything was worth fighting for, murmuring, and complaining about, we have to choose forgiveness and love, give rather than take, encourage rather than discourage, uplift than putdown……… at the end of the day we will reap much more, much later, much worse, and way more painful than what we sowed and that goes for even the unspoken the thought, the un-acted intent.. Life is a MEAN old man who’s only nice to who is nice to him!