Posts tagged forgiveness

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM; THE Bible Story of Simon The Pharisee And Jesus.

In the council meeting on Thursday, Simon’s resolve grew stronger. He’d always nursed the thought in his heart, that this Jesus could be the real deal, and if he was but another fake prophet and rabbi, he deserved to be heard at the very least. To be investigated. He rapidly tapped his left foot against the ground as excitement filled him.
It was the forbidden fruit all over again – restricted areas always have awoken the greatest curiosity. His sister, Ruth, would prepare a befitting meal and Jesus would stop over at his place before leaving Nain, he had it all figured out.
Delighted, he was tempted to laugh aloud but restrained himself. Supressing his glee, he tuned in once again to the discussion at hand, the Pharisees council of Nain always had been such a heated group of people for a small village 32km southwest of Capernaum.
”…he just wants the crowd!” Someone was saying
and oh are they following him. Jesus of Nazareth” another scoffed.
he supports the baptizer, John! And openly claimed he would eat, drink and be a friend to the tax collectors. Tax collectors! What kind of teacher of the law speaks in that manner?”
Simon couldn’t stop himself from venturing the other side, ”but haven’t you heard he healed the widow’s son as they all left the village mourning. Surely the man is worth knowing-”
we have known ENOUGH. I heard all he had to say once he made mention of John. Surely this one also thinks he is the messiah. Woe betide us, all men are now the chosen one of David’s race, all men are now the messiah
And the murmurs of discontent increased.


Food had been passed and wine served. The meal was nearing completion and Jesus seemed in good spirits. Simon’s alert eyes had noticed his every move, down to the very first fact that his disciples ate without a thorough washing. He stored each detail in mind ready to tell the others. Surely, this man was a prophet, speaking boldly the truth contained in the law.
A pleasant smell filled Simon’s nostrils. In the cacophony of noises as Bartholomew told a story and the men laughed, Simon knew when the masculine smell was infiltrated by a fragrance; a fragrance as appealing as it was disturbing for reasons he couldn’t place his hands on yet, – a forbidden fragrance. Alarmed, he looked up just in time to see the sinner.
He almost swore. In his house!
Almost at once, the male-dominated crowd quietened and most eyes fell on the woman while the remainder fell on him – passing a message, ”do something.”
But Simon remained rooted on the floor where he sat. He was bewildered that such a sinner woman had even braved entering uninvited in the first place.
Simon’s eyes popped wide as she fell at Jesus’ feet. Her cream coloured cloth lifted with the wind and settled after her as she crouched behind Jesus.
Holy indignation filled Simon. Didn’t Jesus care what he and others thought of him? Didn’t Jesus know that he, Simon, was the only Pharisee to have extended him a warm hand in Nain, and he dared act like a sinner with this woman, this infidel!
His pulse throbbed and he gripped the end of the table cloth to rein in his anger.
The scent of fragrant perfume filled the house, as an alabaster box broke, it overpowered the combined smell of the food, masculinity and even her own fragrance that had previously filled the air.
The other men around the house stood to gain a clearer picture, some gasping.
Her heavy sobs pierced the silence. Each sound of the sob fuelled the inferno burning in Simon, no prostitute or beggar or tax collector had stepped foot in his house right since he’d lived there and in the one day this Jesus came, his house became unclean with this terrible sinner.
He couldn’t help the regret that gnawed at him, he’d been forewarned, Jesus was nothing but an impostor, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Surely a prophet would’ve known what sort of woman touched him; even a beggar would’ve known!
Jesus, hearing Simon’s thoughts as clear as day, chose to speak to him. In the many pairs of eyes that followed him, Jesus knew exactly where to look. His eyes found Simon’s and with a levelled gave he spoke. ”Simon,’
Teacher.” teacher. That word still befitted the man for reasons Simon couldn’t place. The fire burning in him began to die and Simon knew he needed to keep that anger.
I have something to tell you.’‘ Jesus said and Simon nodded.
A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of the men could repay him after. The man was kind enough to cancel their debts. Now who do you think will love him the most?”
Simon didn’t need to think hard, his heart fluttered and he felt a sinking in the pit of his stomach. Shame took hold of where anger had been. ”I suppose the one who had been forgiven the largest debt
Whatever stone had sank was lodged there at the pit of his stomach and for the first time in many years, Simon knew he wasn’t as pure as he’d always thought.
“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet,’‘ Rejection wrapped round Simon, Jesus was right. The night air became cold, all laughter and feasting from earlier on, forgotten. Of course, it was proper custom to offer guests water for washing their feet. He hadn’t been after honouring Jesus at all, so he neglected that.
”… but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.”
Simon broke inside. He saw for the first time what he had never seen in his many years of being a Pharisee, in his years of laying heavy rules on people while priding in his own obedience to the law. Light shone and he saw himself for who he really was.
…You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and yes, they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
Turning to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
But Simon looking at Jesus now thought in his contrite heart, ”forgive me my 500-silver-coin-worth of many sins Lord. I need to love you more for I am a sinful man”.



A person who believes they haven’t sinned like the cultist has, is rarely ever repentant. Like Simon, they skip the real details of honour, they forget to wash and annoint his feet.
You only love him to the degree you’ve come to realize your former depravity and the magnitude of his love and grace in forgiving you.

some people tell me I take this Jesus thing a little too seriously, I tell them, I guess he took me pretty seriously when he chose to be nailed to a cross for me’

The lyrics of a certain song goes thus:
‘why should I care what people say? They don’t know what you mean to me”.
You can lavish your love on Jesus when you understand the great depths he went to save you; when you realize you’re the one who owed a employee’s daily wage for 500days and deserved to be locked in utter darkness but he forgave you.
*P.S: The events of this story could have taken place at Capernaum and not Nain. Commentators are not sure where this event took place.
P.S.S: if you liked this post, you may like this on the violent storm too.
Tell us your thoughts…

Much love,
Debby.

A Phone Call

A man ran by, panting hard. The end of his oversized red shirt flying in the wind, as the air from the cross ventilation and ceiling fan mingled in the room, the force came close to being outdoor.
He ran with a slightly open mouth and by all indications, was out of breath.
As he pounced through the room and out the opposite swing door, we all looked up from our computers.
Bodies worn out from sitting for so long, bodies bent over computers while creating models, we couldn’t care less at this point.
Five minutes later, two men ran right back with this same man.
A minute later, a fat, dark complexioned woman entered speaking loudly and rapidly on the phone, not glancing once at those of us at sitted.
“Yes, call the fire services. Call them” a pause. “Okay, call abefele. Just call somebody. Ehn… They should come down to the department of computer science” she said, all in the one minute it took her to waggle through the room.
At this point, nobody could face their laptops again. We all looked at the back door, as though it would become transparent in the very next second and let us in on the cause of commotion.
Tobi stood up from his chair and stretched as he grinned playfully.
Break time?”
Working in that room over the past month with the other M.sc students had been slightly interesting. We formed a good bond in between frowning at incomprehensible samples on our computers and having group dicussions.
We often had our break time twice in a day. The first was to eat late breakfast from “all food cafeteria” just across the open yard. The woman made the best amala on campus. She made me ignore my belief that solid food shouldn’t be eaten in the morning or noon time.
The second break consisted of eating roasted or boiled corn while some others took a nap.
Mercy, who was sitted beside me, stood up and went out the screen door at the back, all alone. The rest of us also inched to the door. I did so unsure. There was no window overlooking the back that we could have gazed through.
The back door to that room opened to a collonade. Across, was the “all food cafeteria”. At the back of our own work station block, was another block of rooms.
We walked down some more, till we got to an old store which overlooked a stream. Some of the water from Odua dam still ran down to that place. It was surrounded by overgrown grass.
The men and the woman we had seen previously, were gathered together. They all glanced back at us when they heard foot falls. They jumped a bit. Or perhaps paranoia was already setting in for me.
There was something they had previously been gazing at on the floor.
It was an human body . I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. A body. I was often told of things like that, I never witnessed them.
We didn’t know if to go any closer, there was no assistance any of us could offer, so we remained a safe distance away.
Two school security officers dressed in their maroon coloured uniform appeared from around the building where we came from.
They went forward and asked who she was as they bent to inspect the body without touching it.
Men clothed in fire fighters garb came almost immediately too. There were about six of them. I instinctively moved further away. I thought it was best for us to leave at that time.
The wind blew harder and soon it was blowing real hard and the clouds were gathering. The clouds moved visibly in the exact manner I loved as a child.
I would glance up at the sky whenever it threatened to rain. I loved when the clouds were impatient and revealed their otherwise secret manner of floating by. I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed watching it.
Helen did.
As one of the fire fighters bent by the body to turn it, the slightly brown shade of relaxed hair began to strike me as familiar. The wet clothes clung to her body, she must’ve been drawn out of the water. I couldn’t shake off the goosebumps that rose on my body. Her body form was too familiar. I was feeling sick.
I didn’t think I could turn back and leave all alone. I didn’t think I could trust my voice to ask my friends to leave with me either. I just stayed there and willed it to rain. Anything. My body was slipping to another time and moment, hearing another voice.
Something out of the ordinary was happening to me.
The man turned the body and it was a different face.
Not regarding that, my goosebumps remained, even long after we had been asked to leave.
That night, I slept fitfully; plagued by dreams I forgot as soon as I woke up, and a cough which I had suddenly developed.
I sat up and checked the time on my phone. 2:54am.
There was a time in Jss2, our English teacher, Mrs John, had come to class and in a burst of  quirkiness, requested that the twins in the class come forward to share with the class what it was like, to be twins.
I had been at a loss of what to say, due to the suddeness. Helen spoke up though, and soon everyone was laughing, and gazing on us steadfastly the way I imagine the crowd was often gazing at Jesus.
I swiped open my phone and punched in a phone number I still knew by heart.
Hello” She breathed, more than said. “Irene?
Helen” I said. ” I thought you’d be sleeping”
I was. I stirred and saw your number on the screen of my phone”
“oh. It’s been long enough, hasn’t it?”
We were silent until she said “wow. That’s it.”.

I sighed. Time crawled.
“There were days, Irene, there were days. Days when I wondered when you would do as Kainene did. Why didn’t you?”

“I’m doing so now”
I closed my eyes, beads of perspiration formed on my skin. Among us, I had never been the one for many words. “I’m sorry it took so long”

Ever simple, she said “Our own grandfather never made such a profound sentence like theirs did. Let’s blame grandpa.” I involuntarily chuckled as she said this. I could picture her smiling at that.
Some things do change your perspective though, it doesn’t matter how many sage counsels you recieve.”.

“Kainene and Olanna waited for a war.”I could read her mind and I knew she would never ask me what ours was, even though she longed to know. Why I would speak to her after so long.
All I could tell was it was over now. Over. We could now continue in our telepathic ways. she could now be the Helen to my Irene again. The freedom that came from that knowledge allowed me to chuckle. Then I laughed, and it emanated from deep within my chest, a million constricting bubbles dispelling. Constrictions permanently gone.
—————–
Make that phone call today. You know you need to.

FORGIVENESS

Currently: sitting by the window facing the front porch of my house. Watching a flower dance in its pot. I’m occasionally gazing at the tree in my neighbour’s house. I choose to blog
 
As we grow older, our capacity ought to expand. I refuse to be a 12 year old girl in a 3year old body. At 3 years, the toddler could and would drink water. At 12, she can and would drink but with much more capacity than she did at 3. capacity.
Normally, I’m all shades of good. So I hated it as in turns my good natured attributes got ruffled. The calm superfluity I had, began to dissolve and I saw anger, I saw unforgiveness and I just wouldn’t believe it.
The truth is, it was the new me. I had grown.
 
When a flower grows, it loses it’s form, grows in every direction, still the same bright leaves, it blooms and glows. It’s still gracious but it has thorns sticking out, it is formless unless the gardener takes the shears and prunes.
 
John15:2: “…and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit”
 
A few months ago, I saw unforgiveness was very very ugly, I tell you. Every time I pictured the devil as a young girl, he was ugly but the unforgiveness I saw, was uglier than I had ever imagined. It baffled me. It was sticking out of me. I was able to forgive eventually as God helped me.
 
2cor3:5 “not that we think we are of ourselves sufficient to do anything but our sufficiency is of God”
 
 
The case this time around wasn’t forgiving someone else. It was forgiving myself. I did something I regretted, to put it simply. I didn’t want to pray, I felt I had failed God. Then I remembered some Christian literature I had read saying after you’ve sinned, God is most ready to hear you pray. Ask for forgiveness. It is cheating to think you’re ‘protecting God’ and hence refuse to speak to him with your defiled self. He wants you to come so he can wash you and restore you.
 
So it’s two themes in my head: Forgiveness and Writing. I have obtained forgiveness from God but how about that other theme? See, I got encouragement to ask for forgiveness without wasting time because I had read.
 
I know people who still read. This blog inclusive. Thus, I’m writing.
 
I don’t believe one who was “despised, and rejected, who endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him, we ignored him as if he were nothing “Isaiah53:3 yet was enduring the suffering that was meant to be ours, would now choose not to forgive us when we return to him. No.
 
It turns out that my last blog post had a major theme of forgiveness. I gave some excerpts, some of which I’ll quote again. We need to forgive people. We need to forgive ourselves and accept God’s forgiveness. As we grow, we need our spirit man to grow so we can forgive better than we did yesterday because today’s offence is stronger than that of yesterday. we need to love more fiercely. We need more.
The quotes:
 

“I did it to myself . I did it to myself. mea culpa, mea culpa”

Is not the strategy to take, nope, and that’s because
 

“God doesn’t condemn he forgives”

Yes
 

“She looked at him bleakly: ‘your kind of love can’t feel good’
‘Does your kind feel any better?’ she looked away.
He unlooped the reins. ‘right now love doesn’t have an awful lot to do with feelings‘ he said grimly
‘don’t misunderstand I’m as human as the next man. I feel alright. I feel plenty right now, a lot I wished I didn’t’ “

he says love doesn’t have a awful lot to do with feelings. God loves us inspite. Just come
 

” he[Jesus] was a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!” Isaiah 53;3,4

Still in doubt?
 
 
Currently: sitting by the window, my back to the flower still dancing in it’s pot. My body given to typing and eating something yellow again( I did not plan it, seriously!) loool.
What has been your experience on giving and accepting forgiveness?
FORGIVENESS
 
Love, forgiveness and yellow meals
Debby