LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?
30th, November, 2010
It all began when I met her. Definitely one of the most defining moments of my life. And no…when I saw her the first time nothing around me froze, nor did I think she was some lost angel trying to find her way back to heaven. She was just a casual acquaintance who I happened to bump into in one of those social meetings in campus. However, a day came when a group of friends and I were traveling out of town. She was among us. No one in particular arranged our sitting positions as we drove away to our out-of-town destination…but as you have correctly guessed, we sat next to each other. Initially, it was the loud group conversation among us that took centre stage. But that buzz of heated talk progressively shifted to low hushed tones…and eventually there was a peaceful silence…which lulled some of us to a peaceful nap. She sat next to the window. Her gaze fixed on the panoramic view of the wide majestic landscape. She seemed to be arrested by the beauty and serenity on the outside. I was too. And needless to say, it was magical. This perfect setting was the background of our conversation. And I loved the chat. For the most part, it was a string of those general questions you would naturally ask someone you are meeting for the first time. There were the silent awkward moments of course…and some giggles in between. A chat that I would simply describe as a cocktail of everything nice. Within moments time I noticed a striking resemblance between her soul and the majestic landscape outside. Serenity and infinite beauty. It showed through her crescent shaped eyes anyway. She was the incarnation of the bible phrase: ‘the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit’ and if I may add, remarkably adorable and beautiful as well. She still remains to be the same today. By the end of this day, I was already head over heels over this individual. I could hardly contain myself. And now…everything around me did start to freeze. And yes…I did think she was a lost angel trying to find her way back to heaven. At the end of this day I knew there are indeed a countless number of princesses hiding among us. It only takes a little bit of time spent with them to undo their camouflage.
6th, December, 2010
On this day, I was scheduled to have a meeting in our Westlands church offices…which promptly ended at around 7 in the evening. I began my journey back to campus in the company of a friend who was in the same meeting. As we drove away in his car, we passed through the Westlands roundabout, which happens to be one of the most favorite selling spots for flower vendors. Of course we were caught up in traffic…and the flower merchants dutifully carried a wide array of freshly cut bouquets, selling them off to impulse buyers. I never paid much attention to them, until one of them came to our car…straight to the window which I was sitting next to. To be truly honest, I was disinterested and my hand motions spoke the language better. He was unmoved though…and he relentlessly nudged me to make his day. That’s when a thought struck my mind like lightning and thunder. After a quick bargain, I did buy a bouquet of pink roses. And do I have to mention who they were for? And neither did my friend ask who they were for. This was the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster. I was anxious, yet very excited. I was nervous, yet hopeful. Hopeful that maybe the gesture would go along way in letting her know how I felt. The journey back to campus had its silent moments too. But I capitalized on them by mentally structuring how I would deliver the flowers and what I would say…just like in the movies.
THE PHONE CALL
It’s around 10 in the night. And I have flowers to deliver. And it was time for my creative genius to come to play. So I figured out it would be more pleasant to introduce the element of surprise in my execution. So I called her. The phone rang…and my breathing process was higher than usual…and I patiently waited for her to press the green button. She did. I made it sound like nothing out of the ordinary was about to happen. I wanted to know her exact location. I felt like a CIA agent on a crucial mission of national security. I gave her the impression that I was only calling to find out how she was doing. I certainly was successful in letting her know that I was to see her some time later the next day. She never suspected a thing. A playful smile curved my lips upwards. The first hurdle was crossed! Yess! So I knew her location…and that’s where I was headed. The bold moves of an African jungle cat. I felt like bond. James bond.
THE STILL SMALL VOICE
Probably this is the segment which means so much to me. As I briskly walked to her room, I couldn’t help notice the clear night which made the unfathomable patterns of the stars stand out like a sore thumb. It was simply beautifully epic. Well, except for the few curious stares I got from passers by, I did feel like I had an unseen audience from the heavens. Someone who carefully monitored my every move. It was while I was still walking…holding the bouquet of flowers with a written note stuck on the side…that I heard a still small voice in my heart…perhaps the greatest reason why I decided to write this note in the first place. The message was carefully engraved in my heart with His own handwriting. Could this night have gotten merrier?
THE GRAND MOMENT
And finally the moment came. As I inched closer to the destined room…I got even more pleasant glances from envious female species. Green faced female fans. I felt like the King of the male species…at least for a while I did. I had no control of my nerves…maybe because I didn’t know what to expect. Hey…I have seen countless number of men being hit on the head with the flowers they lovingly delivered. Not in real life of course. So the last moves of this jungle cat had come to an end…well calculated moves guided with precision…which finally led me to the door. I was facing the door. Behind that door was the one. Bear in mind it was past curfew time…and just before the hostel matron could whisk me off the premises, I knocked. I jerked the door open and squeezed my head into the narrow opening…a peep to confirm that she was there. And indeed she was. She lay there on her bed, skimming through some book. And I let myself in. The element of surprise had worked perfectly well. If it hadn’t…she wouldn’t have been wearing a tired looking night dress and a pair of granny pulled up socks. But she looked great! Yes, without a layer of make up or a smear of lip gloss. Yes, without those aesthetic add-ons that women are so excessively obsessed with. It was a rare encounter with raw beauty. There definitely was something uniquely beautiful about the way she looked. Even if Ralph Lauren would dress her today…that’s the best I saw. At least for now. Now, back to the story. Was she really surprised? Of course she was…and her envious roommates were equally taken aback…as evidenced with their blank stares as I shook hands with each of them. Yet another set of green faced fans. I didn’t say much…I let the note stuck on the side say everything. What remains unforgettable to me till this day is the granny socks, the pink roses…and the smile. I won’t say killer smile even though I’m tempted to. Maybe a heart warming smile will do for now. I left the room eventually, thanking God for a flawless execution.
7 MONTHS LATER
Almost seven months later after this day, a good friend of mine, Popo, invited me to a high school mission. Since he knew how badly I loved talking about the second coming of Christ, that’s exactly what he invited me to do. We were in the company of some American missioners…Rachel, Amy and Ashley. So we set off to Limuru Girls High School, a national school conveniently surrounded by vast tea plantations. We headed to their social hall and I still recall the awesomeness of listening to hundreds of girls singing in unified soprano. Wow. Again I say…WOW! Our mission task was to keep the girls company during their Sunday service…and it began with highly energized dance performances with the youth team I was with, a motivational talk done by Rachel…and I was to end with a word or two on the second coming Christ. My turn finally came. It was nerve wrecking to stand before a hall full of high school girls…but I pulled through anyway. To be plainly honest, I didn’t have a well structured sermon that I was to teach…and to make matters worse…none of those girls seemed to be interested with all those bible prophecy jargon on the second coming. That’s when out of nowhere, without notice…the SSV that I had received 7 months earlier came to me. I didn’t plan for it…but it came. A quick flashback of what God had spoken to me on that glorious day rushed back to my conscious mind. It was there that everything changed. I began narrating every detail of the story like I have with this note. The rowdy high school girls were now quiet…every single one of them swallowing every word of what I had to say…and waiting for the unfolding of the story in great anticipation-including their C.U patron. The best experience for any teacher is to solicit the full attention of students…and somehow this true story did. And finally I came to the point of the story. This was the SSV I heard, summarized in points. As I walked to her place on that starry night, I felt God say…
“That just the same way you are on a spirited quest to deliver flowers to someone you care about…it’s definitely the same thing I did when I gave my son to the world. So in this Illustration…the pink roses mirror the image of My Son Jesus. I am the giver. YOU are the recipient.
So, I guess it’s quite obvious that you wouldn’t be delivering flowers to this angel if you really didn’t care for her…would you??” God said. “But the fact that you did is testament enough that you truly do. And I do too! I LOVE and CARE about you more than you can imagine. That’s why my love book says…
“Cast your cares before me…because I CARE for you! And also remember that I love the world so much, that I gave my only begotten Son…that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life! [1st Peter5:7] [John 3:16]
It did cost you a few shillings to buy the flowers just to prove a point, right?…but it cost me More when I watched my son die in the hands of ruthless men…to prove one thing. My love for you. And that was really costly. That’s why my love book says:
“I never redeemed you with corruptible things like silver or Gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your Fathers…but I redeemed you with the precious blood of My Son Jesus Christ…as of a lamb without blemish or spot” [1st Peter 1: 18, 19]
The lady in discussion would have rejected your gift…hit you back with the flowers…or accept them as an expression of what you felt, right? In this same way, you have a choice. To accept or receive the gift of My Son as I delivered Him to you 2000 years ago. Choosing to accept or not to accept is simply your choice. Bottom line…I love you and my sincere wish is that you accept my gift. It’s the only way to me…It’s the only way to eternal life! That’s why my love book says…
“For the wages of sin is death…but My GIFT is eternal Life in My Son Jesus Christ” [Romans 6:23]
Did you ask for a refund for the cost of flowers? If you did, it ceases to be a gift…but a placed order. You don’t have to pay me with your good works to solicit my attention, love and care. I love you the way you are. My gift is enough. My Son is enough. That’s why my love book says:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in My Son Jesus Christ” [Galatians 2: 16]
And with that, I concluded my message. I figured out later that God was using that simple illustration to communicate the gospel to hundreds of precious high school girls. It’s amazing that through a true experience, He was preparing me 7 months in advance. It may not sound like it’s the grandest thing that would happen to someone…but it does to me. So, many months later, the pink flowers may have already faded…but the memory of this whole experience still throbs with living color and this day not only reminds me of this angel…It’s also a reminder of how much I’m loved unconditionally by my Father in Heaven. Need I say more?
And finally, the note stuck on the pink roses…
Its my honorary duty to let you know you are SPECIAL
…and regardless of what you think about yourself…you do have a SPECIAL place in God’s heart that no one can take. Enough said.