“No! No one who was great in the world will be forgotten, but everyone was great in his own way, and everyone in proportion to the greatness of that which he loved.
He who loved himself became great by virtue of
himself, and he who loved other men became great by his devotion, but
he who loved God became the greatest of all.
Everyone shall be
remembered, but everyone became great in proportion to his expectancy.
One became great by expecting the possible, another by expecting the
eternal; but he who expected the impossible became the greatest of all.
Everyone shall be remembered, but everyone was great wholly in
proportion to the magnitude of that with which he struggled. For he who
struggled with the world became great by conquering the world, and he
who struggled with himself became great by conquering himself, but he
who struggled with God became the greatest of all. Thus did they
struggle in the world, man against man, one against thousands, but he
who struggled with God was the greatest of all. Thus did they struggle
on earth: there was one who conquered everything by his power, and there
was one who conquered God by his powerlessness. There was one who
relied upon himself and gained everything; there was one who in the
security of his own strength sacrificed everything; but the one who
believed God was the greatest of all. There was one who was great by
virtue of his power, and one who was great by virtue of his hope, and
one who was great by virtue of his love, but Abraham was the greatest of
all, great by that power whose strength is powerlessness, great by that
wisdom which is foolishness, great by that hope whose form is madness,
great by the love that is hatred to oneself.”
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
- Stephen King
- Stephen King
Monday, July 10, 2017
Tell me, if I just say ‘I’m sorry’… how is that right?
For every word or thought that bruised Your heart,
For every time I see darkness when I look at light
For every time I lose hope and walk just by sight?
Do You hurt when my words are many and my actions few?
When I misunderstand almost everything You do,
Do You feel discouraged when I forget what’s true?
Do You ever feel like You could tell me what burdens You?
Do You ever feel lonely in this relationship?
Have I made this all about me? Have I lost my grip?
Am I still someone You would want to keep,
Even if I often forget this is a courtship?
Don’t feel discouraged by my lack of fruit,
Even I know that Your love is absolute.
So don’t lose hope, my King -- Your grace I won’t refute,
For if I do anything, I’ll make You feel loved, my beautiful strong Root!
Bat Melech בת מלך
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Adonai saw that Leah was unloved, so He made her fertile, while Rachel remained childless. Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she named Reuven [see, a son!], for she said, “It is because Adonai has seen how humiliated I have been, but now my husband will love me.” She conceived again, gave birth to a son and said, “It is because Adonai has heard that I am unloved; therefore he has given me this son also.” So she named him Shimon [hearing]. Once more she conceived and had a son; and she said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore she named him Levi [joining]. She conceived yet again, had a son and said, “This time I will praise Adonai”; therefore she named him Yehuda [praise]. Then she stopped having children. Bereishit / Genesis 29:31-35
The story of Yaakov and Rachel is really beautiful. A true love story. With a little insignificant character, that becomes sort of an obstacle by the name of Leah. She doesn’t fit. Not in her father’s plan. Not in Yaakov’s plan. Not in Rachel’s plan. She basically doesn’t belong. This is not her story. But HaShem had a different opinion on the matter so He made this her story.
Lavan was an idol-worshiper and his family were idol-worshipers. And along comes this nephew that is in love with his beautiful daughter, Rachel and claims to serve El Shaddai and wants to marry Rachel. And Lavan pretends to agree, but before the wedding he switches Rachel with Leah, his older ugly daughter. In the morning Yaakov sees he’s married to the unwanted and demands his right to marry Rachel. The rest is history.
When this man with weird ideas comes along, the only one that actually pays attention is Leah. How do I know? Because we know from later on in the story, when Yaakov runs away from Lavan, that Lavan chases after him only because he wants his idols back, and Rachel is the one that stole those idols and took them with her, thus proving that his talk of HaShem meant close to nothing to her and her father. But Leah? Leah payed close attention to Yaakov’s words and she chose to pray to this God that Yaakov talked about. How do I know that? Because of how she acknowledges Him in her life and how she relates to Adonai but even better, because of how Adonai relates to her.
She was unloved and unwanted, but Adonai loved her and Adonai paid close attention to her grief and broken heart. And Adonai gives her a son and she names him Reuven (see son) because she learns that Adonai has seen her humiliation. And Adonai gives her a second son and she names him Shimon (hearing) because she learned that Adonai heard she was unloved and took pity on her. And a third son, Levi (joining) because she can’t help but hope that her husband will care for her. By the time she conceives her fourth son, Leah learns the lesson HaShem is teaching her and gives up on wanting to be accepted, wanted or loved and just praises Adonai calling her baby, Yehuda.
I find comfort in Leah’s story. Not because it’s the story of an underdog that had succeeded against all odds. That’s not what Leah’s story is about. Her story is about someone whom no one wanted, except HaShem. Someone that didn’t belong anywhere, so HaShem made room in Himself for her. That’s not dramatizing things, it was a fact. In fact, HaShem wanted this unwanted woman so much, that He decided to give her the priestly tribe and the kingly tribe, Levi and Yehuda and later on even Yeshua min Natzeret (Jesus of Nazareth) ben Ha Elohim (Son of God) through the tribe of Yehuda. HaShem had bigger plans for Leah than Leah had for herself.
I find Leah’s journey inspiring because I’ve been her. Not in the details of her marriage but in her thought process. I felt for the longest time like I don’t belong anywhere. And when HaShem found me and took pity on me, I thought like Leah through every little accomplishment, ‘now people will like me, now, people will accept me, now for sure they will see me’. But the lesson wasn’t about HaShem making people like me, but about me learning that HaShem sees even my hidden tears and that HaShem hears, even the payers I don’t dare to whisper.
It took me a long time to get from “see what Adonai did for me! Like me for it!” to “you know what, whether people see me or not, whether people like me or not, I will live my life praising Him.”
I spent the longest time envying all the Rachels of this world, because they had to do nothing except breathe and they were loved and accepted, but that’s because my eyes were weak like Leah’s. (Gen. 29:17) I couldn’t see from HaShem’s perspective. But once I stopped looking at people for their approval and love, I found that I am more loved than I can understand.
Wherever you are in your walk with Adonai, whether you’re still looking for acceptance or giving up of ever getting it, just know that one day, when you cease to cry and your eyes won’t be weak anymore, you’re going to see and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are loved and when that day comes, praise Adonai! - He loved you so much that He gave you Yeshua.
Bat Melech בת מלך
Monday, June 26, 2017
I was in Romania for 10 days visiting my friends and family and I have returned to England with a heavy heart, feeling a little lost as one is prone to feel when one is torn in half with the inability to be in two places at once and be two different versions of you at once.
It happens sometimes that I am faced with a certain thing or event and after that encounter I feel completely disconnected from everything I knew before the encounter. If I haven’t mentioned it before, ahm… I have issues (more than a Vogue magazine). Anyway, because I know myself, I am prepared for times like this. You see, I have a habit of recording everything I live or feel or inspires me since I was about 14. Why? For such a time as this. For times when I feel misplaced or just off somehow. Then I can just pick up one of my journals or inspirational things I’ve written and remember.
This was the case today. I felt like my soul was yelling at me “Enough already!” So because I don’t want an internal war I was like, “Ok, let’s do this!” and proceeded to pick up this little notebook where I would just scribble down any little fact I read that had an impact on me. It’s a disaster really, because I recorded everything from the greatest rabbis to anime characters with awesome lines; from Seneca to lyrics to Avril Lavigne’ songs. Basically, it’s all over the place.
Among all the many quotes I have in there, the one I will mention is one by Tzvi Freeman and it says:
“Despair is the ultimate form of self-worship—the perception that you have the capacity to truly mess up, to take the world’s destiny out of its Creator’s hands and sabotage His plans.Know that the world is in a constant state of elevation, rocketing upwards towards its ultimate wholeness at every moment. Every quivering of every leaf, every subtle breeze, every slightest motion of any particle of our universe is another move in that same direction. Even those events that seem to thrust downward are in truth only a part of the ascent—like the poise of an athlete before he leaps, the contraction of a spring before its energy is released.There is not a thing you could do to halt that dynamic even for a moment. True, you must take responsibility for your deeds, and work hard, very hard, to clean up your own mess. But when all the dust settles, you are exactly in the space where you were meant to be: One step closer.”
I know it would be so much easier to have the plan all laid out, like a project for a house that you can look at when the mess of the construction site makes you doubt there is an end to all that dust and clutter. But I don’t have the plan, only the Architect of my life’s plan. When in doubt, I need to look at Him and trust like a child, because all knowledge and maturity flies out the window and all you have is a reassuring smile that whispers from every page of The Book “I’ve got this! Just trust Me.” And I do, because the option is to despair and I can’t afford to do that. So I’ll trust in You, not because I need to stay positive, but because You have never failed me HaShem. Not once. I’ve checked. You’re worthy! Even of my insignificant trust, Adonai.
Bat Melech בת מלך