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Other Articles By Tom Yeshua:
"My Love, How You Delight Me":
The Song of Songs Through Gay Eyes
I offer the following meditations out of a deeply humbling appreciation for the love and compassionate patience Jesus has shown me. May these words on the Song of Songs, in the end, be multiple ways of saying "I love you" to him whose passion for me, for all of us, fragile words can scarcely convey.
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Remember Who You Are
the movie The Lion King, Simba, heir to the throne of his father, King
Mufasa, flees from the Pridelands kingdom when his father is murdered
by his uncle, Scar.
Deep in the safety of the jungle, Simba joins up with two characters,
Timon and Pumba, whose philosophy of life is "Hakuna Matata", a term which
means "no worries." It is a laid back, have-a-good-time, play-it-safe
attitude. Simba buys into this for many years, enjoying a life, not only
with no worries, but also no responsibilities.
Meanwhile, under the dictatorship of Simba's wicked uncle, the Pridelands
falls into ruin, famine and despair.
Then one day the baboon, Rafiki, the 'holy man,' tracks Simba down and
offers to lead him to a place where he will meet his dead father. Intrigued,
the young lion follows Rafiki through the twisted roots of ancient trees
until he reaches a clearing. There, in the clear night sky, Simba remembers
his roots. He has a moving vision of his father, who laments, "You have
forgotten who you are, and therefore, you have forgotten me."
Simba re-discovers who he is: He is Mufasa's boy, the son of the king.
And he returns to the Pridelands to liberate his people and take his rightful
place as their king.
In the book of Exodus, the Israelites forgot who they were. Turning to
the worship of a golden calf, they quickly adopted "Hakuna Matata" as
their motto. They turned from the worship of the God of their ancestors,
whose mighty love and power liberated them from Egyptian slavery, to worship
a false, easy god. This was a god of their making, a god who demanded
nothing of them, one that looked impressive on the outside, but, in reality,
was a lifeless, loveless thing, unable to provide anything for them. In
his hurt and anger, God threatens to punish them severely.
They had forgotten who they were, children of the King of the Universe.
Therefore, they had forgotten God, their Father, who had set them free.
Yet Moses interceded for them. Yes, they deserved punishment for their
blindness and stupidity. God had every right to punish them. Yet Moses
interceded for them. He didn't make excuses for their wrongdoing. But
he knew God's mercy was as great as his justice, so he pleaded for mercy
for the people. And "the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened
to inflict on his people."
We, too, often wander away. We forget who we are. We easily forget that
we are royalty -- every one of us. We are princesses and princes, children
of the King, Lord of Heaven and Earth! We deserve punishment for our forgetfulness,
our blindness and stupidity.
Enter, Jesus. Like Moses, Jesus interceded for us. He knew we deserved
punishment for our sins, for the misery and pain we cause ourselves, each
other, even the other creatures with whom we share this planet. But Jesus
is god; he is mercy itself. And since we could not save ourselves, since
we could not buy ourselves back from the grip of sin, he did it for us.
Stripped naked before his enemies and friends, nails tearing through his
wrists and feet, Jesus was crucified, calling us to look at him, to see
how deeply we are loved, how passionately God wishes us to return to him.
The crucified Jesus reminds us, in every wound, every drop of blood and
sweat, spittle and love-forged tear, just who we really are, and how great
is the mercy that awaits all who come home.
The world will tell you, "You are merely a number in a vast computerized
society. You are a nameless nobody, worth nothing. You are here to labor
and struggle and toil for a crumb of happiness, a few dollars in the bank,
for 60, 70, 80 or more years, only to end up leaving all behind and residing
cold and forgotten six feet beneath the dark earth."
But Jesus, Son of the Living God, your Brother, drenched in his own blood,
he who, on the cross, appeared to everyone a failure, hangs before each
one of us and reminds us, in his suffering, that we are loved. We are
the beloved children of a merciful God, whose love for us never changes,
whose desire for us never stops, whose passion for us never fails, and
whose willingness to forgive our sins will never end. We were created
for a purpose, to give glory to our Creator, to tend to those who need
our help, and ultimately, to spend eternity with him and them. In describing
what awaits us, St. Paul says, "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither
has it entered into the imagination what God has prepared for those who
Have you forgotten who you are? Have you turned from the God who saved
you from eternal death and loneliness so you could, instead, worship before
the golden calf of sports, the calf of sex, the calf of disobedience,
the calf of popularity? If so, look at the crucified Jesus, your Big Brother.
Come to him. Accept his love and liberation and forgiveness. Remember
who you are, because someone is waiting to receive you -- with open arms.
Copyright © 2003 by the author
All Rights Reserved
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