Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Ya know, the thing of it is, I'm not even really all that Christian. I've had some tragedies, you see, and being actually a somewhat small man, I haven't been able to recover all that well from them. Loss, grief, injustice, regret, futility -- all these things can come our way, and we must bear up under them or be overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed.

I'd have to believe in God, because evil so clearly exists.

And my oh my, was I attacked. Not more than some other man, but viciously for all that. I will not speak of it, but its effects have left me cowering in my spirit like a beaten dog. I thought I'd be protected. But it surely does not feel that way. Fathers are supposed to protect their children. But all I felt were blows.

Whom God loves, he chastens.

And I haven't pretended to be a humble man.

So there's that part of it, that I get. And I have grown in insight, at least. I was always tenderhearted, but I've learned, surprisingly, to just keep my mouth shut. That's humility. You might not think so from this site -- then again, you're invited, but you don't have to come.

In times of deepest grief, only silence will do. But when communication becomes possible again, there is this little parable:

At the end of his life, a man walks with Jesus along the shore of a great ocean. They follow a small pair of footprints. "This is you, when you were very young," says Jesus.

"Whose footprints are those?" asks the man, pointing next to the child's.

"Those are mine," replies Jesus -- "I walk beside every child."

They follow the shore, over rough places and smooth, over troubled spots and calm. At one spot, the two sets of prints come side by side. "This is where you first saw me," says Jesus, "and where we became friends."

"Yes, I remember."

Further along, the man's footprints become chaotic, staggering with weakness and confusion. "Oh," cries the man, "I remember that -- so much pain, so much pain!"

And then there is only one set of prints.
"Jesus!" exclaims the man, "Jesus! See? I am alone. You left me alone in my greatest trouble."

And Jesus smiles softly, softly, with such compassion. "No, my dear friend. I never left you. This is where I carried you."

There are no words to say it. As I love my son, my only son, and my other sons now gone, so much more does He love me. And if I have lost what I have loved, isn't that what God did, with his Son? If my path has been troubled, how much more the suffering of the cross. If I am overwhelmed, well, this is why Christians are always talking about a Savior.

As I say, I'm not really all that Christian. I would be more.



Anonymous said...


Jack H said...

What, me? Please ... my blushes! Or perhaps this piece? What can I say... except, of course, thank you.




Dear Jack,
These "confessions" are very sentimental and soul-stirring. I agree with you that "… evil so clearly exists", and that "Whom God loves, He hastens" but never forget that mercy of Allah is endless. And that sometimes mercy is in hastening itself. (I understand 'hastening' in the same sense of 'visiting'. Am I right? )

True Muslims, have always a state of peace of mind, whatever tragedies they may face, for two reasons:

First: because they do believe that everything coming from Allah is good for them even if it looks bad in their eyes, and that’s why Muslims usually say Alhamdulillaah (Thanks for Allah) for anything happens to them.

Second: because they do believe that mercy of Allah covers all people (and creatures) regardless of their religion or attitudes to life. In a Qudsi (sacred) Hadith His Almighty Allah says: "My Mercy preceded My Anger". This is His commitment.

Believe me that all yesterday night and today I am in a so sad condition that many colleagues asked me why I am in a so bad mood. This mood, out of my hand, overwhelmed me after reading your "confessions" because I see in front of me a man, a brother in humanity, with this great insight, tenderheartedness and vision and has all this suffering while I remain helpless to do anything to help him. So, I found myself , heartily, making du'aa (prayer) to you that His Almighty Allah may protect you, your son and all your beloved ones, and to lead a happy life.

Allah is always great.

Highest Regards,


Brent said...


Jack H said...

I should say that I didn't leave Youssef unanswered. I let him know that my response was posted here:


london pizza said...

please explain why people dont talk about the chinese destroying the world

the gog and the magog

Jack H said...

I moved my response to here: