Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Awaken a Dead Man

Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully AliveFor some reason he found it funny to flick on his cousin's ears. He was giggling as he stared at his target's irritated face. "He's sleeping so he couldn't fight back. It's a chance to bully," he thought. He was enjoying the moment when, all of a sudden, his cousin's mother saw what he was doing and she eventually stormed out on him. It was family siesta time so the rest of his relatives were made known of the act and everyone came to a conclusion that he became very cruel at that time.

As it was the norm when a kid would made a mistake, they shouted at him and, as he was trying to defend himself, they voted to throw him out of the house as a punishment.

"This is injustice." he thought, so he screamed "Di na kayo naawa sa bata! (You did not even show any pity to a kid like me!). All the while he thought that would convince them to allow him a re-entrance, but lo and behold, to make matters worse, he heard and saw their neighbors laughing at him because of too much drama.

It was as if the camera zoomed in on his face, marking a big blow that has since robbed his whole self. He felt Rejection. And that was what deeply wounded his heart.

That was how I became brokenhearted, and that was John Eldredge's target -- aimed to provide healing and restoration -- on his book Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive

The glory of God is a man fully alive. The heart of his book simply connotes the fact that "His happiness and my (our) happiness are tied together." The heart is good; our hearts are good; it's just that the glory was robbed on us. The book opened me to the fact that indeed there's a cure to "brokenheartedness." But what made me cry with joy was knowing that I am actually in the process of medication. I've completed the story above as inspired by Eldredge's examples.

Ever thought why all of us are enamored at myths and fairy tales? It's because "proposition (logic) speaks to the mind, but when you tell a story, you speak to the heart." That's why the Bible have parables. 

I used to equate myself to Nelo of Dog of Flanders (Nelo and Patrasche, for those who grew up watching ABS-CBN's morning cartoon). Though I am not into dogs, I have liken the drama and I thought I would die alone. Tragic for a kid to think like that. But then I was reminded of my favorite Disney movie of all time, Aladdin, a character more lively and, though orphaned, still pursued and aimed high. In his book, Eldredge masterfully allowed us to imagine ourselves as Frodo or Neo, Cinderella or Dorothy so that we may image their hearts to ours.

Eldredge shares Christian professor Rolland Hein's description: "Myths are, first of all, stories: stories which confront us with something transcendent and eternal... a means by which the eternal expresses itself in time."
But why is it that bitterness would struck us yet again, despite knowing or -- more appropriately -- thinking that we have actually moved on? Most probably the heart is again being attacked. Wondered why "something inside" is compelling you to do things you do not want to do? Eldredge states that it "indicates a broken heart," and the "actions (we do) are attempts to nurse or repair a rift in the soul." Eldredge is clear on his point that we usually mishandle these wounds in our heart: "We push them down. Or we turn to something or someone we hope will bring comfort, like food or sex."

I was shot right into the core. After a deed, I would usually feel unclean, unworthy, bad. The worse thing is it manifests on other areas of my life. When I would try to court a girl, I would hear whispers: You're not good enough for her. She will soon discover that and she will eventually reject you. And so I thought I have to always improve myself, get training so I can be desirable for girls. And now even on my ministry I saw little of myself.

I was wrong. The book emphasized much on telling everyone that our hearts are good. But why do we feel like the whole thing is just going on circles? It's because the heart is always being attacked. It is why Eldredge asks us to ponder on John 10:10:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

All this time I wondered why life gets even harder when I became a Christian. Reading the book revealed to me the fact that I have to battle for my heart -- for its glory. But I am not alone. Jesus is ransoming my heart through -- on which the book focused on -- the Four Streams: Discipleship, Counseling, Healing and Warfare. 

I did mention earlier that I am in the middle of medication. It's because I met people who are more than willing to disciple me. For the first time, I've learned to share my old life as if as I was being counseled. Though patching up the wounds is not easy, I feel strength through the fellowship I have forged. I am ready. I can battle the enemy to keep my heart's glory. And so I believe, via Isaiah 60:1-2:

1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
   and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
   and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
   and his glory appears over you.

On the same day I finished the book, we sang this song in church:

Glory restored. Thank you, Lord.


  1. Great job bro. Another excellent article. I'm reminded of the reason I'm soooo much drawn to Frodo and Samwise's characters in LOTR. The goodness of their heart, the loyalty & affection of their friendship and the fierceness and victory of their battle resonate mine. Indeed, the glory of God is a man fully alive! I can't wait for you to finish Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

  2. Thanks, Orli! This wouldn't be composed with the book you gave, of course, so I give you credit for that! Let's remain victorious to God!


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