Playing the Levite: Is Prayer Enough When Action is Needed?

Laying in bed the other evening attempting to put my son to sleep, my mind running a mile a minute because that’s what an introvert’s mind does, the story of the Good Samaritan came to mind. In Luke 10:25-37, a man beaten and stripped laid on the road. A priest passed by him and a Levite passed by him, before a Samaritan stopped to help the injured man. This story was Jesus’ answer to a question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25-27 NIV) And the follow up question “Who is our neighbor?” (Luke 10:29 NIV).

As I laid there recollecting the story, the actions of the people who passed by first, stayed with me. Both people were of the clergy (one ordained, the other by ancestory) with their own reasons why they didn’t stop to help the battered man. What were their reasons? Well, according to some sources, Jewish law frowns upon “cleanliness” and may have judged the man as unclean according to custom and law. If that were so, did they at least pray for the man as they passed by or is prayer enough to justify inaction? I guess breaking down the story further, one could argue about Jewish views versus Christian views, who’s right or wrong? But that would be a thesis in itself, lol.

As Christians, we are told to pray for our neighbor, we are told to speak to our neighbor because we could be entertaining an angel. (Heb. 13:2)The thought is indeed reflective but realistically, unfortunately people don’t work this way. If you say hello passing by you could get one back, or they could just keep walking as if nothing was said. One too many times of being ignored results in no salutation. So are we still “loving our neighbor” or just not entertaining rudeness?

Given the times which were “simpler”, people were more trustworthy. Yes, folks during those times could be shifty then but people were more open to helping others, giving the benefit of the doubt. Being #introvertedlyhuman, I pondered what would be one’s reasons for not helping anyone in trouble in this tumultuous present day? Well, people are a complicated bunch now. You can’t possibly begin to think what goes through people’s heads. Lies, theft, and more lies are easily thrown around more to get what is needed or wanted, resulting in the trust factor being gone. Those who are “shifty” can lie to your face with stories of hungry children or being a disenfranchised veteran, yet we don’t know if they are telling the truth so it’s easiest to just pass on by without putting the requestor on the proverbial “stand”. (Some Christians can be judgemental especially when someone is asking for money). I for one have given to a person in need and practice that whenever I have spare change, but you can’t help but wonder in the back of your head if they are going to use whatever funds they’ve collected throughout the day for what is needed to sustain hunger, cleanliness, or room and board(if they had a good day). But that’s on a smaller scale of help.

As I lay there rubbing my son’s back I thought about myself over the years as ever being the Levite. Because of my introvert nature, I act less and pray more because of being afraid to approach people, not wanting them to confuse my genuine care for being nosey or judgemental by asking questions. I may have been the Levite when I didn’t know Jesus or myself as an empathic being. Who knows? The signs could’ve been there and I didn’t think twice on it or because i used to walk with my head down to not give eye contact. I questioned myself till I was in tears because I wondered if this would affect my dream of becoming a nurse. Would I freeze up administering first aid or resuscitating a patient? Would I know the signs of opioid overdose and not freeze up calling 911? I tossed these thoughts back and forth until i was in an emotional frenzy. My husband saw the look of despair and worry on my face and he begged to know what was wrong to which I could reply the easiest answer “I’m doubting myself”. He consoled me the best way he could but I knew I had to pray for God to alleviate my pain and help to stop overthinking. (Overthinking is a blessing and a curse for an introvert).

Once relief washed over me, I knew what I had to do going forward I purposely pay attention to my surroundings now in case my radar goes off. I want to help, truly and make sure I’m ready. We dont need to know a person’s past life in order to justify giving aid, we dont need to know if they are a believer or not. Just help.

In conclusion, prayer coupled with action is the best policy. Give donation and pray that they will use it beneficially. If nervous that your actions will cause more pain, pray that God will guide your hands.

I have prayed for repentance for past actions ignored and listen to my heart more. I may not get every situation right, but it’s a work in progress to listen to one’s heart when life and personality are so…how it is, sigh. I, like the lawyer in Luke want eternal life and love my neighbor, so I will do what I can when I can as much as I’m able.

When God Tells You to Sit Down!

Humility, what does it mean?

The definition of humble is to lower (someone) in dignity or importance. Humility or modesty is what happens after one has been humbled. Humility happens when we have been so absorbed in something that has cut us off from what is important, cut us off from God.

How can one lose contact with God when we are so content with the hustle and bustle of everyday life? It’s easy! Because of that hustle and bustle, it gets harder to focus on prayer and even harder to tune out the surrounding noise. We become so wrapped up with finances(bills, bills, bills, not having enough funds, enjoying comforts of having abundance, etc), love (finding it and keeping it at all costs); that we forget to just say “Good Morning” to Him. When we lose contact with Him, He may take things away to help us gain focus. A perfect example of this is The Book of Job. Job was comfortable woth his life. He was wealthy l, his children and their families wealthy and he had his health. All of that was taken away from him, down to his very health. His wife told him to curse God but he wouldnt. He eventually was restored but his faith in God during his Turmoil got him through. Although this is a story, it happens to everyone everday. Being #introvertedlyhuman has taught me to look into my own story and learn from my lesson.

Having moved to a Florida, I was in search of a stable job to support our home. I was rewarded that job two weeks later and worked that job for almost 2 years. Early on into the job, I made sure to continue my prayer life during the work day and at home. After awhile the daily in and outs of my job(production numbers,quality of work, and working with others) caused me to focus on the job than my spirituality. I had slowed in my prayer life to the point where I stopped praying altogether and was maintaining my life. This went on even after I left that job, became a mother, and moved onto another job. Now my daily routine increased, consisting of a grueling day care commute (dropping off and picking up child down the street from my job but having to pickup my husband, who worked on the opposite side of town. We finally switched the commute route but i wound up having to wait on my husband to get me, which was so long…ugh) coupled with astronomical day care expenses and then a new job that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. My son who has childhood asthma easily caught colds, sinus infections, and every other child illness from being around other kids (occupational hazard), so I was taking time off within my first 90 days. My new job started leading back to conversations with God only because the job drove me crazy, from the work to the people. I needed to pray to keep from going off. The stress of juggling motherhood and work was struggling for me. I was afraid I was going to get fired and wanted to keep my job only because I needed to help provide for daycare. I was spiraling out of control, always talking about quitting with my husband until one day so fed up with my job, a voice said “The ball is in your court.”

Long story short, I quit and was home with my son but I struggled with not working, not contributing to the household finances and being at home all the time. One night I prayed to God imploring Him to let me get a part time job and find daycare. Well, I got the part time job and put my son into a cheaper daycare but it barely covered the daycare expenses and we were always behind. God granted me my request because he wanted to show me that I was messing up. If I trusted Him and the process instead of worrying about money, then everything would work out. But instead I kept applying for full time jobs and no one would bite. I had no choice but to quit the part time and was home again. After awhile, I began to pray every morning and slowly re-established a dialogue with God. I found more joy in watching my son’s development and spending time with him. I thanked God for helping me find joy in everyday life again.

It’s been a year since I worked last and I have learned alot more about myself. I’ve learned that there’s joy to be found in the smallest things, embracing a long time fear of my personality type: introversion and learned that my sensitivity to people and feeling things around me is called empathy. I have started writing a Christian love story and have since become pregnant yet again.

I praise God everyday for how far he has brought me and tell Him I look forward to where He will take me. This experience has not only humbled me, but my husband as well. We had to learn how to juggle one pay check biweekly. God has taught us how to be resourceful by using the little that we have and to find joy in being a family. It wasn’t easy at first with this new arrangement but over time it got easier. We have a roof over our heads, a working car, and our health. He has kept us, truly.

So, if anyone reads this and are going through a tough time of not finding peace or joy because of fighting with love, finances, or whatever is keeping you from doing s, I hope you find inspiration in this blog post.

Dating: You Don’t Have to Settle or Sell Your Worth to Have True Happiness

Recently many women are going through some sort of dating troubles, from what I noticed. Women have been looking for the perfect mate, ideal in every way, but it seems as recently, there have been more dating fails than successes. (I use “successes” in the hopes it might turn into a worthy relationship not always resulting in marriage). I mean it’s called “dating” for a reason- you’re testing the waters of potential relationship.  But I can’t help but ask myself, is it the women who are too picky or are women settling for anything?

There are many factors that women list for their ideal mate: income, humor, strength, desires children, and sex to name several. From following social media, dating stories are becoming more sad than funny and the ladies telling them are still hanging on to the hope that this could be potential. But why? I mean if I was single now, and I had met up with a guy who openly admitted married but was happy to have secret rendezvouses, sirens would go off -DANGER, DANGER! But women are taking that and all of his lies as some kind of relationship, some kind of connection. But it’s not, and it will never be. 

Being with someone who has somebody already is not a connection. I mean, now we could talk about the new smiled upon movement of poly-ism where more is better. But many women who looking for monogamy are not into poly anything, so why subject themselves to arguments, lonely nights, lies, neglected children? Being #introvertedlyhuman I wonder would I have been in that pot if God hadnt intervened? I’m not judging women who have baby fathers who are attached to someone else, but what I have a problem with is why force something that wasn’t there to begin with? Did they see the signs and just ignored them? Did they really believe that they were the only one? 

Women have to see the signs and discern them. You have to know your worth. A great example of a woman who pushed to make herself the only one was Leah. In Genesis 30, she was the older sister,not pretty but reliable, responsible, and willing to make a home for her husband. Alas, she wasn’t received as such by Jacob even when she bore him 10 sons and 1 daughter! (In her culture, a woman who blesses her husband with sons was revered.) Also she had to view her husband’s affections toward her younger sister, his true love. Her children’s names even reflected her true feelings of the love triangle, her struggle in a poly relationship where she was ignored for her accomplishments.  Given the culture and the times, that was still hard for any woman to endure, but it was what had to be done. Women wanted to be loved and honored then, so why subject yourself knowingly to a man who can’t make you Number 1 in current times? 

In my case, the signs were there, pointing for me to get out of my last relationship but I held on for the sake of saying I had a boyfriend. I was stressed out, he was extroverted so I had to force myself to be social for fear other women would take his attention, and I was the breadwinner while he was “in between jobs”, he partook in natural herbs constantly and I wasnt into any of that. The list goes on and on. What kept me with him for 3 years, sex. He was my first and I felt attached to him. When the end was drawing near, the signs presented themselves more and more, hovering over me with arguments about spending money, lack of chivalry, etc. I finally got fed up and said enough! Thank God I let Him lead me into my marriage, because who knows where I would be now.  I couldve ended up with children by him and be attached to him forever. I think on this sometimes, when I think of how far God has brought me. Being #introvertedlyhuman, I was able to be receptive of God’s nudges, even when I wasn’t paying attention. The signs are there!!

 You don’t have to settle. You are worth being the only one. You don’t have to embrace the relationship fads of the times in order to be happy.  Like I said, I’m not judging women who have endured settling for any relationship, but I want you to ask yourself “Is it worth it?” To those women, who said it wasn’t worth it, what made you finally wake up?

Using The Rod or Using Alternatives,Which is Best or Who Knows Best?

Being #introvertedlyhuman today, I am in my feelings on an introspective level about a judgment.  I don’t normally flaunt my opinion because I hate to get into conflict, but as of late, I feel stronger to do so.  You know how I feel about FB comments and how they can show a person’s true personality and/or thoughts. Internet courage is a real thing. I recently got into an “argument” with a commentor on a site I belong about basic parenting skills.  I listed spanking, breastfeeding, and public school education to name a few. This commentor focused on spanking and how it’s not needed. She admitted to at one time being a spanker but stopped when she found alternatives. I don’t know this woman at all, so I don’t know what she went through with her child. But once I answered her question about when spanking is needed, she didn’t like my answer and the back and forth ensued. Being #introvertedlyhuman I could read her tone of voice used and she was a little upset. I pointed it out but advised that we disagree and to end the debate before it escalated to which she replied she wasnt upset I just disliked what she said. It wasn’t me, it was her because she didnt agree with spanking. That’s her opinion but for those who do, how is she or others like her, the judge?

Spanking, to discipline a child or not? News reports and discusssions have talked about this particularly hot debate for a little while now and the responses are increasing. The first time I noticed this debate take root was when the Baltimore woman disciplined her son during a riot and it was caught on tape. She was condemned for violence against her child while others praised her for her actions. In my eyes, i agreed. She was letting her son know that she loved him….her actions spoke that she didn’t want to lose him especially since he was found out to be only riding the bandwagon, not really for the actual cause.  Now the subject is constantly brought up and seems to be a split decision- it’s not needed and the other says it is needed.  Proverbs 13:24 AMP says “He who withholds the rod [of discipline] hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines and trains him diligently and appropriately [with wisdom and love].  This verse in amplified text doesn’t explain how to discipline a wayward child, it just says that if  it’s withheld then a parent doesn’t care for their child’s wellbeing. But if a parent loves a child then they will discipline them and that will show then how to act accordingly. I agree that discipline is needed especially with children of this generation. Children over time have become their own in every aspect- opinionated and strong-willed, some to the point where it becomes disrespectful. So what can be done? There are those who spank and there are those who use alternatives, so who is the better parent? 

Spanking in my opinion is not wrong nor is it wrong to not spank. What I find wrong is how those who do are being shamed for it. Some children can be disciplined with a look or a few words, or even timeout- and it works! Great for them! Others have children who are “testers”, meaning they will keep doing as long as the parent keeps verbalizing their dislike in their action, so those parents may resort to a spanking- and it works! Each party is right in their own way but who said that one was right over the other?  Where we go wrong is letting our children not know discipline at all. Children should know how to act in public or when in social situations with adults, this is what discipline teaches them. This is what Proverbs 13:24 is talking about. 

So, in the end it’s a debate that has no real answer. It’s what works best for you and your child. So, folks who read this post won’t agree with me and that’s fine. Just as evryone has their opinion, I too have mine.

Empathy: The True Power of An Introverted Christian

The other evening as I laid in bed, putting my son to bed, I closed my eyes pretending to sleep so that he too could drift off. He played with his stuffed frog and babbled to himself (it takes awhile for him to wind down). My eyes closed, hoping he would soon follow suit, my mind began to run….and run…and run some more. “Oh no, tonight is one of those nights!”  I laid still hoping to not get him started, but unbeknownst to actively playing toddler next to me, my mind was busy fabricating scenarios from a sliver of a piece of information that may have popped up from nowhere. This mind game has been apart of being #introvertedlyhuman for me since I was young. Stress or being overly tired will bring this out and I could do it for hours, robbing me of a good night’s sleep.  When I was pregnant with my son, I slept constantly, but having since become pregnant this second time around, my mind has been running non-stop and it’s exhausting!  So much for catching a break after keeping up with a 2 year old all day, now I get to watch movies in my head!

But what I want to discuss is what I learned, well releaned, about myself the next day. One of the thoughts swirling through my brain happened to come from thinking about my son. My heart grew heavy for children who have suffered by the hands of those they love or trust. I thought back to the movie Brimstone and how the young woman felt when dealing with her monster of a father. I thought about 5 year old Shaniya Davis whose mother gave her to some guy to have his way with her, ultimately killing the little girl. All of these thoughts coupled with a heavy heart and spirit, began to cry and eventually sniffles and then tears came to mine.  I began to cry because I could hear my son’s babbling and think to myself “HOW?!” I pictured his face and then I put myself in Shaniya Davis’ shoes. I wondered: did she go to school?, even though her mother was a neglectful woman, did she excel or did her grades suffer from the stress of home?; On the fateful night, I felt her fear and knew she called for help that would never come, I know she cried. Tears rolled down my face and I refused to open my eyes when I felt my son stop playing and sit still. I knew he was studying me and wondering why is Mommy crying? But how can you explain spiritual empathy to a toddler? 

In the wee hours of the morning, I awoke from a strange dream about my son. In the dream he could astrally project himself to another part of our apartment. Sounds crazy, right? I saw our bedroom as in reality, my son in between my husband and I sleeping soundly. I suddenly jump up because I felt a rush out of the bedroom, my husband follows suit. Looking into the living room, my son playing in the patio window as if it were any normal day. Our dog is playfully wagging her tail because she sees the whole family up and about. I turn to look back at the bed and my son is laying in it, sleeping. We are confused, but then peace came over me as I realized that this strange occurrence is part of his gift. I explain to my husband and he seems fine with the answer. We go back to bed with my husband carrying the astral projection of my son and then we see his shell which is weak and his spirit begin to converge, but then I wake up in tears; asking God why am I crying so much. 

Later in the morning, I text my best friend telling him of my eventful night and he says “Ah, your empathy was high!”  My spiritual empathy was at its highest and I was receiving the frequency very clearly. As an introvert, we tend to think and put ourselves in other people’s shoes easily. We are highly intelligent individuals and as result are extremely tethered to the spiritual frequencies. We find it easy to meditate (when we can) and can hear the Voice of God or receive His Messages by studying nature. We can feel another person’s emotions or know when not to deal with a person we feel isnt in our best intetests. Being able to “read behind the lines” of slick talkers or backstabbers be it written or oral. This is the gift of intuition that introvertism brings to us. 

I used to hate the fact my brain ran all the time, but I learned in this past year that this is the gift that God has given me for a reason. I can touch people one at a time or pray fervently for any person in a loud silence that He can read and understand. Our hearts are what makes us great Children of God and we can do anything through Him by literally walking in His Shoes.

Where Has The Fear of God Gone?

Last night I watched an interesting movie called Brimstone starring Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce. The quick story is about a young midwife who is harrassed by a mysterious preacher, but there is so much more. And to say the least, the movie was very “deep”. I use the term “deep” because the story talks about many issues: love, independence, retribution etc. But the main subjects are religion and sexual abuse within its walls.  

The Reverend (played by Guy Pearce) moved his family and followers from the Netherlands to America during the 1800s to start a new version of a purer form of Christianity (first sign of trouble). His followers see him and his family in church but we see his home life and to say the least, is not Christian-like.  His wife is submissive but then essentially denies him of physical attention which he counters with a bible scripture to support his argument, or he embarasses her in front of the congregation, or beats her. His daughter can’t stand him or how her mother let’s him treat her, she herself wants to see the world he speaks so negatively about. 

Then the rabbit hole goes further and The Reverend behavior becomes stranger when he finds out his daughter has started her menses. Constantly impling that it her Godly duty to do a woman’s job, or watching her, the wife notices and does what she can within her power to keep his mind off their daughter.  One day she directly confronts him and he beats her for telling him the truth. The poor girl is at a loss once her mother dies and it’s her father’s joy, because now they’re alone. The girl runs away in the early morning hoping to get away from her life and start anew, but she is thrust into a life which was no different from the home life her father created for her. 

Without giving away the rest of the movie, I’ll start by addressing the one thing out of many that struck me – the concept of misconstruing The Word of God. The Reverend would preach to his congregation about how evil the world was, citing biblical quote after quote, his congregates nodding mindlessly, but he was practicing evil everyday. He gaslighted his wife into sleeping with him and would throw a bible verse to back it up when shw didn’t; he would watch his daughter salaciously and when his wife confronted him, he had a bible verse for that (but of course, he twisted those words around to justify what he was doing), he coerced his congregation into believing he was chosen to lead a purer form of Christianity in America by having two parishioners claim they had Holy visions of an angel. The list goes on…

After watching this movie and seeing the metamorphosis of these two abstract characters, I found myself asking God about the evil that lurks inside the hearts of men. I didn’t know how to ask, I just said it, hoping for some answer. The concept of evil especially with those who say they’re exacted it in the name of God, shows that they have no true fear of Him. The Reverend made a comment as such in the movie saying that he was past salvation so he could do as he wanted. The fact that he knew what he was doing and didn’t care, is what scared me. Being #introvertedlyhuman, this is what goes through my mind (this is one of the reasons why I won’t watch the news or read an Yahoo news article) when I hear all of these news stories about people hurting others. Alot of the time, they have no reason for doing what they did or they say because it was what they wanted. 

The Fear of God, our Creator is not present in this world anymore. We have to be mindful, brave, and spiritually strong when dealing with false prophets and just people period. I’m not saying we can’t trust, but dont put nothing past them either as my Granny likes to say. Know The Word for yourself so that you aren’t easily swayed by the cloth, or the vocabulary, or the knowledge. It’s up to us to discern where the message is coming from and what it truly entails. And if you’re not sure ask for God to help.you discern.

Social Media Comments Always Reveal The True Nature of Individuals

The world we live in is extremely, extremely complicated. It’s like everyday is Opposite Day. Being nice gets you nowhere, whereas calling names, fighting, etc gets applause and recognition. When something good does happen in the world and it’s shared on social media, someone or two or three will find the negativity in it. How is a bus driver who was fired for FB posting his concerns about a child who had no money for school lunch the focus of negative comments that eventually segue to “you’re liberal” and “you’re republican”. The issue is no longer what happened to good intentions of this man but pointing fingers at one another for political beliefs. It’s appalling and shameful, to say the least.

What I’ve come to understand for a long time now is that social media comments reveal the true nature of individuals. Being #introvertedlyhuman you tend to read behind the words and can see the person for real. People have grown so comfortable with being able to say what they want about anything that the comfort has now become audacity. They go for the meanest and most insensitive thing they can muster with impunity and what scares me is that they could be sitting next to you at work or wherever and have that same audacity to smile in your face! 

Christians are affected by social media outlets as well. They get sucked into the vortex of Internet courage too and it.comes off judgmental. I’m not going to lie, I was like that early in my Walk, but I’ve since changed when I caught myself always having something to say when a tragedy happened. Feeling like I had the answers, but I didnt. Instead of praying for those involved, I pointed fingers and I didn’t like that aspect about me. So, I stay mindful of my words or decline to comment if I don’t  agree. It’s quite simple.

One comment from a woman on an article for Delish about a Syrian refugee woman who was sharing a how-to recipe from her country, was not about her finding joy in sharing a little bit of herself but the comment was focused on the woman’s lack of dental hygiene. I and many others just wanted to try the food, but that woman commentor continued to spew senseless jokes at this poor woman’s expense whenever comments came to the refugee’s  defense. But what definitely got me was a comment from a man that said that the woman commentor was probably a Christian. I quickly wrote a response saying to not lump that insensitive woman with all Christians because she doesn’t exemplify true values. I was overwhelmed and done at that point because unfortunately I can’t come to defend Christianity to a negative world everytime there is a person who claims The Way but acts the total opposite. It’s too much. So what I do is police myself and my actions as much as possible and I keep this in mind: others are watching us for good examples and to point out our wrongs so be mindful.