Nov 2, 2009

When People Throw Stones

This must be your retaliation — love and truth for hatred and lies.

— Rudolph Stier

My siblings and I went home for a very short vacation. During our stay, we retreated to the Hermitage for unwinding, meditation and prayer. The family gathered one afternoon with Lola to talk and just enjoy each others company. My sister told Lola about the people who have been hounding her. This was her first time to tell Lola about this apprehension of hers, the rest of the family knew already.

When this pestering started, my sister's friends, the family and other people have told her, "No one would dare throw stones at a tree if they don't see fruits."

A few days ago, the same people gave my sister threats through text messages. Of course, I and the rest of the family's immediate reaction was anger. We were beyond belief in their going further overboard to cause my sister emotional and psychological unrest, considering that my sister does not even talk to them in class.

So we were there as my sister told Lola everything and how she feels with her current predicament. Lola listened quietly and hushed my sister who reduced into tears as she recanted and asked why this has been done unto her. She couldn't understand, actually, no one could; she had done nothing to anyone.

After hearing my sister, Lola got up and reached for the Bible. She then told us the story of King David and Shimei in 2 Samuel 16.

When King David came to Bahurim, a man called Shimei came out, cursing continuously as he come. And he threw stones at David and all the servants of the king. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.

Shimei cursed: ” Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!”

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please let me go over and and take off his head!”

And the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?”’

And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; For so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look upon my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.”

And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.

After the beautiful short story, Lola told us what the scripture was all about. She also told my sister that these perpetrators cannot attack her through her academics and extra school activities as she is one of the top students in her level and a Student Body leader --- these are obviously not her weak points; so to pull my sister down, they have to hit her heart. "This is God's way of purifying you, my dear", Lola said.

The best of life is swallowed up by the worst, and sometimes the worst comes in the form of mean-spirited strikes on our character. Yet, even heartless censure can be redemptive. God uses the worst that men can say about us to shape our character and strengthen us.

With what is happening to my sister, I also have a lot to thank her persecutors for.

a) I am thankful because had it not been for what they did, I would not be reminded of the value of patience and humility in times of troubles.

b) Their attacks have made me appreciate my sister and my family more. We are close, but our bond was further augmented because of this.

c) I have relearned the value of looking up to God in quietness and trust, and in completely resting myself in Him.

d) I am also reminded that justice is in God's hands, not in mine.

To end this, I would like to quote the chorus of the song "Still" by Hillsong United.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still
Know you are God
To all those who are in the same circumstance as my sister, always remember that pencils are sharpened to write beautifully. God is always there looking over us, He is just behind our back, we should trust in His loving goodness and mercy.

"Everything will be alright dear", Lola said when she called me a while ago.

Everything will be alright. Let us appreciate, not hate. Take care everyone! :)