Saturday, February 28, 2009


To save the best for the last, I have directly copied and pasted an augmented version of a chapter from one of C.S. Lewis' masterpiece, Mere Christianity. Running along the line with my Valentines day post, this chapter talks about how Christians should behave in the area of love. If you fail to read my post, you have my pardon. But please take time to read this, it is an excellent effort of putting a practical concept of love into words. 


First, as to the meaning of the word. 'Charity' now means simply what used to be called 'alms' - that is, giving to the poor. Originally it had a much wider meaning.Charity means 'Love, in the Christian sense'. But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.

Christian Love (or Charity) for our neighbours is quite a different thing from liking or affection. We 'like' or are 'fond of' some people, and not of others. It is important to understand that this natural 'liking' is neither a sin nor a virtue, any more than your likes and dislikes in food are a sin or a virtue. It is just a fact. But, of course, what we do about it is either sinful or virtuous.

Natural liking or affection for people makes it easier to be 'charitable' towards them. It is, therefore, normally a duty to encourage our affections - to 'like' people as much as we can (just as it is often our duty to encourage our liking for exercise or wholesome food) -not because this liking is itself the virtue of charity, but because it is a help to it. On the other hand, it is also necessary to keep a very sharp look-out for fear our liking for some one person makes us uncharitable, or even unfair, to someone else. There are even cases where our liking conflicts with our charity towards the person we like. For example, a doting mother may be tempted by natural affection to 'spoil' her child; that is, to gratify her own affectionate impulses at the expense of the child's real happiness later on.

But though natural likings should normally be encouraged, it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings. Some people are 'cold' by temperament; that may be a misfortune for them, but it is no more a sin than having a bad digestion is a sin; and it does not cut them out from the chance, or excuse them from the duty, of learning charity. The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less. There is, indeed, one exception. If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his 'gratitude', you will probably be disappointed. (People are not fools: they have a very quick eye for anything like showing off, or patronage.) But whenever we do good to another self, just because it is a self, made (like us) by God, and desiring its own happiness as we desire ours, we shall have learned to love it a little more or, at least, to dislike it less.

Consequently, though Christian charity sounds a very cold thing to people whose heads are full of sentimentality, and though it is quite distinct from affection, yet it leads to affection. The difference between a Christian and a worldly man is not that the worldly man has only affections or 'likings' and the Christian has only 'charity'. The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he 'likes' them: the Christian, trying to treat every one kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on - including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning.

This same spiritual law works terribly in the opposite direction. The Germans, perhaps, at first ill-treated the Jews because they hated them: afterwards they hated them much more because they had ill-treated them. The more cruel you are, the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become - and so on in a vicious circle for ever.

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.

Some writers use the word charity to describe not only Christian love between human beings, but also God's love for man and man's love for God. About the second of these two, people are often worried. They are told they ought to love God. They cannot find any such feeling in themselves. What are they to do? The answer is the same as before. Act as if you did. Do not sit trying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself, 'If I were sure that I loved God, what would I do?' When you have found the answer, go and do it.

On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

Teriakan Sebutir Salju

Ah, dihujanilah aku dengan butiran salju
kadang hati bertanya
apakah hidup sefana putih dan lembutnya salju
sedetik saja bisa ku memegangnya, lalu hilang begitu saja

Teman, apalah artinya indah salju itu
kalau hanya dinginnya yang kurasakan
andai saja putihnya bisa kugenggam
dan kutebarkan ke relung hatiku

Terdiam ku merenung
tertegun ku mengingat
kala sinar surya masih menyengat panas
tetapi hati terasa sejuk
tempat dimana kumengenal arti manis dan indah
tempat dimana kisah teruntai

Apalah artinya indah ini?
apalah artinya putih ini?
apalah artinya kelembutan ini?
jika ternyata, kisah manis itu tak dapat kuulangi lagi?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sometimes, there are memories that can’t be erased

Sometimes, there is laughter that can’t be faked

Sometimes, there are feelings that can’t be replaced

Times can’t be reversed

And sometimes, the only thing that you can do is to reminisce on those sweet memories

And leave it to your mind to make it perennial

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Eve in My Eden

Once the forbidden fruit was eaten by Adam and Eve, the first chapter of human problems was officially declared. The fruit of labor does not come easy for men and childbearing does not come easy for women as well. 

Have you ever thought that the punishment was strange? If I were God, I would have separated and forbid Adam, Eve, and The Serpent from meeting each other. The Serpent cunningly tricked Eve to eat the fruit who then passed it to Adam. Negative influence should be confined; Isn't that what all mothers do when they forbid their daughters to meet the next door spoiled brat? 

Fortunately, God understands human. He knows that Adam and Eve need each other and that they are belong together. At this critical point, support and love from each other were needed more than anything else. Thus, separating them is not a feasible punishment. Yes, men and women are not supposed to be separated, and God knows this very well. 

That's why I'm struggling inside, why two people are still separated? Why do millions of stars stand in their way and why does He let the vast ocean divides them? Why did he spare Adam and Eve and let this happens to the somebody? 

The days are too dark and the nights are too cold. Sometimes, what I need is just a flash of her smile and sound of her voice. It's her presence that I miss. And that's all that I need. 

Ah, what makes He think that I am strong enough for this? 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Loving Day

What comes to mind when you hear the world 'Valentine"? It is the day when love is venerated to the most lofty seat and a declaration of love is mostly welcomed and almost for sure is responded with outburst of hysteria (double the effect with heart-shaped chocolates or hand-picked fresh roses). Bottom line: it's all about this cute dreading yet compelling thing called love. 

As time goes by, I feel my understanding of love has been forged and sharpen through life experiences. Love used to be a reciprocal win win relationship, where both parties gained their portion of interest. That is why, loving has never been tough - with likable friends who share common interests, with teams whose sole existence is to please and never rebuke , with car-drivers who never cut you off on the street, with pretty waitress who constantly poses amiable smile - loving is a piece of cake. Slowly, I came to realize that those manifestations do not even come close to love, they simply mean responding logically to other's good deeds with good faith (Because he's good, I am responsible to pay his goodness back).  

Unfortunately, love goes beyond all that. Everyday, there is a battle between conscience and human nature (and most of the time over simple and trivial annoyances) - to love or not to love. Again, I came to realize that genuine love runs across the board, even to those you don't think love-deserving: colleagues who fervently try to bring you down, friends or roomies who talk behind your back, customer service reps who are being rude, and even to those politicians who gobble up people's money. These kinds of manifestations stand in bright contrast with the previous one. They mean responding illogically to other's good or bad deeds, still with good faith. 

Because of that, valentines day - a day of love - should not be confined to a day in February. Everyday is valentines, an opportunity to extend our love to those we love, we despise, and also to those who are in need of love. 

Let me close this entry by sharing one of the many opportunities to share love to those who need it the most. World Vision, an organization dedicated to improve children's welfare, made the privilege to sponsor a child possible. I have been sponsoring two children from Indonesia for more than a year now, and with only $30/month for a child, it has been blessings in my part to see these children grow up with love, medical care, and education in their hands. It is also blessings to know that their future may be better off with a simple dedication from our part to colour the world with love.

Therefore, this is a call to love - and to learn; The learning curve is infinite, and there will always be ample rooms for improvements. But, the time is now to start learning to love genuinely without anticipating 'a catch'. Now is also the time to celebrate love not only on this specific day, but every single day. Yes, let's make every day a valentines day!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menghidupkan Mimpi

Jiwa ini tak pernah berhenti mencari bayangannya
Tanpa diduga, hati ini tak hentinya terluka

Saat menahan luapan jeritan ini,
Tak ada lagi hembusan eloknya
Saat melangkah mundur,
Sama artinya dengan kehilangan senyumnya
Saat mematahkan kedua sayap ini,
Adalah melihat dia terbang ...
Dan melihat aku dalam kekosongan

Manusia tanpa sayap, 
Hancur dalam asanya,
Menunggu jatuhnya matahari,
Untuk membawa dia kembali

Friday, February 6, 2009


This untitled piece was written almost three years ago, in May 2006. Having tried all kind of sweet-escape methods to alleviate the contained feeling - all to no result - writing this piece became my final relief. In retrospect, I can feel the rage of a man who was rendered powerless by his inability to change / control the predicament that he was in. It started with an invocation - both demanding deliverance and explanation - to the Most High, and ended with a declaration of war against things uncontrollable. 

begitulah manusia diciptakan
penuh kelemahan dan keterbatasan
apakah artinya jarak bagi sang pencipta
apakah artinya samudra bagi sang khalik
apakah artinya gunung bagi yang tak terbatas
semuanya dapat dilewati tanpa usaha yang nyata
semudah bola mata digerakkan dan sesimple bunyi click.

sayangnya, yang tak terbatas bukanlah manusia
saat ingin menyentuh, samudra luas membentang di depan
saat mulut ingin mengucap, langit dan sejuta bintang
saat hati ingin bertemu, jurang dalam terbentang
dengan senyum sinis
alam seakan menertawai keadaanku, seakan merasa hebat
dengan ketidak sempurnaan yang mereka sebabkan.
apakah yang harus kuperbuat untuk melihat senyumnya?
berapa kerikil dan gurun yang harus kujelajahi untuk
merasakan hangat tawanya?
mengapa ada perasaan kangen kalau ternyata perasaaan
ini sungguh menyiksa..
apakah manusia disiapkan untuk menerima kenyataan dan
perasaan ini
sakit pedih dan tak berdaya

begini rasanya jika kangen tapi tak bisa kau ucapkan
teriaklah sekeras mgkn, lontarkan perasaanmu pada
langit, tapi dia tetap diam
tak ada yang mendengar
tak ada yang tau
hanya hati yang merasakan pedihnya

saat rindu tapi tak boleh kau luapkan
beginilah rasanya…….
ingin rasanya aku bisikkan ungkapan ini ke udara bebas
dan biarkan angin sepoi dan daun bergoyang yang
katakan padanya
karena aku tak bisa
karena itu dilarang….

saat jarak memisahkan kita
bukan benci musuhku
bukan keegoisan manusia juga
bukan apapun ato siapapun
tapi saat ini, jaraklah musuhku.

-tercipta karena perasaan yang tidak bisa dikontrol oleh kuatku-
16May2006 1.12am

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love is in the Air

People call it Valentine's day. It is the time for girls to be pampered with romantic dinner and surprises. For businesses, it is the time to lure guys into buying flowers for twice the usual price. For guys, it is the time when they comply with all of those without much ado; these include putting off their shorts and putting on their vest. 

To join the crowd, "Coloring Every Moment" decided to dedicate this month for Valentine's day. This will, in particular, showcase my "valentine's" journey which many people are not privy to and also uncover another side of me which is more often than not being suppressed and remain untouched. 

You've heard the phrase "Behind every great man is a great woman". Well, in my case, I'm not sure about the "great man" part, but definitely there is a great woman. So, getting into more specifics, all of the upcoming entries are a collection of my forbidden emotions; more expressible in writings, inspired solely by her and dedicated specially to her. 

So, for that woman who has let me see the beauty of sunrise and the darkness after sunset, who has shown me that the sun will rise and also will set, this is for you. Thank you - for coloring my life.