Spiritual Reflections

In the Face of Injustice

In the face of injustice, what do we see?

In the face of injustice, what are we looking for? Continue reading

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Spiritual Reflections

Just Saying

This is the original draft of what I submitted to OMF Literature for the ebook “What About Justice”. To the editors, thank you for accepting and including its excerpt.

To the readers, especially to those of us who believe in the Bible as Christians, let us be reminded: “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Ephesians 6:12 CEV

In our pursuit of justice, let us not lose sight of His Light as well.

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Thanks Mrs Ukita for the pasalubong!
Spiritual Reflections

Learning to Stand

“Your swings are good,” our dojo’s sensei said, “but where’s your footwork?”

Two months into training, I still find myself frustrated: how can something so basic and simple as a proper stance be so difficult to memorize? I practice in front of the mirror and whenever I can. I get the feel of it. Then training sessions come, and my feet forget what it was supposed to do. Sometimes, I just awkwardly execute the footworks; most of the time, I lose focus and at worst, my balance.

At the end of each sequence, I glance at my feet, adjust them back to their proper places, annoyed. Ugh. I just want to swing my shinai like Kenshin Himura; why do I have to do this boring routine every time?

 

Even when I was doing Muay Thai, I had the same problem: my strikes were good (I think), my balance was bad. I’d get reprimanded over and over again about it— and for a good reason. No matter how powerful my punches or kicks were, it’s useless if I lose my balance and fall down whenever I move or block a hit. And the same was true with kendo: even though my swings were improving, I still trip on my footwork.

Practice at home, our trainor keeps encouraging us. Practice wherever you can.

I stare at my ugly toes, wriggling them into position. How can something so simple as standing become so complicated? I can’t help but remember that oft-neglected phrase at the beginning of Ephesians 6:14— Stand firm then. Continue reading

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Spiritual Reflections

Crucifixation

“Crucify him!” The crowd chanted in passionate frenzy. Here they were: united, one nation upholding their belief, crying out against a blasphemer of their faith. This is justice, they thought. We are doing this for righteousness.

“Burn the witches!” The crowd chanted in passionate frenzy. Here they were: united, one community purging an evil in their midst, freeing themselves from the clutches of fear. This is justice, they thought. We are doing this for righteousness.

“Kill the criminals!” “Impeach him!” “He does not deserve to be honoured and buried!” “Why should they be forgiven?!” “She deserved this!” 

Everyday, we crucify people: politicians, celebrities, strangers, friends, family. Some of us heckle, some of us shake our fists in rage, some of us smirk condescendingly at their plight. They are wrong, we assure ourselves. We are in the right of things.

And in our unsaid thoughts, we judge: Crucify them.

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Spiritual Reflections

The Prejudice of Love

“I realized,” my friend confided, “she wasn’t that pretty after all.”

I kept silent. I didn’t know how to react. Was he simply sourgraping the breakup? I couldn’t honestly tell; I am not the best judge of physical appearances, as I admittedly am as vulnerable to the usual biases as other guys when it comes to beauty.

But as embarrassing as this might sound, I am indeed judgmental when it comes to appearances. I am quick to ask myself, “What in the world did that girl see in that guy?!” (or vice versa) And yes, at the end of the introspective argument, the only explanation that makes sense: “S/he is in love.” That’s it.

Love is blind, and we often quote it with sarcasm. Yet— is that such a bad thing?  Continue reading

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