Come and See!

Recently I read the Gospel of John repeatedly.
It’s quite characteristic in many points compared to the other three Gospels.

I suggest today, that in this Gospel many people following Jesus by their own will – really physically coming after Him – are illustrated.
It’s in a good contrast to Mathew’s description that Jesus called most of disciples.

Today I gathered such people who went after Jesus, saying “Behold!” “We’ve found Him!” “Come and see!” etc.

The two ahead are Andrew and his brother Simon Peter. Andrew went to his brother and said “We have found the Messiah!”, then brought him to Jesus.

One pushes the other not willing to go – this is Philip and Nathanael. Philip was called by Jesus, but he dropped in to see Nathanael and told him “We have found Him, He’s Jesus of Nazareth!”. Nathanael was skeptical whether anything good could come out of Nazareth. So Philip told him “Come and see!” and took him to Jesus.

The red one in front is a woman, the Samaritan woman. After she spoke with Jesus, she returned to her people and told “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did!” So many Samaritans went to see Him.

The rest three people at the back is John the Baptist and his two disciples. When John saw Jesus walking, he told them “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Then the two went after Jesus.
The gray one, who remains standing is John. He is completing his mission – leading people to Jesus – and fading into the dark.

By the rivers of Babylon

Let me write more about the people I met in the church, who talked about their stressful workplaces.
Though they are teachers as occupations, they are so busy with staff meetings and office works, that they have no time to take care of their pupils…

Then I told them, “I imagine you might feel like you’re in the Babylonian exile,”

They bursted into laughter. “Indeed!”

My imagination came from the phrase in Psalm 137:1.

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.

When one is taken apart from what he really like to do and left in an unfamiliar environment, he may feel like the above phrase.

In today’s picture I did not draw the other side of the river, which might be seen in the eyes of those who are depressed.

But this historical incident of the Babylonian exile is regarded as an essential turning point of the belief among the people of Israel. They asked to themselves so deeply what their belief should be and how they should return to God. It is even said that but for the exile, the Bible of today might not have been compiled.

I myself is in the presence so blessed that I can manage as a writer, which I love to be so much.
But how do I know, that I could carry this job on as long as I live?
Nevertheless, I will not fear, some day I might have no choice but change to less interesting job. Because it might be a chance for those who in such unwanted working status to consider about what their lives really should be.

To the Wall

I am still so busy. But I’m so happy, because all things that make me busy are just what I want to do. Work,study and devotion to the church. I’m busy because I don’t want to miss any of them.

But people who work outside for this or that organisations must be far busier with so much extra tasks other than what they really want to do!

Many of people in our church are teachers, especially of elementary schools. Recently they revealed how many staff meetings, and documents to write, weigh on them and deprive them of hours to communicate with their pupils.
“We have to drive the children out of the school due to our own schedules, that’s crazy,” said one of them. “I wonder what my work really shall be.”
“And I’m so sad I forget even everyday’s prayer. I made a plan for this year, that I should have a time for prayer in the morning and the evening every day, but I can’t possibly follow it.”

And then we reminded us of one of our people, who retired from some a company producing something ( and now working elsewhere). His office was also always in a mess. Especially there was a time that his company must get certified for ISO something, and most of their working hours were spared for preparing the documents to submit, rather than making products.

At that time, according to our pastor who knows him very well, he often stood alone towards the wall of the office, and made a prayer silently.
“I imagine him standing there, while others arguing or coming and going hasty, which saves my heart when I myself am busy in daily activities” so told us the pastor the other day.

I, who am working at home, can spare any time for a prayer, that might rather easily break the plan for it. Therefore I will also keep the scene in my mind.

A Coin in the Fish’s Mouth

Recently told an aged gentleman, who is a retired pastor, made a speech in the church, as he often does. His speech is always such that will make us relax. “Take it easy in believing God! The faster you run, the sooner and harder you will hit yourself at the wall.”

On that day he told about the episode in the Chapter 17 of Matthew’s Gospel:

Peter was asked by the collector of temple tax, whether his teacher paid it or not.
He answered that he did.
When Peter got home, his teacher Jesus told him to go catch fish, so he would find one holding a coin in its mouth.

“Indeed the collector had intended to annoy Peter and his teacher, knowing they could not afford for the tax,” told the retired pastor.
“That made Peter angry, and he boasted that his teacher did, though he did not in fact.”

“Soon he regretted his brag. He wanted to manage the tax by himself, but found no way. So he went where his teacher and colleagues resided, worried and depressed.”

“Jesus had known what happened to Peter before he came home, and He told about the fish holding a coin – it must be a joke of Him” he told. I was surprised, because I took the story as it told another miracle made by Jesus. But the ex-pastor explained it just as a joke.

“I imagine that, the other disciples laughed at the joke, which cheered Peter up. Thus I love the story very much.”

Ah, I loved his explanation too, more than my former idea of miracle. I think the ex-pastor aimed to tell us, “Ask God not for easy material aid, but for encouragement.”

On my Fiftieth Birthday

Today, June 15th, is my 50th birthday, which I enjoy so much like a child.
People(especially Japanese) take it strange that I am so happy to be 50. “Don’t you want to hide your age, for you are a woman?” – so they ask me.
Oh, I enjoy to be a 50-year-old person, not a woman nor a man. Or I’m both. Namely, I enjoy both male and female way of thinking.

Ancient Samurai assumed the life as 50 years long.
So my life from today is an extra.
Or I’m as new as a baby bird.

A very new baby bird is, however, not so cute until it is brought up to be a “chick,” which wears soft feathers and sings cheap cheap.
A baby bird just after getting out of the egg is naked, with somewhat eerie colors, and its head and belly are abnormally big. It cannot live a day without its parent.

I also look like it, far from fancy, nevertheless I enjoy the day so much.

Pig and Human

In the area named Decapolis, Jesus drove out a group of “evil spirits” from a man into a school of pigs. Then the pigs stampeded to be drowned in the lake, whereas the man was restored. This episode is narrated in , for example, Mark 5:5.

Before I felt sorry for the innocent pigs, every time I read this episode. But recently it seems that it would tell us more important things than to regret in details of the story.

What is an evil spirit? Our church often teaches us not to take is as a human will that stood against God. It suggests us it should be a symbol for many misfortunes, like physical or mental diseases.

I think an evil spirit might be “a status or a property shorting of the Holy spirit”, like “a positive hole is the area left after an electron moved away.”

The pigs, into which it is described as the demons entered, should be from my aspect those from which the Holy spirit left. Then they immediately lost control and ran into death.

On the contrary, the man, who had been occupied with demons, i.e. lacking of the Holy spirit, had not gone dead but struggled for God for a long time until he met with Jesus.

I think this be what human being is blessed with. We could ask for God when we lose Him, where as pigs have no way to return to Him. At this point I feel very sorry for the pigs in this episode now.

Then today’s picture.
I drew a pig just running away and a man, in contrast to it, crouching on the ground, pulling out his arms and scratching the earth. He is struggling with his instinct, that he’d like to simply run into death like an animal.

Soon after I painted the pig in pink, I changed my mind to follow the rule I explained the previous blog: paint it in the color pattern of the chaos, RGB.

The Nature in the background should be painted in natural colors, because it is balanced (at least at that time far more than now) .

And here comes the hand of Jesus to heal him…

Well, how should I paint the man and the holy Hand?

My Idea is white(r=g=b=1) and black(r=g=b=0) are two fundamental states prepared by God to create every color(i.e. property) in the world.
From the above aspect, the man is not into chaos, represented by the complete separation among rgb, but everything should be vague. So I painted him in gray colors in various brightness.

And the Hand has a complete order with white and black.

Behold, what an impact the Hand has! Indeed the combination of pure white and black would be symbolize physical and mental state in the complete order.

Soon after that, however, the picture seemed to me no good.
The Hand might be too magnificent. Our Jesus might be humbler, being close to us. “He is a powerless God, precisely, He made Himself powerless to be with us” so tells our paster every time, “That’s what we Christians should be proud of”

So I corrected the picture so that His hand be much smaller and yet far from – but surely approaching to – him.

May God take all poor pigs up to His kingdom.

Chaos, Light and Darkness

Hi, I’m really back. May 2013 was possibly the most busiest month for me. Soon after the church’s anniversary, I went to Tokyo 6 times to write articles, whereas I had to complete a book until the end of the month. I also made two more project for the books and dedicated an article for a japanese openSUSE community. Today I went to the high school sports fest to take photos of my neighbor’s children. But all these business I happily accepted as my “reason to existence” given by God.

Through such a mess I did not – could not- skip going to the church every Sunday and Wednesday. Day by day I feel more and more that I cannot live without thinking of God.

Recently I thought about the light and the darkness that God created from the chaos, which were written in GENESIS in the Bible.

I think the darkness is not the chaos. It must be a structured world, in contrast to the light.

Look at this picture, please. It’s like a test pattern on television…

Indeed I expressed chaos, the light and the darkness by this picture.

Say, the upper area consists of RGB stripe is the chaos.
Recently I think “colorful” mean “no property in color.” This area is not red nor blue nor green, at the same time it includes red and blue and green. And I think “chaos” means “an Idea with no property”

From such RGB chaos God created the light, which is the area that R=G=B=100%. On the other hand, He created the darkness, which is the area that R=G=B=0%.

Then He created many colors with certain values for R, G, B, respectively, between the light and the darkness.

This is my idea for the Creation.