count it all joy

‘i never made a sacrifice’



recently thought about the ‘love languages’ thing and thought words weren’t that important anymore. in the past few xyrs they’ve been cheapened by courtesies and lies and need no effort. it seems a simple ‘jiayou’ can replace one’s effort in being physically there for another. ‘sorry’ is suddenly enough when your actions show no respect for another – not their being, not their time, not their feelings. but was reminded this wk of how words can edify when genuine and spoken to the heart. am grateful to have journeyed with these few even if only for a short year. they have seen and understand my heart, exemplify faithfulness and humble service, and teach me to be vulnerable and more generous with kind words, that suddenly i find myself feeling hurt more frequently when at the receiving end of thoughtless comments. thank God for allowing us to journey together in this season before we graduate, for showing me what community can look like and for providing for this group

was also reminded of the first and only comm trail i did in ’16 when i just switched majors. actually quite sad that the whole prog ended up like that.. but i guess politics and differences of men plague every organisation. didn’t realise that the trail and ctp in general shaped my view of comm work and ABCD so much, time rly flies.. was so much younger n more ignorant then hahah grateful for the laojiaos who had so much patience for noobs like us and grateful for these opportunities. can’t believe i ever wanted to be an MSW HAAHAH must be psycho-ed by dr lee in the past.

this is gonna sound quite gay-ish (as in emotional and sensitive) but after some thought.. i think my main gripe is that you do not see or understand my heart after so many years, and it feels like both time and effort wasted. but looking back rationally it should not be a surprise, considering the dynamics and all, and also taking into account how in the last year there was so much growth and change. it is very weird to think that maybe we dont actually know the people we thought we’ve known for years.

that aside, TGIF!!!!! im grateful

think i am developing some intolerance to alcohol????? Either that or my liver is really unhealthy or sth oHNUuuOoOooO is this the result of too much junk food? These rashes have g T G……..

anxiety slowly setting in…… can only work at it, humbly and without fear. in all that i do let my audience be You alone.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.
– [Proverbs 31:8-9]

the four loves

all from C.S. Lewis

Affection. What we have is not ‘a right to expect’ but a ‘reasonable expectation’ of being loved by our intimates if we, and they, are more or less ordinary people. But we may not be. We may be intolerable. If we are, ‘nature’ will work against us. For the very same conditions of intimacy which make Affection possible also – and no less naturally – make possible a peculiarly incurable distaste; a hatred as immemorial, constant, unemphatic, almost at times unconscious, as the corresponding form of love.

‘We can say anything to one another.’ The truth behind this is that Affection at its best can say whatever Affection at its best wishes to say, regardless of the rules that govern public courtesy; for Affection at its best wishes neither to wound nor to humiliate nor to domineer… You can do anything in the right tone and at the right moment – the tone and moment which are not intended to, and will not, hurt. The better the Affection the more unerringly it knows which these are (every love has its art of love)

But the proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gift. We feed children in order that they may soon be able to feed themselves; we teach them in order that they may soon not need our teaching. Thus a heavy task is laid upon this Gift-love. It must work towards its own abdication. We must aim at making ourselves superfluous. The hour when we can say ‘They need me no longer’ should be our reward. But the instinct, simply in its own nature, has no power to fulfil this law. The instinct desires the good of its object, but not simply; only the good it can itself give. A much higher love – a love which desires the good of the object as such, from whatever source that good comes – must step in and help or tame the instinct before it can make the abdication. And of course it often does. But where it does not, the ravenous need to be needed will gratify itself either by keeping its objects needy or by inventing for them imaginary needs.

But I believe that everyone who is honest with himself will admit that he has felt these temptations. Their occurrence is not a disease; or if it is, the name of that disease is Being a Fallen Man. In ordinary people the yieldings to them – and who does not somethings yield? – is not disease, but sin.

Friendship. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important. Lamb says somewhere that if, of three friends (A, B, and C), A should die, then B loses not only A but ‘A’s part in C’, while C loses not only A but “A’s part in ‘B’. In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.
Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, ‘Here comes one who will augment our loves.’ For in this love ‘to divide is not to take away’.

In this kind of love, as Emerson said, Do you love me? Means Do you see the same truth? – or at least, ‘Do you care about the same truth?’ The man who agrees with us that some question, little regarded by others, is of great importance, can be our Friend. He need not agree with us about the answer.

The common quest or vision which unites Friends does not absorb them in such a way that they remain ignorant or oblivious of one another. On the contrary it is the very medium in which their mutual love and knowledge exist. One knows nobody so well as one’s ‘fellow’. Every step of the common journey tests his metal; and the tests are tests we fully understand because we are undergoing them ourselves. Hence, as he rings true time after time, our reliance, our respect and our admiration blossom into an Appreciative love of a singularly robust and well-informed kind. If, at the outset we had attended more to him and less the thing our Friendship is ‘about’, we should not have come to know or love him so well. You will not find the warrior, the poet, the philosopher or the Christian by staring in his eyes as if he were your mistress: better fight beside him, read with him, argue with him, pray with him.

We all appear as dunces when feigning an interest in things we care nothing about.

For we all wish to be judged by our peers, by the men ‘after our own heart’. Only they really know our mind and only they judge it by standards we fully acknowledge… But a circle of criminals, cranks, or perverts survives in just the same way; by becoming deaf to the opinion of the outer world, by discounting it as the chatter of outsiders who ‘don’t understand’, of the ‘conventional’, ‘the bourgeois’, the ‘Establishment’, of prigs, prudes and humbugs.

Eros. What he fears is pre-occupation, the need of constantly ‘pleasing’ – that is, considering – one’s partner, the multiple distractions of domesticity. It is marriage itself, not the marriage bed, that will be likely to hinder us from waiting uninterruptedly on God.

The couple whose marriage will certainly be endangered by them, and possibly ruined, are those who have idolised Eros. They thought he had the power and truthfulness of a god. They expected that  mere feeling would do for them, and permanently, all that was necessary. When this expectation is disappointed they throw the blame on Eros or, more usually, on their partners. In reality, however, Eros, having made his gigantic promise and shown you in glimpses what its performance would be like, has ‘done his stuff’. He, like a godparent, makes the vows; it is we who must keep them. It is we who must labour to bring our daily life into even closer accordance with what the glimpses have revealed. We must do the works of Eros when Eros is not present.

Charity. The loves prove that they are unworthy to take the place of God by the fact that they cannot even remain themselves and do what they promise to do without God’s help.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.

What the Grace gives is the full recognition, the sensible awareness, the complete acceptance – even, with certain reservations, the glad acceptance – of this Need. For, without Grace, our wishes and our necessities are in conflict.

Far be it from us to think that we have virtues for which God could love us. But then, how magnificently we have repented! As Bunyan says, describing his first and illusory conversion, ‘I thought there was no man in England that pleased God better than I.’ Beaten out of this, we next offer our own humility to God’s admiration. Surely He’ll like that? Or if not that, our clear-sighted and humble recognition that we still lack humility. Thus, depth beneath depth and subtlely within subtlely, there remains some lingering idea of our own, our very own, attractiveness. It is easy to acknowledge, but almost impossible to realise for long, that we are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. Surely we must have a little – however little – native luminosity? Surely we can’t be quite creatures?

In Heaven, I suspect, a love that had never embodied Love Himself would be equally irrelevant. For Nature has passed away. All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.