Jobin Sam

Jobin Sam Follow

losing my life to find what cannot be lost

http://jobinandfrancine.com/

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I’m celebrating my beloved wife today :) I don’t normally share posts like this, but since so much of our story is kept in mystery (even to friends), I wanted to share this on @francineannabelle’s birthday.
For a girl who grew up in a part of the world (Sunshine Beach, Australia) where most people would dream of living someday, I’m always humbled remembering how she left everything she knew, to raise a family with me inside a hut in a lonely village in our little corner of Africa. “Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people...”. She’s that girl!! She never complains about the cold bucket shower, she never complains about sickness or hunger, she never complains about reusing coffee grinds a second time (hey don’t judge, we have to ration our groceries!). But a few days ago, I saw her secretly breakdown in tears from the loneliness we face. Along with our children, we knew this journey would be married to sacrifice, but we’ve been carried by grace in the pain & beauty. 
The story being written isn't about the both of us- but with every page we are humbled that we get to see the Face of God disguised in the least of these, and in each other
When life gives you minions... I mean, lemons!! :))
I’m so thankful I get the authority & responsibility to make corny dad jokes now
I think of myself as an introvert who loves people. My neighbors will tell you how quiet I can be with a proclivity for crazy. My wife will confer how I’m far better at listening than talking. I prefer being guarded in mystery while still choosing vulnerability. I crave the blessing of community while still carrying the burden of not belonging. Maybe our desire for human connection is designed by a higher love than our nature
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Recently I reached out to someone I hadn’t seen in over ten years and I was surprised when the response was why. I don’t know if it’s painfully uncool or I should be proud, but I have kept in touch with friends from grade-school to the pharmacist at the corner store. I like to think that everyone we have in our life is not there by accident. It’s not chance, it’s grace. It’s not seasonal, it’s purposeful (community comes in our life for seasons, not people)
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We live in an age with the faculty of 4G connectedness to everyone we know. It’s as easy as moving a finger. Yet we still struggle to stay close to each other, satisfied by the facade of social media. We can share photos, videos, even voice notes but prefer the virtual veneer of eavesdropping. Maybe it’s because my need for closeness is heightened being so far away, but I like to think it’s deeper than distance. Something that’s always stood out to me about Christ is how the Scriptures mention “He kept everyone whom He’d been given”. What a beautiful way to remember someone. What a legacy to lean on- to be known for the ones we held close and gave a place to belong. May we be people who haven’t lost any of the ones we have been given
if words travel at the speed of sound
vulnerability shows at the speed of light
these days are peppered with pain and joy 
the intersection of tension and freedom
beauty ain’t a thing of biology 
but what’s beautiful is how we see
as every sunrise that meets us
to bring color that was stolen in darkness
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Peace as transcendent as the ocean
rising, falling, yet found through the ages
enduring storms and the refuse of men
with calm waters beneath the waves;
as the shore running back to the sea
always reaching for the other side
washing over the temporary
washing over you and me
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Grace is what holds the tapestry 
from the song of the birds
to the roar of the sea 
friend of the friendless, 
nearer than the baby at a mother’s chest
between all the beauty and banality 
weaving every human story
into a design greater than we can see
As long as I can remember, I’ve wondered why it’d been said that the poor will always be among us. Are we to them a helping hand or are they here to help us understand? Was it said as something transcendent, beyond cynicism and subterfuge? Might there be a truth beneath that I’ve been blind to? Would God have to close my eyes so I can see? Could the suffering that surrounds me be the wardrobe into a world that’s beyond me? To remind me that grace comes free but hope is born in the pain & the cost of poverty
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I have two little ones in my shadow, growing and becoming at the front-row of suffering. They’re always watching with wonder, innocent as doves, observant as hawks. As a father, that’s so honoring but also troubling because I’m painfully flawed! Fingers crossed they don’t remember the second-rate version of myself. But one thing I pray they never forget is how we held the hand of God under the skin of suffering. How we entered into the wound and became whole. Met by the mystery how from all the appearances God could adorn, He chose the disguise of the least of these
The cheekiest monkeys in the whole wide world :))
When I was child I thought that Heaven was a gold mansion made of golden floors, for people with golden halos, and God sat on a judgement seat made of a golden throne. It’s hilarious now how spurious a little bit of religion can fashion God into, even for a child. And how some adults still lack imagination to architect Heaven beyond the look of a comic book
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The other week, Francine inked these words into the walls of our hut, as it’s been etched on our hearts. It seemed silly to write these words when our reality was so far from golden. As a family, we were walking through the valley of shadows; the worst sickness in all these years and a heaviness that hung inside our home. And with snakes and scorpions surfacing where we live! It sure didn’t feel like Heaven on earth
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It’s the tension we’re tethered to, the axiom of the here and now. That’s too good, could it be true? “The Kingdom is within you”. Our lives are postured in paradox. That we’re blessed when we’ve lost it all. That strength is perfected in weakness. That peace could only come through non-violence. That a lion could lie down with a lamb. That Heaven might actually look less like a bling utopian mansion, and more like this planet. That maybe Heaven is just beyond the veil ripped from our eyes
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On earth as it is in Heaven. The ultimate paradox and the promise. And if God Himself made that His prayer, then I want my life to be a response to that (good) news
As a father of two- one born of blood, another born of tears; one by childbirth, another by choice; both of promise, my hope is for them to reach higher than I’ve ever been. That my mountain top would be their ground zero, that the dreams I dream become the horizons they’ve seen, that the mistakes I’ve made decompose into the soil of grace. Looking at this photo of them flying over my head, I feel like there are layers upon layers of thoughts; kids, calisthenics, metaphysics... but above all, how fatherhood keeps revealing identity & the heart of God to me
“i like smiling... smiling is my favorite”!! :)))) We don’t have many photos as a family, but this one’s pretty special. If Buddy the Elf lived along the equator, he’d be this happy too
I love how they are so easily pleased, content and carefree. They don’t fancy the finer things and are free in their simplicity. Just a couple balloons and a bit of bubbles become an alchemy of laughter & wonder. It’s crazy how the older I get the more I’m baptized into the kid in me!!
Is it true that all things have been made new? Could it be that every dawn echoes an empty grave? Could it be that the curtain has been torn between God & man, secular & sacred, us & them? Could it be that love conquered death and welcomed a world free of malice, avarice and religion? Could it be that there’s a Kingdom come, rinsed of wars, weapons and apathy? Could it be that the Cross redeemed all reality?
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History will bear witness to the answers we lived by. Our children will bear witness to the truth we lived by. Our neighbors will attest to the word of our testimony. Our politics and praxis will speak for the allegiances we pledged by. Maybe our claims to faith are only futile because it should be embodied, not explained. Maybe our friends don’t define us, but how we treat the ones we disagree with do. Maybe our looks don’t make us, but how we see beauty in those who look different do. Maybe our notion of Heaven is less than, but for how we remake earth as the Maker’s
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Blessed are the ones who’ve lost it all. People of the resurrection. From whom death is just the beginning and letting go is a beautiful thing. They recognize what’s real in the breaking of bread… Who has been made real
I love the word “imagine”... it feels like such a sacred practice to see things that are not, the creative agency into an alternate reality, to beckon an idea that has the power to be. It’s like we get to borrow the breath of God
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I love this photo of Jackson, playing with a sunbeam in his hand. The wonder, adventure, imagination. The curiosity of children. I can only speculate the thoughts he would’ve had... If he is holding the light, or if the light is holding him. Why he can’t feel it in the physical but still be so real. If 
he saw the light or if the light is helping him see
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Maybe all of us imagine more than we reason, more than we question. Everything from who our kids will be to what our weekend will bring. It takes imagination to see a valley of bones come alive, it takes imagination to see earth as it is in Heaven. And for me it takes imagination to see my son playing in light, who’s unaware of biology or bias, made in the image of *my* heart & flesh, just as he is made in the image of our Maker