Jobin Sam

Jobin Sam Follow

losing my life to find what cannot be lost

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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
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
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
Words come easy, words come cheap, they come as a gift to others like authors.
Words and wit are everywhere like weeds, from screens to books to comedies.
Some people make a living off talking, put an intonation and call it preaching. 
Marry it to melody, it becomes a song.
They can be a weapon, start a revolution, they can lead a nation, even define those who use them - between poets, politicians or narcissism. 
But I pray we are not known for our words, but that the world will know us by our children, our gardens, our crosses
There’s probably no lesser love than the need to be liked, the penchant to please, the lust to be relevant. As I get older, I’m making it more my prayer that I’d be sanitized of the approval of people. The thing with relevancy is the insecurity that it takes root in, like a drug that shoots in the blood stream. It comes with a high and a curse, dependency disguised as being free, the weight and the want. 
Oh Heaven, help us to be like a child and follow the example of the faithful instead of the famous. The example of the poor who are full with less. Neither hype nor hustle. Golden hearts, broken hallelujahs
Maybe the perennial question “where is God” in our world and its problems is warped in hubris because we wouldn't know it’s Him even if we did see Him. Maybe we’ve been looking ethereally while we’ve been blind to the neighbor, the stranger, family. Maybe we’ve been looking in all the wrong places; beyond pearly gates when He was actually beneath the rubble of war. Suspended high above shining steeples when He was actually lying on a cardboard frame. In the faces of our valiant leaders when He was actually an unassuming refugee. Maybe God looks nothing like the image we’ve made of Him, and more like the least of these
For the first time in our parent life, we bought toys for our kids. Not that they’ve been deprived for the last three years:)) And not that there is anything wrong with buying gifts for children - but it felt like a wrestle with identity and luxury in something as petty as getting a box of play dough! I don’t mean to overanalyze the social class or attribute a self-righteous defiance to materialism for making a difference... but this was a turning point in me. Because in that moment, when the suffering that I’ve seen surfaced with guilt, I realized the choices we make (for our kids) can’t be rooted in philosophy, but being free. The irony that it was play dough!!! Teaching kids about imagination and what we create, but it was me who needed toys😂
Say hello to my little friend :)))
People here keep pointing out that Jackson looks more like me than Emma! I love it!!! That has God's humor, beauty, mystery written all over it :)
Hope is to trust that life is more than the struggle & temporal. That the way things are isn't the way it always will be. To believe in a world beyond what my eyes can see. Like a tree becoming from a field of ashes. A whisper rising within the noise. Rumors of water becoming wine, wonders of the oppressed and oppressor set free. When wars, avarice, injustice shudders at the precipice of a promise perceived. An age dawning on the night, closing the gap between the world we know and the world we want
Since I was a kid, I've kept the faith like breath in my lungs. If family, identity, eternity is the journey, then faith is surely the compass that leads us. But after all these years, I wonder if I still don't get it. Because I've bought into the doctrine (even in Christianity) of the vending machine version of faith. Cause and effect. Action and reaction. In exchange for a token, we get what we want. In exchange for our prayers, Heaven dispenses answers. When the praises go up the blessings come down
Yet Scripture defines faith as the substance of our hope, the conviction of a reality we *don't* have as though we did. And interestingly, the same part of Scripture mentions (not once, twice!) that none of the fathers of faith received what was promised. Wait, what? It doesn't all work out well? This changes the whole calculus
Now, I don't mean to deduce my theology to make the goodness of God less than. But I want to embrace the mystery in His sovereignty. That unlike a math equation, it doesn't all add up!! It's far more beautiful than logic and arithmetic. It's more about the search than certitude. Maybe faith has nothing to do with easy and everything about being free. Maybe faith has nothing to do with blessing and everything about suffering & those who suffer. Maybe faith has nothing to do with getting what we want and everything to do with wanting what we've already got, *whom* we've already got
As a family, our life is surrounded with a lot of heavy and we admittedly haven't done well to choose joy. When hunger, hardship, sickness, loneliness is synonymous to our day to day, it feels like we walk a thin line between misery and solidarity. Sometimes we eat less than we should, we play less than we could, we laugh less than we would. But maybe I've got it wrong more than I've got it right?
I want to mourn with those who mourn, without losing the smile within. I want to rejoice with those who rejoice, without forgetting those that cry. I want to be held by something on the inside, that doesn't depend on what's got a hold on me. (This photo was actually taken after malaria & severe illness in the family). For the first time as a father & husband, I'm asking God to help me be fun!!! ☺️ I feel like I used to be but the suffering I've seen has changed me
Praying now that joy would be our strength, that we'd count it all as joy, and face each day for the joy set before us
asked her to smile, and this was her face!! I love this photo, even with the bruises because it's tells a real tale... wild & free, learning & falling. If there was a girl Mowgli coming from sub-saharan Africa, she is it!! 😂 So thankful for our Gracie
It feels like this journey has always been about descent. Lower, simpler, poorer. Maybe that's not very inspiring, maybe that just sounds folly... especially in this epoch when image is everything and "making it" is taking the toll-route to the top. 
But this season reminds me again of descent in the first Advent; how the Infinite chose to come in the form of a baby, as quiet as a whisper and as simple as moonlight.
Here in a place surrounded with suffering, I'm reminded again of the descending, in living simply, humbly, namelessly. Because the proximity to pain keeps us close to our community and to God
There's something so wrong about burying a child. We've seen the grave swallow so many lives... yet, at this funeral more than ever before, we felt held by a hope that even death couldn't touch. My faith is stirred up each time we lower a body into the ground... that we'd be interrupted by a knock from the casket, that we'd see breath come back to dry bones, that we'd behold the resurrection here and now. 
Even when our prayer is answered on an eternal sense, even if our love causes us to lament, even when we say from dust to dust, we are moving from faith to faith- because the stone has been rolled away and death itself was swallowed in victory