Jobin Sam

Jobin Sam Follow

losing my life to find what cannot be lost

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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
I love that Christ doesn't have any lawyers or publicists - only witnesses. (If only we could say the same of Christianity). Consider the gravity and incongruity between these words Christ, Christian and Christianity. Even without any commentary, you and I are thinking the same thing! And I'm certain, the same sentiment is shared across Buddhists to atheists, from grade-schoolers to their grandmothers. But I've been arrested by the the word "witness" lately. I don't remember Christ using any nouns to name His disciples, followers and friends other than "witnesses". In a world frayed with pain and entropy, it's baffling that we get to bear witness to evidence of His reality, (for those who have eyes to see). The scars, the laughs, the heaviness, the hope, all predicate the whisper of a world beyond what my eyes can see and the God who dwells in our midst
Four skin tones, four heartbeats, four personalities, but one Love that binds us as family :))))
This is a time when the world needs more prophets and poets; to feel the breath of God and the sigh of humanity, to show us who we are and who we should be. We need more drawings in the sand, to be known for love and mystery. We need more of the child in us, to kneel in meekness and unity
There are some mornings that only appear after the fog, there are some songs that only come through suffering, there are some tears which only fall from laughing, there are some questions only understood through surrender, there are some miracles which only appear inside the fire. The older I get, I'm learning to be more malleable than cynical of these reminders. I'm learning that it's more than just seeing everything through God, but also seeing God in everything. There is a love that is more powerful than the sun and there is a hope that is nearer than the night. Even if darkness and suffering covers us till morning comes, we are all moving closer to a dawn that's already come
How is it that we know the cry of our own children from every other cry.  Parents who have more than one child, you know exactly what I mean. How amazing is it that crying is communicating? That a sound so generic like a groan - sometimes guttural, sometimes nasal, without words, melody or rhythm - still be so familiar to us, be recognized from all the other cries that we hear and carry so much meaning. 
Then there's my picture of the ultimate parent, the Father of all, who hears every cry from the beginning to the end of time and knows when it's you & me. That thought alone makes me cry! :)) Maybe you can tell that we have been full of tears lately- please keep us in your prayers, especially over little Emma's health
Until recently I thought I understood love that's unconditional. How I wonder, God must look and smile at it all... I don't think He's the "I told you so" type. I don't think He plays the "you're too young to understand" card. (As a father, I've fallen terribly short in how many times my response has been the opposite of what I believe God to be). Maybe how God comes to us is more like how the dawn meets the horizon; morning doesn't arrive violently but by bleeding light till darkness becomes daybreak. Like how the ocean meets the shore; that something so vast humbles itself to be contained by the smallest of things- grains of sand. Like the rainbow after the storm; how the very air that screamed with wind & water glows over the sky when the sun shines through. I thought I knew love, but if it comes so easily, freely, naturally, maybe it has more to do with me and less of God. As I cradle my son who doesn't share my biology, I think he's giving me a better understanding of agape, Calvary, a love that's not of me
Dear friends, we are humbled & excited to share that after years of praying & waiting, God has added to our family! As I write this we have two toddlers lying between us in bed :))) Meet our new 3 year old boy- Jackson. Even though he has gone through so much heartbreak with death & abandonment in his birth family, we are so thankful that God would bind us to be his parents and keep covenant between us over his forever. Please pray for us over his mind (for emotional healing) & body (he has a serious but treatable sickness), that grace would redeem all the time that has been lost, and bond us together in unconditional love
I've never prayed that my child would be a 'world changer'. It's not that I'm against it- I think it's beautiful to see that kind of promise & possibility in a life, as we should. But at a time when the expectation of grandeur is engrained like grammar, 'making a difference' isn't my parenting prerogative- as much as loving those who are different. No, my prayer isn't that my child would change the world... but that I would know humility and the ones in disguise changing me