Thứ Ba , 7 Tháng Hai 2023
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FATHER IS FOREVER

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Thousands and thousands of years ago, the night didn’t yet exist and the stars in the sky were not yet as numerous as sand in the sea. Father was not of the day or the night, nor of time. Father did not have a beginning because He is the beginning. Thousands and thousands of years ago, when the blue oceans and the mountains were not formed yet, and the trees of life were not planted everywhere on the planet, Father was here, as He always will be. Father does not have life because He is life. Thousands and thousands of years ago, the sky and the earth melted together in a vast blue, the first sunshine parted the leaves, each dewdrop settled on a budding flower. Father is present at all four corners of the world, Father is at the bottom of the sea, Father is on the highest mountains. Father exists from the East to the West, the North to the South. Father is everywhere.

Father brings me into this world with a body solid, strong, and well formed, bearing the name of man. I do not have a mother because Father is Mother, Mother is Father. I belong to Father. Father does not nourish me with milk, but with gently flowing rivers, with fresh flowers and fruits fragrant and sweet. I look like Father. I am made in Father’s image. Father gives me a clear conscience, a loving heart, bright eyes. Father is high and precious and beautiful, most beautiful.

Father brings me into a luscious garden full of comforts for my life. I bathe in the cool rivers, swim to my heart’s desire with the schools of fish, jump high and then dive deep. I drink the sweet water, which fills up my soul, and gathers each bird into me, lift it up, and let it go with my hands so that the bird will fly away. I want to fly, fly with the bird, fly into nature and sing. I run with the ostriches across the cliffs of stone. I hug the white baby rabbits, caress the soft fur of lions and bears…ride on the camels’ backs all over the garden… Flowers of thousands of colors and species bring priceless beauty to Father’s garden. Each variety has a different shape, color, and fragrance. Each flower so soft, silky, velvety that it makes my soul fly high. Holding it delicately in my hand, lifting it to my nose, closing my eyes for a while, taking its perfume into the depth of me. Oh fragrance, oh pleasure!

When I am hungry, Father gives me all kinds of fresh fruits and flowers sweet and sour, full of delicious taste. I am happy as if lost in paradise. This is paradise! This whole beautiful world, Father, you give me, but no, everything is mine, a priceless gift. I am small in the vast garden. Father loves me, values me. I am proud to be Father’s child. This rich heritage Father saves for me. Father gives me intelligence so that I can name all the animals. Father is wise, clever.

The night comes. Father comes to the garden to look for me, look for His beloved son. Then Father and son share events and stories. Father loves me, I love Him. The love between Father and son is like maternal love; nothing can separate us. One day, I have a strange thought. I wonder, why do birds and sheep have flocks, fish have each other…but I am lost in this vast garden. Why isn’t there anyone like me in this big garden? Father, I am so lonely. When the moon is high and the stars shine in the sky, I bring that thought to Father and I put my head on the rock to sleep in peace. In the night, Father comes by me quietly, puts me to sleep. Father takes my rib and makes a woman. When I wake up, in front of me is an angel with black hair and brown eyes looking at me tenderly. Then her eyes are filled with light and send me warm love. You are mine, I am yours. Father tells me to keep her all my life to enjoy happiness in full. The first love of humanity.

Father tells me to do one thing, not two or three. He tells me never to touch or taste the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Death will follow in an instant if you eat it, He says. Happiness comes to me in the batting of an eye. Rejoicing with my beloved wife, I forget Father’s warning. I forget obedience. I make a mistake: I errand eat the forbidden fruit. Father, I am so scared that I hide from You.

As usual, Father comes in the garden to look for me this afternoon. This time when I hear Father’s call, I dare not answer.

“Adam, where are you? This heavenly garden is devoid of your presence!

Adam, where are you? Why is your voice missing today?

Adam, my beloved son, where are you? Do you hear my painful call?

What is separating you from my infinite love?

Adam, do you know that I love you so much?

My love was so great when I created you.

My love in this vast universe is destined for you.

My Adam, why do you hide from me?

My Adam, do you know that I love you more than anything?”

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Father! Father! I am here. Your voice calling me is as loving as on any other day. Your voice fills my heart. But now I do not deserve Your love. My heart hurts as if someone punched me right in my chest.

Father, sin has severed my love from You, severed our intimate relationship. Father, this innocent soul is soiled. I died, I really died! You are so pure, how can I come close to you? I must go far, far away from this garden to make a new life. Your love is still encompassing, You do not change.

Father loves me and takes animal furs to make clothes for me and my wife. These clothes come with me, so I know Father is still with me. My clothes protect me every time winter comes. I part with Father in tears. Walking far away, I look back from time to time to see Father’s eyes always tender and loving. I hold my hands out. I wish they would be vines climbing up that huge tree in order to hold Your hands tight.

One afternoon, Father asks the disciples to cross the lake and wait for Him. The boat is in the middle of the lake in the dark. In the night, Father appears His robe a pure white, His bare feet gliding on the water towards the disciples, who mistake Him for a ghost. Father reassures them at once. It’s me, so do not be afraid. Seeing Him clearly, one disciple yells joyfully, “If possible, please allow me to glide on the water too.”  Father says, Dear beloved, come. His heart filled with faith, the disciple walks with confidence. After a while, wind and waves come quickly at him, and he sinks. Father immediately holds his hands and lifts him up. Father! My faith is still weak, so I fall easily. You are always at my side to lift me up and protect me.

On a certain day, Father and the twelve disciples are on the boat, wandering on the open sea. All of a sudden, dark clouds arrive and cover the whole sky in a darkness like black ink. At first, the wind blows gently, then grows stronger. The rain pours down in buckets followed by frightening thunders. Big waves toss the boat around, and water pours in. The men use all their strength to struggle against the storm, but to no avail. Father continues to sleep peacefully in spite of the waves and the wind. One disciple runs and wakes Him up. “Father! Wake up fast; otherwise, we’ll all be dead. Wake up!” Father’s eyes open, and He says calmly, My children, you have such little faith! Father gets up at once, lifts His head, raises His hands straight up to the sky. His voice full of strength, He says, Lightning and thunder, stop! Waves and the wind, stop! How strange: as soon as His words are said, the rain slowly stops, the dark clouds disappear, the sea grows quiet, the small boat is calm. All fears are gone. The clear blue sky appears, and the sun shines into my soul and warms me up. Father’s words have strength. When Father commands, all must bend their knees and obey. Nature belongs to Father: He creates nature.

During the storms of life, I always see Father at my side. I call Father, and He comes by me. He pulls me out of waves and the wind too big for me. A few times, Father gives me extraordinary strength above every understanding, and then I fly high with Father, higher than the mountaintops. This one time I stand on a big rock like a small bird singing in the rain. And in spite of the waves rocking, I sing a song to Father that rises above all sounds in nature. Father gives my soul a peace unknown to man. All darkness recedes, and after the rain, the sky is bright again. The sun shines into my soul. Father, You are everything in my life. Father, the only One I need.

Father’s age is more than thousands and thousands of years. Father is alpha and omega; Father never diminishes, never fades away; Father exists forever. I am now old, my strength is waning, and I will return to dust. My heart hurts in spasms, whether in joy or sadness, work or leisure. The doctor tells me to take medicine every day to decrease the spasms. Do I rely on the doctor or on Father? My Father, Your heart is crushed, and Your heart bleeds on the tall hill in the breeze. Looking at Father, I feel my heart breaking into pieces. Every spasm of mine is a pain of Yours. Because of me, You were bruised, beaten, dragged. All that I suffer, You bear in Your battered body. Your blood, the sacred blood touches my heart. It changes me, and a new life begins. Father! I am cured, I am cured of my illness!

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Father! Do I come back to You in this instant or wait for Your return? I want to see the earth of thousands and thousands of years ago. I want to come back to You in Your house. Father, You will be in front of the gate, welcoming me, and reading my beloved name. You will gather me into Your arms, and keep me forever at Your side. If You do not allow this yet, I will prepare myself and stand watch to wait, wait until You come back to get me. That glorious day is very near. I will then fly, fly into eternity in the white garment that You put on me. I will dwell in heaven to praise and serve You.

 

 

THI THIEN   

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