I have to die
I need to die
It is vital
For the sake of goodness
For the sake of joy
For freedom’s sake.

This death is a choice
A personal one
The understanding of its essence is uncommon
This death is a cookie-cutter needed for all humankind
It is the death for love

To my neighbor, I have to love
But I need a ruler
To measure how deep
How wide
Because when I do it my way,
I am a stone throw away from being stupid

The groovy in-love-feeling
Butterflies rapidly multiplying in their intestinal functions
The necessary but obvious cloudy vision of the one in love
This is only a prelude, far from the entirety of love.

But how do we love when the butterflies are dead and buried in the soils of our hearts?
How do we love when the strongest strides strike our homes and our spouses are in their lowest?
How do we love when our neighbors on the streets scorn us
When our neighbors at work display excellent skills in hatred
When our neighbors on the train show dexterity in cussing at us
When our neighbors at the stores certify that they are PhD holding professors at the Rude-College

We could pray
Thy will be done
As is it in Heaven
Your will of perfect love
The way love is practiced in heaven
We never hear voices throwing tantrums in the third heavens
That is the love we seek
When we pray “heaven on earth”,
We are asking for your template of love
Your A, B, C, D of love
Wikileak it into our desperate hearts
A step-by-step tutoring on How-To love

I have to die daily
Yesterday’s death does not satisfy today’s needs and circumstances
Today is a unique replication of itself
Today has never existed before
Today makes history for being itself
So today’s death is its own history
The sun does not reincarnate its yesterday’s rays for today
It offers the face of the earth newness of light diurnally
So the death of today is peculiar to today alone

Therefore we desire an alarm
May the daily “time-to-die” prompter be engraved on the walls of our heart
Or set these prompters in our friends
That it pops up, alerting our flesh to kill itself
So that the purest image of love be reflected on our faces
This is what Paul meant when he requested that we “wear” Christ “daily”
A verb it is
A doing word
An action word
The wearing of Jesus Christ

God is good
Goodness is what he does
It is nature to Him
In His goodness, He has requested that we die
It is the removal of me from me
Beating off self from me
Because I am a heavy load on myself
He tries to ease me of me
The lighter my load from me, the more joyful and relevant I become

Knives and machetes are extremely blunt in actualizing this vision
Guns are dysfunctional here
I found an antique perfect for this daily session
It is sharper than two-edged swords
A library of 66 books it is
It is a go-to resource
The scriptures they call it
It is a guide to love
Because it introduces us the perfect image of love – God on the Cross – Jesus Christ

So…
To die to self is to defeat the everyday persistent impulse of ego in a person
It is the daily garrisoning of our hearts with the Spirit that enabled Him from the tomb
And putting on the pristine saliva from the mouth of Christ famously known to open our blind eyes to see things His way
It is the art of reaching for the hem of His garment to extract inexhaustible grace
To make room for offenses, – for love’s sake [Eph. 4:2]
It is in climbing up the trees to see Jesus knowing that we are short – short of life – and we need Him to call us to His death, so that we can rise with him – to live eternal lives – eternal life that commences here on earth

How beautiful this death is
We have never been this excited about death
We will cry in this killing
It will be unbearably itchy
We will seek our old lives back
The pain will be agonizing
We will ask that this cup of suffering be taken away from us
We will consider negotiating with Judas – trying to convince him that 30 shekels is not worth it – offering him a hundred in lieu– that we may avoid this suffering

But then, Love is even more evident when Judas is successful
Love can only prevail only when the cross is carried to the hills of Calvary
Love can only be fulfilled when the creature conceives in his and her heart that somehow they have the power to take the life of God
…. And somehow they did it – they killed Him
But they didn’t really…
Because it wasn’t them
It was LOVE
My friend reminds me that – LOVE TOOK THE LIFE OF GOD.
An effort that in the tearing apart of the curtain of the Holy of Holies, the Trinity was torn.
The Father turned His back
The Son of God was Slain
Bearing my vile
Pleading guilty to my evil
“Go and sin no more”
One of the most powerful statements heard by the ears hanging on the face of the earth
Because of Me
Because of You

Father, you introduced love
Somehow you linked it to death
To show that your understanding is absolutely infinite [Ps. 147:5]
And your knowledge is deeper than the oceans combined
To prove that your ways are not like ours
So when I think I love, I trace my steps on the road to Calvary
There I may sit with your weeping mother, the trembling soldiers and the dark clouds gazing on the perfect template of love
For we murdered love in cold blood
But love did come alive as a result
And it lives forevermore
In this killing love everlasting protruded
So when I look at the scars I gave you, I have a glimpse of what my neighbor may do to me.

When Paul writes to the Philippians saying “having this same mind, this same love” (2:2)
He was asking that we vaccinate ourselves with the Vaccine – the love of Christ – against the virus, our sinful human nature
Let this be our indulgence.

~Favour Oluchi Emeakama~
~Written – July 20, 2016~

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