Today, I learned that my grandfather (he's actually the brother-in-law of my maternal grandmother, but like I said we're close knit, so we grew up with him) has also passed away.
Those are my personal tests, but even my work hasn't been spared from challenges. For several months now, I've been struggling with a 70% drop in sales, and it's something that other and even hugely popular authors are experiencing. I believe a lot of things contributes to this, but in the end I also know there's no point blaming anything or anyone for this. It is what it is, and I need to figure out a way to make it work. However, even knowing this, it hasn't stopped me from doubting myself and my "right" to continue doing what I love. It hasn't stopped me from feeling hopeless and afraid. What do I do if I can no longer "afford" to continue writing?
AND THEN THERE'S THE WORLD.
Can you imagine how it feels to be born in Syria? It's like waking up every morning, knowing it can be your last, and feel this crippling helplessness because you know there's nothing you can do. You're powerless, no matter what.
Let's think about that.
Honestly, when I think about that, I feel ashamed for worrying over the little things. I feel like I should cry with joy instead, knowing that at least for now - despite the simmering tension between China and the Philippines - I live in a place that's safe from war.
NOW, MY EPIPHANY.
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[a] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[b] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more.What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
Abraham interceding on behalf of the people of Sodom, and God listening to him <--- this is why there's power in praying for other people. It's why, in spite of how seemingly hopeless the world is, with what's happening in Syria and everywhere else, there's still hope. It's why each and every one of us has the power to fix things. I'm not saying that we can just rely on prayer alone. Of course not. But neither should you allow yourself to believe that you are powerless. You are not. We are not. There's power in prayer, so pray for yourself, and don't feel ashamed to ask other people to pray for you and your loved ones.
If you have no one to pray for you, you can always ask your local pastor or priest to do this. Find a local church to join. You can also search online for prayer chain websites. I use this myself, and I sincerely believe it's one of the reasons why I am blessed with what I have.
I know this is totally out of the blue, but I also thought this was such an important epiphany I feel I should share it with all of you. I'll keep you guys in my prayers, and if you can, please keep me in your prayers, too. Let's pray for the world. Let's pray for all of us.
Because there's still hope.