Category: Testimony


“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

Romans 8:5-8 (NIV).

Being Set Free

by Gerald T. Ching

FIRE: In fear, anger, sadness and rebellion my soul whimpered, screamed and cried out while surrendering to God. Through the constant filling of His Holy Spirit and the unending lavishing of His grace, I am learning to let go of my addictions.

[origins: the battle begins]

1.         Across the land, powerful ebony monoliths jut from the charred surface of this existence. A new star, a glimmering beacon melts into the rising sun. Anxiously chattering, nervously hacking at possibility, freedom seekers ascending from the pit, bitterly deliberate. They claw at their lethargic minds, sharpening that which has been dormant since the fall of Man. Their shadows drag like bags of bricks. Heaping in disarray, building a feeble, flimsy, and false foundation in hopeless uncertainty from a corrupted and demented generation, depositing and withdrawing emotional guilt-ridden baggage in hopes of a cash advance: $$$. Anxiety burns through their cables of liquid life.

2.         Born unto this plane of existence unasked, brought into life unannounced, I blindly live in this world while manipulating my way through a fallen creation. Down in this deep tunnel of endless darkness, I sit and ponder this barbaric world, the bottomless pit of despair that is my life. In a vicious cycle my pain recycles itself, binding me to this world of addiction. Yearning for the release from this prison, I am forever damned to want what I cannot have. Stifled and bound, I am manacled to the rigid board of longing. I am ashen and deadened, like a still life awaiting the life giving touch of an Artist. The curse of Adam, the first fallen man, in him our burdens rested, and in him our dreams failed. Taking responsibility for sin and receiving forgiveness is an ongoing contingency that has survived since the beginning. The jealousy of Cain brought murder into the world, and through him the line of hope ended in destruction. Beginning with Seth who replaced Abel, men began to call on the name of the Lord, and the line of God’s faithful people began again.

3.         Your peaceful Spirit shields me, guarding me from lusting bitter hearts that fiend for power, seeking to be gods. Your gentle reassuring whispers speak of another life, one without pain, one full of peace, one that I long to know. Together we walk through this debilitating existence with You whispering guiding truths to me, easing this burden of being lost and broken.

            Clutching a pristine pellucid orb to my chest in which lays the hope of an all-consuming fire of forgiveness. Swirling love streams through the depths of this forgiveness, combining the many layers that compose its symphony. In triumphant crescendos, climactic waves rattle the chamber, threatening to burst the protective bubble. Shadowy haunts scatter; dark and grimy their vigor dissipates in the spin cycle of this cleansing. Drowning in this whirlpool, I spiral down bleached white as the plugs get pulled, draining me into oblivion.

4.         Awakened by a distant light, my outstretching arms and arched back reach ever outward, with muscles straining like a rubber band on the verge of busting. Who’s there? Encompassed by a brilliant light a slight silhouette emerges emitting a radiant glow, like clashing radioactivity throbbing towards destruction. Will you hold me? Red-hot steel pins travel through every pore, a scorching sensation much like the piercing rituals that fill my days, converge at my beating core, my blacken core of life, sending tremors through my cables of liquid life. Will my mind finally rest? Stripped of my flesh, the ever-brightening light engulfs me in a sea of serenity smoothing my being like a sheet of dry ice that burns like fire. Take me, take me over the edge. The light wavers like the belly of a laughing man, the heat intensifies, and my light fades. Where am I? Who are you? What have I done? Wracked in turmoil, wringing my hands numb, shivering in the coldness that doubt brings, I start walking.

[first strike: the enemy attacks]

5.         The hate monger that runs with abandon through my broken spirit shakes the foundations with his ridiculing maniacal laughter, plummets me down even further into a cocoon of seclusion. I crawl back behind the wall that divides us, hesitant to peer over the ledge again. This debilitating struggle hinders my walk, sending me crying like a newborn hungry for its mother’s breast.

6.         Listen to my heart that screams with sincerity, accept my apology for the length of my exile; forgive my indifference to the longing I feel for You. Stitch my torn spirit with healing threads from Your heart. Pull me into a warm embrace and hold me longer than I am able, hold me for as long as You are able.

7.         A sudden movement awakens my senses bringing forth the blinding stark reality of life. What is to become of me? Powerful forces working overtime to save the undeserving, resort to tactical maneuvers heard of only in antiquity. Something thought lost is regained, and something gained is lost again. Bombarded by the lingering words from the Holy Spirit, my present state of affairs stands in the mists of limbo. Like the riddle of the sphinx, the convicting nature of the message strikes confusion to my heart and mind. Young and restless with the knowledge of a predestined future haunting me, my actions reflect the carelessness of youth. Mature in the ways of the world, street-smart senses hinder the growing inner child of my soulful spiritual new self; the steadfast words from the transcendental Spirit forever echo in the back of my befuddled mind.

             The deciphering of the riddle becomes an all-consuming task. Little by little the puzzling brain teaser starts to unfold, my feeble mind trying desperately to grasp the gist of the clues. Drained and at my wits end, the words still a riddle, a voice speaks in quiet tones with authority, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

[battlefield: between two worlds]

8.         Rubbing shoulders amongst the thronging masses and feeling a subtly twisted sense of love and affection that comes from being in close proximity to others pulls the puppet strings that dangle from my troubled heart. This sensation brings me back to the days of innocence when life was truly joyous and I saw beauty abounding in all things. I am reminded of when I felt the feeling of oneness without knowing anything less and the feeling of trueness without knowing anything more, when I knew what it was to be at peace. This feeling of serene tranquility that was a gift to me has been lost while I journeyed along my impersonal walk through life, caught up in the excitement of life that speeds by at a blinding pace. Sometimes, in quiet moments, when my subconscious gives my consciousness time to sit up and listen, I can almost feel that kind Hand that gently pushes us all onto the road to enlightenment.

9.         With a quickness I falter upon this rocky ground, inspiration is lost to the thief in the night. I trudge knee-deep through sand and soil, my momentum slowing as I slither like a serpent through this muck and mire. Surrounded by alluring curiosities, sold into slavery, helplessly I am chained in bondage, addicted. I have been reduced to a loaf of bread and set out for market. I am bound in a constant state of emergency which leaves me in a condition of sleeplessness forever searching for the magical formula that will cure me of this sickness. Shout to me so even a deaf man will hear. Show me again and again so even a blind man can find his way. Let me feel Your Presence so I will doubt no longer, for doubt brings out the hatefulness of my loneliness.

10.       Striving for greatness in an evolving world, I stand frozen in the landscape staring at all the evils of a fallen human race. Travelers from near and far stand amongst the ruins of a declining civilization, hounded by their many skeletons that whisper of guilt and despair. Harnessing and hindering all in the same instant, stopping me cold in my tracks, my own demons tempt and tease my trivial existence.

              In this world of regrets, I am bound to chains of self-pity and greed. Circling like a hungry caged lion awaiting its next meal, this insatiable burning passion for more incinerates the already addictive nature of my soul. Wandering the streets of this decaying world longing for fulfillment, searching for the answers to the mysteries of life, my mind convulses, like an epileptic caught in a stroboscope, each thought flashes in stark skeletal contrast laying bare the sinfulness of my heart. The hustle and bustle of these thoughts cloud the images of a hopeful future.

              Music plays on in the distance, the band unknown yet familiar, melodic melodies dance and sway through the towering concrete jungle of my mind. The voice of the crooner jumps from the rooftops with his intense ramblings, striking the pavement deep within my heart. His words caress the deep wounds that feverishly fester, exacerbating the ache that slices through the rippling waves of my soul. With wicked thoughts pumping through my mind and this deep seeded loneliness bubbling in my soul, ugly after ugly lie engraves itself upon my heart, this relentlessness never ceasing, this battle ever raging.

             Standing naked with selfishness still polluting my veins black as mud. Prideful actions choke the arteries so vital to life, cluttering my heavily bound heart. My worldly ways hinder my growth but still You hold on. You cling jealously to nothing but me. Out chasing my own self for the prize of life; running the mile in four minutes flat, broken and beaten, picked-up and pounded, sold and forgotten, hung out to dry. Dry desert heat blasts erupt from the furnace of life, corroding layers of needfulness. Propped up before an onslaught of eyes, I am exposed, a conflicted man; first out of the gate, but not willing to commit.

11.                   Searching for relief –

                                    a release from this prison,

                                    fleshy hands grope

                        with minds of their own.

                        Strength is exhausted

                                    seeping away quickly,

                                    a shivering quivering corner

                                    calling me closer.

                        Burdened with sin –

                                    temptation bound,

                                    leather straps tightening

                        hung upside down.

                        Searching through riddles,

                                    lost not yet found,

                                    cultivating sorrow

                        with a broken down plow.

                        Surrounded by barb,

                                    thorn and bristle,

                                    tender skin prickled

                        thistle after thistle.

                        Plucking and pulling

                                    at overgrown weeds

                                    clearing the way

                        for a new crop of seeds.

                        The refreshing sound of trumpets

                                    resounds in the mind,

                                    quieting the battle

                        that rages unkind.

                        Peace is restored

                                    as darkness flickers away.

                                    A daily ritual,

                        the gift of being saved.

12.       Sitting and pondering my life with victories beginning to finally outshine my downfalls, life paces on with time ever constant. Idly flipping through the pages of memory, flickering images of days long gone cloud the eyes of my weary soul. A lifetime seems to have come and gone with unspoken bonds made to violating acts committed. I’m tired, so very tired. What is there left to see? What is there left to do?

              In wonder, I sit contemplating this dilemma toiling over my life. Sitting by myself, licking my wounds for past indiscretions, wallowing in the mists of self-pity, I ponder the life of others and wonder of their past indiscretions. Do they wallow as I in self-pity? Feverishly I search for answers to it all. Anxiously I ponder what is to become, pressure-cooking my exhausted brain; soup for lunch, which is my liquefied mind.

[revolution: waking the dead]

13.       Brooding over this unforgiving life, juggling all that I’ve learned with all I’ve been told, I realize that all this is just temporary. Having to justify everything just to get through this life means I’m living a life of lies, a life in perversion. In the end, all that I’ll have to show is a black heart and a rotting soul; ring, ring, ring, the bell tolls. Deeply resounding, this ringing rattles my spine splintering fragments of weary bone. Angry booming voices shatter my will to live. Poisonous smoke billows throughout my veins, darkening the light within my heart. In a crumpled mess I crash to a halt with guttering muttering filling the room resounding, mumbling sweet nothings to a body decayed. Spinning round for hours, blankly I stare, slowly sinking into a pit of despair.

14.       Shattered windows cloud my vision; shards of glass protrude from my fatigued feet from trampling upon my own brokenness. I stumble past a leering and jeering crowd, ashamed and guilt-ridden. I trip over myself, sending my spirit reeling. I turn back to see myself frightened and confused. Growls and roars deafen my ears; I falter, falling to a knee. Swaying in the coldness, my life starts to fade, sweet oblivion rising before my very eyes. The crowd begins to disappear taking all of this away, leaving me spent and shivering in space.

15.       Waking to the screaming silence, the deafening sonic boom shatters my eardrums. The madness begins and the light fades. Huddling within myself to stop the cold, soulless eyes pierce my mind, bringing me ever so closer to the edge. A sound, just a sound – to break this ear piercing silence; seconds tick silently on; minutes tick ever so slower. Is this Heaven? Is this Eternity? Is this tranquility? Is this serenity? A sound, just a sound – to end this madness; I wish I could scream, even just whimper. I long to hear even the endless echo of a dripping faucet. Reaching rotting hands climb deeper into my soul scorching my will, dimming the light. A sound, just a sound – a sound, just one sound…

              Chaos erupts, the answer to prayer or the lie of the eavesdropper? Boxing round and round again, slammed to the mat again and again, dark ribbons encircle the windows of my face. Caught in the grips of envy, locked-down in jealous rage while wicked thoughts run hateful and cruel with free-for-all fists flying with blind abandoned shame; I am lost amongst myself waning for Truth. I stagger for stability, only to crash to the mat again. Sapped of all strength, weakened to my knees, grasping for scales to balance this bout, the promise of salvation comes with the ringing of the bell. The fighting ceases for a time.

[solace: breakthrough]

16.       Green is the color that fills my heart, clouded as I look with sinful eyes. Salivating they drool with tears full of lust and greed, coveting everything in sight. Blue is the color that fills my spirit, in sadness paddling further out to sea, hopelessly losing strength, down-trodden, beaten and battered, drowning in sorrow and guilt. Black is the color of my soul, the many layered depths charred by sinfulness. Hand fed by my own flesh, in a putrid stench it lays in self-pity. This darkness oozes through the pores of my face with poisonous thoughts clouding my judgments of the day. Pain surrounds my spirit, bruising it a purplish-black, threatening to forever taint me with this stigmata.

             A shower of soft delicate rain beats down upon my skin, soothing the bruising, alleviating the malignancy. Children run playfully through these April showers, laughing with unashamed abandon. Their honesty shines through like beacons of light. Oh to have faith like a child, inspiration to us all. Lightning strikes to the core of my being, jumbling my thoughts, shocking them into submission. Sunshine breaks through these dark clouds lifting the burdens of this everyday life, warming my soul and refreshing my skin, coloring me in earthy tones.

17.       Listening to the bombarding voices that ricochet off the walls of my mind, I bounce around the inner sanctuary of my soul shouting at the top of my lungs with tears in my eyes, “Why?” With the echoing of my own voice drifting to silence, Your sympathetic peaceful groaning touches my heart in gentle caresses, filling it with love and joy, warming the core with an engaging fire, melting its frosty covering.

             Peacefully Your kindness gently arrives on pillow soft breezes that blow by the closed shutters of my turned down house. Longing for entry, the gentle rapping stirs the Keeper of this heart. Stretching from his devotional position, fanning at the thick hazy smoke of remembrance, the shell of a lost love lays lifeless on the floor, yearning to be resurrected. Striding to the closed shutters, He unlocks the latches throwing open the windows to this heart. A patient love comes fluttering in breathing life back into the deadness. Warm rays flood the many rooms with joy and understanding, lighting the house with unfailing love. Deep in my heart, the found never lost Keeper is busy with preparations for an eternal destiny.

[confusion: the metamorphosis]

18.       Pouring my heart out to the world, hoping the words fill the minds of all with songs of encouragement and inspiration, I ramble on with fervor, yet am bound to walk life as a recluse. In seclusion, addicted to distraction, my lonely soul is set apart from the gathering by sin, lost in self-pity.

            Television waves radiating the latest in all things indulgent microwave and tenderize my brain, whipping it into a mushy conglomerate, my temporary placebo to this terminal sickness. Programmed and then reprogrammed, my heart gets laminated with a glossy finish, sealing in the stench that steams off of it. Slick, shiny and pleasing to the eye, my heart now hangs prettily for all to see in a noose from around my neck.

             My heart seeks a peace that never comes, for my mind battles for control every second of my life. Heart felt sighs make my mind rage evermore for that control, never relinquishing the battle, for the heart is weak and the mind is strong. But in truth, the reality of it all makes my heart cry which sends my mind reeling, running for cover into the folds of solitude. The peace I have lies in solitude, which is also my pain. The fear of belonging is the source of this pain. My sanity hangs on the threads of a soon to be lost button.

19.       Bound within my heart lie the tools for destruction, and the thirst for power is still fresh upon my blackened soul. Racing through life like a junkie hell bent for a fix, I gamble my soul in disregard to my conscience. Dark shadows haunt my mind, antagonizing my existence as Angels of Light battle on my behalf. Spinning out of control, swirling to dark depths, I am surrounded by hate and guilt. Riding through this storm of a life, You rip through the very fabric of my existence. Lightning strikes; I cower. Thunder peels; I shiver. Hail rains down upon me weakening my will, breaking me down to the very simplicity of my being.

20.       A spark flickers in a breath bringing forth the stark realities of Truth. Not just the bewildering but the mortifying awakenings caught only in glimpses stroke the deep ache that incinerates barriers and knows no bounds. Traveling through shafts and plummeting down crevices, it scorches a path that shatters my will exposing its core blackened by sin. Swimming through the depths of the whirlpools in my mind brings me closer to the source of this recurring torment that haunts like a poltergeist. Hanging in a closet, my maggot-ridden flesh is stripped exposing sinew, tendon and bare bone. The splintering of ivory and the milking of marrow bleed the soul of all its dark forces that welcomes with open arms this warm soft pumping sensation. I am covered in Your grace as I stand refreshed. A new horizon fills my vision with the shedding of this worldly skin.

21.       Quietly a reassuring Voice begins to gently nibble at my ears, easing the burdens that weigh heavy in my heart. With Your encouraging loving Word You minister and nurture my flagrant spirit, helping me to curb my maturing appetite. Pulsating surges full of excitement tempt and tantalize the longing that resides deep within my soul, threatening to interrupt this flow of Righteousness, Your gift to me that draws me out of the depths of darkness.

[renewal: the faithfulness of Love]

22.       In reminiscence, the days of my youth roll on by in thick dark billowing clouds, threatening to cast their impending doom upon my present state of mind. Deep pondering and long meditative sessions of quietness are my only times of peace; then I am thrown back into the throng of things.

23.       Down pouring rain falls in inundating sheets upon the vaporous streets of an evolving world, the hustle and bustle of competitiveness stifling necessary spiritual growth. The Gospel of Peace looms in the air threatening the existence of the frantic daily routine. Mad commotion erupts into panic as the words hit home.

             Fleeing for my life, I run back to You. Balking and faltering upon the last steps, I crawl the last part of the way, I rise to my knees. In the throngs of this awakening, seething lies crackle the air. Acerbic and piercing, the words spear my spirit, leaving gaping holes that long to be filled whole. Slowly they seep. Attacked from all angles, I am beaten. Hold me with Your steel grip, never releasing me from the safe haven of Your breast. Fiery missiles sizzle on impact against the coolness of Your Holiness that refreshingly soothes the battle raging within the temple of my mind. Peacefulness descends upon me, and joyously I proclaim of the warmth within my heart. In my defense, You stand interceding on my behalf, Your words of Truth wrapped in love slay me with a blanket of compassion. Darkness is on the run.

24.       Longing for Your guidance, my clouded vision of the future brings me back and forth and then forward and back again. To know all is to be God and to not know is to walk by faith. Theological discussion with my heart helps to ease the tediousness of reason. Quietly, in persistence, Love comes in from all angles threatening to break through these philosophical walls of solitude.

25.       When You are near, I am aware of the sadness that echoes throughout my soul. It bounces off invisible barriers that bind and hinder my healing. Haunted by skeletons from a guilt filled past, continually pestered by shadows that gnaw at my soul, life turns bleak in the reflections of a distant future. In secrecy, off in the darkened corners of my mind, wicked thoughts lay in wait plotting their evil intentions in premeditated violent lawlessness. I am hounded by their deceptive hallucinations of destruction as their offensiveness thrashes about in complete disregard to the whimpers and cries from my exhausted heart, a whisper on a gentle breeze the only amnesty from this accusing criminal injustice against my soul.

26.       Compassionate arms stretch towards the earth with an all-encompassing unconditional love, faithfully following a boy lost to loneliness and enslaved to addiction. Stumbling blindly, fighting with inadequate weapons, and unleashing a pitiful showing of character, I clumsily limp through life. Accusing laughter resounds from the roaring crowd within my mind, pounding even more tears into this sorrow-soaked heart. Seeking shelter from the onset of dejected thoughts colliding like bumper cars spasmodically chasing each other in dizzying circles, I pray with a hopeful heart.

27.       The longer I walk with You, the more aware I become of my own sinfulness. Feeling the shame and guilt of living such a long life as a pagan, I run from You. In the crawl space of my mind I cower, licking my wounds, hiding myself within the confines of my unkempt garden where thistlely weeds grow wildly. Yet, in merciful love You call out to me and by Your Truth I am set free. For You are truly my only salvation; in You alone my hope rests. In finality the reality of this compelling Truth carries my heart into surrender. Deep resounding sobs pour out of my weary soul weakened from the strife of the world. I finally relinquish control to You, allowing the strength of Your Son to enter my heart which brings a transcending peace to my distressed soul. His Presence calms my weary soul, permanently filling me with the love that I’ve come to cherish so dearly. Straight to the very center of my spirit His sweet Voice penetrates, mending my fragileness. Being pulled towards the Light, knowing that I have finally been drawn onto the road to redemption, I hold fast onto Jesus as I fall willingly into Your loving arms.

28.       “I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: ‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’ I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death” Psalm 118:13-18 (NIV).

             “Had it not been the Lord on my side when men rose up against me, then they would have swallowed me alive, when their anger was kindled against me; then the waters would have engulfed me, the stream would have swept over my soul; then the raging waters would have swept over my soul. Blessed be the Lord, who has not given me to be torn by their teeth. My soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and I have escaped. My help is the name of the Lord, who made the heaven and earth” Psalm 124:2-8 (NASB).

             “Creation and creatures applaud You, God; Your holy people bless You. They talk about the glories of Your rule, they exclaim over Your splendor. He does what’s best for those who fear Him – hears them call out, and saves them. God sticks by all who love Him, but it’s all over for those who don’t. My mouth is filled with God’s praise. Let everything living bless Him; bless His holy name from now to eternity!” Psalm 145:10-12, 19-21 (The Message).

[mission: empowered by Love]

29.       Epilogue: A hard day’s ride is ahead of me; my mighty stallion is exhausted. Sweat glistens off his pearly white flanks under the burning sun. Commanded by my Lord I ride with confidence, for He has gone ahead of me and has already prepared the way. A refreshing vision of His radiant brilliance sets my mind free. My Companion reassures me throughout this endeavor, helping to uplift my spirit and heart in trying times. Quietly I listen to all He has to say soaking in His sweet discerning words of counsel. His Words refresh my soul like spray from ocean surf; I am renewed.

              Up hills and down valleys we ride, searching for the lost and the broken. Their cries are barely audible through the thickness of their pride. On the winds, loud, clattery, banging, resounds heavily in the air – the babble of the world. In bedlam the chaos churns. People in a confused state wander aimlessly on fruitless pursuits, blinded by the glittering prizes of the world. Their own sinful desires choke the very life from their hearts. The stench from their selfishness vaporously steams off of their souls. Enshrouded in darkness, they dance to the devil’s song.

              Quietly, in secrecy, behind locked doors, saints kneel in prayer before the Almighty Lord who meets with them in their secret gardens away from the babel. They faithfully intercede on behalf of the lost and the broken, who are in reality disguised as the wicked and rotten. Always faithful, the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob hears and answers their cries for mercy and justice.

              The thundering of hooves and the snorting of vengeance filling the air swings my mount around. The ringing of my fiery sword blazes high in the sky. A fiery Sword of the Spirit wielded in the hands of an able saint strikes straight to the hearts of all the lost and broken children of a decaying world with the heated fire of the Truth. It pierces through the many layers of lies written upon their hearts. The eclipsing nature of this rebirth by fire rings the melodious bells of Heaven, raining down the joyous love that is all creation’s inheritance.

              The sun in its full glory beats down on the advancing horde. At full charge they come at me with hatred in their hollowed eyes. My Companion speaking in tongues of fire holds me steadfast to the covenants of God. Basking in the Everlasting Light from above, I am strengthened with the Truth that is my triumphant cry. Fortified with His Righteousness, I ride headlong into battle with You by my side. I am a new creation in Christ.

              It has begun…


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”  

Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

A Seeker’s Return

by Gerald T. Ching

SOUL: From the depths of my soul I cried out in confusion longing to be loved, but could not discern the diferences between physical pleasures and spiritual pleasures with God. By His grace I am learning the deepness of His Love.

     Lingering in the wings of a forgotten fortress,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Peering out the window of the tallest tower with a hopeful heart,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Watching the lone road that leads to my doorstep,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

      Standing in the doorway with soulful eyes,

patiently I wait for you to come calling.

 [the desperate search for real love]

1.         In the swirling depths of my heart, I sit and wait, patiently expecting a visit from the one I long to be loved by. The endless hallways here are ever changing; the pathways are ever tedious; only one has the key to my locked heart. Wandering aimlessly through these burdensome corridors, visceral malicious feelings parade their ethereal forms, hoping to leave the imprint of their essence within my broken down spirit. Relentlessly their evil desires dirty the air, the stench of their decay disrupting the natural order of life. Mercifully, the fragrance of love floats in, disbanding the malignancies back into the shadows. Floating through the still night, musical melodies shower me in a waterfall of this love

2.         Miles upon miles of wire crisscross across the globe, connecting all. Whispering in heated conversations to one another of love and of pain, the endless barrage of words bounce and ricochet off the walls of this hollow existence with the longing for more reverberating throughout, and then deteriorating to nothing more than the echoing ramblings of conspiracy. The exchange rate of love inflates as each soul settles for a more physical love, a lesser love. Off in the distance a bazaar buzzes with seekers searching for bargains while workers restock their shelves hoping to catch the eyes of all who pass. People mill about laboring to take care of their daily tasks. Like puppets they purchase the empty promises that line these shelves. Sitting on the highest of shelves, love rests with the other rare and exotic treasures. I see you wandering past the many stands; hurriedly I make my way towards you.

3.         Gold and silver rings decorate your nimble fingers, platinum and pearls ride the curve of your neck; fanciful clothes adorn your supple soft skin, encumbering your spirit, hoping to fill the emptiness that is within your soul. A piercing whistle assaults the waiting crowds as a train pulls into the market. Weaving through the masses, we make our way on board. Hiccupping and hollering on the crowded train, your twisted ways of expressing affection batter my brow; your words shatter my already fragile spirit. Hours tick on through the endless maze of tracks, with passengers forever boarding, but rarely leaving. Hope and longing ride this train hand in hand, one never releasing its grasp of the other. My longing has consumed me to the point of obsession. Blindly I now walk, led by the gleam of golden idols

4.         Soul tied to you, I am pulled like an abused rag doll, stifling me from the growth that I need. Your suffering haunts my own life. With egotistical control, I tower over you, trying to blanket you in peace when my own being is racked with turmoil. I am running your race, clothing myself in your flesh, ignoring my own aspirations, losing my own race. In addiction I medicate myself, consuming you; feeding on you like prey. Shuttering in the winds of your frigid heart, I train myself to endure the stinging chill. Numbness has overcome me, dulling the pain, so the once bitter winds that scraped my delicate soul now go unnoticed. If they should ever dissipate, my longing for you would turn into a longing for this pain.

5.         Confusion sets in, bringing me to do battle once again with a ghost. Fear makes me run towards my strongholds, but the Truth slows my pace. Nefarious forces pressing inward, trudging relentlessly forward, raging forever onward, prickling the skin in fear, clamping ferociously upon my soul, the Evil One twists the very fabric of my reality. Dark winged muscular beasts take flight towards a murky horizon, higher and higher through the atmospheric haze they climb, in a putrid stench I am carried up and into the unknown. Chilling frost covers the hardness of my heart, freezing it. Time creeps as I roll upon these lawless winds of change to the frayed ends of this cerebral scarf of life, wondering – “Can I be saved?

6.         Broken and busted in half, split down the bipolar fissure of a warring heart and mind, the clashing of these opposing sides rage through me, mercilessly. I gasp for air as another assault from my ever paranoid mind thunders and pounds against the reinforced door to my armored heart. Always searching in this mission of the lost, I am left to wander aimlessly in confusion with an ache in my chest whose origins are unknown.

            My heart gasps. My chest trembles. My breath becomes ragged with each passing second. My heart yearns for Your Presence. My thoughts run rabid as time seems to slow. My mind crawls. My vision blurs. The deeper You delve into my soul, the harder Your love pulls at my tattered heart.

7.         Traveling ever forward I draw in deep breaths; the distance between us shortens painfully slow. The years of lonely regret have lengthened this journey. In rebellion the ties of my soul scream under the strain, taut like stretched canvas ready for paint, yearning to be loosened by a tender Hand in love. Exhaustion soon overcomes me while the blazing ball of frustration looms high in the afternoon sky. Under an unrelenting heat wave I crash into the arms of a waiting land, spent and useless. Drawing myself to the corner of my soul, I shiver.

[trying to understand the difference between spiritual and physical pleasure ]

8.         My being yearns to be touched, which brings me to tears when You are near. My love reaches out to You like a babe to a mother’s breast. In impatient impulse I seek out whatever will satisfy, which sends my spirit gravitating towards another. Shackled to the post of this other’s bed, I sit longingly waiting to be fulfilled. Hunger pains pinch and pierce my spirit, the deep ache never appeased. The longing to be satisfied is released into the cosmos, only to return to me still in need. “Where are you, Lover?

9.         A pristine picture is coming together within the jigsaw puzzle that is my mind. A multitude of colors blending and swirling fills my thoughts with this new vision. Your robe is flowing lightly in a gentle breeze and with kind eyes You gaze lovingly into mine, sending my heart fluttering towards Yours. The warmth of love surrounds me as I drift closer to You. Pulled together with purpose, the magnetism of Your Spirit creates an ionic bond between us. This new awakening, frightening yet fascinating, makes my heart sing.

            Time speeds on, laying in its wake the faithless and the heartless that clash like rams vying for position on the mountain, brutally pummeling each other into submission. Strategically and methodically their maneuvering presses onward this conflict to becoming one. The sweet scent of freedom fills the air, mixing with my own poisonous musky essence.

10.       My heart lays exposed, naked, the tragedy of my life plays as an old 8mm reel flickers and pops into action revealing the travesty of a scorned life in perpetual motion. The frames slow as the drama unfolds, revealing a mass of celestial beings jostling for position with sublime elbows, each taking its position, each playing its part while curious travelers pass on by in wonderment. One by one passing travelers pause in concern as the tragedy unfolds. Long lingering moments flit on by in silence. In distorted reality the remake mimics the truth; each memory is gnarled and twisted with shame. In unison, in an endless parade of regrets, offense after offense gets played on the rewind.

11.       Painfully I press on, lost in the swirling winds of my mind. Foraging through the drawers of my thoughts, my existence is ever present, casting long dark shadows over hopes and dreams, shattering the remains of a hopeful spirit. “Comfort me, Lover. Separate me from my ugliness; erase it from existence while holding me close to Your breast.” Thump, thump, thump, my heart beating, never stopping. Light flickering passions dart back and forth as warmth radiates from within; from the depths, a spark of light flares threatening to extinguish the alluring darkness. “When will I be free? Free from these blinding images of false gods? Free from these broken promises of peace?” “Come to Me, My Beloved.”

[the first moments of entering into the presence of God ]

12.       Guided by Your sweet melody I drift through this endless maze turning left and then turning right, searching for the source of this charismatic song. Obstacles that once hindered are no more; hurdles that once obstructed are of no challenge. I walk a rhythmic shuffle as to not miss a beat, the magnetic chorus gravitating to all on this seeker’s quest. My mind fills with new thoughts while fresh, yet familiar longings pour from my heart. “Surround me with Your peacefulness, whirl through me with Your kindness, twirl through me with Your gentleness, swirl through me with Your joyfulness, envelop my heart with Your faithful love.

13.       Your sweet Voice floats effortlessly through the deep folds of my mind, catching and caressing the troubled thoughts, making them disappear. Reaching out to me with love and affection, an image of You burns into my mind’s eye, permanently engraving Your face onto my soul. “Whisper to me the story of Your life, teaching me Your ways. Talk to me with the gentleness of a Lamb; hold me in Your loving arms, warming me in Your heavenly embrace. Shelter me in Your protective sanctuary, radiate Your goodness straight and true, press Your heart against mine and pour Your love into my soul.

14.       “Call Me into the deeper folds of your heart, let Me fill the puncture wounds that riddle throughout. The pumping sensation you feel is the healing process of My love that will slowly fill all that you are.”                                                                                        

15.        Your Voice sound like home as it resonates through the cavernous tombs of my heart where my sins cower in shame. Calling out, Your kindness draws them out. Compelled by Your love and by Your grace, I confess for the Kingdom of God has come near to me. Day one.

[finding satisfaction in the pleasures of God]

16.       Shining in the morning’s light, Your Spirit encircles me. Slowly caressing my delicate face brushing away the tears that stream down, Your kind love cradles my heart. My spirit quickens at Your touch, stoking the fire that now burns eagerly for You. Joy takes me by surprise. My heart smiles as dark clouds part opening the heavens, basking us in warm rays of devotion. Comfort fills my soul; peace and calm endure when You are near. Laughter escapes unexpectedly from my lips, sending tremors that rattle and shake the foundation of my pain.

17.       Seizures quake through my flesh, shattering and setting it afire. Like thunderous waves on a winter ocean, Your passion crashes down upon me. I shiver in anticipation awaiting the next cataclysmic surge. The sureness of Your touch quenches me, slaying me as Your radiant Spirit flows all around me. Desperately, I call out Your Name. Faithfully, Your love guards my heart; sheltering me in a shimmering prism of devotion with rainbow hued emotions interweaving their luster, highlighting this moment of rapture. In this flaring emotional release, the chill that binds my bones melts, soothing my conflicted flesh while a blinding light engulfs me as the Holy Spirit fills me.

18.       At rest in Your loving arms, You quietly sit with me, soothing my weary soul. Your gentle fingertips lovingly caress my hardened spirit, softening it. Your blazing eyes ignite through me, melting the coldness that envelops my heart, vivifying the flame that burns deep within, easing the deep ache inside my chest as they watch with a panoramic gaze. Your radiating love liquefies me making me pliable and ready to be poured. Cool breezes of love fan this metamorphosis into faithfulness billowing me towards the shelter that I seek as my soul relaxes in the cool comforts of peace. “Open my heart so I hear Your Word; speak to me plainly so there’s no misunderstanding.” Filled with compassion, The loving Holy Spirit comforts my heart-felt sighs. With unending patience You pursue me, easing my longing and refueling my zest for life as Your Eternal Spirit communes with mine.

19.       Joined together, the union of our spirits spins past, serenely they are interlocked through Everlasting love. This Love radiates like an inferno, melting the chains of bondage. The hot air blasts through the long forgotten cobwebs of regret. Dancing to the highest mountaintops, skipping from peak to peak with blind abandon, we soar through the clouds, hot jet wash in our wake. At the crescendo of this maiden voyage, we stall in mid air to enjoy the vast horizon that is Your footstool. In that elated moment, all that I once held so precious dissipates to the four winds forever lost to oblivion. I am finally filled with a purer sense of freedom.

            Together at last, Your Presence takes my breath away. Joined in this Eternal blessed union of love, my heart whispers in humble devotion. In this moment of Divine intervention warmth swells in my chest as my heart and mind unite. In that moment I lose myself to Your Grace – Breathless.

[learning to walk with God and trusting in His love and power]

20.       In repose, walking upon the shores of an evening sea, thoughts of You pressing on my heart relax me. Nightly I walk along this sandy stretch of beach towards a peaceful private alcove. I cherish the quiet personal moments that I spend with You there. I’ve come to anticipate with baited breath this time. You help me to release the frustrations of the day. The long walk ends with the sweet vision of You, waiting.

            Welcoming me with open arms, I fall deeply into Your embrace. Your deep caresses soothe the burdens that weigh heavily upon my soul. Soft reassuring whispers warm my heart. From deep within my soul, a radiant glow wells up and begins to shine; with diligence it grows. Our bond of love is strengthening and growing with each encounter.

21.       Awakened by Your gentle touch, I sit up with the warm rays of the sun beaming on me. With You by my side I am at peace. Together we walk along the paths of life; gleefully we talk of my struggles. Anxiously I share with You my moments of awakenings. Eagerly I admit my moments of doubt, knowing that I grow with each faltering step. Gently You speak to me in warm reassuring tones, easing my mind, setting my soul to rest in peaceful bliss where poetic hymns flow from musical lips making all who have ears to hear rejoice with a bold love, filling the air with childlike laughter and bringing tears to the ones with hearts like lions.

22.       Kneeling before the Light of Righteousness, I am strengthened by Your radiant love; it fills me with hope. You beckon me to rise, but I dare not move a muscle for I am unworthy to be in Your Presence. Weighed down by self-inflicted guilt, Your love penetrates the fallacy, evaporating the fabricated mask of condemnation.

23.       Together with the breaking of the dawn we contemplate the day’s trials. Standing in the morning sun, You steady my hand as we tend to all events, helping me along when I am weakened by my own futile efforts. The chiming of the bells echoes high noon to my worn spirit; Your gentle Hand holds my elbow, steadying me as I stumble. Wiping the beads of sweat that have formed on my brow, Your reassuring Presence eases the toils of the morning. Gently, You speak to me in warm tones, filling me with confidence. Refreshed and undaunted we stride to the next challenge, Your brilliance shining as opposing dark clouds roll on in. In renewal we stand as one before it all. Our blessed union heralds a masterpiece in the making. Together we are invincible, for You have already won.

[enjoying God and trusting in His Word]

24.       Big fat heavy droplets of rain fall from the heavens, threatening to wash away the guilt and sorrow that lines my earthen vessel. In a loving caress, intense electrical charges explode with grace, shocking my flesh into submission while an Angel of the Lord soars brightly along side of me rebuking tormenting evil, for Christ’s name sake. Softly staring at me with loving-kindness, unmoving yet full of life, vibrantly Eternal, You have fulfilled my deepest desire which is to be with You.

25.       Kneeling in prayer, I uplift others who are lost in this evil, depraved world, hoping that all reach the peaceful sanctuary of the golden streets of Heaven, “Where God will live with man. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty the Lord will give drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and the Lord will be his God and he will be the Lord’s son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderous, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all the liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Rev. 21:3b, 4, 6, 7, 8; 22:3-5).                                            

26.       Your Word soothes my worrisome spirit as we approach the finish line of this race, reaffirming the convictions within my heart. Quietly, without reproach, a thunderous hum of vibrating angel wings fills the heavens, crescendo with the roaring cheers from the multitudes of Heavenly Hosts as we cross over as one.

            A transcending peace that knows no bounds overwhelms me. Without the sinful trappings of my fallen flesh You welcome me into Your rest. In my inheritance I am now to live as the sweet fragrance of Your goodness envelops me completely, refreshing and rejuvenating my soul for its final flight Heavenward. To completion You have carried me through, my Companion, my Counselor, my Friend. I am within Peace, as a powerful Arm lifts us home.

[more expressions of love towards God from a grateful heart]

27.       In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The sweet scent of Your love

                           will still make my pulse race.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The tender flavor of Your Goodness

                           will still send me yearning for Righteousness.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The gentleness of Your Kind Voice

                           will still ease the burdens of my day.

            In the twilight of my years

                 I will still long for Your Presence.

                      The everlasting vision of Your Holiness

                           will still my pounding, excited heart

            In the twilight of my years

                 Your Presence will still fully satisfy,

                        ceaselessly quenching the thirst of my soul.       

28.                   I love Your passion

                        I love Your courage

                        I love Your loving Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He loves me

                        I love Your patience

                        I love Your kindness

                        I love Your gentle Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He cares for me.

                        I love Your compassion

                        I love Your graciousness

                        I love Your faithful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He reassures me.

                        I love Your humility

                        I love Your justice

                        I love Your peaceful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He purifies me.

                        I love Your goodness

                        I love Your self-control

                        I love Your joyful Holy Spirit

                                    and the way He understands me.

                                    I love You today

                                    as You loved me yesterday

                                    as we will love each other tomorrow.

29.       Epilogue: In a luminous night sky with shooting stars racing across the heavenly realms, angels dance radiantly amongst the clouds in preparation for the triumphant return of the Son.


Trying to live between two cultures is much like being in my own cult. The lonely feeling of ostracism is almost palpable at times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wrestled with my internal editor about you name it, we’ve debated or argued about it. You see, my internal editor identifies more with the Chinese culture while I tend to identify more with the American culture. I’ve struggled with this inner conflict for as long as I can remember. I believe it was because I was racially teased and bullied as a child that I learned early on that to fit in, I needed to be American rather than Chinese. So, as a young child I became ashamed of my Chinese heritage and learned to disconnect from that part of me and voilà! My internal editor was born.

It wasn’t until after I came to faith in Jesus, that I became aware of how much this inner conflict has effected the way I live and see myself. Jesus has blessed me with a greater self-awareness where I’ve begun to literally hear the inner dialogue between the two cultures living within me. He has also helped me to reconnect with my Chinese heritage and embrace my internal editor rather than being combative with him. You see, what I always thought I needed to do was to just continue denying that I was Chinese and just become more and more American which only created more disconnectedness rather than healing. What I am learning today is that I need to embrace that I am Chinese, but to also embrace that I am American and allow God to redeem all that is good in both cultures. This has helped me to see being bicultural as a blessing, rather than an annoyance or even a curse.

Why I feel this is so important is that the burden of this inner conflict was one of the factors that pushed me towards drug use in the first place. Because if I consicously knew it or not, I wanted an escape from the inner struggle of trying to understand myself. It was just easier to stop dealing with it. Inwardly, the pains of rejection and the failed attempts of fitting in only fueled the growing inferiority complex that was first birthed in my heart through the racial teasing and bullying of my childhood. I feel like I am really only beginning this journey of becoming who God created and redeemed me to be. I am learning more and more everyday that He loves that I’m a Chinese American and wants me to embrace all that is good in both cultures. It’s who I am and I need to begin to celebrate this because when I do I also embrace and accept how God sees me. I feel like I’ve spent most of my life asking God why – rather than simply telling Him thank you for creating me and giving me life.

 9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
      Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
   Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
      ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
   Does the pot exclaim,
      ‘How clumsy can you be?’
 10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
      ‘Why was I born?’
   or if it said to its mother,
      ‘Why did you make me this way?’” (Isaiah 45:9, 10 NLT)

I’m learning Lord, I’m learning… ~Gerry

::also posted at The Slanted View: reflections on faith, brokenness, culture and manhood from a Pan-Asian American perspective::


Reminiscing about my HIGHschool years has brought me into my ever present longing to belong. The need to belong is inherent to what it means to be human. I mean think about how many years a child is fully dependent on their parents to feed, nurture and teach them about living. We are all born into a family: born into a place of belonging. As far back as I can remember I’ve had this longing, this need to feel like I’m included. Simply put, that’s what belonging is: feeling included, needed and wanted. Some of my deepest wounds in life have been those times when I was rejected, belittled or discarded.  

Growing up in the United States during the early 70s wasn’t all that great a time if you were a minority. Especially for a little Chinese boy who longed to be American. It’s a strange feeling for me to me picked on for the way I looked because I never really thought I looked different enough to be made fun of. I can still remember the neighborhood kids singing songs and making up dances about my eyes and skin color, even my last name was fair game. <sigh> If I had to pinpoint a time when my inferiority complex was birthed, this would be it. I am so glad that “bullying” is talked about more openly today and pray that more and more kids would gain their voice. Something that I was never given the chance.  

When fear, anger, disappointed and loneliness are left to grow unattended in a child this will breed both an inward and outward hatred and vengeance. The child will begin to hate both the perpetrators and themselves. The perpetrators for doing what they did, but also themselves for not doing what they think they should have done. An inferiority complex is a nasty stronghold that manifests itself in our thought lives which then begins to influence our behavior. Because we begin to believe the lies that – summed up say: “there is something terribly wrong with me and that there is no hope in every changing this. I will always be unlovable and screwed up.” Sound familiar?   

Many people (including drug addicts and alcoholics) walk around with an inferiority complex that drives them to live joyless lives filled with hopelessness and despair (me included). But, God changed all of that because God changed me. The decision that has forever changed the course of my life was the day I surrendered my life to Jesus and began to follow Him: through Jesus I now belong to the family of God. He has helped me to STOP believing what others have said about me, even what I think about myself (which to be honest is not all that good) and has helped me to START believing what God thinks about me. The more I have experienced God’s unconditional love for me, the more His love has softened and healed my heart. Experiencing God the Father’s love has forever changed me because I now understand deep within my heart that no matter what happens to me in this life: I belong to Him for all eternity and nothing will ever be able to separate me from His love for me in Jesus: I belong.  



In thinking through my high school years, what immediately comes to mind is drugs & drinking. My freshman year was when I began drinking. I did it to fit in thinking that that’s what the cool kids did. I hung out with a lot of jocks that year and really wanted to be liked by the “popular” crowd which at my school were the jocks and cheerleaders (typical). I remember always wanting to out drink people. I saw it as a way to show off and gain respect. Fitting in was so very important to me. So, I tried my best to wear the clothes that my friends were wearing. This meant wearing preppy clothes like Polo & Izod. It’s sad how a little emblem like a polo rider or alligator could command such power.

It was the beginning of my sophomore year that I first smoked weed. I remember the night very clearly. It was at the public library of all places. I went to the park outside the library and saw two “burnouts” hanging out from my school. They asked me if I had a pipe which I told them no. We ending up talking for a bit while they proceeded to roll a joint. They passed it to me and I took a few puffs and went back in to the library. I don’t remember if I got high or not, but I do remember the next day when they came up to me in school and said that they couldn’t believe I actually got high with them. I loved the attention they gave me and the admiration. Little did they know that it was my first time. From that day forward I slowly began to hangout more with the drug crowd than the jock crowd.

Drugs gave me an escape from all the politics of high school cliques, not to mention it helped numb the many pains of my childhood. It’s funny, the people who did drugs didn’t care about how I dressed or what classes I was in or what sports I played. They only thing they cared about was if I did drugs: drugs = cool (and how I wanted to be cool). To no surprise my grades dropped, I went from being a straight A student in accelerated classes to a C and D student who skipped class. I eventually got suspended from school. After about 8 months of this my parents decided to put me into two drug rehab programs where I spent the last month of sophomore year and my summer vacation. The first drug rehab was a voluntary facility in which I ran away from after a month or so which then earned me a place at an involuntary facility for a couple more months. Neither place helped: I “faked it until I made it” out. In being discharged I went to a new school and had to make new friends. I felt very alone. During this time, I found loud, angry punk rock music which resonated with all the anger that was trapped within my heart. I eventually joined a punk rock band called Social Outcast.