I know we’ve never met and but I’ve known you from what other people have talked about. I don’t know when we will meet, but I know that one day, I will meet you and there are so many things I need to ask you. But until then, this letter will do.
Last weekend, I was at a cell meeting with my group of teenagers where we were talking about you and that one encounter you had. Zac, I’ve heard about you millions of times and I’m sorry I haven’t paid enough attention. I just realized today as we were talking about you that there are so many things I could learn from you.
I’ll be honest here, I hope you don’t get hurt. But Zac, my mother, I remembered was the first person who told me about you. And I never liked you from the start. First of all, I never liked short men. (Hehe!! It’s just a personal preference!) And secondly, I don’t like corrupted people who grew rich from cheating other people. My mother told me that you were that kind of person. And just that thought of you climbing a tree was downright… unattractive, I must say. So, I guess it’s safe to say that I never really admired you, or liked you. And after that encounter you had with God, she told me you changed, but doesn’t everyone??
But last week, while we were talking about you, I rediscovered so many things about you. There were so many things about you that I never really cared to look: the efforts you made, your rock-hard determination and your proactive ways. From my talks with my teen cell group, I guess I’ve come to see you in a different light. I’ve come to admire you and these past few days, I couldn’t stop thinking about you!! Sheesh!
How frustrating must it be for you when people refuse to budge when you wanted to see that one person? Did you stamp your feet and mutter ‘I am a government official, I deserve some respect’ when the crowd pushed you to the back that day? What went through your head when you saw that fig tree? How embarrassing must it be for you to climb that tree among that crowd? How awkward was climbing a tree with your tonga? By the way, did your tonga get caught in some branch revealing more than you wanted? (Just curious, you know. Cause skirts sometimes act that way!) Did someone make fun of you while you made the attempt to climb that tree? Did you bruise your knees, were there ants or insects in that tree that bit you while you were on that tree?
I heard, that One person you tried to see that day didn’t have any plans to stop in your town. But after seeing you on that tree, he came to have dinner at your house. Well, that one encounter changed you. And in order to have that one encounter, you made an effort both mentally and physically. You were determined to see him and even climbed that fig tree.
Have you heard about Mahasen, the cyclone that was headed for Mizoram a few days back? Well, the 5/11 Aizawl tragedy and the (then) impending cyclone had me on the edge of my seat for a few days. I’ve been told that people back home were fervent in praying, asking God to somehow keep us from destruction. For the past few days, I have also been lead to have an intercessory prayer for everyone back home.
The D-day arrived and I was relieved to see on my twitter feed that the cyclone fizzled out before it reached Mizoram and changed its course. I was thankful then and there and I thank God for answered prayers. But then there were some people all over social networking sites joking and making fun of certain things about the cyclone and the prayers. It saddened my heart a bit to see how we take so many things for granted! Even the supernatural!!
Then I remembered you.
God changed His plans because you made an effort. Jesus never intended to stay in your town, he was just passing by, but because you made such an effort to meet him, he changed his plans. Likewise, I realized the cyclone fizzled out because so many people stood in the gap and prayed for deliverance.
And it’s not only about the cyclone.
It made me realize, if your efforts could make God change His plans, so can mine! I am a lot like you Zac, and I’m nothing like you at the same time. But in the end, we are both imperfect people perfected by grace.
But there is one mega-huge thing that I should not overlook. Zac, after you met Jesus, you changed your old ways! Now that is a challenge that I should take for myself. A self-reflection that I need to carry out daily: Have I changed after I’ve met Him??
I hope to meet you one day, and ask you certain questions face to face! Like how short are you exactly!? Hehe! I’m short too, but I wonder who, between us, is shorter? Or did you grab some of the fruits and eat them while you were on that tree? (I would have, if I had been in your place.) Mindless little nothings that would start a good conversation once we meet. I hope you will have some time for me when we meet and I hope you don’t have a long queue of people to ask you such questions! But then again, even there is so, when we finally meet, we will have forever (and I mean, forever, literally) to talk!
So until then, Zac, thank you. You’ve taught me a valuable life lesson. You’ll be in my mind for a long time to come. But, don’t worry! I don’t have a crush on you. Again, I’m not attracted to short men! Heh!
P.S: I hope you don’t mind me calling you Zac. You full name sounds so ancient and I realized I could never relate to you in person when I call you Zacchaeus. J J J