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I think you should read this 3

I designed a new wallpaper yesterday evening. With a more or less risky line on it – Jesus is a big deal. That line has been stuck in my head for the past two weeks now.

I’m frustrated with what people think about Jesus. I’ve worked in an industry my whole working-life that’s blasphemous towards Jesus by nature. Designers and creatives can sit in studios all day and take out God and how heinous He is and how He can’t wait to take them out and ruin their day. One time when I spoke up, the creative director answered: “Dala, don’t get me started.” (I do understand where it comes from – but later about that.)

A week ago my father in law and I had a long discussion and I mentioned how people in general see Jesus in a really negative way, upon which he answered “Dala, remember, some people just wont accept Jesus – even when He was on earth people rejected Him.”

And that’s it. I can see people reject Jesus because of crazy Christians they’ve encountered. Or because they’re mystified with the condition of the world and they’re just blaming Jesus for it all.

BUT

It feels like there are people rejecting Him simply because they don’t know who He is, or how He is, or what He really stood for when he was on earth.

When Jesus was on earth people had different opinions about Him. Interesting enough, the religious leaders couldn’t take Him. Yet the washouts, rebels, prostitutes and “sinners” pursued Him continually and couldn’t get enough of Him.

I’ve got a gut feel that a lot of people that’s been bashed and mishandled by Christians, and don’t have time or energy to consider Jesus anymore, might be the group He would have been hanging out with if He was on earth in person today.

Who’s Jesus to me? Though there’s a bunch of theological pointers I could add in here, I want to cut to the fundamentals that make the difference in my melancholic artists existence.

In 1999, when I was 19, I went through a year of manic depression and anxiety. Up till that point my faith was pretty much the foundation of my life, but somehow it felt like a door was opened and not only was I confronted with emotions and thoughts too wild to document, but I started to question everything I believed about Jesus. In my heart of hearts I knew Jesus was the Absolute Truth, but in my head I almost struggled to “keep on believing it”.

So I ended up, nightly, just to tell Jesus – “Jesus, I want to keep on believing, and if You don’t help me, I simply can’t do it by myself.” With the depression and anxiety my brain never really switched off to sleep, so after months of struggling with that, I also started asking Jesus to just get me a ticket straight to heaven, as I didn’t see living a long life in such miserable conditions.

I’m still not sure when or how it got better – I became part of a really cool, solid church in Potchefstroom, South Africa, that just loved me and prayed for me and walked with me. My parents prayed for me, and my sister and her husband really mentored me.

But more than anything, Jesus kept me.

Because before this happened I still had a pretty legalistic view of Him, turn or burn, and that I earned my brownie points by reading enough Bible and doing “right” stuff.

But somehow my crisis made me realize it’s about being in a relationship with Jesus. The Jesus I think the sinners saw that walked with Him when He was on earth. A God that devours in Grace everything about me that makes me miserable and leaves me weightless, in awe and relieved in His Grace, Companionship in Friendship.

The world is upset with God because of the state of things here – the wars, the famine, illnesses and unanswered prayers.

But in Psalm it reads ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8 NLT).

God knows the state of the earth. He knows what’s going down. Not just in the world, but in every individual’s life. He not only just knows it; He is recording each tear of every individual walking the earth in His book. We can blame Him, but we can also run to Him.

Jesus came to earth, He healed people and set things right, and the religious community crucified Him. (Please think of that if you’re blaming God for what the church did over the centuries, the “church” of Jesus’ day also crucified God’s Son.) There’s a huge difference between Religion and the Relationship with Jesus that justifies us by Faith in Him.

So what am I trying to say to you, if you’re reading this and you just don’t like Jesus or any of His followers?

Why don’t you give yourself a month?

Don’t try to change anything about yourself. Just start speaking to Him. Whenever you want to. About anything you want. (Jesus, I can’t believe it’s 8pm and I’m still sitting at work.) If you simply don’t believe in Him, you can tell Him that as well, together with all of your other thoughts. And if you want to take it a bit further, go to the site www.biblegateway.com and read the book of John (with an open mind) and the Psalms. The psalms are my go to book whenever I feel overwhelmed. (Cool translations you can choose are the New Living Translation and the Amplified Version.) Just see what happens. Just to make a more informed decision about Him.

Is my life perfect now? Without stress, close calls and frustrations? No… Not close to perfect. Would I have it other way? No… Nothing is as amazing as tracking back all the imperfections and trails of the past and seeing God’s Hand orchestrating it into amazing events, happenings and blessings. Am I astronomically happier than I ever though would be possible in 1999? Yes – it feels like God took every wildest dream I ever had and made it come true by His Grace.

There’s a saying by Graham Cooke, “You have to live by faith. You have to believe that God is there when everything says that He is not.”

It comes down to walking in faith with Jesus. That sums it up. Easy? No. You really need Jesus to help you cling on to Him with tenacity when the storms come. Worth giving up everything for? Yes. Jesus is/was/will be a Big Deal.

I think you should read this

Comments

14 Comments

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  1. August 13, 2012

    So cool Dala! Thanks for sharing this! I’m sure passing it on.

  2. Lambert #
    August 13, 2012

    I really enjoyed this read …

  3. Vixen #
    August 13, 2012

    Wow!

  4. Fourie #
    August 13, 2012

    Dala’tjie, I’ve known you for so long. And truth be told, you inspired me in high school to stand up for Him and with this post you continue to inspire me. You are a mighty warrior with a kind soul and peaceful spirit. Be blessed my sussie!!

    • August 13, 2012

      Wow, so dankie Fourie! So baie danki:-) Dis so Genade. En om di waarheid te sê aan hierdie kant, het jy my gehelp om deur di Hoërskool te kom in een stuk:-) Waardeer jou!

  5. Louis D #
    August 21, 2012

    Awesome, Dalalai! – ek’t dit gelink na fb… jy rock soos altyd, en Jesus luv jou baie!

    • Is #
      August 22, 2012

      Soooo verskriklik Dankie hasie! Jy rock!!

  6. Seth #
    November 2, 2012

    What a vulnerable expression of the chaos and beauty in your life as it has been brought near to Jesus…. This was a great read. Thank you for posting!

  7. Lindsey #
    April 3, 2014

    Hello,
    I stumbled upon your post, and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. It can be very hard to articulate one’s journey with God, and I think your post was very well written. I think your words can really help both believers and skeptics. I appreciate your honesty and sincerity, and hope you continue to blog as you have a gift with words. Best wishes, and God bless you!
    Lindsey

    • April 6, 2014

      Thank you so much Lindsey! I appreciate your comment!

  8. Theuns Alberts #
    May 23, 2014

    “Wow, maar hierdie liedjies slaan my hartsnare! … elke keer … ek wonder waar is Kaktus en of hul al ander albums het? … Google, help my bietjie uit ….”

    Dit is die gedagtes wat deur my kop flits terwyl ek hier by die werk in die oop plan kantoor met my oorfoontjies sit en wieg – hopenlik onopmerklik.

    Dalk twee jaar terug al geskryf maar jou artikel getuig nogsteeds vandag. Ja, Google het my toe op die ou end op jou website laat afkom. Ek is jammer om uit te vind dat Kaktus opgebreek het, maar alles het mos ‘n doel en dit klink vir my asof elkeen van jul baie gelukkig is en dat Kaktus julle lewens net verryk het.

    Ek het saam met julle baskitaarspeler, Stephan Wessels, gewerk by ATE klompie jare terug en dis hoe ek van Kaktus te hore gekom het. Jul was juis toe besig om ‘Klaargebrande Kers’ op te neem. Ek onthou nog hoe hard hy gespaar het … julle almal seker … hy was so opgewonde, maar album maak is nie goedkoop nie. In elk geval, dit het baie mooi afgeloop en jul het pragtige album vrygestel en musiek videos ook nog daarna as ek reg onthou.

    Ek wou maar net laat weet dat julle musiek nogsteeds vandag mense betower al voel dit seker soos hoofstukke uit ‘n lank verlede lewe.

    Dankie dat jy jou lig so laat skyn daar in die Verenigde State van Amerika. Ek onthou hoe jy eenkeer in ‘n artikel gesê het dat iemand vir jou uitgewys het dat jy “die Kaktus in God se vensterbank” is. Sulke pragtige woorde, sulke spesiale plekkie, want maak nie saak wat Hy daarbuite sien as Hy uitkyk nie, jy is altyd in Sy visie, altyd in sig.

    Genoeg gekuier by nostalgie … hê ‘n wonderlike lewe en die Here Jesus seën jou en jou gesin ryklik.

    Groete vanuit die Kaap
    Theuns

    “Laat liefde en trou jou nie verlaat nie; bind dit om jou hals, skryf dit op die tafel van jou hart” – Spr 3:3

    • June 4, 2014

      So baie dankie Theuns vir jou amazing boodskap, en vir die tyd wat jy geneem het om dit te skryf! Ja – party dae voel Kaktus soos eeue gelede, maar ander dae soos gister.. Dis was soo groot blessing om deel van dit te wees:-) En partykeer wens ek ons kon terug travel in tyd al is dit net vir ‘n show of twee:-)

      Mag die Here jou ryklik seen in alles wat jy doen!!

  9. May 23, 2014

    “Wow, hierdie musiek slaan darem my hartsnare … elke keer … ek wonder waar
    is Kaktus deesdae en of hul nog musiek maak? … Google, help ‘n bietjie hier …”

    Dit is die gedagtes wat deur my kop flits terwyl ek hier by die werk in die oop
    plan kantoor by my rekenaar sit met oorfoontjies op en kort-kort, hopenlik
    onmerkbaar, ritmies wieg.

    Dalk twee jaar terug al geskryf maar jou artikel getuig selfs nog vandag. Ja,
    Google het my toe op jou website laat afkom waar ek toe met jammer moes uitvind
    dat Kaktus opgebreek het. Maar ons weet daar is ‘n doel met alles en dit klink
    asof elkeen van julle met groot passie leef wat beteken dat Kaktus julle lewens
    net verryk het.

    Ek het klompie jare gelede saam met julle baskitaarspeler, Stephan Wessels,
    gewerk by ATE en dit is dus deur hom dat ek van Kaktus te hore gekom het. Julle
    was juis toe besig om ‘Klaargebrande Kers’ op te neem en ek onthou nog hoe die
    man so hard gespaar het … ek glo julle almal het … om dit moontlik te maak.
    Hy was so opgewonde en het my gereeld laat weet as julle ‘n gig erens gehad het.
    Dit het toe mooi uitgewerk en julle het ‘n pragtige album vrygestel en selfs
    nog musiek videos ook daarna as ek reg onthou.

    Dankie dat jy jou lig so laat skyn daar in die Verenigde State van Amerika. Jy
    is ‘n voorbeeld. Ek onthou jy het in een artikel eenkeer genoem dat iemand
    eenkeer vir jou gesê het jy is “die kaktus in God se vensterbank” – dit is
    absoluut pragtig want maak nie saak wanneer of vir wat Hy deur die venster
    kyk nie, jy is altyd in Sy sig, altyd in Sy visie. En as iemand van buite af sou
    inkyk dan sien hulle jou by Hom staan en met hierdie eevoudige maar diep
    blog boodskap wys jy waar jy nogsteeds staan.

    Genoeg gekuier by nostalgie … geniet jou lewe en mag die Here Jesus jou en
    jou gesin ryklik seën.

    Groete vanuit die Kaap
    Theuns

    “Laat liefde en trou jou nie verlaat nie; bind dit om jou hals, skryf dit op
    die tafel van jou hart” – Spr 3:3

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