Category Archives: The Word

Quotes I love…! Prayer and Confession

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I was going through Max Lucado’s Reading Plan on “The Power of A Simple Prayer” and I picked these up.

Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child.

Don’t think for a minute that he is glaring at you from a distance with crossed arms and a scowl, waiting for you to get your prayer life together.

Vocabulary and geography might impress people but not God…Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray.

Prayer really is that simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest—honest to God. Climb into his lap. Tell him everything that is on your heart. Or tell him nothing at all.

…healing happens when the wound is exposed to the atmosphere of grace.
Confession, you see, is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.- Max Lucado

I feel sometimes we make an already complicated life more twisted with our expectations and “how-to-dos”. Sometimes, coming the way you are with the pain, the incoherencies before God – a God that already knows what is in your heart is all you need. Other times the tears say it all. Whatever, however you choose, all He is saying to you today is ‘COME’.

Will you honour that invite?

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Picture Source: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/prayer/

A good word

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A good word a day, keeps confusion away! Whether scriptures, general info, or just gist, I love it when I hear a good word that sets things in order or pushes me to desire, seek and want more.
Listened to a few messages today, I got these.

If they ain’t saying anything good to you, Scroll, Select and Delete…that’s how you handle negative people.

David threw one stone and knocked Goliath out! You don’t have no stone…David had a stone, but the Church has the ROCK! On Christ the solid Rock, I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. We throw stones, but stand on a Rock. In the Old Testament, David was fighting for victory, but we already have the victory.

  • Refuse to listen to negative people.
  • Recall past victories.
  • Be comfortable in your skin.

– Dr. Jasmin Sculark (Giants Do Fall)

 If God said, you are here because of me, then you can only live for the One that put you together for this life…I took time out to especially put you together for what it is I want you to do…then I will dictate what you do…and if you don’t do what I want you to do, than I didn’t put you together, because whatever I put together, does what I want it to do! That’s why you are losing some friends cause they don’t fit into God’s plans.

Formed for His purpose, not yours! God has to get the notion of your purpose out of you to get His into you! Ask Moses…

God saves Moses from Pharaoh, but He put Moses in Pharaoh’s house (all of the decadence of Egypt now becomes a part of Moses’ life, before Moses becomes aware of God’s purpose). Moses spend 40 years in Pharaoh’s house, God takes 40 years in the desert to get the 40 years of Pharaoh out of Moses and then he puts in 40 years to get Israel from Egypt. God was working in your past to make your Presence more powerful!

Anything God purposes is challenged by the enemy! The gift of God is shrouded in Mystery. The enemy can’t attack God but you. Once you get the gift it opens the door for attacks on your character. If the enemy can destroy you, you won’t use the gift.

– Bishop Noel Jones (The Fire Won’t Go Out!)

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Quotes I love….! Lighthouse.

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Since my encounter with an Anne Lamott quote, I enjoy reading from her. So I went searching and today’s find is a treasure! A simple truth, but with deep meanings and it got me thinking of the Christian setting/environment of these times.

Jesus, during His earthly work here, went about sorting people and their issues out and when it was time to leave, He handed over to his disciples and left the Holy Spirit with them too, whose assignment was to point them back to Christ; say what He hears about Christ, not just any gist.

These days, people have stopped looking at Jesus, they look at the Pastor and expect him to work miracles, change their lives, make everything better, make all their dreams come true with little or no effort on their part. They are not interested in working or finding some activity to engage in. Lighthouse_250416

Like Anne’s quote here, your Pastor or leader is meant to point the way out to you. But the interesting thing about Christ is that He has given us the Bible and the Spirit to guide us, so that we don’t get misled by the Pastor or some leader. But after listening, go and study for ourselves and find out more about the One we are in a relationship with. A call to repentance is not a call to laziness or beggarly mentality. Do not be the reason another will speak ill or talk down on Christ because of your inactivity or lack of desire to BECOME!

Matthew 5:16 encourages us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Does that mean we shouldn’t be fishers of men? No! But it’s a call to realize that you have 32 teeth and milk isn’t your thing anymore, but strong meat. Besides the Kingdom has babies she needs to attend to and needs your help with. Rather than be a boat that always needs saving, be a lighthouse, lead others to the Saviour.

Picture Source: https://tracykauffman.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/beauty-of-lighthouses/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Levels of Deceit

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Listening to Matthew 4: 1- 10 audio bible play, I discovered that the tempter came to Jesus uncertain how to reach out to and deceive Him. Deceiving Jesus was a given, but the method in order to achieve ‘success’ was varied. First of all, we see him (the devil) try to use doubt by saying “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Through Jesus’ response, the devil discovers that He replied using the Word, crafty devil – that one, attempts to use the same method to reach Jesus. Hence in vs. 6 the devil says, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Did Jesus move away from the Word? No! He used a commensurate Word to counter this deceit. It takes one who knows, understands and has experienced the Word to be able to know which word to use in every situation. Trust the tempter not to get tired, saying to himself ‘if words won’t work with You, then sight should.’ But when you know what the Word says, no matter the avenue the enemy tries to come through to deceive you, you should be able to resist him and leave him no trophy. He can seek his trophy elsewhere and if we keep shutting him out, he has no choice but to return to hell where he belongs. So which will it be?

I’m shocked at how subtle the devil is and can be. But then, I’m comforted knowing that the WORD has the ability to keep him down. Glory!!!

Picture Source: http://www.truthliesdeceptioncoverups.info/2013/09/the-voice-of-america-and-shades-of.html
http://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?tag=he%20speaketh&page=2
http://likesuccess.com/topics/802/deceit/7

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

FROM FAITH TO FAITH

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The Word Conference started from a Dominion angle and took us to a level of Grace that declared that because God has given us Grace doesn’t mean we have the licence to sin. It is not a debit card for foolishness (my words). We had different ministers change and literally uproot our old ways of thinking, which said that ‘we always had to do something for God to do something’. Sometimes, He just shows up as the Supreme Being that He is and knocks us off our feet with His goodness.

This year we are moving from Grace to levels in Faith. I’m super-excited as I wait to hear the angle each speaker is going to come from. With the likes of Dr. Mensa Otabil, Dr. Abel Damina, Dr. Cindy Trimm, Bishop David Abioye, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo and Pastor Paul Adefarasin, and ministering in music, ONOS, LMGC and Sonnie Badu, you can be sure that you will be catapulted into different realms and brought back down into reality, but this time armed with enough Faith to take on the world.

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Two days back, I awoke from sleep and I heard “Faith is WAIT” and I’m like ‘okay!’ Wait means amongst others
“to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for, till, or until)”;
“to remain neglected for a time”;
“to look forward to eagerly”;
“to postpone or delay in expectation”.

As you can see, WAIT means different things and I said to myself, “would I rather be neglected for a time or look forward eagerly?” I bet you know the answer already. The bible says in Hebrews 6:11- 12 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Faith is placed side by side with Patience, which tells me that you have need of Patience, even when you are looking forward to eagerly and ‘being patient’ is one of the synonyms of WAIT.

And you say, but according to Hebrews 11:1 – ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Faith is substance, Faith is evidence! What is evidence? “That which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.” For us as believers, Faith is proof and what is that proof, the Word of God which is the manual that tells us of all that has been done and will be done. These are pictures I can look at and say God has done it before, it is right here. And now He says to me, I will do it again (perhaps differently) in Frances’ life, why would I want to doubt that?!

Isaiah 40:31 tells “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” What does it mean to WAIT ON? “To perform the duties of an attendant or servant for”. So, here am I in Faith and I’m Waiting on God to perform. Trust me, that He will shake body for my sake just so He can shut up the mouth of unbelief that screams at me daily (through situations) saying ‘where is your God’.

This is me trying to grasp and understand Faith being Wait. But I can assure you that come 13th-17th April 2016, all the confusion regarding Faith will be addressed. I’m extending an invitation to you to join me and let’s take it to another level. Till then, don’t stop being expectant as you wait for your answers – it will come in Jesus name Amen!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#Peter’s POV

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Peter’s Point of View – my paraphrase

This Bros Jay sef!

I had been telling Him when He came to meet me and asked me to join Him in His movement that we had a no-nonsense government in place already – one that didn’t even let our own leaders rule directly, but He wouldn’t listen (as usual!). He went from picking me to those two ‘confused’ boys James and John, Zebedees sons, who are forever fighting over each other and they are not even twins. Bros, chose Matthew – a much hated Tax-collector and a mix of some not-so-upwardly-mobile boys and to top it up, He added that guy with dubious past Judas. Shebi, He has seen where it led Him to – the death, and in the most ignoble manner of all – hung like a common thief. *Dis people get mind sha.

Come on! Let me ask you dear readers, what did Jesus really expect me to do in that situation? When those soldiers were everywhere and that little girl tried to expose me. Mehn! My people say, *‘to find way no be run, nah wisdom!’ I had to deliver myself from every accusation before they will hang not just one, but both of us. Who will continue the movement when He dies? I was only being wise for His sake.

After they hung Bros, things became tough, really hard and I needed to survive. At least when He was around, He used to do miracles, we will have bread and fish and leftovers sef. *The other time, nah fish bring us money! Bros Jay, if not for anything sha, I miss your miracles! You bin too much, abeg collect salute for where you dey. Twale!!!

https://inspiredfountainpen.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/fishermen.jpg

As I was saying, I went back to Fishing. If it were you, what would you do? My CV was already tainted with the tagged ‘Activist, Instigating trouble wherever he goes’, how will I get any job (decent or not) with that? I went back to the seas, it didn’t ask for CV or for Referees, it just accepted me back like that. As for the others, they scattered in different directions. Tomorrow now, Jesus will ask “if I loved Him?” Should I used rope to tie the other ten disciples together? That dubious fellow whom I warned Jesus about had hung himself too and he didn’t even enjoy the money he betrayed Jesus for!

Hmmm, it is well.

Words in Pidgin English:
1) These people are really bold
2) To find a way of escape is wisdom
3) The other time, a fish brought us money. Brother Jay, if not for anything, I miss the miracles you did. You were on point! My respects are in order for you.

Picture Source: http://inspiredfountain.com/2007/06/27/get-out-of-that-boat/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#Remember

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Jesus’ Point of View – my paraphrase
https://www.hearthymn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/When-the-Lord-Jesus-was-crucified-he-said-%E2%80%9CIt-is-finished.%E2%80%9D-Can-that-prove-that-God%E2%80%99s-end-time-work-has-also-been-accomplished.jpg
It’s been a long while ago I died!
In those days (even now), when people died, those alive mourned, they were saddened by that loss – because they weren’t going to see the person anymore. Or perhaps at the remembrance of how good the person was to them and how they will miss their benevolence or presence. But not so with me, and thinking about it, I’m wondering what I ever did wrong to deserve this. Oh! I remember, maybe once, I called them names. But between you and I, you would agree that name described them very well – Brood of vipers! Oh, I can never forget how flushed their faces became from the senior to the least priest nor how the blood drained from their faces and they became white! LOL. Hilarious!

But is that enough reason to hate me so much?! And before I forget, I also whipped and drove at those merchants (oops men of God) from the temple. It is a place of worship, I’m not sure who decided that selling there would bring more people. Did I tell them I was into networking or soul-winning?

Beyond that and maybe some personal grouse they had for me, all I did was good for them and yet when they had the chance, they whipped me bloodied, made me drag the cross from the city to Golgotha. I had to slice through the thickness of their hatred to get to the place of execution. The humiliation, the jeers, the stones, the rotten fruits they threw, the vinegar, the lewd words, they even played *Kaalu-kaalu over my clothes! No iota of respect for one about to die and for what? A trial without concrete evidence! They accused me of speech, that I said “I am the Son of God.” Am I not?! Why would I prefer a name I am not to the One I Am, funny bunch! I Am the Truth and I don’t do lies like their father, that ancient deceiver. I don’t have his time right now, let me address the issue at hand.

As I was saying before I went on history lane, how come when I died they rejoiced! No one was sad (except my mother and John), my beloved John! And where did Peter go shortly after that – to fish! Is that all I meant to him? One would think that after denying Me, he would look for ways to make up. Did his business mean so much to him than the Kingdom? Did he not understand when I said “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!” Peter, dear Peter, I gave you an earlier sign that these things would happen. I even told you to be careful that the deceiver was seeking permission to render you useless, but you refused to listen. For someone that knew so much, you broke my Heart!

Word in Pidgin English:
*Kaalu-Kaalu: Gamble

Picture Source: https://www.hearthymn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/When-the-Lord-Jesus-was-crucified-he-said-%E2%80%9CIt-is-finished.%E2%80%9D-Can-that-prove-that-God%E2%80%99s-end-time-work-has-also-been-accomplished.jpg

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Shhhhhhh…

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Josh 6:1-6
Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

Not yesterday not years before now, not tomorrow, RIGHT NOW Jericho was shut up! Why was Jericho shut up you ask, because of the Children of Israel, to the extent that none went out and none came in.

Jericho was a city walled in, whose appearance was intimidating enough. Jericho is that thing that keeps you awake in the middle of the night because of its size. The bill is big and the means to sort them out – not in view. You can’t even find an opening into the problem to see how to dissect it. At least if you could go into its core, you can hammer away at the middle till you make a headway, but Jericho was SHUT UP!

Well that’s one way to look at it. Another way which is more positive (and by the way, I shouted when I realised that) is, Jericho, which I have been afraid of from afar, still afraid of every time I think about it, is actually scared of me. How good does it get?! Could it be that I have been living in a world of false fear resulting from ignorance? If only I knew why Jericho was SHUT UP from the onset, it would have helped my faith.

Just maybe, I was quick to forget what God had said to me in the beginning, Joshua 1: 1 -6 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

God promised to give me every land the sole of my foot stepped on, to be with me, literally to take the enemy out for my sake. But by Chapter 6, Jericho comes in view and I cower? This is the same Jericho who has heard about me, heard of the exploits that God performed on my behalf, how He gave me victory, Jericho who quickly shut his gates at the mention of my name? This same Jericho now gives me nightmares. Whatever happened to the courage I was commanded to have? Of course, God knew the enemy was intimidating in outlook, but He told me to ignore that and be strong.

Here’s my thought, whenever you are confronted with a bigger-than-you-situation (like the-giants-in-the-land or them big-man-trouble) or those issues you can’t seem to figure out, revisit the terms of contract that you had with God before you began that journey look through the lines, if you are unclear, hire a lawyer (the Holy Spirit) to interpret the parts you do not understand and let the Master do what He is good at and that is, keeping His promise.

And just so you know, Jericho is coming down! I’m not breaking a sweat pulling it down, but breaking out in sweat rejoicing over its’ fall and that’s my victory. So let the praise begin!

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – Meeting with Destiny

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Who did you meet today and how did you treat them?

Humming to herself ♫I don get alert, God win!♫ while trying to balance the empty Jerry can on her head, as she scrolls through her phone. Even though there was no one else on the path that leads to the Borehole, she rolled her waist nonetheless. With time, she had gotten use to her pseudo-model steps that sends out messages to whosoever that looked her way. “And why won’t they mind their business?!” She thought to herself. “I’m married, yet these men won’t leave me alone. After, their wives will stay up late in the night praying fire and brimstones on their own head because I didn’t go after anybody’s husband, God knows my intents are pure” and she laughs mischievously at such preposterous thoughts.

I don get alert, God win! ♫ She continues to hum away and then she hears his baritone voice,

“Please may I have some water to drink?”

“You people have started again o! Now your wives will not come and pull you away. Shebi, I came to this Borehole by this time to avoid stories that touch, yet you timed me and waited till I got here. Abeg, park well.”

Laughing at her ridiculous insinuations, he continues “If only you knew who was asking you for this untreated Borehole water, you would have offered to buy chilled bottled water for him instead.”

“Typical male chauvinist behaviour, you don’t even have a water bottle or money, but a well-grounded bad mouth! ‘You would have offered to buy chilled bottled water for him instead, indeed!’” she sighed as she repeated with mockery in her voice. “Are you better than our Oba that drinks from this Borehole, or the Chairman that installed it for us many years ago?” she queried.

“You still don’t understand me. If you did, you would have literally begged me to give you this water, so you won’t be thirsty again. Besides you won’t have to come to the Borehole, it will be coming out by itself for you at home.”

“Wonders shall never end!” Martha exclaims (Sitting down with her left hand over her jaw and lost in thought, her eyebrow almost connect in a frown, she begins to calculate in her head) “Imagine having that kind of source, I will not only have water flowing from my home, I will avoid these troublesome women that come to the Village square to fetch water. Who knows, I might even start my own water board company. See money!” (Smiling and nodding her head at the bright prospects before her that she failed to realise that she had spoken her thoughts out loud.)

“Pardon me?” he says and her dream quickly evaporates.

“I was just thinking aloud”, (she eyed him upset at the intrusion, but then, understanding the implication of what he has just said, she swallowed the rebuke that was at the tip of her tongue and said nicely) “Sir, give me this water so I won’t have to come here anymore.”

Amused at how quickly she began addressing him with courtesy, he said to her “Go and call your husband, and come with him.”

“Hmmm”, (with grimace) because I asked for water, now you want to know my husband, what gives you the impetus? I have no husband jare, if you no wan give me water, bone. Nah condition make crayfish bend.”

“You have said the truth. You were married to five men before now and the one you are with now is not even your husband.”

“Who told you?! That’s how they go about peddling stories about me in this village, God will judge them. Abi, you be winch? Nah joke o!

“No offence taken”, he replies as he joined her on the stone, they spoke about the life she lived, her community, the intertribal-wars and her personal struggles with the women of Ibak Community and the possible solutions. Oblivious of the time, they spoke on and the more interested in him Martha became.  images

 ●

His friends returned from their shopping and met him with the lady, each man to his thoughts.

“We haven’t been gone for long and he has already found himself a companion, no dulling”

“Who is this woman he is talking to? And they seem so engrossed in the gist.”

“Is it not that notorious woman that many women hide their husbands from?!” Chai!”

“Hello guys” she says sweetly and hurriedly pushes past them. “I have to tell my ‘men’ about this man, he might be the real deal after all.”

John 4: 7 – 42

Words in Pidgin English:
1. I have gotten a bank alert, God’s got the victory
2. Slang meaning “Didn’t I”
3. Please behave yourself
4. I do not have any husband, if you won’t give me water, forget it. It is by design that the shrimp is bent over.
5. Are you a wizard? I was only kidding.

I checked up on Seasoned Sistah 2 and she’s slowly but surely going through her programme. I have missed her writing, but she’ll be back soon. At this period, we will just have to make do with her last two posts and pray she gets better and better. Take the needed rest and returns refreshed. Hugs to you Yvonne 🙂

Picture source: http://northcountymsbl.com/2015/06/2015-upcoming-managers-meeting/

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

A THIN LINE BETWEEN

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Wondering about the dividing line between passionate love and intense hatred, I journeyed through the Word to a good example of such as found in 2nd Samuel 13:1-39. The ‘love’ Amnon had for his stepsister Tamar.

Lets look at what love is. 1st Corinthians 13:1-13 talks about the importance of love above other gifts – vs 4-8a,

“Love suffers long (patient); and is kind; envieth not; never boastful, proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish, is not easily provoked (or quick tempered); thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things (is always supportive), believes all things (trusting), love is hopeful and endures all things. Above all, LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Did Amnon have all these? We’ll find out soon enough.

2nd Samuel 13:1-2 opens up telling us that Amnon loved Tamar, David’s daughter and Absalom’s sister to the point that he became upset because she was a virgin and he thought it hard to get her.

How did Amnon know that Tamar was a virgin? Did he go “test-driving” No!!!! In those days, it was required of the king’s daughters (who were usually virgins) to wear a special robe of divers colours. This robe was a symbol of their purity and mark of being chaste to all. It was like an open declaration of what she was – an untouched, uncultivated (as in not used) land, whose nutrients were still intact. It was a sign of freshness and newness of life. Amnon wanted of that freshness.

It’s okay to desire something, but to what purpose is that desire? Why want something so badly if you don’t intend to use it for any good, save to make it desolate and lie wasted? Amnon had a desire and also a friend/cousin (Jonadab) who always knew how to get what he wanted…a friend that was very subtle (cunning or streetwise). A man of God advised us to “be careful who we reveal our needs to, or else a mediocre individual will show up to fulfil them”. It was permitted in those times to marry your sister, why didn’t Amnon do just that! SELAH. Jonadab advised Amnon and that was the genesis of Tamar’s nightmare. There is nothing wrong in letting someone else know what your plans are, but do both of you desire to get the same results? Be careful who you seek advice from.

Looking at vs.5
“And Jonadab saith unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thy self sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.”

Jonadab didn’t say Amnon should rape his sister, but he gave Amnon a plan and that plan was such that put the sense of sight to work. Tamar was to make cakes in front of Amnon. I can imagine the pictures that went through Amnon’s mind, as he beheld Tamar knead the dough and bake them. What he saw would have heightened his frenzy and desire to a boiling point. Hence, he threw all cautions to the wind.

As a king’s son, he was well schooled in the laws of the land, so he knew the consequences of his action. Love is patient, thinks no evil. Why didn’t Amnon take the right steps and wait? Truth is, what he felt was LUST, EROTIC LOVE for his sister that couldn’t and wouldn’t wait. He had so longed for it that he became disgusted after the act. Of course, you weren’t expecting her to respond passionately to him in a state of rape! I’m sure he was disappointed at the fact his 99% desire was met with a 0% response at the other end and a 99% resistance.

Amnon hated Tamar more than he “loved” her because there’s something about the desire to capture, after which you experience diminishing returns because you’ve gotten to the peak of it and there’s nothing else in it for you – especially if you had to go through a lot of aches (heart, body wise) to get it and that of your own compulsion.

There’s something demeaning about #RAPE. It is worse if it’s someone you know and the most terrible part of this story is being kicked out in that state of vulnerability, after your prized possession has been taken from you. I’m sure Tamar would have day-dreamed repeatedly about her knight in shinning armour and the D-day when he gains access into the treasure she has to offer him- her gift to him. Only for it to be forcefully taken from her! What a deep-seated pain. For Tamar remained in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman, sad and lonely!

After she was thrown out, Tamar tore off her symbol of intactness, her divers’ coloured robe. Surprising that Amnon raped Tamar, yet he left her robe still in place. So that he could deceive others that she left his house the way she came in. But like Zara said in William Congreve’s ‘The Mourning Bride’, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,” Tamar tore the robe and put ashes on her head.

I checked up the meaning of “ashes” and WEBSTER has this to say “what is left when a fire has burned itself out; the remains of a human body (whether or not cremated)”. Checked up “head” too; this is, “the top part of the human body or foremost part of an animal’s body. It contains the brain, mouth, nose, eyes and ears and its structure protects these organs; the leading person in a community etc. or the position he holds.”

All Tamar was trying to say was “…not only is my virgin land ravaged, lying wasted and desolate, all I have left is the ashes of what used to be a burning fire. My zeal as one devoted solely to God via my body is burnt out and I’m left with only its reminders.” She put the ashes on her head to show that this singular act of rape affected the core of her existence. She was no longer an example (virgin, leader) to others. In other words, she didn’t have a head anymore…because she was no longer a virgin and the man who took it wouldn’t marry her and play his part as her head!

Rape is bad. No matter the sides we try to view it from, it affects so many other people within and outside our circles – not just now, but later on. A husband or wife, daughter or son gets to suffer for what someone else did to another. It spoils clean bonds that would have been formed, rears its ugly head occasionally in the family and breeds friction that people can’t really pin their fingers on, yet know there is unresolved tension somewhere.

At one time or another we’ve all been like Tamar- RAPED!!! Not necessarily the sexual. But something we held on to so tenaciously, something very valuable was taken from us and we were kicked outside for the world to see. Left with nothing, but the quenching embers of what we once treasured.

However, we don’t have to become desolate like Tamar and remain sad and lonely, but rise above the dump and stand. Pick the shreds of our garments, our life and give them back to our Maker not our brother Absalom; because Absalom will definitely (even if it takes 2 years), go for ‘our Amnon’ to destroy it. ‘Your Absalom’ is that silent pain in you that has turned into bitterness and you are nursing him, while waiting the right time to strike Amnon. It’s in the past now, let it go, rid yourself of the burden of bitterness and un-forgiveness. Set your heart free and you will love again.

  • Inbetween, seek professional help amongst the many organisation that deals with these matters and come out a survivor. Don’t let the rapist ruin your yesterday, today and the future. It’s time to hit the ground running.
  • Report the case and the rapist to appropriate quarters (especially properly establish organisations that will pursue this cause for you), so that he or she cannot do that to someone else. #DontBeSilent, #SpeakUp
  • Go to a hospital and get a check-up for all forms of veneral diseases etc and be treated.

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved