Photo Credit: sxc.hu, hisks

Thank you.

I never wanted to believe in Christ before. To believe in God, to believe in a personal higher Being is the farthest and the craziest step of my life, even imagining it is repulsive to me! I thought that Christians are delusional or just in a guilt business, doing every gimmick to make people feel bad of themselves, ashamed, so they can make them swallow an antidote, an antidote they keep calling as the Good News. Message of nonsense, I thought. And their Gospel has no relevance to real life whatsoever.

Christians for me are just religious people, second-grade actors and actresses, trying-hard salesmen. Hopeless people who are trying hard to look hopeful whenever someone is looking, persuading every emotional teenager to join their cult. Homophobic. Judgmental. Legalistic. Insensitive. Arrogant. Ignorant. Hypocrites to the core.

Somehow, so I thought, all of the teachings of the church and of the Bible converted them to more hateful individuals who belittle everyone who are not in their club. Proclaiming love, but doing hate. Pathetic.

But then I met you.

From the very start, I knew you were different. There is something in you that’s pure and shining for Someone else. You believed in your belief not just in words, but also in actions. I’m always uncomfortable seeing you doing the right thing with no pretense, even in the dark. I've never seen you doing an intentional "mistake", and you never made those silly excuses that other “child of God” makes with glee. Because of your authentic acts, my mistrust against Christians starts eroding. I don't want it, but I can't help it. You’re rare, truly rare.

You showed me that there’s a better way to live, that the greatest Goal one can attain is not in this side of life but in the other. Evidences of that continued to pile up as I watch you on your daily walk. Your life is the best message I've received, it constantly proclaims that there's a genuine Hope to be a changed man, not just a better one.

Thank you for your words that lifts up. Words that are kind and ever encouraging are the products of your mouth, seasoned with grace, always with the intention of nurturing of the spirit of others. You may not know it until this time, but your words soothed the wounds in me even I myself is afraid of healing.

Thank you for your ears that listens. I’ve never met a person like you who genuinely listened to my inmost cries. You listened to understand and sympathize not just to reply. Though you don’t always offer advice, listening is the best advice I’ve ever received. Finally, somebody truly heard the words of my heart, without guise, with attentional love.

Thank you for judging yourself first before judging me. I cannot count the times when I’m judged unjustly by religious people who don’t know how to see their own flaws. You didn’t lower the bar of morality, instead you showed that you are also measured by it and encouraged me to sin no more and live an honest life.

Thank you for exuding joy and hope to my empty existence. I’m always at the mercy of the trivial, but you introduced me to the things that are truly important and challenged me to treasure the irreplaceable people in my life. Thank you for acknowledging the gift of today, and for your genuine smile that’s available in every moment.

Thank you for teaching me that the past is the past, and for pointing the priceless lessons in my history. I've been always relieving the pain of yesterday, but you gave me the eyes to see how they can be redeemed and be used as a bedrock for more beautiful today.

Thank you for instilling hope for the future, that there’s a blue sky waiting tomorrow. And yes, jubilant moments are waiting, moments meant to be received with gratefulness.

Thank you for seeing the angel inside of me. You believed in me when no one else even cares. You encouraged me when all are discouraging or ignoring me. Because of you, I found the strength to take the next step. And even when I fail, I know that the inspiration that you're giving will never falter.

Thank you for living with integrity. You are the same when the light shines and when darkness prevails. You're living based on God's principles, not for false impressions, with humble progression, not with false perfection. You are true to a person, when he's present or not, how rare are the people like you who don't engage in backbiting and gossip.

Thank you for offering your other cheek. I’ve hurt you, sometimes intentionally, but you never do the most satisfying response - you never retaliate and hit me with hate. I thought that Jesus is the only one that can do it, but your forgiveness proves me wrong. Your love endures because you're always aware of the enduring love you're receiving from above.

Thank you for encouraging me to live in the Truth, for showing me that the best foundation for this life are not well-crafted lies, but well-founded truths, truths that would endure the strongest storms and even the length of eternity.

Thank you for living with the strengths that comes from above. You lived a prayerful and courageous life. There's no doubt that you're living for only one Audience, but I want to thank you with all the strings of my heart for the opportunity to watch an imitation of Christ live a godly life.

Thank you for living a life overflowing of grace, for accepting me because you believed that the Father would accept even a wretched sinner like me. I've received the love that defies all odds because you gave it not just preached it. I first thought that I just met a remarkable person, but I've realized that I also met a remarkable God in you. And truth be told, I can't be grateful enough, because through your life, I finally saw the truth of the Gospel and the beauty of His love. I'm embraced. I'm saved. I'm loved.

I’m a follower of Jesus now. And I have no doubt that God destined me to meet the redeemed soul of yours. In every moment, I'm praying and striving to be a genuine follower of the Messiah just like you, to be the imitation of Christ in this world searching for genuine Hope.

These might be the last words of this letter, but know that my heart would always utter words of gratefulness because of you - an authentic son of the greatest Lover.

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