Hello Yohannes my little one! As much as it pains me to acknowledge this, by the time you read this letter of mine, you will no longer be so little. However, I know you will have kept your smile that blesses everyone. I am writing this missive to you not so much to warn you of future perils nor to address specific topics but more so to pass on this knowledge that my father once passed down to me when I was nine.
These are life lessons about love and the fruits that come with building a relationship with “the one” that I’m scribing today so you can read with understanding one day in the future. “The one” in my case is your mother Bethlehem Bekele; you see my son, a man is strong on his own but is weak without a woman to firm up his foundation. Much the same way that Adam was lost without Eve, men are nothing if we do not have a woman by our side. We are resolute physically but we are fragile emotionally, it’s a woman’s touch that gives us roots and allows our souls to flourish.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you that any woman will do. In fact, for every thousand that comes knocking bearing love, there is only one who deserves the praise mentioned in Proverbs 31:10:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
It took me a long time to find the waters of Bethlehem after traversing the fires of wantonness; for too long I sought flesh thinking I could medicate myself out of depression only to find woe after woe in the embrace of strangers who knew me from a distance. This is a path many men travel; we are taught to seek satisfaction only to find despair and destruction—it’s a woman who rescues us from ourselves. But all along, we fight wanting independence, trying to regain the same freedoms that had us locked up in solitary confinement. You see son, a chain once adored is hard to be liberated from.
But there was your mom offering freedom when all I sought were the prisons of ego and pride. It took a woman with the of tenacity of Taitu and the quite power of emebetachin Mariam to get through to me and reach me when most had given up on me—including myself. This is what happens when a man walks alone for too long; we stray far from our spirits and get drunk on the sauce of self. Like David in the wilderness, like Saul on his way to Damascus, like Jonah in the belly of the whale, I was marooned without anyone to call my own.
But God, in his loving wisdom and his omniscient compassion, saw it fit to send me an angel when I was busy dancing with the devil. She arrived like the spring breeze and warmed my shivering body like the summer sun, she lifted me from fall and plucked me out of my winter of discontent. These words pail in comparison to your mom’s grace; a thousand words I throw at her side and ten thousand I toss into the ether yet they all fall by the wayside the minute she walks into a room. She makes me swoon with her essence and my soul warms with her presence.
This is the love that my dad had for my mom, a love that is deeper than the oceans and as profound as the one shared between Sara and Abraham. These are words inspired by her but blessed by Him, when you find the love of your life, you become a vessel and a servant. Everyone yearns to be a king but a king without a queen is a pauper who is impoverished by loneliness. Love is the greatest gift of all because love between a man and a woman is one that always loves back and doubles the blessing for an eternity.
Son, what I am telling you is to believe in love and never give your hand to those who tell you otherwise. It is not easy; nothing worth its salt comes without challenges and obstacles. But what awaits at the end of the journey—after all the trials and tribulations have been endured—is a joy that is unmatched by any temporary euphoria offered by the most powerful opioids in the world. Desire is fleeting, beauty of the skin temporary and the curves of a body eventually gives way to gravity, but the love of the one who is sent by God is truly one that lives in perpetuity.
You know this already, you understand the kindness, generosity and love that resides in the heart of Bethlehem. You are but a babe now but one day you will understand these words and you too will pick up the pen and write an ode to your future wife. When she arrives, remember two things: be patient and be kind for a love that is offered without condition and a love that is given without strings attached is the rarest gem to find. You can gain all understanding in the world and even speak with tongues that can raise the dead, but without love, as Paul mentioned in Corinthians, we are nonexistent.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
I love you son, you are a prince unlike none before thee. I don’t give you that title because of your ancestors or due to your lineage, you are a prince because you are loved. Always keep your kindness and never relinquish your compassion; this world taketh much but she also giveth ten times as much. Never despair in what is taken, instead always find gratitude in what you have. In time what is lost will be gained when she who has not even been born arrives and becomes audible above the cacophony of those who whisper sweet words of temptation and ambition. Until the day of destiny comes, be of this world but do not be one with it. May God eternally guide you and keep you in his hands Yohannes:: #Letter2MySonYohannes Click To Tweet
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” ~ Matthew 5:10-12
- Toxic Grievances: Being Marginalized Does Not Give Marginalized People the Right to Marginalize Others - May 13, 2021
- Deciphering Israel, Palestine and Jerusalem: Holy Lands Being Defiled by Unholy Leaders and Unabated Egos - May 12, 2021
- Pain that Begets Pain: Ethiopia is Hemorrhaging, Only Empathy Can Heal a Breaking Nation - May 11, 2021