Ice Breaker

Alright so here goes nothing, my callused fingertips on the keyboard, my eyes narrowed in on the blinking cursor on the screen, the piano concerto in G Major II by Ravel oscillating in my ears, and a quick prayer on my lips as I tried to configure myself a perfect write-up setting. From my peripheral vision, I can see exactly 2:21 pm on my monitor’s edge; “this is going to be a long day”, I thought to myself.

Excited, maybe but I can’t yet put together the blended emotions firing in my mind. I don’t know where this is going to lead me but it does feel satisfying pouring out all these rapidly generating fragments of ideas, in my mind on this virtual paper. I’ll make no bones about it, in my nearly three decades of existence, the only form of manuscripts I’ve attempted to compose, where just a handful of Sabbath sermons, a couple of songs, and well, dozens of essays at school, so definitely uncertainty would be an understatement to describe, for the lack of a better term, my “gut feeling” at this moment.

So how do you begin? I could hear my conscience as if daring me the question. How should I do my first draft? I need something to “break the ice” so to speak but how. How can I bead by bead, string together chronologically the unconstructed pieces of literary images in my mind? And so I shut my eyelids to see if I can get an ice breaker, “yes”! I whispered, there it is, I could see through the lenses of my imagination a little hill, admirably dressed with crown daisies and Egyptian capers, standing tall in the low humid Palestinian valley as low stratus clouds casting their shadows directly over it.

Image taken from

I watched in suspense when a cool easterly breeze rushed in sending fort tiny fragmented petals of corn parsley, suspending in the air. Is this my ice breaker? I asked myself, do I have the imaginary capabilities to move the scenes in my mind? As more and more questions popped up, I find my fingers moving almost uncontrollably, sounds from the keypad in front of me mimicking the old nineteenth-century typewriters. This was indeed going to be a very long day.

I shut my eyelids again tightly this time for a few minutes and tried to pan out with my mind’s eye. On the slope of the little hill, multitudes flooded in with date palm leaves, tunics fashioned with camel’s hair, and the perfumed fragrance from the blend of frankincense, aloes, and cinnamon used by virtuous Judean women, masked the chilled sweaty odors around. Mothers patiently guide their children up small boulders on the hillside to find a comfortable view.

As if in a gigantic coliseum with magnanimous walls made by the distant terrain on the valley edges, the crowd pressed in more and more tightly forward filling every available space. This must be radical I thought, a young man in His late twenties neatly groomed with a sharp countenance resembling the life-giving sun rays as it perforates through the thick forest canopy revitalizing a dying shrub. He must be the main attraction because the radiating effect from His smile illuminates all the weary countenance before Him.

Who is this guy? There was silence in the air as He climbed up an elevated spot, all eyes fixed and ears attended with anticipation of the sound of His voice. All of a sudden It dawned on me, He was about to speak, what would be His “Ice breaker”?. And then in a stroke of pastoral brilliance, the first words out of His mouth were these, “ blessed”! “ Blessed, are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. The profundity of those spoken words fell like rain on the ears of the desert, bewildering the crowd and revolutionizing their hearts. In no time at all, the atmosphere was filled with a jaw-dropping sense of reverential awe. To the ears of these first-century Jewish people, this was far-reaching, this was their “balm of Gilead”, this was the man called Jesus the Christ. Processing those words, their suspense grew as they eagerly await the follow-up.

I snapped out of my imagination immediately, and backup into reality, for a moment there I can still feel the reverbing effect of the compelling power of His words, piercing the very core of my heart. This has got to be one of my favorite moments of Jesus with an ice-breaking sermon of twenty-plus years in the making. I quickly flipped open my bible to the book of Matthew 5:2–3, to see Matthew’s exposition of the very same scene before him, even better, I quote, “He (Jesus) open His mouth and taught them saying…Blessed, are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Indeed He spoke like none other, it was both revelatory and revolutionary and His those very words had echoed throughout the ages till today.

The interpretation of His beatitude spoken will be for some other time. For now, I guess this is going to be my “ice breaker” résumé in the writer’s world. More significantly I hope in some way, the brevity of this introductory piece paints a lovely picture, giving a snippet into the life of this man called Jesus, the master ice breaker.

formal image of schilazzi Palou Towe

Originally published at on June 10, 2020.



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