First hit… Memories of shame

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I am always trying to ponder inner realities that exist within me. Coming to terms with what they are conveying.., I perhaps to write to understand what I feel so powerfully within me.., I write to share my side of the fence.., I write to live.., I write because I am in love with words, stories, prose, beauty, literature and secrets and feel compelled to treasure this gift of gab. I believe that a writer is someone whose soul can see past the nature of make believe outer reality, and into the real heart of things.

I can’t understand what is happening in my heart.., but I feel a tremendous heaviness on it right now. My Father and I had had our usual Saturday night conversation.., the topics varied from England dropping out of the EU to my sermon that I had just finished delivering in the church opposite to our house. He highlighted things in my sermon that were hard to take.., it was the usual criticism.., ‘repetitions, unwanted honesty, forgetfulness…’ etc.., I had to listen to my parents and their observations since they were just as sensitive as me when it comes to not realizing the brevity and reality of things. All my happiness and joy at battling intense inner fear, nervous anxiety, strain etc and then standing before young people who were so cynical, dismissive and attempted to mockingly laugh and smile at your face and delivering a message fizzled away as I listened to what he was saying.., He could be really persistent when he wished to convey truths about my sermon that I could never see…, Call me insane but.., I don’t understand criticism because I deal with my own inner insecurity.., and to heave a dose of observation right after a tremendous test was quite horrifying to me…I sometimes wish people listened with their heart and not with their mind.., but he is my dad and I love him in ways that I can’t even comprehend.., he has done so much for me.., and struggles with a burden so big.., for my sake…, I can’t help but listen to my hero…but I have to remind myself to sit alone with my Lord.., perhaps I can climb above the slab of the upper floor and be alone.., and pour my heart, my tears and my feelings to Him who truly cares…, maybe I can become sane again.

I’ve discovered that most of us are expert talkers.., but few can look beneath the layers and words and understand the heart.., and find the selflessness to love back courageously and look past our own scars, wounds and weaknesses…, True Love seems to be too easy to long for and so hard to find. I am no longer content with human love.., I demand, desire and hunger for a love that can conquer.., accept me at my absolute worst and encounter me at my most insane and still love me fiercely, ferociously and insanely.., So far I can only count Jesus in that list.., nobody else comes even close.., perhaps my parents, sis and doggy can be added after a billion kilometers.., but then again God gave them to me.., and they ask me to love God more than them.., maybe I could place them after a million kms since for the first 25 years or so they were the only reflection of God that I could see, feel and enjoy and they were incredible, amazing and otherworldly at it. I’m blessed and thankful always.

I remember not so long ago when I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine. He had been a mentor to me in my past.., but a hard, no compassion showing dictator who was relentless in his handling of me.., I was chastised often.., rebuked often.., told to study hard.., and it always felt like his methods were too extreme.., too hard and too painful for a hyper sensitive, dreamer in love with his imagination such as myself… and I could clearly see that I was nothing like him… He had built up his own empire from scratch.., he started one of the most powerful ministries during the 90’s and had been responsible for a wave of revival that had hit Vellore during that time.., all of a sudden there was a surge of meetings, revival meetings, youth meetings, Godly sightings.., Angelic Sightings.., curing of terminal illnesses such as Cancer, Aids, Tumors etc… God had touched the sun scorched soil of Vellore in centuries.., and my Ex Mentor had been in the thick of things.., He was a disciplinarian, who was a hardcore perfectionist… He had a soft side to him and I could see it work on certain people.., but he was above the pack and was always leading the charge and taking all hostages with him.

Growing up I had always struggled with feelings that I could never be good at anything. I saw people naturally blooming all around me.., and I was never good at anything…, I struggled with insecurity.., inferiority and shame.., I always dreamt of killing myself in my early years.

I was his polar opposite, ie of my Imperfect Mentor.., I was a free spirit, but I could feel too powerfully the pain of a hurting, broken world.., I was deeply hurt at the plight of the street dogs whose stomachs had shrunk and the bones of their rib cage showed real clearly.., I felt pained when I saw people throwing stones at their feet, I was hurt by the fact that dogs and human beings had to search in the trash for food…, I was hurt by how some people never had the freedoms and privileges that I enjoyed.., my heart was always reaching out to the lonely, the hurt and the broken… I disliked the life that everybody led, I wanted to live a life that I enjoyed.. the childhood version of it was to live on an island away from people and that island would have libraries, food for eternity and a world class view of the stars that I would see every single night.., I enjoyed freedom, I loved being free.., I did not like to be tied down, I always dreamt of freedom the more I found myself in systems.., I enjoyed sports.., and I had a hunger in my soul to reach for the stars.. I dreamt all day long of fame.., of fortune and of beautiful stories that I could imagine, and maybe create someday.

After the initial years of growing up next to him, my parents decided that I would do a year in my Dad’s Alma Mater – MCC.., up and until that moment I felt trapped in Vellore.., Vellore was too raw and primal.., there wasn’t class, refinement, integrity or friendliness here…, I felt nothing but inner torment, anguish and boredom in my early years.., School was a bore.., I struggled to cope up…, I was detained after classes all the time.., or I had to cross paths with stronger, more assertive seniors who used me to beef up their own credentials.., I was either a punching bag or a source of teasing and scorn.., My skin color was highlighted which made me feel ugly, unwanted and awkward.., I was never accepted by my peers for some strange reason.., most of them were the sons and daughters of either rich industrialists or doctors.., I guess I was not their type.., I felt unwanted by them .. My teachers did not exactly convey any feelings of me being embraced or celebrated either…, You remember what people don’t say to you and what people can’t see in you.., I still do to this day.., I remember feeling like I was of no use to this world and I dreamt often of death and suicide… I was an invisible person who had to live like I was different.., like I was not special and like I was of a lower species…, My language speaking skills would be highlighted often.., or my grades would be brought up.., Nobody worried for me.., they were just shoving my lack of interest in academia into my face and telling me that I was useless. The hardest part of it was to feel shame for the sake of my parents.., who I could see were such kind, gentle souls and here I was shoving a brutal reality pill into their faces because of my sensitive soul… They had worked hard to get to where they were.., my Dad had undergone tremendous trials.., losing both his parents.. moving here and there.., taking care of his sisters…, struggling to come up in his own life, and my mother came from a very poverty stricken family and had studied hard to reach the management ranks of the most prestigious hospitals in our town… I had let them down.., here they were working so hard under really hard circumstances to make something of me, and here I was just wasting it all away.., I was never considered for anything or thought to be anything.., I loved sports.., but nobody took a special interest in me.., or thought that I could amount to much.., Growing up I so badly wanted somebody to believe in me and push me in fields that I was interested in.., but sadly I had none.

Such experiences with the unkind, non grace offering parts of life made me really hunger and long for love, for empathy.., for being understood despite what was going on on the surface.., I wanted people to feel sorrow for me.., but I was confused since I saw people from even lower places than me survive, fight and live.., this further made me despise myself and made me close my mouth. I did not want to talk it out to somebody and listen to them talk about things on the surface.. Nobody had the power to perceive the depths of me.. No one.. Unless I talked about it.., and when I did.., it did not impact them in the level that it impacted me.., my inner struggles helped me listen deeply to other warriors dealing with a cruel cruel life.., late on in my life.., my wounds, scars and inner demons created an artist…, created a resource so deep for my craft.., but the same feelings that I heard in my earlier years would trickle into my heart after any accomplishment.., ‘This is not good enough..’, ‘ Is this the best that you can give..?’…, ‘ Look at him/her they seem to do it in a way that feels easier than you..’.., ‘ This felt easy.., you’ve not been really challenged yet..’.., ‘ You call this writing..? A 8 year old with no understanding can write better stuff than what you just did…’ …, and so on and so forth.

When we had moved into the colony that we are staying at right now, he was the only person who was caring enough to welcome us and to also help us ingratiate ourselves to the culture of the small island of Christian only homes that stretched down two parallel streets. He was so kind.., and took such genuine efforts to include us and make us feel welcome…, but I remember the initial awkwardness of it all.., I remember my neighbors treat my mother with disrespect as she attempted friendly conversations with them.. I could not see it in their faces but I got a hint of it in my heart.., I was offended that they could respond to my mother’s genuine smile with a calculated one, how inconsiderate were they that they offered hate for love..? And I was never wrong about them.., all those highly rude individuals always seemed to find newer ways to establish their supremacy in our lives, their facial coldness seldom seemed to still.., they were always wound up, always ready to attack and always eager to express their imaginary dominance… and I am a really objective guy.., but I have always abstained from those who don’t welcome… I believe that it all comes down to early experiences. I have always struggled with being rejected.., I still do.., now I am a tough nut to crack.., but my heart is too soft. I am like my mom.., dedicated, personal and intense.., I used to alienate myself and rebel to gain strength briefly but I comply, conform and humble myself for the sake of the gospel these days, and the friendship of my Lord has really helped me forget those initial difficulties.

Nothing special seemed to happen to me.., nobody wanted to talk to me.., nobody seemed excited to be my friend.., nobody could really see me.., I understand it all now.., but the heart of a guy who knows and desires love but finds emptiness.., egoism and hostility can be hurt eternally. I did not get any love letters.., I was not anybody’s best friend.., I was hurt by the lack of interest.. by the indifference.. by the unkindness and chiefly by the inability to perceive one as being important, necessary, needed etc hurt me. But I guess those initial years and the senses that I absorbed have made me the person that I am today.., have helped me take on the cross for Christ’s sake.., and have created in me a hunger to find people who suffer the same silence that I did.., and perhaps lead them with the help of the Holy Spirit to the Lord Himself.

I don’t know who ends up reading this.., but I will beckon you to attempt to make the world a better place than the way you found it. I implore you to know Jesus as your personal Savior since the world can overwhelm, destroy and kill your good intentions.., but Christ can help you with His strength and power and lead you to work for the Kingdom of God.., and believe me the benefits are out of this world.

Debating God – a short article

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I spend a lot of time debating, testing and trying to understand the Bible since implicit Obedience is not exactly my strongest suit.., and blindly following a doctrine is not my strongest suit either.. I question motives, intentions and agendas often.. I am skeptical about the dramatic, emotive and authoritative portions of scripture.. I try to understand them better, with clarity… I often wonder if what is written is true, authentic and factual. I often wonder if what is written expresses what everybody seems to think it expresses…, I am often hurt by what it expresses.. Since it bares open the nature of the flesh with it’s forceful impulsiveness and self destructive powers.., I find passages of the Bible commanding and authoritative and overpowering.., I find the punishments, the eternal consequences described terrifying and highly hard to digest… they hurt, wound and anger me.. I try to understand why.., the world does not seem to make a huge deal about sin.. I have often wondered why God does.., Hell always feels like too harsh a judgment to me.., I am not saying that what I am thinking is right, sound, correct or even wise.., I am just being brutally honest since I deeply care about God, about following Him even though I do a terrible job at it every single day.., I often hurt Him with my stupid, insensitive words.., like a child who blames his parents without ever realizing their value, their millions of sacrifices and their genuine, flawed and perfect love, I feel that I too am toeing a sensitive line when I am critical about faith…, but I am doing that on purpose, I still have doubts about faith, religion, dogmas, religious leaders…But I don’t doubt God… I have trouble understanding Him.. Everyday as a matter of fact.., I have trouble following Him and getting rid of personal, and outward sin.., I have trouble staying encouraged …, I have trouble being spiritual all the time when I have the very nemesis and enemy of faith within me.., I have a hard time counselling other people about the strange tragedies of life… but I know that God is right about everything.., I know that intuitively, intellectually, spiritually and absolutely.., I don’t have any trouble with Jesus, His teachings and His thoughts.. I can blindly follow them even if they are extreme, taxing and impossible.., God’s presence in Scripture makes it vital, pure and loving.. As a matter of fact, He makes the difference in scripture in my opinion….To be blunt, if it is said by God.. I enjoy the Bible…, otherwise it is a very difficult book to digest with all of its terrible punishments, sacrifices and wars. God makes the difference in that book to me.

It is by Him that I find my strength to follow the incredibly impossible demands of faith…, I know Him in my heart and in my life…And you get a sense of who people really are when you spend time with them and get to know them personally… The God I know in my heart has been nothing short of my rock even as I am slipping into what could’ve been the endless abysses of self destruction, Eternal torment and Agony…The God I know in my life has been understanding despite cruel deeds on my part when I begged for His forgiveness as I was assailed by the guilt and the pain of my deeds… I know the billions of times He offered a hand of Grace, mercy and understanding even though I am risking His wrath, His fury and His Patience by doing so… I know the millions of circumstances where a life threatening situation was in play, and I was offered a gracious way out without a scratch…, when hundreds to thousands everyday perish with the same odds against them…Without ever getting another chance.. It was Spurgeon who wrote that we are all hanging over eternal hell by a thread, and that thread is breaking second by second. Why does He have to be kind to me..? I don’t exactly have great credentials like so many wonderfully disciplined and obedient children, I am a mixture of a beautiful mess and a Saintly Sinner often times. But Why ME though..? Why be so kind to a useless wretch who still uses Grace to sin..?

My blessings in my heart and mind are His everyday providence, His faithfulness in my trials..His mere presence in my life.. I do ask for a few flashy gadgets every now and then, He is my Father after all.. I ask Him all kinds of spiritual things…, and I keep getting them all the time.. The delivery services are way ahead of Amazon and Flipkart and way better too.. The product has no expiry and the validity is out of this world.

I am trying to blur the lines between my thoughts and the thoughts of a million others, I feel that I am expressing a collective voice often when I write.., I only have trouble with the interpretations, the fallacies and the errors of human laws, intentions and motives. I begin to understand that God’s laws have incredible and loving motives for our emotional, personal and spiritual welfare.., Being narrow is often a great sign of emotional balance and health, being narrow in definition gives a great deal of clarity.., It takes away the hideous delusions offered by the crazed instincts of our minds and allows us comfort, peace and security… God’s laws helps us see our own lawlessness since this world was created by God, we can only assume that reaching Him, following Him and knowing Him needs His mechanics, perceptions and desires…, We are not exactly trapped… Since the Bible tells us that He is Life.. What a beautiful, infinitely empowering statement dear friends… To know that in God is Life.. means the world to me.., For I have been a great lover of life, for her experiences and all her highs.. I am addicted to life…but I must confess that I can’t still grasp her.. but I can grasp God since He offers Himself to me despite my cynical weaknesses, despite my bitter anger and venom and despite my foolishness…, God gives me the greatest courage, comfort and hope…. even more than I can muster…, which is another foolish comparison since I am His creation after all.., I am beginning to understand with a great deal of pain( mostly because I hate being wrong) that following God is about becoming willing, all my questions of the Bible.., my sharp scrutiny and investigation are often tools that stem from being robbed of my own independence, my reactions to the bloodshed are often doubts that doubt His motives, my doubts regarding verses of correctness, righteousness and Holiness are limited in their perspective since I am often wondering if there can be another way to be Holy.. But as always God’s ways are narrow in nature since they prevent misunderstanding, deceptions and deep seated confusions. Yes there are genuine intellectual doubts, genuine historical doubts, genuine spiritual doubts.. but I understand that I need to have Patience, chiefly with God and then with myself.., He is more complex , just, correct and loving than I can ever imagine.., I just need to trust Him and seriously spend a lot of time with the Word( Which I often don’t) and try to understand it for what it is.

By Nature I find myself expressing Loyalty, Love, Devotion and Obession to my Father far better than Judgment, Obedience and Discipline.. I am a man of principles and ideals.. this naturally makes me more flexible, sincere and open minded whereas my dogmatic Christian brethren have a hard time connecting to people of other faiths and accepting them as they are… I have no trouble or only mild trouble in learning their heart, their lives and understanding why they find it so hard to accept the domineering views of Christianity… I guess that we can’t blame them either, they have not had the luxuries of a faith oriented life, even though that did no wonders for me … Human life is complex for us and can’t be understood in its vast, incomprehensible form(believe’ me i’ve tried), and that is exactly why we need a Creator, whose directions and guidelines are more knowledgeable than we will ever be about living in such a rapid world of incessant evil and decay. We need someone who knows the spiritual consequences of being led into traps where unseen forces of evil can create a ruckus and serious emotional and psychological damage in our lives, the laws are strict because they protect us…, God is strict because He wants us all for Himself.. in His way and in His directions… We don’t exactly have a manual on reaching Heaven written by our finest authors.. chiefly bcos they have no idea about how to get about it even if they pretend to. God can only guide us, or so I have discovered, I still have my doubts.. But I can see further than most people and see reasons, causes and effects quite well.. by the grace of God ie.., but still in humility I often go to Him after terrible discouragement.., Needing Him to comfort me and calm me down.. because nobody else Has His patience and love.. Nobody else can guide me with the truth and still correct me with not just kindness but with firmness…He is the only voice that I seem to trust even though I can’t exactly hear Him, but I’ve been with Him long enough to hear Him even if He is not there visibly.