Piercing the darkness – Part One

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Yosef watched with mute keenness the entire scene. There were so many humans there, most of them would never realize the reality of their inner soul and it’s precarious position in the sight of the Lord. None of them would know that a similar fate would meet them if they did not repent of their inherent wickedness, spiritual rebellion and mindful sinfulness and accept the precious sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ done for the benefit of humanity.

No one would be able to see him, the Lord had tired of satan using the unseen realm to fool men into believing in stories that men’s imagination devised, during the days of Noah and Enoch, Lucifer had created grand displays of men’s imagination.. Giants had lived, and had invited men’s worship and awe… further deceiving themselves and falling deeper and deeper into the nature of their own minds, by claiming to be wise, they fell away and into the snares of the ancient dragon who led them all away from the one true God and into fables, myths and fantasies.. lucifer knew how to sense such imaginative and deep souls…, Most of them would be born either in the months of March, June, September or February.., he carefully read their imaginations because he had been granted access of the soul, when the Lord created man. Man’s soul stirred up strange imagery that murmured in the restless heart of a man deep in sleep, if only a man listened to his soul during his sleep..? But the Lord had purposefully concealed knowledge of their language from man’s wisdom, natural discernment and understanding… The Lord only wanted men to be saved from Hell, His End time Judgment and from His ferocious wrath in this age…The Lord had created man using mud, but the Lord in His tremendous all encompassing wisdom had generously granted men a bit of His spirit’s intoxicating eternal mystery.. this was what men called soul.., when men lost sight of earthly things and like a child believed in the Lord Jesus and His powerful resurrection and sacrifice.., their soul converted into a spirit…and in that spirit the Lord would reveal Himself in ways that the human mind with its limits could never fathom… The Lord did not intend for the father of lies to have access to man’s soul, but His truthful absolute made it possible for His absolute goodness as well…. The fall of man opened up the soul to the evil of the fallen one.., the ancient sinner… Yosef’s face grew grim as he thought of the horrendous evil that the Serpent had created all through the ages.. all because of the knowledge that he had stolen from Heaven.., Filthy robber.., his end was coming soon.., The Lord was just anxious to save as many souls as He could before the vile serpent would raise the final deception upon all of mankind… Even an evil would glorify the Lord ultimately, such is the Lord’s law.

His senses were used to the earthly pain by now, Yosef was deeply sad but he was an angel. He did not possess man’s flesh which created deep sorrow and suffering in the case of tragedy. Man’s pain was more acute because of the way in which the Lord had created an inner system of life.. Yosef meanwhile belonged to another realm, but his duties were always to watch, guard and protect against severe outbreaks of tragedy, pain and suffering…Yosef saw the different reactions in each soul that stood by the dead body, the medics were on their way, he could hear the sirens 5 kms away.., He knew the names of all the people in the crowd. There were 10 people besides Tim who had been viciously gunned down. The Lord enabled man to choose actions with his own free will.., and man always chooses evil, because apart from Christ all that man knows is the evil inside of him… but the Lord had in His great mercy granted men natural controls over the inner depravity so vast and unrealized in a man’s inmost being.. His heart without God’s presence was deeply wicked and sinful, Men’s hearts were always restless, wicked and without a thought of the actions that would be triggered by their indulgence in sin. Mankind did not realize that their indwelling sin was the reason for all the chaos, mess and vile ugliness in what had been God’s precious world… Yosef knew things beyond man’s wisdom, Yosef could only sadly smile at the proud and haughty thoughts of men who assumed themselves to be gods.., Yosef and his fellow brothers, the guardians of this world shivered and trembled as they thought of the truth that was hidden to all of mankind. Mankind were given too little information about Yahweh’s incredible Glory… Men on this planet tired of everything.., they would grow weary, restless and begin to search and scour for inner peace.., Never realizing that it is only in Jesus that the greatest love and solution of all that a man’s heart can feel is found in.. How tender was the Lord’s mercy towards these clueless rebels and condemned..?

Man did not have the power to realize the evil that was so piercingly pervasive in every inch, fiber and space of humanity and all her grandiose creations. Yosef wondered if he should separate the soul from Tim..? Tim’s father would be devastated.., his mother had left Tim’s father when he had been young.., She wanted to freely indulge in debauchery, she had listened to her heart and it had deceived her without her knowledge.., She had left to Las Vegas.., she had tried out every sinful indulgence over there, and was now trapped by the lusts for alcohol and immorality… Yosef knew intimate things about people, he could see the paths that they were choosing for themselves, he could see the deceiving spirits gleefully chaining people who lusted after the world and its pleasures and giving most people an illusion of control, freedom and independence… but the Lord had firmly closed her supply, her finances and her promiscuity by giving her health issues in her kidneys… Tim’s father was a Godly man.., crushed by his wife’s free spirited nature.. Steve struggled to stay afloat.., but that was when a local youth pastor, Joe had invited him to a Saturday evening concert and Service.. Steve’s life had turned radical, he found God’s power to forgive the grievous sorrow of losing his wife to the world.., he became a praying man.., and he spent many hours on his knees..Praying for his neighborhood.., he became a Prayerful Watchman for his neighborhood.. Zealously praying for the Lord’s will and Help to be available to the lost souls in his vicinity.., he even prayed zealously for his wife to find her way back to him.., he prayed for Tim endlessly, and the Lord had listened and had put in plan a sequence to save him.

Tim had wanted a coke and some hersheys, when Simon, the local gang-banger triggered to irritation by a spirit of aggression to strike fear in the drug infested neighborhood had opened fire at a local midnight store which had asian owners. Simon, had grown up poor.., he had slept on the sidewalks, his parents had divorced…his mother was a dope fiend and had neither the time nor the conscious recognition of him as her son, but a chance encounter with a drug dealer had altered his life forever.. Triggered deeply to never feel that shame, pain and sorrow.. Simon had struck fear in the heart of roswell neighborhood.. Driven by a maniacal pursuit of power.. Simon created a gang that spread drugs, violence and pain… Yosef remembered that the Lord had spoken many times to Simon’s conscience, but the local territorial spirit created calamities that struck a deeper fear into the heart of Simon, causing him to sink deeper into the mob life.

Caught by a barrage of bullets, Tim had fallen down, unconscious in a pool of his own blood. He had been dead for upto 10 mins by now.., passers by had shrieked in horror at the lifeless body, Stan the Asian who took care of the midnight store had forgotten the bullet sprayed windows.., he had rushed to Tim’s side and had called 911.., Yosef had seen Stan crying at the sheer injustice of it all, passersby had all been attacked by demonic hordes of terror, fear and indifference.. Many of them had run away.., Yosef could not believe their actions, but the devil’s hellions were working to create fierce divisions and factions within mankind.. even now he could see these demons so vicious, vile and violent spread lies into the hearts of the few people who stood there.. Yosef was a high ranking Angel, He had enough power to crush and send off these pathetic hellions scampering to the shady realm of the underworld… but the Lord had not spoken through the saints in Heaven…Yosef for now was to watch over and reduce in measure, the evil of this place… Why were mankind so foolish to not pray..? Did they not know that prayer opened up the floodgates of heaven..? Yosef could only observe what men’s freewill opened their unprotected lives upto.., Mankind rarely asked for the Lord’s help.., they were too caught up in some imaginary world of their own creation…He was sad.., Tim had just begun meeting Rosie.., Rosie was skeptical of her faith, but one of the reasons that their life paths crossed was to trigger Tim to deeper examine his faith as he saw Rosie’s excuses to not stand for Christ..,Only the Lord knew who He would save at all costs.., but the Lord treated everyone like the same, but once again there were deeper mysteries to the Lord’s plans that Yosef loved.., Yosef felt his heart swell as he thought about the Lord.., It was such an incredible honor to serve the true Master of the universe…Oh if only men could see the Lord, or even sense in their inner being His truths.. Yosef sighed.., happy that angels had been spared the fate of humans…but still determined to stand for the Lord’s cause for wicked, selfish humanity…Yosef knew that there had been a chance that the Lord would’ve sparked the lives of Tim and Rosie.. The Prayers of Tim’s father had protected Tim on many many occasions, but Tim had hardened his heart against the Lord since Tim felt that he could not believe in someone who had not done anything to unite his mother and father… Tim also lived in an unsafe neighborhood… murders, drugs and prostitution had hardened his heart and aroused anger at what he assumed was either a non existent fantasy or a detached God who hardly cared about His creation… Yosef could only think in awe of the Lord’s tender mercy as He saved billions and billions of ungrateful cowards, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, selfish and godless mortals so dead in their sins… It was sad that Tim had never grasped Jesus strong enough in his life, despite the hundreds and thousands of chances that Yahweh had offered unto him.

(to be continued)

Chronicles of an Imperfect Saint.

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I woke up and saw everything around me in terror. My heart racing over what I had seen, felt and done.

What had I done..? What had I done..?

I felt an unearthly fear grip me. I hear the light growl of a street dog in the distance, I hear the familiar sounds of the night in an unsafe neighborhood at unease with the unseen forces of terror that stalk and prowl, I feel my heart beat racing. Was I going to die today..? Did I have the assurance of salvation..? I had been engaging in a dangerous game of backsliding and grace abuse for the past two to three weeks, had I exhausted God’s patience..? Was murder going to become the way that I encountered God before I was to be led towards the fiery, never ending flames of hell..? I began to search for verses in my memory to combat the overpowering, domineering forces inherent in my mind. I tried to remember past experiences where I had been rescued, saved and comforted. I tried to calm myself and stop feeling what I felt. I did not have any luck… I knew the fear that I was feeling all too well. In my spiritual mind, I tried to discern if it was a spirit, if it was a spirit operating the mention of Jesus would yield a breakthrough in some unseen, mystical and supernatural way. The past few weeks I had been swamped with village visits, personal evangelism, preaching, witnessing, writing, shooting for tv, and testifying of the Lord’s power in the town that I was placed by the Lord. It was one of my greatest spiritual longings coming to life, and it had been coming to life in the greatest possible way… But I felt completely disconnected to it all despite being spiritually empowered and able in the greatest way possible. But the simplest way to put it across to you would be that I felt myself staring at it in unbelief. Not the emotional, overwhelming sort of unbelief. But the suspicious, anxious and unthinking kind where I did not even possess a human spark or capacity to comprehend what was at work in my life at the moment.

I had started to work as an evangelist slash (sub sub) assistant pastor to a Theologian, Pastor and Bible Teacher and despite my fears of the past, despite my fears of getting caught in a wrong situation, and getting caught up with some maniacal, Over Righteous Perfectionist whose bruising words of judgment, criticism and condescension would torment me eternally, I had taken a dive because working for the Lord was what I had been created for, it was the reason that I was alive today and it was the only passion in my life that consumed me 24/7. Prior to this dive I had had three months of fiery tests, tremendous mental trials and financial suffering as I quit my job at a Gospel Channel that I had had the pleasure of shepherding, laboring for and being a part of for two years. In that channel I had had my own tv show, I was popular on account of that show and everywhere I went people began to recognize me. As blessed as that made me feel, I could hardly care less.. It was the joy of ministering to people that I enjoyed, I was a wise man who had suffered endless trials and wounds in my past, I knew the perilous side of popularity and I wanted none of it, I enjoyed people finding a reason to talk to me, apart from that I did not particularly enjoy being known as someone who was a collection of television pixels in many houses.. I wished more to be a man of use to the Lord, effective to Him and absolutely of usefulness to the King of Kings who knew the pitfalls, downfalls and the people type who were rampant in my town.. I have always been more concerned about pleasing God than man.

I had my own individual, unique, God created way of ministering and I would usually get offended when people pointed out legal errors in my style that I had never been very thrilled about perfecting, as I had studied the Bible I knew deeply that the Lord chooses certain people for who they are and for who He had created them to be, but He would fill them with Him and then use them in Holy, awe inspiring Power. I get offended because people want me to be like them, to think like them and to talk like them in a Biblical manner, God has given me a different gifting that I find the most satisfaction in, it has enabled me to do His work in a form and fashion that is more about individual healing, understanding and empathy driven counselling, fiery preaching, expository sermonizing, building up deep personal connections, initiating complete engagement and filled with Holy, inspiring and Godly passion. My leadership was more in tune with my Master, Jesus.. I was a man of the people, I hung out with sinners but I fed them truths about the gospel, I prayed fervently for them(if i’m honest right now, it has been weeks since I have prayed for anyone with my style of time), I tried to bring out the best in them, I encouraged them, I supported them and I loved them like I loved myself, or at least attempted to heroically. I allowed them to be them self and I was wise about their nature, since I observed, studied and understood them in ways that they probably have not had the joy of being accepted. All such abilities come along with my Godly anointing, power and filling. It is the Power of the LORD that has helped me perform things that I am thoroughly incapable of. I was created for a different purpose, I was not created to please men, I was created to please God. I was a man of God, no matter how many times I say it I find it hard to believe and accept.

Growing up I never had a feel for my talents, gifts and uniqueness. I only found myself wounded since I was always overlooked, underappreciated and never recognized.

The worst part about the last few weeks was that I was underfed in my spirit. My prayers had been very distracted, filled with all kinds of fears, fraught with nervous tension, wary of Godly punishment and aloof from Biblical confrontation. I always have observed how the Lord grows sharp in rebuke the further I emotionally disconnect from Him. I enjoy that actually since i’m the exact same way. I know that only love has that quality. But it has taken me time to understand it, since I have always felt personally hurt with punishment since I grew up, a fearful, awkward, shy and self conscious kid. Academically I was poor, teachers rarely praised,admired, acknowledged my existence or even enjoyed my presence… As a matter of fact nobody that I knew acknowledged me, I was unseen, invisible and deemed unworthy. I was not loved for who I was, I was seen for who I was not. I was always at the bottom of the food chain.. words such as weak student, failure, slow learner, inept, foolish and other hurtful words in the Tamil language were bestowed upon me often. I gradually learned to look at myself based on the treatment, the words and the acceptance that I received. This was not frequent, but happened 80 percent of the time. It was always implied though, and my intuition has always been on point.

My parents were often informed of my low grades, and I felt humiliation at being such a poor example of my parents at my first school. I knew my parents story, they had worked so hard to come to where we were at the moment, and here I was ruining their name, their image and their pride. I felt shame about it, but I never talked about it, but it was something that I always felt even though there are tons of negatives about me. Very early on I could pick out social themes around me , one of them was inequality, I could understand why people looked over me, I could understand why they saw dark skin and saw it as something that reminded them of ugliness.., it reminded them of the ditch, the crows and unattractiveness. So you can clearly see the k I couldn’t understand why they still didn’t feel that even such a sort of inferior person, atleast in their eyes .. Still how they felt that such a person did not deserve kindness, respect and love is beyond me.. Culturally people grow up humanistically foolish.. My different world has always enabled me to be deeply humane despite all of my flaws.

So from my narrative you can sense the kind of emotional baggage that I possess in my heart towards being confrontational, controlling, judgmental and being criticized. All these experiences have drained into my nature a kind of individualistic, independence with a protective rebelliousness, where I learned to protect myself through self imposed isolation and emotional distance. I could understand why.. God has always given me deep understanding, but what I struggled, wrestled with and was unable to come to terms with was the question How. How could people disrespect and be so unkind..? How could people kill..? How could people humiliate others and never ask sorry..? How could people be so cruel to somebody else..? How..? How..?

At my first school, Inequality was implied, reinforced and taught consciously and unconsciously, at my second school it was worse. In the Indian education system teachers were allowed to punish, hit and hurt students back in my day. The motive was to make students succeed, I wonder if it has ever accomplished that though. For four long years, I went to a hostel where I encountered this in full force. I had failed 8th grade in my first school, which meant that I had to repeat it once again. Deeply depressed and hungry for a new experience, I asked my mother to enroll me in a school that I felt would make me stronger. Growing up around rich kids, privileged kids and amongst kids who knew how to express themselves with pride, strength and arrogance.. I felt weak, inferior, ugly, unattractive, undesired, left over and untalented. At my next school, my academic and socializing inabilities encountered bullying, teasing, cruel physical punishment, taunting, fights, pride, strength, force and verbal punishment. I was the one who was always punished the most, the one who felt the sickness in the system the most and the one who felt the hurt of others the most, growing up I could never sense anybody have the kind of heart for the suffering like I did. I say that with all humility, since the school that I studied at after failing eight grade implied that one had the license to be arrogant by brute force and be recognized as some sort of man. I can only laugh at the foolishness of all such imbeciles and snobs now, but still I have the humbling, my own pride breaking sense to also reach out with compassion to the bully in the same manner that I reach out to the suffering.

Punishment meant that I was unloved, rebuke meant that I was inferior, I knew that I couldn’t treat the Lord this way, as strong as it made me feel to have the power to stay within protective distance from the Lord’s rod of correction, I knew deeply well that I wouldn’t be able to stand a minute of His distance.., I would self destruct if He were to abandon and neglect me.., I would gladly murder myself if He were to distance Himself away from me forever. I can’t bear His distance, I can’t bear Him not enjoying me, I can’t bear Him being apart from me even though i’m an idiot who forgets things and acts belligerently and disrespectfully. More than seeing God as God, I view Him through the lens of my need.. Chiefly my inner most needs of wanting love at all times, at all costs and during all times. If He were to abandon me, I would revert to my former self, with all its demonic oppression, lies, fears and deep deep anxieties.

It had frightened me to my deepest core. The nightmare ie. But I sighed as I felt the absence of the deep darkness that I had felt as soon as I had woken up. I felt a deep burden lift from my the depths of my soul. The burden of my past and the promise of the future and my human inability to comprehend the power of both unsettled me, I wrestle when the burden of it all gets too much for my fragile human heart to handle. Christ has released me from the prison, the torment, mental suffering, the agony and the mental anguish of my past, but I still struggle to understand the difference. I can feel the presence of familiar strongholds, in my life they were not only based on personal suffering of the academic kind, they were of the highly sensitive kind, they were of the artistic kind, they were rooted to the chaos of a culture blind to the power of life in all its gory, brutal realities, I see too much, sense too much, feel too much and realize too much. I wish that I didn’t know what I know. But I do, and Christ is the only power capable of helping me from such an insane, deep evil at work in the human mind, in the outer fabric, layer, nature and power of reality as it manifests itself in places, people and situations.

Blackness.., blackness possessed the room. I could hear the deep slumbering whimpers of my canine lying next to me. I realized that the Lord had woken me up to pray. I was leaving for a trip, and He always knew how overwhelmed I got in unfamiliar places. He was asking me to pray to Him, He was asking me to rest in Him, to be refreshed in spirit and to talk to Him since He knew how hurt I had been in my last few trips after being ignored, rejected and unpleasantly treated by people. I immediately felt my own confusions stirring, why did I have to ask Him in order to gain it..? Didn’t my Heavenly Father know whatever I wished, required and wanted before I could find words to speak them..? Why did I have to ask Him..? My questions only aroused my deepest confusion, I wouldn’t be able to understand why I felt the way I felt, but I knew that my spiritual man needed to encounter Him. This was my spiritual mind at work, stuff that I can never explain with reason, even though I can if I wish to.

In my nightmare I had encountered a gang of hooligans, who wished to harm me and I had physically assaulted one of them out of self defense. He fell to the floor, bleeding and hurt. In my dream he dies, I immediately run away from that place, alarmed at my act and deeply disturbed by my own viciousness. Prior to this sequence, I had made a friend, and he invites me to a posh, three star restaurant and he has been sacked by that establishment, and I feel protective of him and wish to defend him. I knew that my violent attack in the nightmare was derived from my recent travels.., I had passed through Vellore’s prisons a week ago on route to an all night prayer, and I imagined the evil at work in the cruelty of the system that was godless, perverse and inhuman. I had shuddered at the thought of ending up there, my dream used that fear.., My current ministry also involves that I spread the gospel to the nearby villages that lie in scores all around my town, villages where the demonic Hindutva faction RSS are deeply rooted in. They are well known for using violence as a weapon to assault evangelists and preachers. I naturally feel fearful despite the thick sheet of God’s presence always around me, India is a cruel place for evangelists.., and persecution is a hidden truth.., but that’s the price that one pays for loving Christ.. I find that fear also woven into the nightmare.., I also sense the anger that I had felt in the evening towards a group of young guys at the ground that I played at. Their nature was so proud, haughty, rebellious, self loving and disrespectful.. in a spurt of emotion, I had imagined myself combatting those guys and teaching them some basic manners, this too was present in that dream. Over the past few days, my dreams had elicited fear and danger, these were themes that I was always discerning about in my life, not only as a former prisoner of fear, but as a prisoner of Christ wary of worldly realities that satan wished to preserve at all costs. I felt a spirit of fear at work in that nightmare, but the Lord was speaking more powerfully to me that I was around violent, demonic powers and that I needed to protect myself in His power.

I didn’t need any further prompting. I got off the bed, and opened the door and went to the Hall.

I knew that the city that I was heading to was tremendously difficult to stomach after my powerful experience with the Lord four or so years ago. Four years ago, the city had been my home for the better part of 7 years. In it I had grown up to become the man that I was right now, the city was like my mother.., I learned, grew confident in myself and learned to take charge.. But right now as an artist, writer and evangelist things would be different… I would not only see physical uncleanness, dirt, endless unkind and foul realities.. I would be barraged and assaulted by endless unkind, vile and disrespectful things that would make me sick to my stomach since the Bible is clear that God Himself begins to live within us after we are saved, and the Lord is hurt by a world of unkindness, uncleanness and hate. The thing that would hurt me the most as an evangelist would be the spiritual reality: scores and scores of diverse people groups divided by race, creed, nationality, social standing etc etc walking around having not even the most fundamental knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The attractiveness of people there would intimidate and confound me, the ease and comfort of people’s confidence would hurt and wound me, the intelligence and ability of people there would make me feel insignificant and useless.. My natural resources dry up the moment I hit its shores. I can only thrive and survive with Jesus power.

Godly power has enabled me to evangelize to most of my former friends in some shape, degree and fashion, all to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have loads and loads of basketball teammates, friends in petrol bunks, friends working behind the counter of the In and out stores.., watchmen and security guards.., auto drivers, homeless bums, flower sellers, beggars.. In my eyes, much like my Lord, everyone is a friend. I live that out, and I love that it is the way it is. I have always hated limits, rules and boundaries between people. In my life prior to encountering Christ.., I enjoyed conversing with people from different religions, different thinking styles.., I had among my friends.. Homosexuals, transgenders, shady types, bike mechanics, atheists who blasphemed the Lord routinely, Fanatics, people who blatantly did not like me.., but I was intrigued by them even though I have felt hurt on numerous occasions, I still enjoyed their personality, their person and their presence.., I had no thoughts about their sins.., their lifestyle and their mistakes.. In my eyes, I myself struggled with numerous sins, what made me so different from them all..? I still feel the same way.., God has enabled me to love people more powerfully since then.., where I couldn’t comprehend their choices, habits and lifestyle.., as a reformed man of God I can comprehend it.., and I see the staleness that sins create in a human soul. There is no art, no beauty in sin.., it only corrupts, destroys and breaks.., and now I do my best to save, rescue and help people with the living gospel of Jesus Christ which I believe with my life, my full heart and with all my mind.

This is why I love that city so much, it helps me experience people so different from me. I can’t wait to get there despite my natural fears, hesitations and anxieties.

I would like to leave you all finally with a moral from a recent experience that I had with one of my great friends. Part of my personal evangelism ensures that I hang out with tremendously difficult people who have nothing in common with me, but I plunge into camraderie, debate, conversation and endless attempts to win souls over, both to Christ and into a brotherly fellowship with me where I lead them into a deeper knowledge, power and understanding of Jesus Christ. The ending result is that I find myself facing intimidation, heartbreak, I encounter the shallow, nonspiritual nature of men, I encounter tremendous tremendous frustration, embarrassment, shame and awkwardness. I enjoy it deeply despite my well known aversion of any kind of pain. I literally have to stalk and follow people who want nothing to do with me, or with my calling, or with the Lord that I love so dearly in my heart of hearts despite my incredible weaknesses.

After my split from Tv ministry, the Lord paired me up with a friend i’d like to call Captain Wonder, which is his nickname by the way. He and I are worlds apart, but connected both by blood and by faith. He is my brother in Christ and I love him dearly, and affectionately.. But I was having trouble dealing with his way of looking at things recently. I had sent a story of mine that I wanted him to read. I know well how deeply restless his soul is, and how impatient he is, and how being outrageously extroverted is all that he knows. Still I wanted him to know my thoughts, my stories and my soul. I sent him the link to my wordpress account. I had chosen a story that I had written three years ago about a young man in a new city. I had gone through great efforts to send him that link, since finding this particular story meant that I spend half an hour searching through my posts since I have written around 400-500 of them. I also don’t share my works with people, since I know that their insecurity often parades as criticism and insight. Five minutes later, I get a reply from him stating that I used too many commas, full stops and that he couldn’t understand what I meant. Naturally I was hurt, upset and discouraged by his reply, but I wished to overlook it.

A few days passed and then he sent his writings to me. He had had a dramatic encounter at a temple in Thiruvanamalai a few years ago, which is a local religious hotspot for hindu devotees who view it as some sort of mystical shrine of their gods.. Wasting his life around material excess and moral confusion, he felt his soul encounter the truth of Christ in a place as spiritually dead as Thiruvanamalai. That touch had inspired him to walk with Christ, although he was struggling with direction and witness. I went over his written message, I enjoyed its vulnerability, I enjoyed its emotions and I enjoyed its effort. I understood what it meant, I understood also its unspoken emotion. If I had used his same critique about grammar, language and punctuation, his work was a disorderly mess. A casual reader would’ve discarded it the moment he would’ve picked it up. His understanding of the language was as astounding as his complete ignorance of how to use it with power, imagination and conveying a story. His thoughts had no order, it did not have the power to convey what he wished to say, his grammar was as correct as the random order of stuff in a garbage can. His understanding of his profound spiritual insight was as uninspiring as a cold wave of the sea with no color and life… These are observations that speak about the outer nature of things.. Which is the Biblical way.. the Bible points out outer ugliness to correct an inner dysfunction…I did not wish to gloat over my glee at his inability, I was a wounded healer and a preacher who often used both roles to convey scriptural truths. It was not his offensive response to my story that bugged me, it was more than that. I have a fellowship that met regularly on thursdays, where he is an active member. He has supported, provided for and shouldered that ministry from the start. But there were personal attitudes that were very demeaning, controlling, confused and power driven that I wished to help him understand, give him the inspiration to change and draw him closer to Jesus which was my ultimate goal. Working directly with people helps one understand the immense spiritual distance that exists between God and man, and how man often times assumes the greatest things about himself which are often deceptive and untrue.

I called him up and asked him if we could eat outside. He readily agreed. We hit up a local tandoori place and were very soon sinking our teeth into some grilled barbecue chicken, one of the finest in Vellore. I asked him about how things were going, I asked him the condition of his faith and his day. Midway through, in his method of apologizing he opened up about why he couldn’t read it. I asked him if he was ready for a few spiritual insights..? To which he replied that he was. I asked him how he would feel if his hardwork, endless nights of frustration, blood, sweat and tears ended up in a person’s hands and he dismissively cast it aside.. Understanding the response and trying to use familiarity as a way of encountering it, he talked about how he could understand what I was saying, and that he knew why I was saying the stuff that I was saying. Ministry work has helped me see that people often upset by making you feel upset in a way that is very subtle, but avoids an exposition of things that they are rebelling in.

I empathized with his convicting pain, I told him that this was how most of us were like towards the Lord, and that we were so blatantly disrespectful towards Him and His wants but pester and get from Him things that we want. I told my friend that we are all least concerned about the Lord’s feelings but only consumed by our own. I told him as a friend that I myself was an ugly sinner whose good works were like filthy rags, but that Christ enables me serve, love and obey Him. He grew silent, maybe for the first time in decades he learned to see a thing in the eyes of God’s most intense longing for humanity. The Lord makes us to become like Him. He enjoys who we are, but He knows that we can only touch the world if we are like Him.

Friends, I leave you with these stories, personal accounts and discoveries until the next time. God bless you and may you discover the king of Kings and know and understand that He is the ultimate treasure, passion and life worth living for.

The Optimist and the Dreamer – Short fiction

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Some of us live the ordinary life..,While some of us dream and create a world within a world to live in…and that’s okay.., nobody is spared quite really.., none can escape the dreariness of life or her sordid despair.., Hanka was such a girl.., she always did what was asked of her.., she fought through the ugliness of life.., studied hard.., learned to not pay heed to the ugly stares.., learned to escape the tyranny of a toxic realm.. Did things the right way.., Followed God.., lived life with faith.., obeyed in perfection what the Bible mandated.. Hanka was the type of person who went to heaven.., Hanka was the type of person who was promoted for her hard work.. Hanka was the type of person who put food on the table for her kids even if it meant waking up early for twenty years in a row.., Hanka was the type of person who looked out for people.., she did not befriend.., she helped.., managed professional duties with ease.., looked after a family.., She lived by the book.., perfected the system and was fruitful.., blessed and hope filled. For her faith was more than just feeling.., it was something to live upto despite the struggles, the wrestles and the down falls. She knew what faith promised and she walked towards that with unswerving hope. Hanka was an emblem of hope.., She always got through whatever was bothering her.., she conformed because it was right, just and demanded from the Bible. Hanka believed in rules and did not offer grace without believing that the person would someday change. But hanka had a huge heart.., she dealt compassionately with those who were poor.., sick.., hurt and down.., Hanka was just the type of person who believed that doing things the right way meant that it was more loving.., more better and wasn’t it what the Lord desired..? Hanka always spent her money on buying stuff for her family.., she came second.., she loved it more to help others. Hanka was always forgotten.., though she went to great lengths to buy stuff for other people…, to do extravagant things for other people.., she was always treated like she was ordinary.., like the things that she was doing for other people did not change their hearts. But Hanka strived forward.., hurt but bold.., determined to do what had been required of her from the start by a mysterious God who was everywhere but appeared like he was nowhere to be found.

Saul was the type of person who wondered whose side God was on in a personal conflict. Saul was the type of person who stayed awake in order to feel inspiration.., Saul was the type of person who stayed awake because he wished to be closer to his inner voice.., to what he could remember of his deepest and most soulful longings.. Saul was the type of person who felt that the sky was an imitation of inner feelings.., Saul was the type of person who struggled with apologies since he did not wish a repeat of what had been done.., Saul was the kind who deeply understood the horrendous unpleasantness of everything.., he knew that people were homeless.., he knew that the girls who had left boyfriends married somebody different and ended up becoming more happy.., Saul also knew that he could not change anything.., He could never change people’s evil that resided deep in their hearts and cunningly deceived them much like the Serpent at Eden’s Garden.., he knew that people were always going to be poor.., he knew that chickens would be slaughtered for meat.., he knew that girls would be trafficked for prostitution.., he knew that animals in the jungle would be killed.., he knew that some were going to be abused.., raped.., molested.., hurt.., wounded.., bullied.., murdered…, hated for the color of their skin.., he knew that people were guilty of not being courageous enough to challenge the norms and moods of their time.., whatever the times were defined by people imitated and reflected.., he knew that people from the slums could never escape the cruelty of their upbringing.., he knew that people would be discriminated.. he knew these things because he could see deep into the heart of the world and see it’s lost state.., He was not just a dreamer.., he dreamt of better living conditions for everybody.., he dreamt of a world without poverty.., he dreamt of a world without hell.., He dreamt of a world without sin.., He dreamt of a world filled with meaning.., but sometimes Saul dreamt of other things.. of darkness.., He dreamt of never existing.., He dreamt sometimes of being the only conscious person in a world filled with robots.., He sometimes looked at himself in a mirror that he had a face.., a body and that people outside judged him based on how he spoke, acted and interacted with that body. Saul was the kind of person who had been hurt by love but still believed in it and attempted to control it because he did not wish to appear sappy, emotional and delusional. Saul had a soft soul.., he struggled to accept the blessings of his life because others seemed more vulnerable to the world’s beatings. Saul struggled to live.., he struggled to obey God.., He struggled to believe because each day he felt the attack of a world intent on breaking him apart.., Saul struggled with lust.., with greed.., with pride.., he struggled to commit fully to the Bible since sometimes he felt that it made a person too righteous that they forgot their weakness that made them love more deeply. Saul knew in his heart that the Bible was true.., he knew it with absolute conviction.., but he had never been a lover of rules.., he wanted to discover what made life tick.., setting the rules would mean that life became dull, uninspiring and too stable.., he wished to live in the way that he wanted to.., He wanted to be in control of his life. He was a free-spirit and he enjoyed freedom.

Saul did not look at things as right and wrong.., he did not appreciate the power of being right all the time since he believed in empathy more than righteousness which was a controversial stance to take since his views and opinions were laughed at and mocked by the religious of his day. Saul also believed that nobody would catch him if he were to fall.., he knew that nobody was running behind him.., nobody would desire him and if they did.. the moment they understood him they would leave.. Saul understood too that his own inner need to prove things to people sometimes broke and he succumbed to what made life easier since he couldn’t bear the pain of loneliness and also did not wish to bring pain to himself that others would talk about. Saul did not like it when anybody told him what to do.., because he believed that they didn’t understand what he was feeling on the inside., Saul was led by an intense spirit within himself, he did not like to discover weaknesses within himself.. they made him feel dejected, wounded and sad.., he wished to burst forward like a sparkling meteor on a black, silken night. Saul felt hurt that life had expectations on him.., that he would be audited for what he had done in his life.., and he couldn’t ever talk himself out of it.., No …Saul felt trapped in a world where everything was fixed in stone and he was stuck in it.

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.

Day 2 of the Bangalore trip – Signs of growth

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The College felt closed in my spirit.., The buildings seem too near in my spirit although outwardly they present a refreshing sight..United Theological college, Miller’s road … I stare out of the window of the room that we are at the moment lodging in. We have rented out three rooms and everybody seems to be responding to the experience in their own unique way.., My father eager to indulge the ambiance, calm and serenity felt the comfy cushion of his bed..but his mind was plotting relaxing work that could offer meaning, connectivity and relational connect to his path, he was someone who wanted a deeper meaning, a fuller overview of meaningful life engagements and always wished to engage in his passion for work, meaningful rest and faith. I wondered if I would have any supernatural experience on this trip, I saw the outline of an Angel’s wings in a stuffy room at an inn in Yercaud.., I saw a demonic spirit approach me in an invisible manner on a trip to Coorg…, as though to verify my sightings that both excited and confused me in the same degree the Lord revealed details of disturbing things about the places that we stayed in both to my mother and father in dreams. I was a young believer then.., not yet a warrior for the Lord.., but quite discerning of the world of the spirit that I could never escape no matter how hard I tried, but could also not fathom, perceive or discern to a level of clarity that could possibly speak of a gift or a calling in that area.

My sister and my cousin sister excitedly conversed in humorous lingo, constantly reverting to funny stories that they had always wanted to explore in another person’s presence.., my younger cousin sister will no doubt enjoy the company of my sister, My sister will no doubt feel the measure of her own self worth and proceed to grow in leaps and bounds into the womanhood that awaits her with dire expectations.. My mother checks her purse, sets her bags to the side, cleans the room and counsels my aunt in the same breath..My Aunt, a teacher has called her students and is chatting away to them about the nature of the trip thus far reciting the funny portions, explaining her shopping to do list and her plans.. I hear her asking them if they need something, My other aunt, my mother’s sister was a mixture of relief, nerves and worry.. She seems to immediately descend into a deep place of understanding and listened to my mother speak about Faith..I worry a lot like this aunt even though I rarely share what I feel to anybody. My Grandfather, a live 90 year old human experience of aging was excitedly moving about in a slow stroll, ever the Reverend.., he had stepped past the comfort zone of occupying one’s rooms and maybe settling in, and had instead crossed the invisible barrier of language and surface level non verbals and was mildly engaging the disinterested errand workers of the Ecumenical resource centre in gentleness and meekness… The Driver meanwhile gruff, and irate at not being included stormed away into the city just outside the gate of the college, where he would no doubt find the puff of a cigarette comforting and the plight of other people like him helpful. I feel sad about his plight, I remind myself to perhaps talk to him and ask him about his life at some point, I would have to pray since I also wished to evangelize to him in some degree. I wanted to break the boundaries that existed between the people who lived here. I was as usual reminded of the spiritual atmosphere of the place, and given a glimpse of the Christ’s depth here.., so many times work seemed to outweigh Christ driven efforts.

I hear the echo of familiar emotion in conversations in my mother tongue that seems to originate in rooms that are adjacent to mine from partially closed doors, but I find no comfort in them.. I can only feel a struggle to certain aesthetic sensations that are based more on dislike than anything else.., I seem to react to the thin paint of the walls that seem too light on the walls in the second floor, to the depressing tile colors of the floor in my room, to the newness of people who seem many echelons above me in personal style, intellect, ambition, power, assertiveness and cultural heritage.. I worried about the nasty condescension that the occupants of this city would throw my way when they would find out who I was.., I disliked weaknesses, vulnerability, helplessness etc… But it feels like Christ does His best work in such mock worthy human disappointments…But I find myself avoiding all such sensations, I am taking in too many things at once.., absorbing too many feels at the same time… I remember the low effort reception lady whose language seemed curt, disinterested and condescending even though she had a welcoming smile on her face.. Added to the fact that she was a Kannada lady poured more confusion to the raging inner fire.. I find myself feeling the contrast of the hip urban foody places where young people seemed to be assertive at and the appearance of the railway stations that felt inwardly ugly, filthy and putrid .., I try to focus on the American architecture, outer appearance that seems to soothe.., to the symbol of the Cross on transparent glass sliders that reaches deep into places in my human flesh that my mind can never ever comprehend.. To the presence of a Chapel and its silent call and cry.. to the gentle waving trees always friendly, welcoming and shy, to the still emptiness of a conference room where the wind seems to blow into.., to the sight of an eagle swooping in and picking up a twisted twig.., to the sound of my voice, to the wise acceptance of my father.., to his inner strength that knew the wrestle with the known, the unknown, the unpleasant, the unseen and the deliberately wicked. I needed to connect with the word of God soon, I was slowly and quite clearly losing my way both within me and outwardly in the outer world.

But as spiritually connected as I am..I wanted to test the waters, I refused to encounter a place with tools of non engagement.. I was not going to lose myself into my family who were with me, talk energetically with them and perhaps feed of their contentment.., I certainly was not going to command and exert my presence and escape the feeling of sinking tragedy of feeling like an alien.., I was not going to befriend people with charm and etiquette and escape the depressing sense of feeling incapable of making social adjustments.., I was going to test what a place could do to me if I encountered it as it was and not how people took it to be. I knew that part of the reason that I was feeling this way was because the spiritual man is never at peace with the wicked world and its glamorous banality. But I wish I had a proper schema to encounter places, a clear cognitive framework full of psychological insights, explanations and interpretations.., A sort of assertive energy that takes control of one’s inner emotions as it feels a new destination but sadly I don’t.., it takes time for a place to acquaint itself into my heart, my eyes, my mind, my soul, my spirit and my inner world.. I am only conscious of my powerful emotions in the beginning and strive in desperation to see past the conflict.. I must tell you that travel for the sake of it does me no good, I am not a fan of shopping, tourism and eternal drives in a claustrophobia inducing van that bumps, derails and makes one feel deeply deeply uncomfortable, but I do seem to enjoy the experience these days thanks fully to the wondrous touch of my Savior.., there were times in the past when I would turn rather nasty and bitter since my folks could not perceive or understand why I was so rattled, irate and cranky in new places.

For someone who has seldom acquainted himself to the memories of places in Bangalore, each place feels like a disjointed vein leading to a place that appears like the memory of a man suffering from schizophrenia, for a brief second clarity beckons but the madness rushes forth like a torrid tide and he is consumed once more by his delusions, his insanity and his gravity.. I feel like the ground beneath me is spinning, and I am thrown into a daze. There is a railway station close by to the college, there is an overhead bridge and a tunnel below.., two roads run the distance into meters and meters of high priced apartments, shops, departmental stores, fancy high gated houses of the rich, the affluent and the powerful, the complexion of the people here is one of those unfamiliar things even though in my part of the world there are fair skinned people.., but the body language changes here.., the behavior here is not raw, gravity oriented and engaging.., it is composed, detached, expressive and oblivious of other people.. It is a dramatic thing to encounter and slightly triggers my fear of comprehending the nature of the individuals here.. Fair skinned individuals occupy the roads, the stores and the eat outs.. I feel embarrassed in their stare, I feel like an unwelcome visitor.. I remember the hundreds of encounters with people from other states in my own town, and I remember being rude, dismissive and often times too voyeuristic of their awkwardness in my turf.., I remember the fellas poking fun at it, I don’t laugh at other people’s pain.., but I remember not doing anything about it either which in my eyes made me guilty as a man of God.., I am a sensitive person and care deeply about people being treated better than I was treated.. but I remember the inner impulses towards the culturally displaced and visiting, and I have often times not been mindful of the situation and have shown my impatience and frustration.., I start a process of deep repentance immediately, I vowed to never take any opportunity for granted again, and vow to myself to extend beyond my own capabilities.. Reflecting Christ’s love, kindness, warmth and friendship to a deeply confused world was being reinforced through these encounters. I find myself sensing the amount of effort necessary to treat everybody like you treated yourself.., it was mind boggling, overwhelming and frankly speaking frightening.., where would I get the energy..? What if I was in a bad mood..? What if I could not undo certain missed opportunities..? This was the real world, and I wanted to really engage the cultures of the world and befriend souls for Jesus.., I had to really start going out more and perhaps reading up on the subject.. but the most important thing was that I needed to spend loads and loads of time with my Savior if such a thing were even remotely possible for someone who is as mellow, observant and quite non assertive as me. I knew that part of my inability to connect with people from other cultures was because they would often times be really unfriendly and I took that rather personally in the past.., I had to make an effort.., changes don’t come from wishful thinking.

I have not connected my inner spirit with God.., so predictably I stutter and stumble like a sailor on a rocking ship assailed by mighty hungry waves in a dark fathomless night…. The inner ocean is more terrifying since you drown in the power of painful emotions of fear, anguish and hopelessness unless it dips itself into the infinite ocean of God with all its wonderful depth and healing… I feel an increase in anger.., an increase in lust.., an increase in boredom.., an increase in doubt.. an increase in fear.. an increase in reactions to my environment, surroundings, places… a deeper inability to perceive people in patience, peace and compassion.. and an overall increase in a form of stimulation that blocks one’s connectivity to the Holy Spirit who seems more and more like an impossibility at the moment… How strange is faith..? Yet how easy it becomes for a believer of Christ when he kneels in utter humility and brokenness and seeks to honestly speak out his utter neglect of the Lord and also to agonize of how utterly hopeless life as a whole feels without Christ.

I must confess an increase in feelings that made me believe that I can exist without prayer and careful Bible meditations.., I must confess a certain amount of spiritual pride that had been developing over the fact that I was called and had managed to withstand the trials, pitfalls and discouragements that people who were called by the Lord often encountered.. I must confess pride over a lot of things in my life.., pride over becoming blessed, favored, being more spiritually aware, being able to work with my gifts.., not reaching out to a friend who I believed was too focused on his problems.., I have been harboring a lot of pride as of late.., and I knew that it was wrong, useless, meaningless and not worth my time.., I needed to really spend time with the Lord and work that out.., I knew who I was before I met Christ.., someone who struggled to live, exist and breathe.., I was someone who messed up people’s lives with impulsive decisions.., I was disobedient to my parents.., I was not worth their financial investments in terms of my early education.., I made dumb mistakes.., I hurt people purposefully.., I was blunt about other people’s mistakes.., I was a shy, introverted, restless person who suffered panic attacks and had numerous bouts with mighty fears.., I could go on and on…, I don’t forget what Christ saved me from.., if He had not intervened as I pondered my suicide, I would not be alive today.., I don’t forget the deep remorse that I always carried around me as a kid, I felt that the weight of my parents was on me and I struggled to conform to the systems, organizations and the responsible attachments that everybody seemed to handle with relative ease.. I felt different, odd, rejected, inferior often, lonely, alienated.., like I said.., I can’t forget what Christ saved me from.., I have learned to see myself for who He has made me become.., but I remember my past, my bouts with depression that often lasted for months on end.., my messes.., I was saved.., redeemed, forgiven of sins that people never forgot and cleaned most importantly. I live as a new man today.., I live as someone who has escaped the devil and Hell within inches.., I live as someone who is completely dependent on Christ for everything.., and I mean everything.

After becoming a believer and follower of Christ I have tangibly felt a decrease in my imagination and its activities, it no longer turns itself on at will, it feels more and more like something invisible now. Perhaps I am closer to my dreams that I really don’t need them anymore.. I remember when I was young.., my imagination could create stories that I would live in.., I had an intense imagination and always day dreamt about fame, about reaching my dreams of becoming an elite basketball talent, of becoming a world class cricket closer.., of love and the girl that I could never forget, of becoming an actor with an Oscar.., of becoming a rap star who would go on to make platinum albums that sold millions and whose lyrics was deep, soulful, poetic and complex.., of becoming a director who created movies that changed people’s lives.., of becoming an artist who painted art that defined a generation.., of becoming a writer who exceeded his own proteges, personal heroes and muses.., my imagination made uninterested infatuation worthy females into girlfriends that I had to save heroically from crazy exes, psychopaths and villains.., my imagination helped me live the dreams that I could never achieve.., my imagination helped me become sane in a world that was too real, too uncomfortable and too blunt about its unkindness. I still write the occasional story or three, or ten or twenty depending upon the time of the day.., I am too engaged now.., I have so many responsibilities now.., I have to spend time with my Lord.., with my dog.., with the gym.., with ministry mates.., with possible recruits and possible converts.., with numerous unopened books that I am just itching to read and ideas aplenty.., with strategies that I hope to turn into reality in my next step.., with my camera for my personal channel.., with the camera for the ministry that I help and the show that airs all across Vellore and its 20 lakh people.., I spend time with a small bunch that I am trying to gather together so that we can fellowship well and worship our Maker.., I write a lot these days.., but if I am honest I want to be known as a writer and not as someone who is a weekend warrior.., I want to write about my experiences.., about my trials, about the life incidents that have shaped me to become the person that I am today.., I want to write and explore other things as well.. Novels, characters.., I am just bursting with the energy that becomes sentences in pages.., God has been too good to me.., I can go on and on about how He has held on to me even as I struggled to hold on to Him.., my journey with Him has not always been pleasant.., I’ve had my fair share of screwups, messes and stupid, stupid mistakes.., but I repent, and start all over again.., I am reminded of my calling.., to serve.., and I don’t mind being a weak, messed up vessel that has been cleansed by an Almighty Savior. What is that they say.., when the going gets tough.., the tough get going. I have miles to go and loads of people to reach.., God speed ahead.

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.