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.

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What we really need in this life

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Everybody seems to be interested in the external necessities of life.. The statuses, the relationships with attractive girls, the sophisticated modern luxuries – urban and suburban in nature, the cool hanging out spots that need social network likes and jealousy, the flaunting of material wealth, the flaunting of privileged living, the need to update parts of our lives that are independent, fun appearing and freedom preaching…, we are all similar in this regard, we need to feel validated and appreciated by our fellow men, we want to compete with them, provoke them and often let them see us for who we wish we can be or who we really can be or are in many cases.

It is like we have this innate desire to advertise our life – including myself , when all of us have normal, simple and very ordinary lives beneath it all. Despite the glamorization of our hobbies, our lives, our travel and our passions. Many constantly confuse this as the answers to the intrinsic needs of our spirit – We are indomitable, immortal spirits trapped in lifeless, immortal souls which are further trapped in alive and fleshly bodies.. The spirit can find no happiness and rest in this world, and in its people.. Only Jesus can bring life to our spirits that are dry, desperate and in an intense need for meaning and purpose… Friends The true needs of life are those that are inward, our needs cry out to us always.., we have just not learned to discern them… Wanting us to engage in something more stable, lasting, truthful and deeper than impulsive one night stands, stagnant casual relationships, crazed clubbing and alcoholic binges… Happiness is deeper when experienced with it’s creator, Christ made the claim that He was the very author of Life.. Imagine that..! Joy is more profound when it is offered after trials, or offered in exchange for something as feeble, uninspiring and dull as our prayers…God has a strange way of replying to our indignant demands, our weaknesses and unrefined, inarticulate prayers and attempts… He offers us a piece of Himself into our hearts.. What a generous, magnanimous Savior who takes away our own rot and filth and instead creates products that imitate Himself.. We are fooling ourselves if we believe that happiness can be found in the world.. Yes there is happiness.. but the world exacts a price on your soul for it’s claims to Happiness.. The World creates unhealthy addictions, unrealistic expectations, unhealthy ideas, selfish ambitions, success crazed lives that seldom stop in their craving for power, recognition and searching for the ultimate high…, emotional routes towards romance, sexual obsession, a need for attention, pride and arrogance… We are often the very creators of subtle social evils that we propagate without the heart of Christ… But dear friend, the truth that I have found is that it is better to lose everything that we have ever known and find the true meaning of Life, which is to Know Christ.. than to spend all our time, our resources, our lives in pursuit of that which takes us from our poverty, our social and financial poverty but is of no use in the grand scheme of things… Know Christ dear friends.. Seek Him Zealously.. He is a great lover of passion and zeal, He loves all those who take the minimal effort of seeking Him… Nobody on this planet seems interested in discovering God.. When He is unwittingly at the heart of it all, one day you will stand before Him, and in the words of Pastor Rick Warren, you are not going to be asked about your amazing success stories, or that awesome bungee jump in Indonesia, or the massive list of sexual conquests, or that amazing office room that you were given when you were promoted.., God does care about how you use your talents.. but He wants to be the driving force dear friends.. otherwise talents are used very selfishly and do little to no good at impacting people and their lives.. On that terrifying day which I have always feared since the beginning.. I believe His list of questions might go this way..

He is going to ask us if we made the world better..? Did we love people..? Did we ever take the time to find Christ who is the very quest of all Human life..? Did we love those who are different from us..? Did we feed the poor..? Did we provide to our children who were rebellious, arrogant and demanding..? Did we pray for our beloved ..? Did we speak about the incredible treasures and riches of God and did we even share Him with our closest friends and brothers..? Was all that we were concerned about in this life ourselves..? Did we do anything to change our own selfishness..? Were we there for others..? These lists and question types scare me too… Since I can be very selfish with my energy, my time and my life.., but they give me purpose and a vision of how my life should be driven and what matters the most… Which is very contradictory to what the world preaches and extols.. and that is why I suggest that each of you find and seek Christ as though your life depends on it because it really does…!