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.

Accepting God’s authority – Confessions

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I have realized that recently I have had some trouble accepting the authority and the finality of scripture. I would like for some flexibility and a little less responsibility at times, and not feel threatened by Eternal Hell-fire and the passage of time.. There are so many consequences and dangers if one disobeys scripture, that the jolly, care for nothing life of old doesn’t have the power to exist anymore in our current lives and feels more like a terrible atrocity when chosen.

As faith begins in one’s life, He finds Himself touched, changed and led on a journey of choices…, but then the doubts begin… they might be something as small as why is this sin wrong in God’s eyes..? Or something as big as why does the Lord allow natural disasters..? Famines..? Earthquakes..? Poverty..? And the answers are not exactly useful and faith building…, the knee jerk answers seem to only lead to more bigger and more complex questions.., Fears enter in, disbelief settles in, faith loses it’s child like willingness…, It becomes intellectual, searching, doubting…, God appears, powerless, uninterested and unsettling.., He appears too perfect, fearsome, demanding, scary and frightening.., We are all doomed we think.. Hell seems like a much easier choice…, atleast the demands, the standards and the criteria are not so high…, We fall into imprisoning disbeliefs, former habits, lethargic irritations, hopeless and joyless religiosities.

Like I said, the consequences and the effects of even a tiny moment of rest and relaxation brings way too many painful obstacles, It is only some time before I can completely give up in disillusion and panic in a passive manner…, thinking that everything is lost.., I place too much Authority on myself.., I believe that all my hunches, instincts, reasonings and intuitions are correct…I find the demands of righteousness too exacting, and I find constant disillusion when things don’t go my way…. and when it does I find myself helplessly being sucked into the depths of disbelief and atheistic hopelessness…, Faith seems too weak when it encounters the sheer viciousness of my inner world and her mangled, powerfully and associatively created contents…, Faith seems too weak to break away addictions that have lived on for years in my heart and in my soul even after I have encountered the gracious freedom in Christ… and Faith seems impossible when we stare at the faithless, godless elemental nature of reality…, existing without meaning or purpose and is one big void and emptiness despite appearances to the contrary… We all would love to give up.., and most of us do.., I hear about so many of my former friends, seniors, colleagues, classmates and role models losing their faith and falling down… I don’t blame them…, Faith is a Cross…, an act of complete spiritual immersion.., a balancing.., a lifestyle… where reality is accepted and changed through Faith’s presence…, Faith means that we will be attacked by the World’s thoughts, by our own and by people of all kinds.. we will be attacked by evil spiritual energies that can creep insidiously into our thoughts, who have studied our weaknesses from birth and whose only joy is in damaging, destroying and wrecking our lives.

We are fighting off many enemies dear friends in Christ.., Friend.., your life is under constant scrutiny and attack which you will never realize if you are being led by worldly thinking which only makes sense of the world. I have learned that I have to learn to turn to God no matter how the situation appears like.. I don’t do a great job at it myself.. but I have learned that that is the only way…I try to battle my pride and my discouragement and reach out for Him whose touch can save me, I have learned that even if I am consumed by the ugliness of the shame that comes when I have broken and abused the Lord’s grace a million times and one.., God still not only wants and loves me.. He has been waiting for me…, He has been fighting for me… He will help me out of my addictions.., He will cure me of my desire to crave a substance that is often seen as a door to immediate pleasure, happiness and feeling alive…, Yes all addiction creating substances provide immediate thrills and kicks, but they can also damage and corrupt our character and bring immense trouble into our lives. We just need to lean, trust and learn to admit our weaknesses when it comes to following Christ… We are provided with mighty weapons to tear down the strongholds of the enemy who was defeated at the Cross.. Friend, if you are in a corner and being hounded and tormented by the enemy… Let me introduce you to my Savior..Jesus.. , He can save you from whatever hopeless situation that you are stuck up in, He is mighty to save, lift and restore what has been lost, misused, misunderstood and broken.We are living amidst an incredibly dull, selfish and fearful world.. we are a minority gloriously redeemed by God’s incredible love … and now we are here to express that same warmth to the world. Glow on Mighty Warrior of God.
God bless