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.

Unfulfilled Longings – Fictional Short Story

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I’ve been trying to forget her for a long long time and failing really badly at it. It felt like I enjoyed how I felt about her to such an intensity that I struggled to let it go.., but I knew that I had to. God had strictly asked me to let her go.., but I am not a powerful Creator who is mature and absolutely perfect, and who has never made mistakes for billions upon billions of years.., I struggle with my humanity, I struggle with my version of love which involves me falling for people that I like but to whom I can never become loved in their own version of reality. I know that life is unfair this way.. but I get it.., I really do.., It’s not exactly a delightful truth.., but you gradually begin to take it impersonally and learn to accept people for their mistakes and maybe forgive them someday, and accept the fact that their rejection of you is no fault of their own.. It’s just that they can’t see deep inside of your soul, your inner person and your hidden character. People are blind to what is unseen, and the unseen is the very birthplace of romantic love.

It was a dream that helped me remember her again. I would be lying if I were to tell you that she was never in my thoughts. Her name was ingrained into my brain, a mere uttering of her name brought delights into me that prompted much fancy and imagination. She had blocked me on instagram, and on facebook she avoided my messages. She had even friendzoned me in the past, did the universal women’s code for disinterest by not replying to any of my messages for a year, and the last time that she had breezed in acting like there was nothing wrong between us.., she acted like she and I talked daily for hours upon hours.., she played with my feelings before leaving as quickly as she came. Nothing new here. Just a universal female act and drama, since I am highly sensitive.., I felt the familiar meltdown and inner accusation begin. I wrestled with thoughts that insulted my lack of self restraint, I heard voices of painful condemnation that let me know that I should’ve known better with all my years of experiencing rejection. Rejection did not sit well with me.., it would be a thorn in my flesh and sting deep and hurt deep whenever my mind wished to torment me. Perhaps i’m in a war with finding love.

I should describe to you the dream. I remember it vaguely. But the message and the moral of it was clear, it was defeat. I was suffering defeat and rejection from her. If you know me, you should know well that I don’t take defeat well. I remember those who have defeated me, it’s like a curse.., even though Christ has helped me forgive them.., I can’t easily forget those in whose presence I suffered embarrassment, shame and disgrace. As a man, I would avenge my losses.., I had to struggle with such feelings in my faith and force myself to let it go. What I loved about Christ was that, He helped me see that my inner problems were far more greater than the problems of the world and far more dangerous and deadly than all the celebrities, famed ones and writers.

I have no clue as to what triggered me to dream about her. I remember that week well, my faith had just overcome a deadly fear of facing murderous henchmen as I preached the gospel. All day long I would be bombarded by these images, it felt like I was drowning in them and the voices would condemn me about my fears, and about my lack of courage.., and they would whisper that they knew that I was afraid to die for Christ. No matter how strong I attempted to make myself courageous, I lost heart.., because all my life I’ve been afraid of pain, of suffering, of falling victim to poverty, of losing my parents to an accident.., and to many horrors that were all too common in my world. But I remember the LORD just transferring a strange sense of inner burning within me. I was burning and burning within myself, in my heart and just on fire for Christ. I witnessed people drawn to the Gospel and it felt surreal.. how was it possible in this town brimming with strong inner tensions and spiritual evils..? It felt like the fire was living within me made the gospel become more truer than human understanding and affirmations could confirm. I started to receive incredible dreams, many of them were prophetic..,revealing things about my life and calling that I did not wish to be true.

The Lord was again asking me stop longing after her. Believe me when I say to you that I tried to forget her.., I really really did.. but not really. No disrespect to the Lord.., but I couldn’t understand what that even meant. For three years I had stayed pure, moral and single. Despite a bit of fame, I was a saint in my public life, I resisted temptation and ran away from fair maidens in an attempt to please God and to reveal to Him that I was serious about Him this time. I still struggled with lusts in my personal life, but I never gave up in my vision to become more and more Godly. She seemed to initiate in me a delight and joy that I didn’t have a reference to compare it to. I fell for her three years before in a way that I had not done in my entire life, and believe me I’ve fallen many times into empty one sided infatuations. I knew that the Lord’s sharpness of language was done more out of a protective instinct.., i’ve been around Him enough to sense that the deeper and the more deadlier the danger, the sharper His language becomes. I’ve picked up on nuances when i’m around Him.., He speaks a lot when He is still, silent and non-responsive. The Lord is my best friend, I’ve learned to trust Him and even love Him when He is angry and upset with me.., I love how passionate, zealous and possessive He is of me.. even though I pathetically suck at things like immediate obedience. I fail to satisfy Him, but He satisfies me more than words can ever comprehend.

The dream started with me in a place filled with busy people. The people around me felt like they were worldly, a theme that my spirit feels a deep seated unrest with. Since I could always sense that there was something wrong with the picture that I was forced to live in, and I grew always in a state of rattled nerves and disturbed confusion of the world around me. She was there.., I refuse to say her name since it triggers intense longings,wishes and dreams. But she was there.. Perhaps the whole dream was indicative of why she said no to me. I have mistakenly and accidentally tied the knot to somebody for whom I feel nothing, and I am overcome with sorrow at my choice. She meanwhile is stronger than my emotional dilemma, she is stronger to push herself to reach professional success.., I feel like the visual scene despite being hazy was a mixture of college energy and professional glory.., and I could sense another character as well.., a character who possessed her, it was not love.., but it was more of a symbol of belonging. She belonged to him.., he had her wrapped in his fingers despite her fiery, independent nature. And as the reality sinks into me, I break down in shame and defeat. I shudder with my hands above my head in tears, and nobody pays me any notice in this scene. As a fan of Jung, I can read much into the yearnings,the themes and the way that they play out. But I’m convinced that this means that she is trouble. Trouble for my spirit, trouble for my heart and trouble for my mind. I had to abort all of my longings for her that were spawning endless stories, poems and dialogues that I wrote like scripts.. memorizing their ability to transport me to an imaginary confrontation with her.

I woke up feeling melancholic, irate and fully clear about what that dream conveyed, even though I hadn’t discovered the words to explain it yet. I initially struggled to hastily speak this dream to a Gifted Dream interpreter, since the Lord has not enabled that gift within me much to my hurt and pain. I get dreams though, every now and then, it feels like the Lord does not me to become a vision interpreter, or a seer.., and I struggle to deal with that. But I guess it’s okay, even though it’s not. If only I could do something about it, if only I could.

I still remember running into her for the first time. I was just recovering from alcoholic addiction and desperately wanted to stay away from temptation. It was on one of those short story sites, I wrote haunting, melancholic and incomplete stories brimming with passion, love and sadness. I wrote what I struggled to let go. I wrote what saddened me about people that I knew who lived with broken spirits, and I wrote to console other lost souls struggling with similar themes. Believe it or not, my writing was far better then. No, seriously it was.. I had had a dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ, and that had flipped me over upside down, all the fears that had bound me and destroyed me inwardly were asked to leave. I knew that they were fallen spirits, evil to their core.. Who belonged to a realm that the non spiritual eye and mind could not see. The Bible was the only way through which people understood the reality of these dark, hideous beings who worked for lucifer, they enjoyed destroying a man through his mind. I have literally been near the shore of madness, I have stared at myself through the eyes of madness, I know well that only Christ rescued me from such a dangerous and dark evil. My Savior did incredible wonders for me, chiefly to my creative tools, He reminded me time and time again that my imagination, my love for words, stories and my love to understand people as stories came from Him. He even reminded me of His own style of speaking to people through parables the truths of Heaven.

Writing became easier for me because God’s presence in my heart, mind and soul was doing wonders for my creativity. His gift of a new spirit added newer dimensions to my thoughts, to my fertile imagination and to my human longings. My stories were vivid, deep, clear and less tormented.., but yet they were haunting since they spoke truthfully of the sadness of unfulfilled love. How ironic that one such story prompted her friendship..? I still can’t understand why she talked to me.., her friends..i.e her profile friends were well established artists, connoisseurs and craftsmen.. I was an unseen artist who lived for creative glory and art. I’ve often wondered if it was a deception sparked by the fallen ones done in order to remind me of my past blunders and romantic suffering or if it was an incident where I assumed that she was my God ordained muse, lover and wife. I tend to forget often that I am not attractive in some people’s eyes.., especially over an electronic space.., where millions of people portray parts and bits of them in order to draw, lure and attract souls in a revolting worship. It’s not easy for someone to really discover you in the way and intensity that you wish to be found.

I had written a tremendously upbeat tragedy of a love affair. I had utilized the settings to create emotional .. Much like Scorsese’s love for neighborhoods.., I painted a vivid picture of Madras.., and poured into it the longings of human beings beguiled and desperate for love, but often wounding seekers by rapidly retreating. The hero was a struggling writer, the heroine was an Anglo-Indian.., The writer’s friend has a thing for him, and it is her friend who is the heroine.., they are drawn to each other.., but being the rationalist that the heroine is she reasons everything.., and plays a dangerous game of engaging and disengaging the hapless hero, who struggles to find a muse, and a proper intuitive settings for his love. Much of it was from my own life obviously, the heroine character was someone that I had wrongly fallen for at a friend’s wedding. I never saw her again.. Ever. I wished to memorize and commemorate her intrusion into my life with a story that I had written over many many sad songs.

She waltzed in with her usual, girly feminism and joy. Sparkling a conversation that was overwhelming, unexpected and deeply useful for a recovering alcoholic, she revealed everything about herself on that first day. I am still surprised by how in control I was on that particular day, midway through our many hour long conversation…her joy at meeting a genuine artist had faded, my charm had faded and she slwoly began to realize that she was out of control. Reason entered, warnings entered, multiple news stories of creeps online entered her mind.., she freaked and got distant. I could swear to you that on that first day – she fell for me, that she fell in love with me. I might sound desperate, unreasonable and clingy but believe me it’s true. But after that something changed. She never opened up, I wondered rationally if she felt that she didn’t wish to lead me on, I wondered if it was something about how I looked in my online profile, or was it some feminine danger radar that had alerted her.. I didn’t know. By then I had flung my well reasoned control out, and started to become more honest with her.. I would have to wait for hours to get her online, and when she was there she was distant.., aloof, detached.. She didn’t open up.., she spoke briefly and left. There would be occasional signs of life.., a post of mine would get liked.., or she would send some song suggestion on Facebook directly to my messenger.., but after that again the deafening silence would continue… how we had vibed together as people the first time never happened another time.. I could sense her longings, her desires.., but yet again the block was there….I would send non creepy messages well stretched over a space of time, well stretched over months.., and again her defense was impregnable. Something was up. I started to divert my mind, I had been down this road one too many times before, I was on the brink of eternity.. I didn’t wish to fall back into the pit from which the Lord had saved me from. Because I knew with spiritual discernment that it always ended up in the same romantic hell – unfulfilled agony and endless inner hurt. I wanted to protect myself and take myself out of the situation. Because I knew so many souls who were still chasing something they believed was true a million years ago. This was the real ugly nature of female interaction, they start more doubts than calm one’s fears.

After many months and months of shame, defeat and hurt. I walked down to the Lord and asked Him to help me. Can you believe that..? I had forgotten all about my best friend the whole time on this one issue alone and run down yet another fruitless rabbit hole..? How absurd and idiotic. From His comforting side, I stared down into my choice and realized how blind I had been to all the danger signs. I finally allowed myself to be still and comforted myself with my Lord, I was not wrong for believing in something true, noble and beautiful between two human souls.. People are more calculated when it came to matters of the human heart, let’s just say that I believed in it with more innocence, truth and effort.

So that’s the whole deal.. but hey this could’ve happened to anyone right..?

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.

My beautiful, sweet mess – Short Poem

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How strange this desire to want, need, thirst for and crave someone…?
Tell me where can I take shelter from this obsessive pressure..?
I want to run away from this crazy heart that I possess,
Run like Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife.
Do you wanna know why..?

There is a reason I am pouring out my heart to you listener with a seeking heart,
because I am afraid for what it has done unto me in the past,
it has left marks and scars where formerly dreams used to hide.
My eyes, they don’t see colors anymore,
I am a man who now shuns his eyes.

I am afraid to desire her,
I know that I want her,
but you see, that is the problem.
I had convinced myself that I needn’t care.
I have come past ghouls and horrors that once tortured my soul.
Dreamer that I am, I suffered reality’s cruel strikes,
Demons played and wrecked a tremendous destruction upon my soul.
Dragging me even unto the gates of death.
But my curse seems to pull me into complicated situations that are full of
wreckage and mindless abandonment.

She has another,
Everything that I feel for her,
this intensity, this deep desire of my soul to possess her soul,
She feels for somebody else,
You know that I can’t bear a truth such as that,
How did I get myself into this mess..?
I am not going to psycho analyze every contact with her with my heart’s
detective lens, I know when somebody wants somebody else..,
I really really do.. It hurts like every ache in the universe
has decided to cry.

Why am I staying here, waiting in painful uncertain obliviousness..?
Why do I enjoy this stinging pain of yet another disaster..?
I believe that I enjoy being the martyr..,
I believe that I enjoy the chase, the challenge,
the thrill, and the exhilaration.
I know that I see myself as a hero in hiding, who will pounce upon whoever he believes in his heart is his princess..,
I wonder if I truly do need her..?