Oil says it better than my fingers, Grace says it best: flowing like blood, in the vein of us- humanity. The Oil of Grace.
Not my favorite theme to paint, for Its demand on mood and line, but this time It called me, “…into participation & companionship with His Son Christ Jesus our Lord.”(1Cor1:9). Everyday it changes me, every day it teaches me to forgive, love back, hold on to what held me, holds me.
The bird was there waiting, asking to be noticed. I stood staring at him against that blue sky and early moon all stark naked Reminders that Life went beyond gravity!
Ramona was buried yesterday;
her husband and two sons stood tall by her grave: on Zoom it was surreal. A Mumbai cemetery rich with songs we sang as kids, about the Risen Savior, & oh where was death’s sting?! Ramona’s warm brown eyes and soft skin seemed closer, her easy laughter, subtle jewellry and gentle lip gloss mouthing words of love for Christ. We hadn’t met in years: but her passing brings me closer to the Reality of what the Cross does for us, 24x7xn! I’m feeling many Seasons in one, but especially Summer: warm like the embrace of the Father in a Time of fear, His Gospel of Peace.
Death is demanding.
It is not silent. It is an open conversation with what opposes Peace. It breaks us, it seals us to the ‘Unknown’. And we can turn our faces to all our walls all we want, but nothing buries Life. Love. Joy. The invisible presence of That. Of turning away from sin. Of repenting, and letting us be re- created in Christ. That Peace with God in Christ, is Peace.
One of the last times I met Ramona we were at a beach; it was dusk on a busy shore. I don’t remember that we spoke many words, but what she and I utterly had in common was Christ:
the Christ Who found us in different rooms, in different differences, bridging barriers, crashing statements, limits.
How does one describe a place where Gravity does not exist, where Peace is no longer just a temporary Live-in partnership;
how do I bare my heart, except say it like it is:
The Cross doesn’t crucify me, it BARES MY SIN, THEN bears IT. The Cross shuts up satan: his War against our absolute eternal fulfillmenT.
OUR PEACE! THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.
The mark of Christ is nothing like the beasts’:
Christ freeing you & me from short term satisfactions: Quick Fixes, begging for more. Not just blank-eyed druggies’, but Humanity altered by self abuse, by others’.
I was once confronted by a Nun(school principal) on why I followed Christ. You did not mess with Mother Grace, and as she looked in my face for a reply I said what had happened. “No one else came here looking for me…. “
Eternity pursues me, there’s a Name on It. Christ’s. There’s a Heaven even among us when we reflect True Love. And there’s a Hell horrific and more as the ones we rehearse on earth: of the worship of cravings. Every Dance, is arms reaching for the Invisible Partnership we know deep within, exists.
When I was carrying our first child, this horrific incident with the vegetable cart man happened:
one morning he was in the ground under the row of eucalyptus trees, writhing like a snake, a death rattle sound in his throat, it filled the entire noon; the man’s white shirt and pants, always spotless but not on that day. My mother asked me not to look. An expectant mother best not see such things, she said. But this was Ramu our friendly veggie man. They were getting someone to exorcise him, and it took till past 4 pm; a week later I met Ramu, now he was half his size.
Evil itself reveals the very presence of God, not one appeased by sacrifices. He is Light (we are all yet to be able to even look at Its lesser form: the sun):
He Who is Love, of Peace, Joy: three things satan cannot stand, leave alone claiming our Place by the blood of Jesus Christ His Son. Try it.
the incredible Power of Doubt: it can derail us totally.
Why consume the deadly whispers of satan when we have Christ’s Words that can do ALL for us? If we only knew the extent of This here.
Eternity is Real, and I am encouraged today to make it a huge part of my daily schedule. Yea Ramona, death has no sting, the grave no victory.
Christ took that.
With Him it is Eternal DaySpring.
FMF Writers: this went beyond 15! (‘Summer‘ and what the Word stoked). Thank you my fabulous creative friends.
The rain last night left puddles and a ‘Bird of Paradise’ bud! Life goes on as we scramble for Oxygen, literally. India hurts, prays, vaccinates. Every Breath is a miracle no one’s taking for granted. Nor food, shelter, job. The Earth continues to deliver her grass, bird and foliage. It is that Time of Life. We crawl into our insides, we gaze out at the stars. Aye, this too shall pass. Till then we wait. And watch. And pray.
This is that time of Life, when strong men and weak pray.
Today is that Gift we asked for: tiny seconds tripping together, they warned last night of Dawn, and here we are, 24 hours closer to answers we task for;
Today is a Gift of colours we mayn’t notice in sill and (coffee?) swirls, in each others’ eyes, or our miles of sometimes hesitant smiles;
Today is a Gift which will never return: as we read this, Its arms tick tiny songs in ears tuned to fears, but now and then, we are turned anew by each others’ joy…if we would..
Today is a Gift, a Prophecy of Life in the bones of soul; how quick we can keep Its peace… like beautiful Feet, running to ourselves/ to each other yelling the good news, that we are beloved of the Father;
Today is a Gift, only you & I know to courier, to our depths or anothers’: gifts of mercy and forgiveness, the holding of a sister/brother/nation in prayer;
Today is a Gift, only you and I and we can unwrap- tremble with excitement, with relief, with hope and patience! I can die down in the horrific power of belief that healing is dead, but I believe-
I believe that you and I are Pulse and Breath in these streets and doors and walls we built: and today we must Lock-down the dark and wait for eyes anew: then see what Gifts we can give even ourselves, that cannot be bought or broken:
Gifts- stubborn confident that we are still here for a reason: we are Survivor-Mutants -of-health ay, wealth of True Love, e’en in the presence of the absence of evil:
and these Gifts of the Day, running tripping Happy Feet of the Good news of God’s Unshakeable Kingdom of Peace:
They are Life, more than we know, more than we know..
Thankyou Kate Motaung for triggering a revisit to my 7 year old self, in a place I loved and was terrified of: the Sea. Here I got something I’ll never let go of: how to ride a giant wave!
Age 7 is a tricky sweet dangerous age to utterly trust a stranger, in a spot like that, deep sea. Those waves weren’t called Breakers for nothing. But Bro. Harrison (name unchanged*) was the kind of human any family would trust.
This was the Bay of Bengal, summer. He was an Australian lumbering red raw sunburnt priest on vacation from a Boys’ school in Darjeeling; he was dear and kind and sweet. Would take endless pictures of us, and himself, all black and white. He’d send us statutes and post cards from Italy and wherever he went. Summers were in our little coastal tourist village; he loved Indian fish fries, and Dad’s laughter in our veranda overlooking the sea. Then he’d hoist me over his shoulder to the beach. Ofcourse I trusted him, and he proved his worth in sand and mid sea, even with a six footer wave crest crackly overhead, spiffing white crystal fire in the gold sun.
I was afraid;
the Sea was a scary beautiful friend. She’d sweep out her large green blue skirts at my toes then swing them back in to herself, tempting me to go in deeper. I’d run in for shells, then fly back out again at another wave that chased me right to the edge of our hard flat beach, up the massive sand bund to where our compound wall overlooked a panoramic 180 degrees of this terrific watery Friend.
Brother H. as we called him, (he refused to be called uncle, flouting all nice Indian courtesy to senior relative), said it made him feel older than his 50, and that he was a child inside. He was. He was also a sort of Angel, no trace of guile or meanness, only the joy of living life to the full.
“Come on, old lady!” He’d yell over our mulling muttering crash- echoing Bay. He was a certified Life Saver, I didn’t understand that but it made me feel important, and saved somehow from the churling tide, its rush and fervor, its lunging, pulling, eddy and mega swill.
B. H. would ask me to hold on to the tube and trust him as we paddled deeper in to where waves began.
The idea was to go through that startling blue water wall before it crashed- then ride its crest all the way ashore.
It was the most somersaulty crazy thing I’ve experienced or ever will. If I’d known how to swim, it would’ve not been as dangerous. Here I had to trust Bro. H., I had to go where he said, hold tight no matter my nose and face were smashed in that coaster, no matter I was in a sand-&-water rollercoaster, ears and brain thounding (yeah, you’d get new words) with the crash of tide in maddened swell.
The sound it still startles me but not as much as the glory of re-surfacing in great gulp of air, Bro.H’s laughing grey blue eyes, his lung full of a whoop shout, as we settled in the shoulder of yet another giant wave as she rode us all the way back to shore….
where sometimes dad or ma waited, wondering that I needed this.
Years down, I’ve relived that time there, over and over. It’s one empowered way to ride a risky wave like that – in the sea, or in Life elsewhere: surprise that Thing that’s coming at us, go through It holding on to the Hand that holds you & me better than we could hold ourselves, then break free as the Breath of God kicks in Life in our frame,
ride that Wave for the sheer joy of knowing that’s why there are Waves and Oceans, Sands and Seas in the stories of our lives.
Thankyou Kate M. & Storytellers, and all of Blog world for reminding me; I’m feeling 7 years old, at sea with the Hand that holds all.
*years down, I searched Facebook for him, we’d shifted cities and we’d lost touch. He wasn’t the kind to stop writing or telling us where he was, but he did. I suspected the worst; and found his smiling black and white profiles in a FB page dedicated to him by people who knew him, as we did too. Bro H. was/ is one if the most magnificent human beings ever created: he taught this 7 year old to walk on high walls, chase sand crab, find sea horse, race waves, love sea boats, love life no matter where….