He knows you by name. There is nothing that can shake away that moment. The Creator creates it, designer made for you. You look up to see Him gazing down at you.
There’s no need of the sun, there’s nothing under the earth. Everything you knew pales in the Presence of This Presence that overwhelms all else. You are aware that He is aware of you. You are loved, regarded with Eyes that know things we humans can only try imagine.
“What can separate us from love like that?”
As June comes to an end, we are officially past mid 2022. May we know how deeply the Father loves us that He gave His son to take our stripes. We believe in everything else but the most beautiful story of Love. Why. Why not.
We cannot see Him, nor satan, yet both are incredibly palpable in our lives. We get to choose whom we serve, the Tormentor or our Beloved. I guess all of this will best come to light that moment we pass through the veil between life and death
Till then, what am I most aware of ; what grabs my heart and soul. In the secret place of the night mist or early dawn, who am I, whose am I.
He was real, I was young enough to love him for what he was, a real sea creature in the early waves, Bay of Bengal. Through the years, he has followed me, city after city, lane after lane, along with a certain “Harrison” Aussy Life Saver/priest who took me to the Shoulder of a wave. The two become one in a world of creative fiction, where the real story is one about Trusting the One Whose Shoulder we may lean on with the heart of a child. Do check preview attached👇🏼
I get a forward on “Feeling Joy no matter what” and I’m thinking “Nice!” but the weather is neat pools of red mud where they’re digging up new roads around our address. Yes, the rains give us poetry too, if you’re like me when we aren’t reading on bombings at Borders and what Price Gurus are saying in our Newspaper dropped off at shoe rack outside. Yes yes, an Indian- Must-have (shoe rack outside door) has come in handy after the Virus! All this, but Joy: not trending Reel – 30second replay of Insta-joy, but an “underground river” the forward implied.
So. I’m backing into every overload of goodness the Lord ceaselessly forwards our way:
am doing what I can to true and serious Follow Him so His Updates happen on my Homepage asap. Serious …
without those Notifications I’m stewing bad news bits or Reels of puppies falling asleep & local Funny people (even Jordindians, a few ‘Jalals’ – they’re not all courteous)😏
But Joy – that’s the real deal. Not pieces of this and that, but the Act of the Psalmist hisself, tripping via my Times, raking in spadesful* of Green Pastures with Him Who alone can Unblock the Light.
* spadesful, or spadefuls?
& this is a Draft I’m posting unedited. Is Joy optional? I think so. We never add it on as a Must-have, only because it is a commodity not available off the shelf, unless we Follow the One Who made us all,
He’d have it in loads. Anyone Who created our puppies and furry friends would. Oh I hear at least three of my friends hoot at that.
Whatever it is we follow, will follow us wherever we are headed.
C.S.Lewis’ ‘Winged Horse‘, re-wiring the way I look at Renewals:
worn out earth route replaced by sky map – wings; brain fatigue, taken on by new oxygen!
Who said anything against that, Bro, take a walk in the direction of newnesses. “Racham” Love beyond Love. I found that in a Hebrew Translation of the Love of God, beyond parallel. Love like that speaks to worn out sinews of humanity; to its war-birthed monsters of chaos. Ay, Racham, a Love that breathes into my empty spaces that would other wise fill with death.
At the Pet Sanctuary we met Hedgehog with soulful eyes (tattoos belong to Guide).
Evil itself reflects what it opposes. Violence turns our eye on Peace, Hate drives hard a case on Love, Disbelief singularily champions a running away from Belief 👉🏼in the very Thing all Creation points to.
When we go out into a universe full of Footprints of the Unknown,
It stares us in the face –this Oneness written into all Living Features:
patterns of Interaction, of Bonding or not, of Phonetic / other Exchanges between the bars of Cages and Pens
things we are not prepared for, things that happen when a rabbit and turkey, gosling or rescued pony meet your whisper, with a sound that can only be described as the Language of Creation~
in syllables that connect us all in one shared Room called Planet Earth;
each of us with unique fingerprints and more ‘unique’ we haven’t even begun to know,
every eye and tongue of us flora, fauna and homo sapien: inimitable, no matter the sophistication of stem cell theories and other.
The older I get the more gawk-eyed I am, about how little we care about where we’re headed after we leave all this-
that world beyond what human iris can now see,
“I lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me...” Philippians 3:12.
Sure I’m holding onto our technically ‘blind’ son with +++ challenges from seizure meds, but grhhjhj, we thinks Mr.Boy particularly enjoyed this manic driver. The man had kind eyes, we trusted him. We told him our Dad had worked that Lighthouse decades ago. We were kin and kith with beach folk, right- but trust is a redefinition all by itself. Kind eyes loved the squeals of us Mice at his mercy, it was his friendly joy to trip our moment left right and centre.
Looking back…It was good. We did decibels we didn’t know were in us. Then we met God in a whole new way there at sea. This is how Storms felt, well – almost. This is what it looked like to be afraid, what it sounded like, felt like….yeah often with the devil himself apparently at the helm, but all the fear was in our heads. What could happen if we tipped over wee too much y’know…
with that horizon tipping 180 degrees this way and that. Um Life jackets. That was re – assuring – firm and braced around the heart. And now safe back home I can’t resist the Q:
What’s my Life Jacket as we go another Trip around the sun together?
🌾(Something we put together yesterday for tomorrow 👇🏼)
We bought this crib at a Home where they made tiny clay models depicting the lowly birth of Jesus among other things, but this 12 piece set caught our eye.
Sis Sarai* introduced us to inmates with disabilities: they wheeled in, limped, muttered and some smiled hard. There was Lila, with a withered hand and she beamed like a Lighthouse in the dark proudly displaying each shining member of the crib. She too had worked on these miniatures, the woman said in slow Hindi and some English.
Lila recounted the Bethlehem story, “No be afraid,” her voice shaky from an illness as she mimicked the Angel! One or two inmates yawned. Another looked away. Amazing how a picture can retell an old story and you understand a little more today than ever before.
The details blur then re-assemble.
After all these years I revisit the fearlessness in this round eyed woman with the one little arm, as they sang “Away in a manger” & Silent night, in unsteady candle light. We were at their Carol service; after a Bible-reading Lila prayed simple words of trust in the Lord Jesus who taught her to be unafraid.
Our eldest, Vihan was almost 4 years old that December: I, recovering from a chronic fever knew about Fear from Hospital waiting rooms and labs as my husband and I awaited more of my test results over and over,
here at the Home now, we received the Good News of our Savior’s undying Love as if for the first time, via a ‘destitute’ woman with one good hand and 1000 watt smile;
no special powers to these tiny clay folk still in our celebrations each year;
as we bring out ‘Christmas- decor’ 2021, go cherish the Good News of this Unstoppable Cradle King that no hell could prevail against, for you and me and all for Humanity: lest we forget.
My spirit fills with gratitude that over the years, Christ has not stayed in clay, but has gazed into my life with very real Presence. The reality of Christmas is fantastic: this Christ that grew to take on a Cross, a Resurrection Garden; He would walk through walls to get through to my heart of stone.
May the heart of you be warmed this season, with True Love from the Manger.
I’ve never been a Collector of things, not even of my paintings which lounge wherever they find space; maybe the most passionate of my ‘collections’ were bus tickets for some reason; I was age 5 and remember hoarding them from the two families we lived around at Wilson Gardens. Then were feathers at pre-primary school, Christmas cards a little later, shells, pressed flowers and leaves. Now recently, I’m collecting something new…
…. thick note paper or hard edged sides of boxes, oh cake boxes, anything that can cut in neat squares and be written on in bold ink without being washed off by the sun on frig or table tops and walls where they will find places.
My Gran & Ma* had this habit of writing out Scripture verse in the back of Bibles, in new diaries and older ones;
I watched as I did my ABCs and grew into a bit of them*, writing down Scripture, as Prayers.
Words of the Psalmist, Moses… they all became my own as I moved in time and space. With every house -shift I’d find these boxes of Verse fading, curled, breaking and they were hard to throw away.
Now I realize what a part of my life they are, how they’ve bridged me over many waters: these borrowed prayers and promises from Genesis to Revelations: Epistles of Faith, Hope & Love from via the Throne Room where deserts turn to Eden with the knowing of the Giver Himself: a knowledge bigger than human request.
So here I am, in the 11th month of 2021, an avid collector of paper given on days I knelt to pray but no words arrived except a wilderness maybe. God never can resist a human heart that waits waits. So He gives me these little notes, on the stone tablets of my heart: writ with His voice, His peace.
Who can resist God when He speaks? What can separate us from Love that would send His son to a Cross to die for me that I might even look His way, at His Life –
Or even experience this extreme Friendship, no matter the insanity of the days we are in.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount on wings like an eagle. They shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint..."
👆🏼New verse emerges as November rain fills sky and earth with that extra nip in the air typical of an Indian year end. My taste buds are definitely returning, and sense of smell. Today I smelt a little mint, but none of the soaps yet. Body aches and low grade fevers recede. Have we had Covid? Who knows.
There’s a new variant arriving tomorrow, call it:
It is good to feel laughter rising in my soles again, it always happens when Christ sends His Notes to read, re- read: they grow Joy and some other Words human may ignore for sounding ‘out dated’.
And still, it is what it is: the undiluted power of PRAYER.
It seeps out like new petals, like the spread of new colour. Laughter tinges Its Stem. I sulk in the shadows, refusing to let go of the dark, it was my safe place but now Joy begins to bud! I believe that I cannot believe: whoa….the greatest war on the human spirit divides me right here : this firm insistence on the denial of the Touch of the Healer.
The room trembles with Peace, the mind of me reverts to memories of illness. God has never not walked right into my broken heart, He has never once left me alone. I have been touched over and over by the Hand of God and yet how deep is shallowness of the human, that I would resort to past sickrooms rather than remember the million miracles that are my itinerary.
As a new day begins I’ve never been as summoned by God as now. It doesn’t feel normal. It doesn’t feel safe. Hehe. My inner being revolts with the five senses. You know there are more than five. The sixth and seventh and nth sense are summed in Words we sniff at like wines tasters and net browsers: there’s Faith and Hope and Love. The greatest of these is Love:
not the transient self absorbed love that feeds need, but the Love of God that can walk right into a human room and lift the roof off with His Presence. The roof off our fire escapes and others. I’m grinning at the visual of that, as a new emotion unfurls. Faith is a substance. A fact. Not an invisibility. It bears root and stem and blossoms…
hey. Have a blessed day
(Also do check out Jon Bloom ‘s Article on Belief; found his website yesterday, am so grateful for the read).
“Is there a fear staring you in the face right now? Are you finding your faith in God’s promise shaking? If so, you are likely praying desperately for God to be with you. God will answer you. But you might, like Jacob in Genesis 32, be surprised by his answer.” Jon Bloom in “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Today we faced a particularly difficult day with a young one who’s coping with medical challenges, we were worn out with love. Never used those words before, but there it was. As we huddled together in a quick call on the God Who made us all, these words went thru me, “…help us wrestle as we wrestle with our angel,” . This was in a way, our Lil Angel of Tough, teaching us lessons we didn’t know, but we were learning.
Sometimes we wrestle with an angel: the angel of pain, aloneness…look close.
Watch what happens.
Ach..Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God, He hurt his sinew, then pointed to a longer, tedious hazardous route in his journey, via southern Gilead, a den of thieves. What did the Angel whisper that Jacob obeyed, what did the hurt sinew do, but strengthen him to become Israel?
And when it was getting to dawn, Jake holds on to the Angel, “I will not let you go until you bless me…”
What secrets hide in such places that regular comforts fail to offer? Here we may falter, fail, recline in fear, doubt.
Worse. Often in our tangle with doubt, our greatest “Ally” will encounter us, even disable us till we realise the disabling process was enabling certain instincts we could never have guessed were within, just waiting its moment to be birthed. Now we are yelling, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” It is a miracle all by itself to be here where we now see what was needed the most.
The encounter breaks us, before taking us higher …like dawn. Oh like dawn.
There was Daniel, fatigued by an angelic visit he laydown exhausted, fevered. What more shall I say, we are ‘surrounded by a host of Witness more than we know’. Moses blanched white to the roots of his hair after a Tent meet with the God of Sinai.
Today if we’ve wrestled with a personal ‘Angel’, look in the mirror of the soul and soon oneday you will stop fighting the Challenge that was here in the first place to teach us to lean not on our own Fears, but on the One Who is above all human bondage.
Here, cherish Him, the Risen Savior Who lives that we too might stand ten feet tall, like standing grain,
Holding hands together, palms warm with praying, the way children do- urgent, necessary quick, like they truly believe. Chocolates are needed now, or Pa needs his leg repaired, or a bicycle needs a new bell. Or it shouldn’t rain at noon today, or we need a puppy. Now. A child persists, he believes, he sees it happening and will not leave. He tugs sleeve, he makes a mess with tears and lip, he may even bruise his toe reaching for the answer. Holding hands with You the way….
… a child prays, asking Love, Joy, Peace, asking that Humanity finds You;
asking that wounds become a healing place and death lose its proverbial sting, in the fact of Your Face my God my God.
Asking like children do, I hold Your Hand, the One nailed at the Cross. I ask if I may- healing for Peta’s daughter and job for Diran, for hospitals and govts to work well and for me to never stop holding Your Hand even after my shopping list is done, esp after that.
After the rains it was there. Some call it Peace. There were frogs and crickets downstairs and the distant siren of an ambulance:
…oh drippy leaves, rain drops among raggedy city silhouettes; an earth washed, rinsed. Today am still inhaling that Quiet in gulps. It has been a while since Nature hit me this way.
We are ragged with Change and human conclusions. Yet thru the madness, if you and I would pause, our inner eyes could still find Beauty gazing back at us! Thank You Father God for Your impossible perfection; and for reminders of Your changeless Love arriving every dawn and dusk with determined Grace.
the sight of vision, the hearing of the muted, the sense of loss, the smell of hope,
the unseen tomorrow….these and some
stir my ‘heart ‘ – ah that organ of awareness we’ve placed somewhere ‘tween head & rib.
And oh when my spirit opens itself to pray…
what words could describe the Sensory of Prayer? We as a Race are sands shifting in the growing Light of Dawn,
the growing Life of Light in my dark: the sight of things I touch in my core, by a power they call Faith…. what is that described? Must I describe it, for who? Why write, share moments broken from ‘accepted’ norms, why care, why heal? Why kneel, why weep joy,
Why bless for curses; why Love for hate, why rejoice in suffering, what is this; hell heaven, Christ, Lucifer and the Spirit of every man and woman and child – running deep from what we hide, deny
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.
“Vineyard of Prayer“, my new painting / fav place.
Will be writing 365 verses for each day of the coming 365 (wish me consistency); a book of conversations with God. Vineyards are places of productivity, of pruning and eventually the wine of soul comfort. Where am I going with this? Unsure, but it is a call and am taking it.
After another season of lockdown, and losing more people then we bargained for, am losing all shy and doing the thing my soul loves: putting down what I really feel in the presence of God. So, blogging might take a back seat till there’s a way to breathe between new paint knives and words. I’ve been thinking on the colors of prayer:
viridian green: for me those are deadly greens. Ocean blues, and lighter tones: /like dawn after a midnight, and the Light of God reaching into me. Empty pots, far left as at the Wedding of Cana, where Christ spoke new wine into those emptied pots: ay. He saves the best for last!
Vineyards are a Pact between Soil & Gardener &Vine. It is a crushing process, rich with learning, with leaning heavy on the Vine, drawing from the source of Life.
John15: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. Vitally connected to Me,… Ask and it shall be given…”
Yes I’m asking Peace, Love and Joy for all, but not without Him- the Vine that Lifts my soul.
I’ve always been fascinated by leaves : fat leaves, thin shrunk ones lopping off branches or in the ground, going in the wind. The older these things get, the more they call, they remind me of some thing….
With the pandemic and ensuing ‘plantdemic’ as a local journalist called it today, I too fell headlong into the flora of life. NJ my husband pampered our inner child: we got us succulents and palm. My sis brought home baby vine. Easter gave us Fern and Ivy, creepers, climbers, fabulous darlings with leaves and none of them dried. I hadn’t noticed but when we visited a local farm, I collected these jewels👇🏼pressing them in an old diary:
For me it was a fast from Negativity👈🏽 the thing is in my matrix like a mother.
Though, if you met me and we talked over lemon tea you’d leave with the sun coming out your ears, for all my miracles:
the time my heart got physically healed. And my spine. And how that one onion finds me when I need it, oh our beautiful blind son, and our daughters’ songs with the Psalmist in it, and yet before the sun can set I have a new worry surfacing harmlessly like an ant out of nowhere.Ask NJ.(We went for our second vaccine and it hurt nothing, it hurt nothing so much I really and totally wondered whether she gave me that Vaccine at all. Was it a trick. They were short on it too, weren’t they? NJ had to not only convince me he personally saw it, but that he had a pic to prove it).
It happened again these past 21 days as I aimed at kicking Negatives out. Not easy.
Being one who thinks in images, I used the dried leaves from farm: each to symbolize a need that needed a healing.
Biblically, ‘leaves’🍃 go for healing: Revelation 22:2, NIV: “down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
During our 21day fast, as I kept away from Negativity, I took out my farm pressed leaves, stuck one on each page, with a request for a specific need. Twas officially Repair Time.
As we went from one day to the next it was the toughest exercise, to steer away from sagging thoughts/ nail them at the Cross/ ask Christ to heal; to each query He gave me two choices: to succumb, or host His healing.
I realized how deep the Human psyche can doubt the power of invisible healing, all because we tend to gravitate towards memos from our monsters: 👥🗣
Tobiah who follows me via childhood, calling me this & that publicly. Sanballat snorting with self righteousness. Christ was asking me to pray healing on Tobiah & Sanballat. Yeah that was two nice dried leaves. I half heartedly prayed ; twas like praying for Covid to heal of itself! There was no external change except that a new emotion arrived, a wish that they’d really meet Jesus.
While the day’s prayer went up, so did my foreboding dark cloud that followed me from room to room. That cloud had hung in my hair, had drooped my lip and haggard’d my heart. Now it lifted.
I ran out of leaves but began finding one new leaf every morning in our balcony. Was God saying I had one more area to sort? Yes! Every morning a new dried leaf was there, and the same kind of leaf I’d collected at the farm!
Now we near 21 days this Sunday, I have more Drying Darlings than I’ll need, and He’s reminding me that there are needs out there, not just my own personal ‘negatives’ but a nation full.
As I write this my daughter gives me three she found in the floor.
These are rose leaves from our wedding anniversary flowers. 35 years, yes quite something. (Allow me to indulge: That’s a Trinity Reminder that we need to totally allow Them to work via our tiny existence…)
Teach me Lord.My heart trips with new emotions for my country & 550 tribes, for an Earth in a Time like never before.
This Post was Titled the way it was, because without Belief it is no use praying at all and expecting any answer;
I’m looking at every Persona of Faith in the Bible- Moses and Abraham and Paul and Peter ….none asked for cars and houses or jewelry … they stalked Red seas, slung Goliaths, slammed Pharaoh, brought down Manna, prayed rain …for others‘ welfare. They didn’t care whether they were healed or not, they didn’t bother to stop at personal imprisonment or stoning. They blest their jailer, and yelled joy till prison chains and floors hiccuped with an earthquake. Some of them died with a smile in their lips, no dying man or woman can fake that. That’s an inner fire that can warm the coldest day. The fire of belief.
We have these two choices, we believe in nothing, or something. Either way we believe. Whichever we choose, will exert its power over us. There’s Death, and there’s Life.
As our nation reels and staggers among seen and unseen factors, can all the kings horses and all the kings men put things back together again? Before we can get used to the day’s Papers, the next day dawns with worse stats. This is unreal, but like one person said, “..it was a disaster waiting to happen.” It is a war on everything we’ve known.
Today we prayed that we would really pray, set aside 21 days asking the Lord to hear our voice, for our people, our leaders, our healing as nations, as states, homes, families, individuals. 21 days of a fast from everything that holds me back: negative thoughts, distracted mind prone to worry..
all that. Remembering who God is, and what He means when He says, “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray, I will forgive and heal their land…”
Took this pic- our tiny saplings grow into little plants, as a nation plummets…. where?
Moki, an acquaintance will laugh at this post: not everyone believes in God. And then not everyone believes God answers prayers. And then some believe in a God of disaster. When He speaks He is a mere Judge. He is, but He’s also the One that lets new skies each day lift my heart. Am spending the next 21 tugging at the hem of His garment, seeking Grace.
This morning my heart is curiously still: yeah I’m seeking His face. He’s brought us through worse. Covid and poor disaster management is not the worst ill there is. A worse one stares us in the face- the soul of man, woman and child that lives alone, without the Friendship of the One who made us all, one Who waits to meet us here before it is too late.
The silence is eerie. Listen careful, you might hear the street below, a siren, another siren. My friend Shalitha had a quiet wedding, we blest them virtually. None of us wore silks and perfume. Just a prayer for the best.
By 10 am, the stores are shut, the clutter gone. There is a certain boldness in our fear. A nation crouching, afraid, strangers to each other. I want to pray but the words are new. These are not prayers we prayed before. These are words within words. Yea from days as these, our roots grow. Here is no pretense
No awkward. Here we are real. Like in a Titanic sinking. We grab life boats, we run, stall, leap. The writing on the wall is not a debate anymore: there is the good, the bad, the ugly. There’s the sinner, the sin & the saint. The Giver, the Recipient. The Gift. In between is a silence that denies nothing.
There is God and the devil. And the deep blue sea. A Red sea. Some of us believe it will part when we pray. Some of us cannot believe in the next warm meal. Ay, our Roots are grown from days as these
Days as these, are in our books of war, of floods and cities buried in sands. Careful what you do, every move unwinds on the Pages of Time. We are now those walls of caves that told stories of hate and love, of the birth of civilizations, and those that fell.
These are the days we will be known by. Not just sweet sagas of survival, but too, of how we fell each other, or do not. Of rise in prices that need not have happened, of hoardings and anti- social leanings. Where are we? What happened to all our poet- ministries, our movie stars and heroes…. we are here, equally yoked in the silence between each new day,
each breath, every deed, these are what our children’s children will know us by…
these ways we reach out to one another, these ways we turn away or say nothing, or say/ do something: these are the days, the things that grow us,
and what we become/ what we are: our core, our minds, our physical soul….
these days be-tell all; whether we will step out of comfort zones to look across our walls at the other…
or look away,
we can rage at parliaments and virus, we can wrap our sensitivities in our cooking pots and shut our doors to our own shoes for fear of death and the dying,
but what new news is that? We will all die one day, it is the manner of our deaths that vary. And when in the Chapters of our History they will write of these Times, I pray..
I pray they will recognise us as humans, unafraid of each others’ dis – ease; that we knocked doors and went extra miles, that we did not wait for kings and parliaments for sweet salvation. There’s more people dying of fear than lack of a vaccine.
When they tell of this Decade’s doings, I pray they will hear and report that we at least tried to think of each other,
(cuz who knows what becomes of what we think, when we think in each other: when we pray, as individuals, as nations, as a planet)-
we will never know: till we know what we know when we expend ourselves for one another,
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.
It has been a 365 of the Unusual. When Lockdown and Covid began its agenda on us all, I prepared for a season of quiet, introspection.
But that changed. It was a year of meeting new people in all kinds of places. There were women with burns’ accounts that broke me before I could put that in stories for them, there was the young man who called at 12 midnight about his dad with the virus, and we watched that dad get better! Yeah Faith walked in with wide arms and I had to be held, had to be taken where I’ve never been before. The Govt said ‘Stay home’, we shivered, sanitized, then followed the call outdoors, whenever. A funeral, a wedding, a prayer meet, a birthday. Veggie stalls and Mall, nothing looked the same again. Not even WhatsApp. Not Gmail. Instagram. Our words were changing like our worlds. Overnight we feared the same thing, the same way.
Blindness didn’t seem as daunting. Education and fashion trends took a Lil walk someplace else. Protocols changed. We wore pajamas to zoom meets, lipstick ‘neath mask? Ugh. We stared at leaf and sunrise. Sunsets and rain. Everything seemed changed, re- arranged. We met loneliness on new terms. We became beggars for blessings, for Grace. Praying happened with acceptance from people who shirked its very stance. We thought about existence, pain,humanity. We wouldn’t forget George Floyd, we couldn’t look past emotional and other poverties. And Isolation. We became old and young at the same time: we were sifted like wheat in sieves that did not stop.
“What is,life?” The Poet asked. A Sparrow replied,”Transient, like I.” “Us!We!” Said the Atheist. “Aha.” Cried the Preacher. “Ouch.” Wept the sinner. “Amen.” Said the Prayerer, before we all sat down to sanitize our psyche, nodding heads and elbows for the high 5s we could not high 5.
Have not been much of a ‘fan’ ever, must confess. Except for ice cream, and the plant kingdom. Heard his ‘Freedom,’ & Born again if you haven’t please do. This one that screamed for Cover👇🏼in a day, happened so fast, hadn’t time to even know i could be videoed (pardon spatial mess, uncombed-ness, and son Joh sit/rocking like a lotus in yellow Tee:) he continues to inspire with his brand of innocent fire. I thank You Lord for every reminder that Your arms work via my feeble ones, if am willing.
These Lyrics have me forever. Origin: Teresa of Avila who survived epilepsy till she succumbed at 67- notorious for her wit and joie de vivre….
And I’d thought this Cross was a symbol of suffering: but It is more. It’s a coat hanger for my soul…. but more, more! Now and then, I’m shredded by life. Now and then dragged into chasms alone… so I thought. So we think, we humans.
We are suicidal, sick, disabled, dependent on human resource; we are hostage, we are criminal. But
You standing next to me, in me: crossing out evil, negating my dark;
You pouring words through my lips of clay,
You rinsing my hands and feet o’er and o’er; You saying words in my ears I could not have found on my own. Words like a 2edged Sword- one edge cutting away death, the other granting me life:
You, shining a trillion times x infinity- more than all our suns: Your Light stark blazen smashing every last snicker of evil, every stinkn’ shroud casting its net in my bones, in the soul of my nation, my borders, my dregs… blazing with Your light…. personified by the Cross.
This Cross more potent than Light as we know it, Its reach deadlier than sin and hell; what force can separate me from its Love nailing me to Its heart, Its Heaven, Its Immortal Vein? ….NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING. IT IS THE BRANDING FIRE OF GOD, IT holds my breath, my pulse my all. My all.
Today I prayed with Marija- Serb/Russian- she in an empty church (Prague), me here in my Indian Lockdown. We could not talk: Marija had a cough and is much better though still cannot speak. We text- prayed, in a beautiful silence.
She is a gorgeous girl with a heart of gold; a classical pianist. A star all by herself and as we pray she introduces me to the whole new world we all are in: a world that has crept closer than ever before in a silence that reeks with fear and need: a silence that demands to be filled. We pray for her friend Serg. who is recovering from the worst: for the little children in her classroom and others even here. We go to the altar of an earth keeling; we have no words enough. We have no pride left, no ambition and self. We are as one, muted, stunned into new needs. Has Heaven changed? No.
It is the same light in Czechoslovakia that also will fall here a few hours from now. We all still spin around the same sun. It falls on us all the same way; the way it fell for centuries.
Emptied pews, memoirs of finger prints and feet that went through these places; tears, laughter, weddings, babies, christenings, flowers, sermons in candle lit shadows rising to the rafters like hymns;
now they are wooden witness to Marija’s whispers as she kneels for her Prague and my India and all our nations and friends and peoples….
…varnished mahogany(?) gleaming in the flash of Marija’s phone. I’d asked for a few pictures. We have never personally met, but she is blog friend and fellow prayerer at Haven Fellowship.
There are angels in marble here and there in life, in cathedrals and parks. And there’s us. We aren’t angels, we are real time people with lungs and whispers. So we pray for each other; for employment issues and food, for healing and cure; for peace and the knowledge of the saving grace of God that knows no death.
M.& I finish praying but I realise the prayer must go on like a back burner, even though we say Amen via WhatsApp and go on to dinner here. Monsoon is good this year maybe; there’s a rose bud in our balcony. New sapling from forgotten pots; like prayers they lift their stems to a laden sky. No we didnot see any Neo-comet. We saw a family of parrots in gaudy green & blood red beaks. Everything looks like prayers to me. Everything seems to be asking heaven for its Saviour:
as I write this it’s all I can think of. Yes I’m praying for us all, that more than life and death we will experience the Love of God that transcends our very need for mortality. And that He will make a way for us to feel for each other in prayer. In the end it’s the most powered possession humanity owns.
(Below: Marija, playing WayMaker).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. ” John 3:16. The Bible.
To hold on to the good in us. To remember mercies and love. And faithfulness. It’s that time to practice peace. And pray like we believe prayer works. It does. Everytime we healed, someone prayed. Everytime our heart of stone melted, it was someone praying. Someone changing the stone of us into a pleasant pasture. What a tragedy that we believe drug- related elation, rather than what made us. It is time
..to rest, lean on the magnitude of true Love. I have lived a while now. I’ve seen good and bad and ugly. In you and me. I have eaten nice days that melted down to garbage. And I’ve been kissed by green pasture still waters, my soul has tasted of the Lords goodness and old fashioned as it may seem to someone’s intelligence, darling all our intellect cannot even begin to explain the goings on of mortal breath.
Yep. It’s time to pray. To know God is there here within the arms of our screaming need; Lord heal our lands, our diseased core. Why we fear death is because we know there is more beyond these days, & all our material ways. ‘Neath clothes and head and shoulders & knees & toes, we are creations made. We are more than bags of bones descended from ape and tapes of theories. We are more than doctrines and philosophies. In the core of your pillow you know, you know… in the stark of night, you look out your window asking the meaning of it all, and you know there is more. There is your beautiful mind and it will not die in a box. It leaves into territories we must seek now before late cannot get later.
It is time beloved, to not just pray for life but that also in death we will be safe. We are more than corpuscles and conditional peace. What are we, what is man, his woman, her child: do we know?
In the core of the night with stars, we wonder twinkling star shining bright, what you are…? Just dust. We are more. We write and deduce, we think and celebrate. We justify and keel. We are storms and wars, deciders of things we negate, but this:
a little piece of virus has us running like rabbits into our holes where we beg grace. Our theories and kings, all our horses and men, cannot put us together again.
In our distress we become murderers. Killers of decency. Not just now but thru’ history we read that when we are pushed beyond limits we are limited in our morality. Then we know there is good and bad. If there is good there is a Source. And it’s not us. There’s evil and there’s a source and its not us.
Something made a nice man a demon.
Something made a terrible man an angel.
Get a little closer, listen to my breath. Tell me the source of that and I’ll tell you the source of what draws humans together in the presence of a crisis. There is a Power wider than the girth of the earth spinning on an axis at her tummy. There are polarities geographically, spiritually. We have tasted the bitter dregs of evil and we have sniffed a sniff at some good. We have accepted the powers of Ugh but we are suspicious of God because He wouldn’t like us nestling with Him with all our horns and tails on.
We hate the idea of a Christ that upset the grave. “Bah humbug!”
We suspect His love that spurns evil. We would believe every other, not Him. Though we thoroughly blame Him for all the evil we invited in our living rooms. I’ve done it too.
But it’s time. Time to wipe our glasses and shed embarrassment at being created. The grave has no shame. That last word belongs only in this fleeting land of human existence.
I tried to pray today, it was like going to a store and not wanting anything any more except a counter that could take requests for giving. Giving thanks.
In all the recent Mayhem and Jittery June Viral chaos, the centre of me sat down to stare at another month for all of us. Suddenly the things that used to scare me don’t anymore. How come? The people that used to taunt, seem to have lost fang and fuss. Now how?! I don’t know. The rabid need for money seems to have bitten off it’s own head. Sure we all still need the MO but something’s changed and we’re a little less orthodox about our own goodness. We’re all a little more orthodox about our own littleness. We are maybe more crazy and yelly 😅 if that’s a word. We are kinder, if that’s possible. Those who never spoke now speak. The insanely noisy have become quiet. Me, I begin to pray and end up speechless. I remember my Prayer List last year this time. How I’ve changed, haven’t we all?
July, how’re you going to be? Will I be pretty, will I be rich… here’s what he said to me.. que sera sera… if you remember that song.
Meanwhile our 19 year old heals in new ways. The hyperaction you see in below video has decreased way more than we thought possible. He’s still pitch perfect, and a crazy guy for calender memory. And a whole host of things.
Am grateful for the tremendous healing he’s had over the past month. We’re able to play like we used to, chat .. .
He actively hates Covid for the restrictions its imposed on our outdoor lives but home has become a more beautiful place with its quiet surroundings and green. Our lil gardens grow with the rains this monsoon; trees fill with new kinds of birds. Yeah I am speechless this July, with deep need for better days yes, but also gratitude for the million gifts we may not even know we were born with.
This July I’m praying we will know and use our gifts well. What a tragedy to not notice the stash within us.
He took it and took it, then he didn’t. The last time we met he showed us his telescope with Saturn rings and Jupiter all in his panelled rooms with fresh flowers sometimes, and a dog named Bin. He ate sunflower seeds and loved the colour yellow. S.J was your regular above average looking superman that fixed bicycle tyres and switches. He baby sat your kids and took out your trash. He was handsome and brilliant, he talked to you as if you were gorgeous; he wasn’t a flirt, he was nice, dependable. When SJ walked out his terrace and died of depression they said, he was not compromising anything anymore, he just couldn’t take it nor fake it. We’ll never know, but as more and more people get nooses and poison concoctions, more people fall to depression and even heart attacks, I’m wondering that we cover our sadness with the laughter we ache for. I wish we could talk out loud, ask for help. I wish. I wish.
yesterday this time it* went through parts of Bangalore city, it rattled panes, shook houses; 10+ hours earlier they heard it in Canberra….
a ‘*Supersonic Boom that our Ground & Air forces here in India are puzzled at. It felt like an earthquake in the air around and deep within…. it’s bass explosive rumble was not like any Jet, not like anything I’ve ever heard, “….no it is Cyclone Amphan air pressure impact; no no we do not know...”
As a Race all of a sudden, we do not know much except mutual questions. The life we knew will not return, but things that offended do not seem to offend now. We as Humans are looking deeper; Prayers are welcomed. Safe is where? Peace is an Essential Commodity like never before. Kabooms are even neighbourly. Tonight if some of us see Clouds throbbing in Neon (actually have seen these from our terrace 5years ago; thought it was local Rock Concert laser beams going hyper high) we may shrug it off as yet another 2020 event. As a Cluster of Survivors we are gaining immunity to bad news, Shock absorbers all kicking in.
What’d Hitler have done; or any of those big boys of war? This is the Grandma of War, and she is Villain non parallel and yet Kah-boom!- she has changed us into Hermits for Peace like never before in the History of the human race.
Neighbours begin to nod at each others neighbours; old ‘enemies’ send you WhatsApp forwards, they appreciate your potted plants seen in Instagram Story. Songs are sung by people with no vocal gifting, it’s even beautiful, meaningful. We are losing our Shy. We do not mind being photographed without our glasses. We still care about appearances though, we give us new haircuts. We yearn to not hesitate to shake hands, hug. That’ll be rare. That’ll be rare. But we will go on. We will wash our hands and feet and face relentlessly-relentlessly wash veggies, sanitize phones and c.cards …. but we will go on. We will look up at the sky and expect comets meteors and flares. If there are more Boombooms we will just not panic like we used to about exams and traffic jams. We are tougher than we are shocked, we are now closer to the Unknown than we’ve ever been. No, no. We are not caterpillars nor monkeys. We live we die we experience positivity, patient endurance and peace mid chaos. We work it. We tell our kids & friends on phone and in market places or between days of the week… be strong we say. We mean it. We wake up early to stare at the sky…. how its’ Light kills Virus. Our babies ask Existential Questions we no longer shush. We wonder too. Where are we from? Where do we go next…
There are no alternative activities to these Askings. We ask on. We understand each others’ questions better. We go quiet- no one thinks that odd. Not if we wear a wrinkly scarf, uncombed hair. You’re friendlier if.
All these things. We’ve changed so hard we can not go back. We are freer than we’ve ever been as a mass of individuals. Yes we die, we are afraid, we cry. But we are sweeter, nicer, kinder, tenderer. We share the Highest Common Factor- Human Frailty. This mutes Snobs. We are all Untouchables. How that looks if you draw us all is we are these Masked Breathers. We are changed into Changelings in the Twinkling of an Eye; it arrived like a Thief in the night. It took our Breathe-Easy days and Ka-Boom! Its turned our 7 billion into 2 alpabets: Us, however divided, in the face of Existence. We are Unstoppable Seekers of the Peace of God.
We had to go out, we got our permit complete with ID card. This was going to be alright I said. Jeff isnt the worrying kind so he says nothing. I hate this mask, it feels like I’m dying in it. Never mind. Once inside car, who’s going to be harmed just in case we are Carriers? And who is going to infect us anyway? Raise glass, seat belt on. Jeff grins hard. He knows how terrified I am of this… not Covid but the fact that we’re driving across the city, and will meet Blockades and Security Officers. In any case we weren’t ‘willing carriers of Illness‘; we had no recent record of foreign travel, we hadn’t harvested forest animals, there wasn’t even a hint of sniffle between us, not a purr in lung…. nothing. We would not willingly trip into Containment Red Zones. What’s to worry. Though, there’s been incidents of incurring Security ill will…
We take a turn we shouldn’t have taken, we see the back of a Cop, oh no.
We take a detour, another, and get in a lane where we’re now driving straight at the Cop whose back we fled from. He’s waiting for us with ATTITUDE, with Traffic Offender- Catcher- Sass… Aha. There you are the two of you!
I sit straight, fix mask, reach for ID and Papers. Jeff casually drives closer, the Cop is not moving, his gaze steady. Closer. Please God, not in a mood for this? My heart whams in my ears. Closer still. The Cop isnt wearing mask? His glassy stare looks through us. Jeff lets out a contained roar of laughter. You don’t say! It’s not a real Cop, it’s a Dummy.
We laughed so hard that evening, when we were finally stopped two hours later on our way back, and another Cop asked me to please go in the back seat ma’am we need a certain distance between two….. that was so funny too. I gave him my best smile, mask and all. He glared at my cheer: what’s with her? We’re in a Pandemic. Silly woman wants to be happy.