Tag: Lent

Just Once

Today is Ash Wednesday? My childhood Anglican Chapel with stained glass windows weeping blood tears into nesting pigeon, and my parents managing to look happy while duelling bass & alto at a Lenten anthem….

Pic Credit Ismael Paramo

Five minute Friday writers

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Gran insisted on a fast. Dad couldn’t bear the thought. Ma, she balanced the two acts with ease: gram- curry, complete with red boiled rice in ghee – kanji. Which was essentially Rice boiled water. Which Dad hated with his life. But he loved the protocol of sad-ish days! And this was a sad-ish event. Ash Wednesday hailed a new trek around a live Cross: over the next 40 days old songs would be nailed in new ways, new flowers cut for old vases, the brass Cross got polished all over again till you saw your face in it when they carried it down to the altar on Good Friday, weeks down.

Auntie Sukam wore her grey silk and brooches with foundation cream, stark cream in her brown face, the lipstick was always pale mauve on Ash Wednesday: Christ would notice, she had this aura of beautiful pain around her long ageing eyes, its crinkles running up her temples. When aunt Sukum sang you wanted to stop staring at the lit up pigeon and close your eyes and listen to it all. To the wheezing Organ, to the Padre’s high tenor killing it, to the roar of distant town bus and the occasional water pump bleating in Taj compound, the tourist hotel with four rooms and one tiny tower overlooking us all in the chapel with wild lilies outside. Its a lot to remember all of a sudden, not just us in stages of life, but Christ Himself and what He was doing back then, and now- seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding with pleas for the best and the worst of us:

I’m staring at this beautiful Ash. And Him on that Cross, that once. That was all it took. That Once; yes festivals can grow silly, sour, overdone, or flatten out with Time; there’s no one I know now that bares mauve lipstick and Grey silk reeking of mothballs, nor sings like old Chapel folk @’Old Rugged Cross’…

It never goes out of me: that spirit of the Lent. The word derived from Lean, as in Leaning, Lent. To lean on a Strength, on Redemption, on Grace, on Hope, on Love. To lean, I lent on His Memo of Salvation. I’ve never really celebrated this day as any particular event, but early this morning as a few pigeon messed my fern, and I went waving all arms to shoo them away, I remembered to remember the way this feels, in Present Tense:

The Cross – a tense all by Itself, an Entity. I won’t pretend to even begin to describe Its Data. It crossed hell for heaven for us, and back. And forth. Via decades of nonsense and dis- ease, It never stopped following Humanity, in and out of graves, in and through crises and vanity fairs. Above and beyond all powers in high and low places, between This and That, Here& There, These & Those, the Cross was an event that happened ONCE, and It changed everything, present continuous, changes everything as we speak. Don’t ask me how it felt for Him , I’m still staring : at Him: Him Seeping Life into death.

Its not a sad season, It can change the way Humans Lean, and Whom on. Once we get that, it Hits you: This is the real deal.

For you, this April

Inspired by the beautiful LADYSAG77#Momentsofjoy, & every one of you who inspires me to write everyday.

May you be strong, and breathe and need little else but wealth of soul~

be persuaded that you are loved by the Father ~ no matter what.

Thankyou Yomargey, UK
for your Stilling Photography

***

May you, may I never stop, nor stoop to believe we were conceived to just live normally,

for ‘neath our feet are the footsteps of God~how easy it is to believe only what we see;

we may be cut, we may be being grafted: blossoms into a Vineyard too large to know just yet

This day I pray, for strength to hold on~no matter what, to the One that held us this far,

for when things were good, and we soared high, we felt secure in goodness,

now when Shutters dawn, there is still the Light, if we open our blinds ….

this April each day, read those Letters He writes for our days & our nights, writ in His blood~

this day I pray, you and I never forget who we are, & how we are~ of the Beloved..

Courtesy of the Cross

I haven’t understood this – as much as I have during this past year: I’ve bitten into Its wood, Its Bleed. Its brutal honesty.

How do I identify with It’s utter Insanity‘..

And out of every wound, a garden grows.
Oil, RN.

Why did the Christ do what He did, how does It help Humans?

When you break thresholds of pain, there is no pretence: Here you might forget what you knew & be provoked enough to see the Unseen:

~(Rejection is one of the Experiences one might process here,

~ Severance from human praise/ recognition.

~Acquired values re- group.

~When all is shredded, stripped naked, the human spirit is truly alone with his/ her source. Here there is no ‘I’ except in Its best possible way.

~Here, is ‘abandonment’. Buddha tried it, our wise men and sadhus go to the mountains, some sit years under a tree, in cave, for that ‘enlightenment’). ~When all human support is withdrawn, all expectation, one is free. Freed.

This takes you to another Place: some have names for it:

~A place of Quiet, where human standards/ learned behaviour/symptoms of dis-ease cease to control you: this is a new Place. We aren’t familiar with Its one Event: Friendship with the Invisible Friend.

♡ This is a zone where pain is Highest Common Factor; one thanks it for bringing them here.

This ‘here’ begins to re-arrange one’s own personal rules:

◇ You stand unafraid of ‘Alone’; free of human bondage, from Conditions required to be Happy. Happy is a 1% of This. (Wounds lose their power over you: you stop chewing on them).

◇You heal. Your scar makes you a new you: gravity isn’t existent in your dreams, your prayers. Nor human embrace/ respect. You transform.

◇You experience Beauty, Love. Acceptance. Courtesy to each other, unconditional of returns.

Christ of the Cross is more than printed religion. His Cross is an impossible to fully comprehend just yet un- negotiable symbol of the power of emotional (often physical) healing.

  • It changes the soul of your fibre, It bares to you your neighbours‘ soul, as your priority.
  • It smashes ego, but elevates respect for even you.
  • It raises the bar on compassion, It bends your nature to forgive; It shows you how negating pride is, how devastating to your purpose, & how lust wipes out life.
  • It exposes devices of Fear.

The Person of the Cross takes my itinerary: re- routes cowardly escape plans, away from self absorption/ destruction.

♡ It is unafraid of ‘loneliness’. It needs that space for progress.

  • I do not need my burden of being right all the time. I am a learner.
  • I appreciate the struggles of humanity/ blest by fellow-creations. Gratitude begins. It is a river of music and joy, of Forgiveness and lack of self adoration.
  • I look outward, I look within. It takes a certain recklessness to cut umbilical chords of acquired selfishness..

run barefoot through it, sing, worship, be all I was meant to be, whipped of discourtesy to the kingdom of God within us each, for free.

  • Here, I taste a new thing, a certain change of needs. The taste of dying selfishness, a resurrection of new eyes, looking away from dead habits.
  • And this: I see my heart, my core. There is a lot of condemnation. It is the worst kind of ‘nation’, the worst virus. I must shed that snakeskin, & forgive wasted time in order to forgive/ bless anything else.

All of this, courtesy of the Cross.

There’s more, a Designer more. Your prints differ from mine. We are nothing, and everything. Let’s not underestimate each others power in this life. You have my respect, I love you anew: you …flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.

I don’t understand much, but my iris and iota are changing. Our blood, our DNA, are transient gifts, for specific use. I don’t want to miss a thing about this existence, nor misunderstand a single experience. This isn’t about my portfolio, my pitch, my bacteria, my journey is perhaps just an invisible weave in the tapestry of you.

We don’t have to understand flowers and bees and the generation of birds and black holes, or meteors flying around @ 20,000kms / minute? to let out the miracle of healing:

let it out of human-made cages, and let our songs sing,

Or let that song break our acres of deafness…

Or blindness. Have you watched a blind person listen to a song? Or a deaf person lip read? Or a lame one watch others’ running feet?

Sometimes we lose a little to access Treasures hidden in dark places. We are each others’ at the Cross. I went there to complain, and He points me to my brother, my sister: their shadow is my face.

I do not even want to understand it, it is complicated and not ‘nice’: if someone does understand it all then it’s not all they’ve seen. Here we must cling to no shame, or pretence : I understand how little I like the way Christ loves everyone equally.

Ugh, the Paradox of True Love:

♡ It provokes hate, because mankind lives to love self. If we worship anything, it is mostly a method to gain favour in the eyes of gods of wealth and superiority.

The Cross’s two beams intersect at the crux of the need for love. I went there for comfort, and He asks that we comfort one another. That’s why the Cross is hated. Misunderstood. Read as a symbol of weakness. Try forgiving/ love….when your thresholds of pain are at break neck maximum.

I know, tough. We lack that genre of maddening courtesy. We try, we stare.

Flavour of the month

GoDogGoCafè

If you zoom in, you’ll see those Lotus low left in tiny pond at Cubbon Park here in Bangalore city. India. Warm warm day, 28 degrees already!– lunch and ice cream in the shade. Too much fun to take pictures, but we got a few.

2 weeks ago, Haven fellowship @ Cubbon Park.

March always feels like sunshine warming herself up from cold waves and February mist/rain.

March’s flower- Daffodils, (in India its called Nargis), oh what beauties these are too, ‘Heralds of Spring’! As we get a new sunset, my heart fills with new colors. It’s like we must determine our flavour. What tones would you choose, what Flower/ (flavour) would you be?

Not a question I’ve thought of before,

NetPic.
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but today…..a young person at our Haven fellowship; all he could talk about was the Love of God, and how on earth did God love like that? He asked.

The more I listened to him, the more it struck me how different he was from the rest of us with issues at finance, or health! This guy, (I’ll call him Len) got eyes like liquid stars when he talked of the Love of God that drew him in. He spoke a few soft sentences and it went round and round that one thing: the Love of God.

Unrelated pic? But another of God’s touches of Love: little Chikku adopted by my cousins Shirl&Dan. At their table.

After we went each into our lives, post service, there’s that gentle fragrance, of the touch of God. Like Light and Rain that falls on the good, the bad, the ugly. Nothing changes the way It falls in at us.

As this new month arrives, I’m feeling all blessed- up grateful for the flavors life brings in. Unsure of my own flavour, but I’d love to sample more of the Aroma of Christ:

how He is Manna and Dew in our days, how His Love has no limits, limitations. How It overwhelms all other love, need, want, showing me a pathway of peace and one that does not misunderstand my place in it all.

Tokens of His care, for ‘the littlest of these...’
(Thankyou ShirlDan; hope your infant squirrel Chikku won’t mind breach of privacy?)
….

As I wrap this, a lone bright star twinkles through branches of trees outside. Another month approaches, I love the way a new month feels, especially this one. Fragrances of Lent, of a Father Heart with room for us all.

It is almost too good to believe, the whole story of ‘Easter‘, the Cross, Gethesemane, the Passion of Christ for us each. We tend to lean on our own needs and their fulfillment, more than what is,

or perhaps tend to misunderstand why this or that happened in our lives. Why there is war, or crime, illness, loneliness, why something is the way it shouldn’t be.

My sister’s Gulmohar tree with shoeflower, last month at David’s Pasture.

And then there are people like Len, all still in wonder at the Love of God.

I’m basking in those four words, THE LOVE OF GOD. Maybe it’s fragrance is best expressed in Joy? And I’m lending myself this, for the next 30 days. Maybe that’s the truth of Lent. That we take for free, not just as a Lending, the absolute Joy that comes from knowing how deeply we are loved by the One that made us, each, so intricately complex, every cell and thought process. How magnificent the aspect of each human, far more than lilies of the field, or all the blossoms in every tree, ever. I find myself staring at humans. Irises. Brows. Fingers. Smiles.

Our daughter Vi
..

Laughter. The fantasticity of Births. Deliveries. Pain. Relief. Grace. Healing.

The way my friend Maya looks when she’s happy. Uncle J’s stillness. Light in the Gulmohar tree, and Dina’s voice when she prays. The hush of waiting…..

Even a mother may forget her child, but I will not forget you..” quote, Bible. Pic – Sis Shirley and furry babe Chikku.

it’s all too much beauty stacked in one life, and I’m bursting grateful for the opportunity to see it all. Not just the shiny bits but the grey of dawn as I wrap this.

Gratitude: it’s the flavour I want to be, for it delivers one to Joy.

I couldn’t have dreamt that up all by myself.

Related Posts:

idialects@gmail.com, updated in Contacts. Apologies, this Blog is taking a while to update. There’s some mail still going to my old blog address. And I don’t understand how 2 or 3 of my Blog friends are unable to see any email from here. If that’s you, please do let me know. Thanks! 🌻

RN.