Tag: Marriage

The Incredible Power of Belief

Negatives stem from disbelief at the State of Peace. And their reason comes from a space so deeply ingrained in us, it takes a super normal event for some of us to believe in the Impossible.

🌿🍂☘️🍁

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:

came handy at our Haven Fellowship fasting & prayer. (More on dried leaf below).

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.

Beloved, choose Life?

Tribute to a fabulous Human we had the privilege to call our Brother.

We drive off Commercial street (Bangalore, Peninsula India), 3 pm, mid a month’s Lockdown- the streets are clutter free, we are armed with ID and saying ‘Nice!’ through the pain of losing our precious brother Sam.

Yes, he would’ve approved. “No big church service, just like he’d want it. No suit…” quiet words from his sister Dr.Prema Dhanraj, her eyes misty with love. No sad song & masses of tears. No hyper-parade of bouquets. Just a clutch of family members, though masked, distanced….

Beloved brother
***

He was a Minimalist with blazing intellect & humor. He lived to love but his love was quiet, no frills. If you looked for a compliment he’d say, “Nice!” Or “Good” complete with dimpled chuckle that I cannot get out of my system and shouldn’t.

My eldest sis Thel (Sam’s wife) had a Bible that we all wrote in; she snuck this in his casket: its lid standing on Stone nearby had “I am with Jesus” on it, it stilled me. Still does.

With him, I was my unselfconscious self: was it only a few years ago, he and I mimicked a local street drunks’ brawl lasting not a few minutes? Recently his health got fragile, his shoulders had that tiny tremor, you wanted to hug him just a little longer but didn’t dare make him think you were worrying. He could read your head, know your ‘unnecessary‘ thoughts!

Sam wasn’t big on ceremonious religion but had this Respect for God, a thing you didn’t mess with. It was the way he lived, careful, caring, sensitive to detail. You didn’t hide things from God, if you needed an occasional peg you had it in His presence. I remember asking him for a taste of his cigarette, I was 21. He choked laughing then gave me one: “Try exhaling that, k?” That was fun. I’m rambling. Running from memories I want to chase away, but they’re larger than life now.

The last time we spoke (10 days ago?) was an accidental Group-Call my second sis Li made via our sisters’ WhatsApp ‘Mermaid’ Group, yes mermaids 😅, don’t forget we girls grew up on beaches, (once on a sand dune we’d daydreamed of being mermaids, hehe! The name stuck).

So Li called and Sam picks up phone instead of Thel. Li : “Now who’s this low voiced man on Mermaids saying, ‘Hellooooh!?’

He chatted generally and about how good he’d been eating the past week; Thel walks in,” Uh ohhhh? Sam’s on Group call with …who?”

T ‘s her bubbly self, “This is a first group call of this, Haha!”;

she & he had become one Entity with shared polarities; how good they were together with their 2 fabulous sons Anudh & Akash: a treat to watch the four of them – each maddeningly independent, ferociously loyal to the other…… oh brilliant even to detail of when to add chillie to sizzling roast, steak!

These five can do wonders in any kind of day. Ask me how I know. Pic, Goa holiday with their beautiful darling ‘Girl-Sam'(antha) daughter-in-law who deserves a whole other Post: she’s more Indian inside than Australian : the Stunner kind you think must have some secret flaw? You look for it but it isn’t there. Ay, marriages are made in heaven, the Samuels are living proof of that...
***

The last thing he said in individual byes to Li and me….. “Bye Rayla!” His voice strong and cheerful. “Bye Merman, Sam.” I replied.

Age 22?

Offstage while we waited for the next Event at a local Fund raiser…how can I forget his guitar doing the Beatle’s Crybabycry:

with no Lyrics, I worked my own non-word- stylized-gibberish. He called it Russian. We did this very seriously, Thel streaming tears down her cheeks hurting from laughter…

Now.

Thel & Sam’s gorgeous sisters: I could write reams about his three illustrious sibling, each serving Humanity like only they can: Bravehearts – brave now, as the Pastor wraps our small service in a Silence that somehow feels right. I cannot find a word good enough for it. Silence can be reverent gold. The sky rumbles for a second, gentle winds settle in the family tree under which the few of us huddle, forgetting Covid.

Death is where your sting, oh grave where your victory? Here we are immortal for the Love that binds us together across continents via Videocalls coming in and familial Love thicker than blood or the sadness of Now.


Like a tree planted by streams of living water
***

Next to him, in engraved marble- lies the Stone of his first son, the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He lived 5 days. 36 years have gone by.

Now as they lower his daddy’s mortality into the same earth, there is this silence of a family held by things best described as Peace that surpasses human understanding.

Marriage turns strangers into family. Sisters in law become a beautiful kind of sister: we admire their eyelashe and feature not just exterior but deep within. It turns our lives around to learn from each other through the years. I write this realizing how much we’ve been blessed by Sam’s presence, nah entire families, cousins, nephews, nieces….wish this post could cover also friends that became family because of Sam.

What can one say but go back and forth.

I could never count well enough even at our Scrabble board fights. He a Chartered Accountant / Sultan of Sudoku non par would cheerfully shudder. “If you try to, y’know? Maths is basic. Idiots.” His grin included all non-mathy people with me + tolerant brotherly kindness lending a generous taste of what it was to ever have a brother.

He’s not here, no Thel?” I whisper. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

“No Ray.” Her voice is level.

Thankyou Thel for the photographs.
***

I draw strength from her, admiring her straight firm back and calm doe eyes. Sitting down somewhere among family Stones, I am unable to tear my eyes from the candles and flower petals all around, the air softening with dusk and with the Presence of Comfort; with the presence of each other softening from sorrow. Tomorrow we’d be able to take this. Maybe not. Tomorrow would have its share of challenges. New ones? I don’t know.

As we walk back past more names and dates and symbols of Love and Departure, we walk close. Life was/ is short. I want to love without barriers and protocol.

We move past high ornate stone gates; the Caretaker and wife watch their children play with a plastic bat and ball, all safe- distanced from each other.

Somewhere a koyal calls.

It will rain tonight. You loved it cool Sam, but you’re not here.

You’re with Jesus.

I’m jealous.

Saw some of this yesterday, enroute…


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