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.
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.
know you are Loved by a Force you cannot see, but One that sees you. Regret nothing but what you deprive yourself of tomorrow. Love generously, live every minute, I mean LIVE. Lockdown all noise that Intrudes. We deserve more than we give ourselves. You are No.1 and should be in your list of beautiful things this side of heaven. You are precious, more than trees and leaves of all the pages ever written anywhere on earth, aren’t you?
Aren’t you? Look deep in the eyes of your heart and read the preciousness with which you were created. See how Someone died so you and I could live free as we do, children of an earth almost too blest. Aren’t we, too blest? Warrior friend mine, yes you,
I write this with an urgency I do not understand: there’s a day to live for today and you and I must excel all expectations to just be normal. We ride above the boring norms we chalked out for yesterday… eh warrior please let go of yesterday’s habits, yesterday’s nightmares, let go, let go of tomorrow’s predictions, let’s be who we were, we are, will be… warriors in love and Peace: nothing missing, nothing broken-
we were made for days as these in a Love that forever breathes heavens’ brand of peace Warrior, please.
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The past few days I’ve been impatient for a real nice surprise. D’you feel like that recently? And I mean yelling impatient. Crying impatient. Life began to feel boring, staccato boringgggh.
But! not! today!
My husband and second daughter Kitsy were out on another highly budgeted shopping round for Essentials; food stores are at their emptiest, blockades have come up right across our main, I think we’re cordoned off as some Covid hotspots are being sectioned off here in Bangalore. Hmm scary.
Never mind. So Kitsy and Jeff go out the door with mask and warnings about ‘The Budgie’ (budget): our Kitsy has sweet tooth, sweet fingers, sweet everything. She lives for shopping, adores food racks, or any activity that includes sale of edibles, wearables, bakeables.
Anyway, they were driving up to local Store, when a very young girl looks in at window and says a word, “Rice.” She was requesting. This meant now, for our 20 year old to not just part with something from her list, but also to help this kid get her bag of rice, I mean buy it for her. The girl didn’t know how to handle those counters and two meter sections of long queue outside in a chalked bubble enroute to the inside of Reliance Fresh. Which Kitsy did too, her face beaming with curious pleasure as they got back home….
but they… we all had a bigger surprise. We get a surprise gift from a long distance friend. The gift he sent was a hundred times more than what our Rice-Girl got from us. What d’you say to that?
I don’t know about your country, but here it’s tough enough without looking into needs of Migrant workers/ daily wage workers left high and dry without the everyday wage they depend on for existence. I just do not know what to say enough about everything. It is all too much too think on. Personal needs/ citizen needs. You can grow multi-coloured hair just thinking on everything that can go wrong, and there is terrifyingly little one can do except do the next thing you can.
Sigh. Sometimes it is hard to even reach them with a helping hand, at a time like this. Restrictions are now at the gate. We daren’t all go out together, leave alone visit another section of community. I’m so glad that Rice Girl arrived when she did. Glad she got that basic need met: and look at what God did, at probably the exact time Kit was at that sales counter.
It is past midnight… so ‘Easter ‘ already here. We need more than essentials in this time of existence. We need Life and Life abundant. May the Risen Lord Jesus Christ fill your heart with His Touch, His Presence.
Our Kitsy used to get ‘spooked’ at prayers like that, till she began praying her own brand of little impatient prayings. Prayers to please let her older sis stop being annoying, or to please help Joh her brother just behave. Words from her young heart that were true and real; as I watch her life unfold I’m more and more convinced of a God who walks with us, and stalks our needs in His own inimitable way.
I pray everyone will get back jobs and health, but too, that we will never forget the times we prayed and were answered. I asked for a nice surprise, thankful Heavenly Father for a beautiful one at that!
Did this 👇painting last year, after seeing Souza’s Christ( see below 2nd painting for also, his grand son’s Street graffiti of Goan woman praying?)
Art is a language all it’s own. When I’m silenced from society and ask myself what I’m at, is when Painting kicks in. It’s like dancing for me, or cooking a designer meal. It’s my dialect. There’s grace, disgrace, pain, hopeless hope.
Today, Palm Sunday and India and everywhere potentially exploding with Covid, or not…. it’s that kind of day again I’m looking within. Some call it prayer,
you can label it, morph it, strip it down, it’s still the fact of reaching out to the One that made me: the Act of Love that consummates my presence here, the Fact of His Life…. when I think of that, there is little else that overcomes. And I need some overcoming, Now.
Am grateful for the Gifts we are given at this time. Gifts that say it better than we might. These are the Journals of our Times. These are the trails we leave behind, our blood prints that might be a new kind of beautiful for generations to follow. What we are at.. in the Now, matters. These emotions, questions, they capture human responses, and sometimes responses are all we’ve got to secure our eternities.
Souza captures Christ with that Palm Leaf; you might call it grotesque almost, but this is how pain looks in any given century.
His grandson’s Graffiti details the folded palms of a Goan woman. What’s she asking? What are we asking. globally, individually: are there immediate answers, is there Beauty in the Ashes of hopes, prayers and dreams,
what’s Christ got to do with contemporary existence, does God care I may ask. What do we do now:
what is this that causes peace when I pause, lean, go still…. my emotional palms folding in,
is Humanity beautiful when we are most vulnerable,
do we ask questions of immortality, here, like this, now,
Life wasn’t ever permanent. Now maybe is all we’ve got.
I prayed that you would be given the gift of sight,
but God in His mercy allowed me to see His Light all around you.
Now I ask that you my child will pray too, this prayer for others: that thru’ your journey via the valley of shadows, you will leave footprints that lead another out of darkness.
Each day this prayer grows, and as it does, my eyes open to things I’ve been blind to. How we misunderstand the gifts we are given: they arrive in unusual wrap and bows, sparkling with the tears of heaven.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but He has given us a spirit of power, love and discipline…” quote from The Bible.
these two hands stayed home to stare out at trees and skies and leaves; I wrote poetry with my floor mop, or doodled with raw mango skin, and left over crayons. Never sold much, I hoarded; love pavements and the songs in strangers’ eyes. Love God. But who said that works in the ways of everyday living? Nah, nobody. Today’s my quiet day, my consult with the King. Here we are Hannah and Esther, Sarah Martha and Sweet Mary. Life and the Times have also made me some David and some Peter. And some Noah. I ache to pet some living (wild)species I’ll never probably personally meet…. polar bear and sea horse.
So, 3.30 pm Monday with my Maker. The home outside this door smells fresh bread. It’s our second daughter baking. The youngest sits with the sun in his face, he can look right in the Light, unflinching. He has that gift, some call it visual disability. His eldest sis makes music with a guitar and keys, it’s a harp to listen to… muted sounds of life reaching through to me under my door,
I have lived to see this, and see true love in Jeff’s eyes at the altar of Your faithfulness-
this November, I’m stripping barbed wire. The barbed wire of disbelief, grouch & fatigue(ugh terrible trio).
Yeah I’ve never earned fortunes and proverbial silver spoon and wheels but I’ve spun unedited prayers at family toes at 5 to 5 am some dawns –
You watch me watch You light the sky bringing heaven to my hearth;
I bless Your Brow if I might – with a daughter’s kiss that heals things I don’t know to say or ask. Thank you for healing our lil one’s seizures.
This Monday I’m sitting here in the deliciousness of a healing. I didn’t find You in fests and grand recitals, but here in the hiding place among heartbreak where our blind son healing from seizures, must also wear out meds’ side effects …
You here in these rooms of cuts and bruises, his confused tender blind face not even tender in random chaotic moment. The girls brave it all, they huddle later, wipe our fears away. ‘This too shall pass,’
I find You here nestling us:
It’s an aloneness crushed with the aroma of You,
the aroma of Grace.
Compassion, suffering long;
Grace & Humor kiss each other, smiling, locking arms and tears with anticipation of a better hour to follow.