Posts Tagged ‘faith’

A Centre That Cannot Fall Apart!


On the one hand you’ve the pseudo-entertainers stoking the fire of baseless ideologies in a society whose very fabric is being ripped apart. The last remaining threads of values can barely hold the weight of what’s happening in and around it. The value of empathy, the value of purity, the value of love, the institution of family, the importance of God – they’re all disappearing like melting crayons, leaving in its wake abstract puddles of colour.  And people are busy lapping it up like the post-Renaissance man did surrealism or Dadaism, cubism or abstract art, none of which anyone understood.  With no ideals to fight for and no pressing needs in life, we see young men and women give their own meaning to what has lost its inherent meaning.

The visual media is riding on this confusion by promoting voyeuristic, self-effacing, consumerist ideas to a generation which thinks it is feeding on organic food while the very genetic make-up of what they eat has been altered.  This visual media that penetrates the unguarded minds of millions spews forth the degenerate waste of wicked human imaginations. Almost everything from alternate reality games to movies border on pornography. Well, man’s imagination has been attacked and conquered through the power of the visual, so the sewage of evil is now attacking the intellect and through it the will of man.  The lust of the eyes has been served through the media. The lust of the flesh is currently being served and it is fast seeping into our societies.

Homosexuality.  Live-in relationships.  Sex the moment you attain puberty. Extra-marital affairs.  You say every society has had them throughout history?  Yes, but back then there was the accompanying sense of shame. There were prohibiting laws. There was the voice telling them it is wrong, if not by the force of culture, then their own consciences.  But do you know what is happening now?  These choices are being projected as the individual’s own choice and therefore as being right. There is no source to point fingers at. That’s the power of evil. It has no face. It assumes the face of the one who accepts it. People are placed on pedestals with their bodies symbolizing the ultimate source of pleasure. Is it really the ultimate source of pleasure? Is that all there is to life?  Is there anyone who is ready to think through this confusion and find answers? This is a generation which does not know what to stand up for or what not to stand up for. With no one to question and no answers given to valid questions, the society as we knew it is tumbling.  Who can stop this cascading of evil into our midst?

On the other hand now, you have the God-lovers who are enthusiastic about proving to the world that there is a God while their lives are blasting out a different message. It’s the Christian who carries the name of Christ, who is doing more damage to the watching world by living out a poor testimony.  They force the rest of the world to say again and again that a person without God lives a more moral life than one who imagines he knows God. These so called Christians nations and its teeming millions walk around like they won a lottery ticket to engage in bigotry.  Pathetic ? Yes.  Do you know why? Because they don’t believe in what they say they believe.

Christians are called to be the sons of God. Can they even imagine the power that such a position entails? Can they imagine what they are called to? Can they begin to imagine the depth and height and heaviness of that grace and love that they are supposed to reflect?  Sadly, they love the world too much to be set apart for God or find out the answers to these questions. They have not tasted of that glory to begin to speak about it. They have only silenced the voice of God with their actions along with the rest of the world. And the society as one is moving farther and farther away from that God. Is it any wonder then that the rest of the world under the guise of atheists and rationalists are crying out against the existence of such a God?  The Christian who does not believe in what the Bible says is as lost and rudderless and immoral as the next person. In fact, the so called Christian more-so, who does not understand the value of the Cross.

In effect, people are running amok looking in all the wrong places for love, happiness and trust.  There are millions committing suicide around the world. Elsewhere there are people being killed in the name of Allah.  There are hordes of people falling prey to alcoholism and drugs. There are a million others being led astray by the promise of love through homosexuality, bisexuality and so on which is really just lusting after the flesh. People no longer depend on God to meet their longing for happiness, sustenance and protection. That need has been wiped away and in its place the self has taken the centre. But has anyone thought about what happens when the centre falls apart?

The innate ability of man to recognize between right and wrong gets lost. Faith hope and love disappears. In its place fear, lust and pride appear.

Isnt’t that the reason for the existential chaos around us?  Is there a way to restore balance to our societies? Look to the cross today.  You will find there the power of evil. Its power to break.  To cut open. To lacerate.  To completely destroy. That is what sin is doing to you and me today. But it is on that same Cross where God took upon himself the world’s sin that you will find the holiness and faithfulness of God, the power of His grace and love that calls you and me away from that sin. It is not enough to know this. You and I need to feel the brokenness and the healing with our heart.

So let’s begin by recognizing in our self the emptiness and the need for a standard against which we can measure our self i.e.,  a God who cannot fail you and me.  A centre that cannot fall apart. There is such a God who can fill the emptiness within us. There is a God who can pull us together and love us eternally. The one who gave his life for us and rose again by the power of God.  A God who will come again to judge you and me.

Who would want to find themselves on the wrong side of the power and the glory on that day? It’s time to turn from the world’s wicked ways. Let’s open the Bible and read what the Word says. And let’s watch in awe every single one of the promises come true. And every one of the warnings too.

The Violinist


Lenna walked limply down the side steps. She paused and looked around. There was a small space there which her mother referred to as their garden. Some orange marigolds hung their heads from a few stalks across from where she stood. There were weeds all over the place and a few wild creepers climbed over the high wall which surrounded the little space on all three sides. Lenna felt an unfamiliar suffocation as she frantically looked around. Her face was contorted in pain. She needed air! Quickly, she suppressed her emotions and walked over to the marigolds. Absent- mindedly she plucked one and stared at the bright orange. It had started to fade at the edges as though someone had smudged the colour there. She felt nauseous and she tossed the flower away. Wandering thoughts came bobbing up for air in her head. Why did life deal unfairly with her? Had she lost forever what she most loved? She had fought with all her will against this decision made by her family. Did they not believe in her purpose?

As tears came rushing she made another effort of her will to control the tears. What was the use when there was no one to listen to her pain? Submerging into a world within herself would take away a little of the pain, she thought. She sat down on a patch of grass and closed her eyes. Faces and colours appeared in a dissolve pattern before her closed eyes. She saw the waves swirling in white foam before crashing onto the shore. She saw hills that she had climbed and heard the familiar sound of her dog Ror barking. Had he come to comfort her? But she didn’t move. She kept delving deeper into her self, bringing up pictures and places and animals and people she had once found meaning in. But she shut off the one thing which mattered most to her.

Quite some time passed. The evening sunlight on her face woke her from her trance and she stood up. She glanced around, sighed and made her way back. Her frame was bent as the burden of life hung over her. A desperate prayer came to her lips. “Lord.” She stopped herself. She no longer knew how to ask. She had exhausted all means of asking, trying in every way she could possibly imagine. She walked back into the house to hear the nagging voice of her one parent, who tried to take control of the chaos which surrounded them. She stood frozen in the doorway. There was no solace anywhere. And she slung down on to the threshold.

Day after day, she came back to that patch of grass in the garden. She sat down there and thought about the life she had left behind. Every day she made an effort to forget a little part of her, so that today, her mind could re-call only a few things which surrounded her. Immediate things like finishing some homework, washing some dishes, and some change she saved for her daily bus fare, which she held in her closed fist. She heard her mother call for her. Her mother loved to talk. She was an expressive woman who had lost all her flair and finesse and had become a mess. But Lenna felt strangely unrelated to her. Not only to her, but to all who came near her, she became hostile. She wanted distance. She wanted space. She needed only herself.

As she sat in the hot sun she heard muffled steps. She turned away from the direction of her house but the sound came nearer and then suddenly stopped. Lenna heard a scraping sound and then heavy breathing. Her eyes fluttered open. There was no one around. Was she imagining? She breathed in calmly.

A high strain of a bow against the string made her gasp. What was that sound? As though from heaven, a few notes and then a string of pearly notes wafted across to her. Was she in her senses? Lenna felt numb and could not move. Maybe she was dreaming. The notes were playing havoc with her senses and she could feel her fingers move by itself. But as quickly as the music started it ended. She did not hear the rest of the sounds of the chair scraping on the grass or muffled breathing. She was lost in her own world and she awoke from sleep when the felt the dew on the grass by late evening. She hurried inside wondering what had happened.

The next day, as she sat there the same thing happened. She heard music which took her away from her world of pain. The third day, she struggled to keep enough composure to walk around and find the source of the music. It was coming from a house or two across the garden wall, she guessed. But by the time she walked out and down the road, the musical spree was over. Besides, the sound was not coming from the side of the houses facing the roads. It was coming from the courtyards. But there were so many blocks of houses huddled together and separated by alleys she did not know which one contained the heavenly music. She was too frustrated to talk to people or ask around and she headed back home.

As days passed, she immersed herself in the evening sonata, never really wanting to break the joy she felt as the music washed over her. Her heart rose with the beats and she felt her steps move into the house. She couldn’t understand nor cared as long as the music played on.

Soon she was in her room, bending down to pick up the violin case she had stashed away into the space above her cupboard. Dust had settled on the hard cover. Nevertheless, she held it like she would a precious treasure. And as she turned, her face caught the twinkle in her father’s eye in the picture she had leaned on her study table. She quickly walked out, dusted off the cover and picked up her instrument. Tuning in so that she would not disturb the player, she slowly joined into the soft melody of “Ode to Joy’.

The stranger beyond the wall paused just a second only to resume his music once again. And a duet ensued, when the notes of the song ‘Rebel Heart’ drifted into the golden sunset. As it came to a stop, the violin slid from her hand and the months of tension broke within her and Lenna burst into tears.  Everyday, she came at the appointed time to play with her unknown companion. Life started to show shades of colours again.

One day, she came out and waited for her companion to start but no music began. Impatiently she started to play, not wanting to miss the one thread which had saved her drowning spirit. No one accompanied her. All she heard was a rasping cough which irritated her. The next day and the following, Lenna waited punctually for her companion and played by herself for hours on end when she did not get a response. Her mother always watched her silently from the window, feeling her pain but never able to reach out to her.

Lenna became more and more immersed in her own evening music but deep within her she missed the solace of the stranger’s music and presence. So finally, she gained enough courage to go in search of the house. It was a melancholy neighborhood. Serious people walked about and no one seemed to care about her presence there. One man condescendingly told her to go down the street and turn to the right. This would bring her to the violinist’s house. Hesitating, but determined she walked to the house and entered the gate. It was more run down and dilapidated and an eerie silence hung about the place. She went to the door and knocked. A man dressed in an attendant’s dress opened the door for her. Upon questioning, she was led to a small bedroom. It smelled of dampness and stale food. There on the bed lay a wizened old man. He was fidgeting on the bed and threw a rough glance at her before letting his gaze wander around the room. Gingerly, she walked to his side and asked,

“Are u a violinist?”

He did not answer but kept looking around. Lenna looked at the attendant for help and he nodded. She touched his withered old hand and asked again,

“Do you play the violin everyday?”

He did not answer. Anger began to build up within her. Why did she waste her time here? As she got up to go, the attendant brought a violin case to the old man’s side.

At once, his eyes lighted up and he extended his hand. But his shaking hands could not hold the violin case. Tears sprang up in Lenna’s eyes and she turned to leave. She thought to herself, ‘I might be in the wrong house. There just might be someone else.’

Just not ready to give up, she sat back down and took the violin from the attendant’s hand. As she opened the case, she saw the most beautiful Stradivarius violin she had ever set eyes on. Carefully she picked it up and began to play the notes of her favourite song. As the music rose to a crescendo, the old man lifted a hand to hers to stop her. She put down the violin and looked at him. Tears were flowing from his eyes. He rasped rather than talk.

“I think the circle –  is complete. My daughter used –  to play like yu. I am gifting this violin to yu. Yu ers is not good enough for yu.”

Lenna was too stunned to talk. After a few moments she replied,

‘My father played like you before he died.”

She paused to control her sobs.

“His Stradivarius was crushed next to him, in the accident. He was my favourite violinist and he played like you.”

She went on and on. She did not care if the old man was listening to her but she had to tell everything she had been holding up inside her. And when she stopped finally, she saw that the old man had slept. She got up slowly so as to not disturb him and walked out. Holding the violin to her chest she sat outside in the garden for sometime and then started playing into the night. Somewhere in the early hours of the morning, the old man quietly slipped into a deep slumber never to wake again. But for Lenna life had just begun anew.

Random Motion and Forgotten Identity – part 2


Well, I guess the last post would have raised a lot of curiosity as to what was on the piece of paper that the rickshaw driver gave me. For those who missed reading the first part, read it here.

Image

As I continued to walk down the lane, I wondered at the fact that I had been suppressing a part (?) no, the whole of my identity as a believer other than in my very personal life. I have been living a life of random motion and involuntary actions. Even when seeing the world before my eyes, I had failed to recognize all that I was supposed to pray for and thank God for.

Have I been relating to, or doing what I am called to do? It took a wake- up call to help me realize that I was wasting away a good portion of my life when Jesus had said we should be like the lamp that is placed on top of the hill; we should not be like the light hidden under the basket.

What the rickshaw driver handed me was a tract – a tract that spoke of God’s salvation and love. He had probably handed it to me thinking I am an unbeliever. But the rickshaw driver was doing what was possible for him while continuing to do his work. What I could have done was give an encouraging word and be overjoyed that there was this one person doing his part for the Kingdom of God. He was a part of the great family of believers.

Instead I had turned and walked away. There are many, who are of the opinion that anyone can hand out a tract and this is no big deal. But his action of handing out change when he could have fairly asked for an extra 15 rupees showed that he wanted his actions and his faith to match. He was doing his work. He was doing it honestly. And he boldly proclaimed his faith.

I was humbled by this small act of faith. How much more are we called to do, to whom much more is given?

Here is the tract that he handed out to me:

                                                                   REMEMBER

Life is fleeting

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.(James 4:14)

 

Death is sure

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrew 9:27)

Reason being sin-

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)

 

Christ is the only remedy-

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.(Ephesians 2: 8, 9)

Therefore –

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10: 9, 10)

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come    from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10: 13)

 

Remember!

 

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Hope atleast one soul will be blessed by what I have shared. This post is not just about sharing a tract but also about living our lives meaningfully.

 

 

 

 

 

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