January 29, 2008

Takins a stand for him

There is this incident that always comes afresh to me when I think about standing for what I believe in.

It was in a small local church in a remote village in a state ruled by extreme Hinduism. The church consisted of merely 50 new believers who were new in their faith in Christ. They left behind their customs, traditions and practices of their past. Even though mocked by their relatives who hated them, they continued strong in their faith.

One fine morning, when they were gathered in church, Hindu workers came there and disrupted their gathering and made a havoc out there. They threatened those Christians to forsake Christ and return back to their old faith, otherwise they would have to leave the village and find some other place for shelter. It was a hard time for those believers who choose rather to follow God than these people. Not even haivng a mode of transport available, they packed their belongings and left on foot walking around 75km to another village which sheltered them.

The local evangelists took initiative in talking to the village head in granting them some permissions and relief. However, they were not allowed to return to the village until they forsook Christ. But they were given permission to gather on Sundays in the church there. So every Sunday they made their walk to the church trough 75km of dry deserted roads, all the way, just to worship the Lord together.

Such immense faith and stand for Christ, I find myself hard to understand the purpose behind them doing so. Well they were new believers and would have all the possible reasons for returning back. Also their living and cultural background would have forced them to leave their faith. Also they were people who lived from hand to mouth and not a little poor. But I still wonder at their faith they had in Christ and would not compromise on the things of God.

I find myself ashamed looking back at the so many things I've compromised for the world. Would I be able to take such a great stand daily for Christ? Would ny faith stand firm in such hard testing times? Mya the grace of God more abound on me at that time.

January 18, 2008

With the T.T.E.

What is it that makes me look so suspicious or what is it in me that people always have a third eye constantly watching over me?

Christmas was never more exciting than last year. I was traveling down from my classes back home. i got down from the train at my destination along with my friend and walked to the over head bridge. On the way the T.T.E. requested us to show him our tickets. My heart skipped a beat. It had completely run out of my mind that my train pass had expired that day and I had to renew it before traveling. Well, I got completely freaked out and sowed him my expired pass and he caught me!
crunch....crunch...popcorn pls....
err....sorry...pls continue...

I tried giving him hundreds of reasons fo forgetting to renew my pass but he wouldn't bulge though if I was a female, I would have been let go without burning a hole in my pocket. He took me to his cabin as my friend accompanied me along. (I think he might have got disgusted with himself for having a friend like me!) We tried convincing the T.T.E. out there too. In that cabin I saw a couple of people standing there who also were accused of traveling ticketless. At that moment, ran through my head, dozens of thoughts of what my condition would be after sometime. The T.T.E. penalized me for traveling ticketless with a penalty of Rs.250. As for me, I carried only money sufficient for travel and to have so much money was something that took place once in a blue moon. Why did the T.T.E. have to catch only me? What was in me that made me look like a violator of the law?? Luckily that day my friend had cash and so he payed the penalty for me. I owe it to him for myself not being in greater trouble than what I had already been in.

It seems to me that history will never leave teaching me that traveling ticketless will always be penalized. The last time I traveled ticketless was in my school days and no prize for guessing if I was caught or not...

I had apparently lost my bus pass. So I had an FIR launched which gave me the privilege to gain a duplicate of the original. It should have been obvious to me that I would have to but tickets till the day I got my duplicate pass. But I decided to travel with an excuse of having my pass lost. And what a coincidence the T.T.E. had to catch me that day. It tried to convince him that I had lost my pass and had applied for a duplicate one. But he asked for a proof. But I told him that I that I had left the FIR sheet home. It seemed to him a completely cooked up story and won't it? He charged me with a fine of Rs.13. It was shameful on my part of not even having that much cash in hand but had to ask my friend who I met in that same bus accidentally. Poor fellow, he had to shell out his savings for snacks too.

Doesn't the proverb, "A friend in need is a friend indeed" always come true for me and hope it will ever be true.

You can never escape the arms of the law and that's not a joke at least for me. Only time will tell if another
T.T.E. will catch me for violating the law due to my 'uncool' ideas. And maybe I'll look less suspicious in future. Maybe......don't laugh...I am in grief...sob,sob...

January 11, 2008

Pointing Fingers

A very well said proverb that if you point a finger at another be sure that there's always the other four of your own fingers pointing back to you. But how far do we realize that it is so many a times true.

It is very easy to put a blame on someone else or be a part of the group that is against the accused. Well, I remember the incident our Lord had to put up with . The woman that had been caught in adultery was accompanied be a huge mob of self righteous Jews who tried to test the Lord's lordship through his verdict on her. But Jesus instead of reacting very harshly to the situation acted very wisely by not saying a single thing against her but asked each one of those Jews to examine themselves and see if they have done no wrong. In the end we find that none of the Jews remaining there to accuse her. Convicted by their own guilt they left and went their own way.

How many a times do we find ourselves in the place of those Jews pointing fingers at those whoo have done wrong. It is very easy to accuse someone's commitment and interest for God by his absence during the weekly meetings in church. Though it is very difficult to find the pros of one person but easy to degrade the person's dignity through the continual accusations of his kons.

The biggest failure of man is the inability he has to accept his failures because of his pride. When you go through your own failures you realize that you are more degraded in your self than the other person. " Judge not and be not judged," that's what the Lord says and further, " How is it that you can see the mole in other's eye but not the plank in your own eye?"

Each person in this world has got an unique story to tell and that's how God has made man unique in his own image. Only when you are able to put yourself in the shoes of the other will you realize that the cross he is bearing is much heavier that yours. Then pointing fingers wouldn't be as easy as it was.

It is better to counsel someone through an "helping relationship" that understands the need of the other and finds himself walking through the path the other has to follow guiding him along. Accusations can leave behind a feeling of hatred and broken hearts that can last for a lifetime. It is better to talk tot he person on a personal basis than having him humiliated in front of the whole crowd. That is why, Jesus waited till each of those Jews went their way so that he could correct her with correction
so powerful that she could accept it in all humility though not being humiliated. Though he being God Almighty and the Holy Judge of his Creation could easily use his finger to point out her fault, yet he stooped down and used those same fingers to write something unknown. I guess what he scribbled in the sands would have changed the lives of both those Jews and that woman caught in adultery and made them realize that they are standing before the Judge of all the earth.

Michael Card puts this whole incident beautifully through this song, Scribbling in the sand

Scribbling in the sand

Amidst a mob of madmen
She stood frightened and alone
As hate filled voices hissed at him
That she should now be stoned
But in the air around him
Hung a vast and wordless love
Who knows what loom at his lesson
He was in the middle of

At first he faced the fury
Of their self righteous scorn
But then he stooped and at once became
The calm eye of the storm
It was his wordless answer
To their dark and cruel demand
The lifetime in a moment
As he scribbled in the sand

It was silence it was music
It was art it was absurd
He stooped and shouted volumes
Without saying a single word
The same finger
Of the strong hand
That had written ten commands
For now was simply scribbling in the sand

Within the space of space and time
He scribbled in the sand
They cam e to hear and see as much
As they could understand
Now bound by cords of kindness
They couldn't cast a single stone
And Jesus and the women found that they were all alone

Could that same finger come
And trace my souls sacred sand
And make some unexpected space
Where I could understand
That my own condemnation pierced
And broke that gentle hand
That scratched the words I'll never know
Written in the sand

January 05, 2008

Doing things God's way

I remember the time in Sunday school, last year, when we as the youth of the assembly had to present something for our Annual Sunday School Anniversary program. Three of us, fascinated by a song, decided all in the last moment the day before the program, to sing it. We got someone well trained in guitar to play for us the song. The next day we sang it. But to our disappointment, one of the three microphones weren't working, the other a too soft and the third too loud. Instead of it sounding melodious it sounded all noise and confusion.

Recently, on December 31st for our thanksgiving meeting in church, we as a youth group decided to present three songs along with a short message attached with each song. We worked hard towards it and practiced regularly. Before we could present it, we first began with a prayer as a group together. That was a real encouragement to each one of us to sing to the glory of God rather than to shell out our talents. The singing went on perfectly well and the crowd was really touched by those songs and the messages. To my surprise, people who we expected to say that our singing was bad, too complemented us. It was encouraging and I thanked God then.

It is in through such situations in life, God wanted me to learn to depend on him for everything. Even though the task be small, he expects us to put in our efforts to the fullest and leave the rest to him depending on him to help us out in our work.
In the first incident that I mentioned to you, I really find it hard to say to myself that it was the lack of dependency on God that brought out such a bad result, though I would strongly feel that we put in our best efforts and talents and it was the microphones that weren't working well. To accept the failures in life is a huge step that one needs to take. That is why it took me a lot of courage and also realization of how God wants things to be done, for me to write this article. While in the second incident, I really felt that it was God working through us than our talents in music. When we depended on God, he did what he had to do the best.