Fallen leaf

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We were strolling in the park nearby with my little ones.  A cool breeze was blowing unexpectedly in the evening.  Scorching heat of the sun was experienced throughout the day.  By the way, it might rain tomorrow.

Few days ago, my children came home from school.  He said, “Daddy, I bring some home work for you. ”  The assignment was to make symbolic bird’s nest for school activity.   It was indeed homework for parents as Pre-school children are not able to do nothing on their own.

Now, here in the park, we were searching for dry twigs and fallen leaves to make a symbolic bird’s nest for my children. My son refused to pick up some fallen leaves.  He told me that they were too new and looks so good to be picked up play with.  I told him that we need to pick them up as they cannot be put back in the branches.  “Oh!” he sighed.

While we were still under those trees, few leaves fall on the ground.  So my son was wondering, “Why are they falling down when they can be used by the tree?”

“The wind was blowing hard so they can’t stand the force,” I replied.

So we picked up the leaves, even the new leaves.  After all, they are fallen.  They are dead.

The process of photosynthesis was explained in its simplest terms.  And we talked about trees.  The importance of trees for clean air was reiterated.  Being responsible in our role and to live in harmony during our short span of life was also told.

The leaves, after they fell, are unable to perform their duties.  I told my children, “They did not travel.  They did not change places.  But still they have their given role.  They worked to sustain the life of the tree, where they grew.  They worked together responsibly.”

“When they move, they move together.  They did not complaint each other.  The green leaves look bright and happy, always.  They are shining because they are happy.”  I continued.

Yes, it might be simple and boring for adults.  But for children, they are in learning mode so they get attracted and learned the lessons in simple things too.  Many times, our life span was compared to the flowers, which dried up in the evening.

By now you must have known the reason I told this simple activity.  Living together responsibly and harmoniously is one among the essence of life.

Words spoken on the Cross

The time has come for the Son of God to bear the sin of humanity. His disciples are in awe of His words.  They were told what was going to happen next. Still it was hard for them to believe.  Jesus Christ was their Master but then He had to accomplish His great mission.

Jesus Christ prayed in the garden of Gethsemane; His soul exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.  “Let this cup pass from me, O my Father, if possible, nevertheless not as my will, but as you will.”*

In short, He was sentenced to death by the so-called righteous. Jesus Christ was condemned by the righteous.  He was tortured, bored His cross to Calvary.  He was lifted up on the cross, naked and humiliated.

Jesus Christ carried the sin of humanity with Him, so that we may live. I wanted to take you back to Mount Calvary to show empathy with His words.  I want to list out His last words as Jesus Christ was being crucified on the cross:

Here is your mother (John 19:27)

He saw His mother weeping at His feet.  He entrusted the disciples to take care of His mother, as He was on a mission.  Love for His mother as a human must be there.  He was very much concerned with what His mother has gone through.  Can you see the emotional pain both would have experienced at this time?

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

Vengeance is mine, declared the Lord.  But still, Jesus Christ seeks forgiveness for the evildoers to His Father.  The ‘evil inside us’ caused us to do things we don’t even understand.  Did you imagine what causes the human race to do such cruelty on another human being?  That needs to be conquered.  This is the height of forgiveness that we are being offered or we can enjoy because of the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself.

Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)

Jesus Christ was hanged between two thieves, who were crucified because of their own sin. He spent his whole life with the outcasts, tax collector, prostitutes, and the downtrodden people.  To the two thieves, the law of the mankind had awarded them death.  Earthly beings cannot grant you life apart from death.  But here, the thieves had their golden chance for life, which the other still denied.  It marked the width of God’s mercy and salvation.

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani.  (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

When Jesus Christ bore the sin of humanity, the weight of sin was too much to bear.  God did not love sin.  Many times, we feel forsaken when we sinned.  The loneliness we experience, the emptiness was all because of sin.  Atonement for our sin was made by the blood of Jesus Christ.  In sufferings, if God is by your side you will find solace.  It signifies how sin had distance us from God.

I am thirsty. (John 19:28)

He was a human being.  He was dehydrated, lip parched.  These words reminded me of the conversation between Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman.* Jesus Christ told her; whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  The source of living water was drying up for you.  By His thirst we became welled up.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)

In His sufferings, Jesus Christ shows the model of prayer.  Into yours I commit myself, use me, shape me, and mold me, to be useful for you.  I surrender all.  I surrender all my beings to you. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.**  In happy and in hard times, in sickness and in health, I place my life at your hands.

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Jesus Christ uttered these words.  God in the flesh breathe His last.  A powerful word of victory has been declared.   He offered himself fully to God on behalf of mankind.  This is the word that changed the world.  The fortune of the world was overturned, for those who believe in.  A plan was fulfilled, salvation was made possible.

Now, many of those who are present and taking part in the scene did not recognized what was really happening.  Some cast lots for His cloth.  Some saw the unusual things as they unfolded.  They stood at His feet facing Him.  Just one person, the centurion, was recorded saying, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Please consider these few questions: Where did you stand? Did you believe Him? Are you still a bystander near the cross?  Does it mean anything to you? Are you among the righteous that condemned Him?

*Matthew 26:42, John 4, Romans 12:1, Mark 15:39

Stay Connected: Precautions

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It’s been 10 years since I was taking medicines for epileptic disorder.   For more than a decade, I have been carrying my medicines wherever I go.  Especially, the so-called SOS medicine was to be kept handy for precautions.

I cannot afford to miss my medicines to prevent any kind of seizures.  An alarm was set in my cell phone to remind me.  Medicine took too much control of my time, I would often recall.  I did that to avoid expected attacks from the illness.  This practice does spare me from embarrassment many times.  It was worth practicing.

A visit to the doctor is another thing I cannot turndown.  By the way, I am blessed to live in a place where there are many good doctors.  There are people who do not have access to this kind of thing.  For them, it was a distant dream.  However, it is one of those things I wanted to strike off in my routine, if possible.

These practices over the years reminded me of many things.  Let me tell you some of them for precautions.

One, for a believer it was our duty to carry our weapons all the time.  More importantly, there are evil spirits that are ready to attack us.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.*

Two, for a man it is advisable to carry the word of God, which is an SOS in times of need.  Many times my SOS was having a word with my God.  I am humbled to experience His presence in times of adversities.  The answers to some prayers are instant depending on the situation, and as has been granted by our Heavenly Father.

Three, it is good to maintain good connection with God who watch you and saw your spiritual and physical needs.  For He knows what is good for you, and what you should avoid.  To be able to live a life worthy for Him, it is necessary to gain prescription from Himself.

As we can see, we need to review our spiritual illness and get it corrected from time to time.  This will lead us to be closer to God.  That will make our living fruitful for you and around us.

At an instance, I underwent surgery to help control my problem.  That means surrendering to the doctors so that they can work on me.  But I find it difficult to surrender myself under God.  It is a good thing to fully surrender before God.  Let us take courage and try to achieve it.

Stay connected with God.  Spend time with Him.

Spend time, not for Him, but with Him, at least once.

*Ephesians 6:12

Stream of Death

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There was a small stream near our farm.  We needed to cross this stream every time we visit our farm.  We would often refer that very small stream as ‘stream of death’.  Now I will tell you why he called that.

The stream was small but can be ferocious at times during the rainy season.  The mouth of the stream was small but it was very deep and muddy.  The walls are slippery.  We often witnessed a cattle dying inside the stream as they cannot climb their way back.

It was difficult to build a good bridge over that stream.   The intensity of the water current was underestimated every time.  We were warned to take utmost care while crossing it.  Taking this clue, it was called as stream of death.  But the purpose of calling that was more of an example for life.

In our journey, we often need to cross that kind of streams that seems to just wither away in the bush.  All the problems are not necessary as wide as a big river.  However, they poised same level of threat as that can be seen.  To get drowned, the water need not be big but more important is skill of swimming or the first reaction to that.  A swimmer also gets drowned, someone told.

A valley is much wider than a small stream discussed here.  But the same God, who keeps King David safe from the valley of the shadow of death, is and was, applicable in every scenario.  He wrote,

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.*

Whenever we go to our farm and crossed that small stream, it reminded me of the safety and comfort we have in the Lord.  In that way, we come across many streams, rivers, and valleys of death.  However, if God is on our side, we will cross all of them.

A problem, big or small, stole happiness from our lives.  The safety and comfort provided by God is the same.   How much we get and enjoys depends on our relationship with God.

*Psalms 23:4 (NKJV)

You are Alone But not Alone

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Let me begin this way.  This tree, standing alone on top of the hill, is alone but strong.  It reminded me of some of the adversities that decorate our lives.

Sports, whether we play or not, everyone set our interest at least in one discipline.   Due to the skill and speed involved I love football, especially English Football.  Cricket, on the other hand, I find it to be time-consuming and slow.  In English Premier League, I enjoyed watching Liverpool FC playing.  I was always mesmerized by the crowd cheering and singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.  Someone, who is always supporting us, is what we want.

Naturally, we enjoyed companionship and togetherness.  Man is not created to live in solitary.  When the cheering crowd fainted, and the going gets tough.   The road seems are lonely, we want someone by our side.  In my hospital bed, reflecting on my past and the good times spent were cherished.  The only thing I can do is to talk to God and hope for a better future.

Hard times are what made our life worth going.  If you do not face tough times in life, you do not live life to its fullest yet.  But in these times, we have someone who is always by our side to comfort us.  Those who can recognize it found happiness in suffering.  God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”*

You are alone but not alone, someone told in my hospital bed.  The word is blunt at first but says a lot.  Because it open my heart to feel the One who is always with me through thick and thin.  For many, the time spend alone are the sweetest.  If they are able to fight through these times, they surely will find happiness in life.

To have that feeling let me list out what the Scripture tells us to do a few things amongst many. (James 4:7-8)  Submit yourselves to the Lord and resist evil.  God loves those who fully submit to Him.  Submit wholly, submit it to Him.  He will save you.  Come near to God and He will come to you.  The space maintained between God and you should be zero.  Nearer my God to Thee…says the songwriter.   Purify your heart, don’t be double-minded.  Humble yourself to the Lord, he will lift you up.  When we humble ourselves before Him, we can declare,  “The Lord is my helper I will not fear.  Mortal beings will not harm me.”

The Lord’s presence always comfort me

And I know He is always beside me

Though adversities loom large upon me

‘Son, fear not!’ He whispers in my ears.

 

A Glimpse of Heaven: My Personal Journey

It was just another normal day in winter.  My body is still weak from the recent surgery but recovering well.

As usual, with my son, we wake up early and go for a walk in the park on a wintry morning.  Soon we get back home, had our breakfast and began our day.  Had just underwent Brain Surgery last month but it seems I am recovering well.  So even a small time spent with my families is sweet and treasured.

It was almost noon when I feel something was wrong with me.  I told my wife to get help from neighbors and bring me to hospital.  My wife called our neighbors.  They rushed to our place but by the time they reached I remain unconscious.

They brought me to a hospital, they told.  However, as I remain unconscious I remember none of the ordeals.

My wife told that they brought me first to Safdarjung Hospital, which is about 10 kilometers approx. from our residence.  On being there, I was given some quick medication and was given oxygen through mask.  But then they had to rush me to GB Pant Hospital, which was about 11-12 kilometers from there.  GB Pant Hospital was where I was operated on 14th December, 2016.  On being there, I recovered in the Emergency Ward.   But as for me, when I regained consciousness, I found myself waking up in the Intensive Care Unit, as they already shift me there.

All through the journeys from our residence and my short stay at Safdarjung Hospital to GB Pant Hospital, I knew or felt nothing as I was unconscious.  These are my recollections base on what they told me.

But something was clear in my memory.  During those hard and unconscious times, I knew I was there somewhere else, which was totally a different scene.  I was there in the middle of the sky, up from the earth.  There I saw a huge and brightly lighted home that slowly moves towards me.  By the time it came close to me, a gently slope stairway with around 10-12 steps came down by my side.

Then a huge door was open for me.  Inside that huge door was a place filled with light.  The kind of brightness in that light was different.  It must be full of the Tree of Life.*  It was soft and never seen before light for me.  That was a place of life.  It seems to be full of oxygen.  I very much wanted to go inside that door.  There is this feeling that when I entered that door, I would started dancing and be “very much alive” there.   This is the place where there would be no more death.  My sickness would disappear.  Everyone would jump and dance in joy, this is how I felt.  The light, brightness, and the look of the place I find it hard to describe.  I don’t know what to compare it with.

Then with great excitement, I put my left leg to go up the stairway.  In that moment, I heard someone calling me from a very far off distance.  I could barely hear her voice.  But I recognized the voice was my wife’s.  Though I saw no one from that huge door, it seems someone is there and watching me.  I said, “Lord my wife and my children are still there.  They will need me.”

So I turn back to find her.  But then, when I look down, I saw her deep down there on earth.   They are very far from me.  She looked sad.  She was there sitting in great distress.  But it was dark around her and the place was filled with black dirt in comparison with what was before me.

That was when I felt I am back.  All of a sudden, I knew that door and stairway are no longer there.   That was the last thing I knew.

Back at the Hospital, my body was in severe pain when I regain my consciousness.   I longed for that place where I had almost been, but to no avail.  Many times I would say to myself, had I entered that door I would be very much alive and well.  But now I have to fight the pain on my body again.  However, all sickness and the pain was worth it as I catch a Glimpse of Heaven.

During this episode, I was there inside the Ambulance or either in the Hospital fighting for my life.   In other words, it all happened when I was shift to different places in an ambulance or in a trolley.

But then I thank God to see the light of another day here with my family.  Though it takes many days to recover from that, I am happy.  That is a reminder of where we would be after we are done with our life here on earth.  Now my father and my brother must be there spending time with our Savior.

In medical term, I underwent right Amygdalohippocampectomy on 14th December, 2015 to help cure my epileptic disorder, which I was fighting for more than nine years.  On 19th January, 2016 an episode of Status epilepticus occurred, that lasted for so long.

I felt happy and obliged to share this.  Also, I feel humbled to have a glimpse of Heaven.    All the prayers held for me are my lifeline now.  I am happy to be alive to tell this to you.

I felt happier to be accepted as a citizen in the kingdom of God by the blood of Jesus Christ.

*Read Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24, Revelation 22:2)

Amygdalohippocampectomy: removing the amygdala, a surgical procedure

Status epilepticus: a dangerous life threatening condition in which epileptic fits follow one another without recovery of consciousness between them.

Hope keeps you afloat: A Loner’s song

At some point in life you have no escape route

You don’t know why you are here and none bothered

You seem to stuck deeper the more you try to move out

Your hard work paid off when it seems you are doing fine

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.

 

At a late stage in your life hit a wall and stumbled upon

Bound by string of responsibilities put upon you

Where you simply cannot succeed anymore to take care

Where you simply cannot think the way-out

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.

 

The scent of happiness seems fainted away

Looked at everything and were unable to see the beauty of it

The beauty of what you observed are still intact

They never knew what is still inside of you

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.

 

You cannot see excitement in almost anything

Your life is becoming dull day-by-day as was your thought

They would assume it was a result of your own deeds

Oh! Where would you go? You’ve lost way

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.

 

It became a big task to search for in this stage,

When your time and resources are limited

The only hope is in Heavenly Father who knew it all

But then you were not good enough for Him as well

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.

Hope, hope, hope…keeps you afloat.