Faith, God

I give up.

This is something I wouldn’t have even dared to dream of doing. If anyone had told me they were going to do this – I would have begged, bullied and/or blackmailed the person not to do so. This was betrayal, sacrilege, and in complete defiance of everything my life was built on these last 26-27 years. But, yes, I give up. On Faith, on God.

Born and raised in a family that upheld evangelism, I didn’t really have those miraculous encounters with God that many Christians share about. I was a regular Christian, with abundant faith in God and religion was the way of life. A childhood filled to the brim with Sunday school songs and memory verses, an adolescence preaching in cell groups about the need for salvation, a youth striving to constantly keep up the “testimonial life”, and a womanhood struggling every single day between waiting on the promises and self sufficiency. But God was good to me. I had a roof above my head, good food on my plate, family, friends, and all those “material blessings”. I was chosen and favoured. Yeah, of course, it was such a pity my neighbours were neither chosen nor favoured. But I was. My life had been good. I was not sick. I did not have debts. I did a little bit of service to the community. God had planned and crafted my life so beautifully. So far, So good.

Then suddenly, someday, you have one of those down-times and you want to turn back and see for yourself how the footprints in your sands have been. And you realize that it has always been just one set. But they are your size. So, you wonder whether God really did travel with you through your ‘Voyage of Life’ like you have been believing all this long. You think, you try to reason, you shoo away satan, you pray, you ask God to talk to you about your doubts, and you think about this so very much. And then you reach this place – the place that I am currently at. (as disputable as that dangling preposition)

I have believed that God has me drawn up on His palm, that I was the apple of his eye and all that. But occasionally, I have needed reassurances. A word, a sign, a dream, a hem, the backparts. Did they come? No. But I taught myself to choose to believe that God was there. I believed God was in control of the whole world. Perhaps, to me “the whole world” was just about me, my family, my friends, my church. And God was a vital part of everyone in that world. It was easy to believe that God was watching over, and taking care. Because I didn’t need to doubt. Because I had to trust that He was there. And if I doubted, it would hurt God so much. No, I wouldn’t do that. I cannot question God.

Maybe for me, the saddest phases of life were when I dwelt upon my pimples, lack of cooking skills, and menstrual cramps. Those were my miseries. And ironically, that made it only easier for me to trust God. I didn’t need a miracle. Life was pretty nice to me already. And I believe that God made it that way. God loved me so much. He took care of me. He had blessed me very much. I was saved and I would kinda make it to heaven coz I hadn’t intentionally harmed anyone. All I had to do was to be thankful to Him for that.

I was happy about the hand of God in my life when I got a window seat in a crowded bus. About God’s way of showing his love when I discovered that small shop that served excellent enchiladas. About God’s blessing on me when I was at the giving end of alms to that homeless old woman. How God cared so much about me that He didn’t let me go begging like the poor blind man I see on the train. How God fashioned me in his own image, and didn’t let me go crawling on the platform like that dirty, unbelieving lame.

Hmmm. But, what happens to those people? Those people who do not have so much to be thankful for? What does life mean to them? Why is my loving, compassionate God not the same to them?

Because they are unbelieving? But I kinda started believing only because God chose to put me in my family, right? Because they have sinned? But then I can’t boast about my life either. I might sinned far worse. Because God has not chosen them? But I thought God was supposed to be impartial and just!

A few houses away from mine, there is a family. There are 2 kids in the family – aged 11 & 9. Both the kids are physically challenged. I go to their house very occasionally, and I can’t ever return without crying. Why? Why would a loving God let those kids suffer so much pain? The other kids in school make fun of them. The parents are very poor. They work 12-13 hours a day for meagre wages. I have asked God so many times why He did not choose to save them? It was God who created the kids, God who put them in their mother’s womb, God who let them be born and raised non-christians, and God will not have them in heaven nor “show them wonderful and marvelous things” coz the kids didn’t believe in Him? That God would let the parents live in despair every single day because He, God, chose to let them live poor kinda worries me. I don’t know. I don’t understand. But I can only bite my lips and wonder if God is really up there watching.

It makes me wonder why my God, who I had believed to be a benefactor, a compassionate, loving and a most merciful savior, could let masses of weak and poor women be raped in Sri Lanka. How could he spend his time in talking to me through beautiful sunsets while starving infants are crying out in hunger? Why does he be choose to be present in a Sunday Praise & worship session and not be there where innocent, poor, helpless civilians get their heads blown off on the other side of the world? WHY?

Because it is God’s will? Because I don’t see the big picture? Because in the grand scheme of things these are negligible? Because I am saved and those people are not? Well, who put them there in the first place? God did, didn’t He? And if God has built the heaven on principles like these, I am not sure I want to go there even.

I have questions, many many questions. And when I begin to ponder on them, I start crying. It makes me sad, it makes me angry, it makes me want to yell, it makes me cry.

Maybe I am not betraying God. Maybe He betrayed me. Maybe He was never there.

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Faith, God

How Gladly The Cross I Bear

I found this printed on one of the old Sunday handouts of PIB – the church I used to attend in Curitiba. And I thought I had to share this.

Oswald Chambers put his finger on my unthankful attitude when he said: “The will of God is the gladdest, brightest, most bountiful thing possible to conceive, and yet some of us talk of the will of God with a terrific sigh — ‘Oh well, I suppose it is the will of God,’ as if His will were the most calamitous thing that could befall us… We become spiritual whiners and talk pathetically about ‘suffering the will of the Lord.’ Where is the majestic vitality and might of the Son of God about that!”

True thankfulness is more than being grateful for what we possess. It’s an attitude that permeates our relationship with the Lord so that we may serve Him with gladness and joy.

Baseless rants, Faith, God, Growing pains

The Strange Case of Dr Grace and Mr Grace

Grace is free. But Grace is too free.
Grace is awesome. And, Grace is unfair.
Grace is comforting, and also, frustrating.
Grace humbles.. Grace wrecks the nerves.
Grace overwhelms. Grace annoys.
Sometimes Grace is unbearable.

I wish I wasn’t so bad. So judgmental. So.. ummm.. horrible.
I am like that vineyard labourer in the parable Jesus told. The grumpy worker who got what he was promised. The grumpy worker who didn’t like that someone else TOO got what he had gotten. Someone, who in the eyes of the grumpy worker wasn’t deserving of that.

Grace has a dissociative identity disorder. Really.
I remember reading somewhere : “Love is the best thing in the world. Till it happens to your daughter.”
Grace is pretty much the same. When it happens to me, it is the most astounding, most incredible thing ever. But when it happens to the smelly lady standing next to me in the bus, You monstrous Grace!

When something good happens to someone i think is not good enough, I see the disfigured face and the deformed arms of Mr. Grace.

She has perfect hair. That guy, that sore loser, he gets paid more than I do. For crying out loud, She got onto the bus just now, she got a seat. I am still standing. Sweating. Swearing.

Curse you, Grace.

Maybe it isn’t Grace’s fault. It is probably mine. Okay, it IS mine.
But then… But still.. I am only human, no?

May I be saved from trifles. May I be saved from envy. May I be saved…
After all, it can’t be Saving Grace for nothing.

Let Grace Abound.

P.S: It feels weird addressing Grace as Mister. Grace always felt like a lady. Graceful and all, Kapish?

Books, Faith

Piercing The Darkness

I just finished Frank Peretti’s ‘Piercing The Darkness‘.

This Present Darkness
This Present Darkness

I had read This Present Darkness some two – three years back. Oh Boy, I loved it. It is a great book. The power of prayer, the mighty angels, the glorious hand of God. Amazing! Totally loved it.

Piercing The Darkness
Piercing The Darkness

I honestly don’t know why I took so long to read the second. Piercing the Darkness is just cool.  It is the story of a Sally Roe – a recluse and ex-con… The mysterious attempt on her life, the church and school at Bacon’s Corner, the link between Sally’s past and the little town’s future.

And guess what, Marshall Hogan from the first book also comes to Bacon’s Corner’s help. Plus Sally Roe gets to go to Ashton and meet some of our old friends there!

It is really a nice plot. And to top all that, my favorite characters – Tal, Guilo, Nathan and the host of heaven. Love, love, love them!

If you haven’t read them yet, I think you just have to. And now.

Baseless rants, Faith, God

Dot Dot Dot

Time flies, doesn’t it? I could not remember when I last wrote a blog entry till I looked it up now. And because no one cares, I will ask the question myself. “Why?”.

Why? Because I did not have anything to write about. Christmas was the same as the last year’s. New year’s day was the same as the last year’s. Pongal was the same as the last year’s only just minus the sugar canes.

I am as lost in 2012 as I was in 2011. Aimless, Pointless, and Unfaithful. Promises of sticking by God “come what may” breaking into shards. Apathy, complacence, you name it.

I don’t know. “…For when I am weak, then I am strong”?

2 Corinthians 12:10

I am weak.  Lord,  are you following my blog?

Faith

Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier

I read this somewhere. Beautiful. It was titled ‘Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier‘. It is also called the ‘Creed of the Disabled’.

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered,
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.