“Whatever happens, I need to avoid this mistake! I need to make sure that I never reach the state he is in right now. What a fool! He totally deserves it.
He could’ve escaped this fate so easily – all he had to do was keep his mouth shut. But no, fools just can’t keep shut, can they? Just look at him – bleeding, unable to move. Was it worth it? Was it really worth dying a horrifying death? Was it necessary?
My heart is divided between feeling hate towards him, and feeling joy as I get to watch justice being served. I wish I was hurling stones at him, instead of holding all these coats. I can see the perfect stone on the ground, its sharp edges seem to have been made to cut through skin.
How dare he praise a man who dared to claim that he was God?’
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.
Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you.
“I want it. I want it so bad. Please get it for me”, he pleaded, his voice bubbling with excitement.
The little boy’s father looked at the joy in his son’s eyes, and his heart melted. The boy struggled to stand still at his father’s side, his gaze darting back and forth between his father and the toy he had just fallen in love with.
The father held his son’s hand tight as they walked towards the display where the little toy bicycle was kept.
Three and a half years back, when I first moved out of Bangalore, I had a desire deep within me to be used by God in some specific way. As I prayed about it, I always assumed it would be something to do with music or maybe engineering (lol).
At that point of time, I had zero interest in reading – whether it was books, newspapers, blogs – the idea of reading simply did not speak to my heart. I was completely indifferent to it.
And then one day, as I sat on the floor staring at the burnt chappati that I had just cooked, an idea flashed to my mind – an idea for a story about a cook who wasn’t really a cook, a story without a very happy ending. Quickly, I wrote some words down and sent it to a couple of my friends who were really creeped out by it; and that was the reaction I had been looking for. Immediately, I began to write more – about murders, eerie voices and ghosts. Some of my friends loved it! (some, not so much)
I began to fall in love with writing these stories with plot twists. Ideas just seemed to come and I was on a high…
Until one day, I had an idea to write a similiar story. Except, this time, it wasn’t going to be a horrifying ending. I don’t think I planned on making it a happy ending either, but I just felt like I needed to write about it. It wasn’t a new story at all. It was the story of a little boy who I had heard about many times and I decided to get into his shoes and write about his day (You can actually check it out here – http://www.aweandwonder.in/the-lunchbox/)
And that is just what I did. When I shared it, there was suddenly a new kind of high in me. I loved watching people respond to my posts, but for the first time, I loved the way I responded to my writing of the post in a whole different way.
I suddenly realized that a prayer had been answered and how.. God wanted to use a guy – who truly has no idea what readers like – who has no idea what writing is all about – to write for His glory.
For the past year, that’s what my girlfriend, Prema, and I have hoped to do on our blog. We’ve written testimonies of people and wept over them. We’ve written stories and posts that have been impressed on our hearts and we have an amazing friend, Luke Alfred, who translated them into decent English.
Today, after praying about it, we’ve decided to move all our posts to a website – www.aweandwonder.in
We hope this space inspires and blesses you. We hope it makes you dig deep. You may see yourself in a lot of the stories, but the whole point of this is that we grow smaller as we grow closer to Jesus. The whole point is that we would take our rightful place in the story and realise : it’s not about us. We get to be in the story but we have to get out of our own way.
This story is about Him…
We pray this corner of ours sets you to dig deeper, get to the root of stuff you’ve been dealing with, ask questions and ultimately know God better.
And as we do that, we ask that you will pray for us as well.
Once a week, our group of around fifteen people meet up to worship in song and study the Bible for an hour or two.
This being Holy Week, we decided to walk through the things that Jesus did in the final few days before his death on Good Friday.
We felt that God was leading us to take part in the beautifully humble act of washing each other’s feet. I was quite excited about it, until it was decided that I would be the first person to have his feet washed, and that it would be the senior most person who would do the washing.
Immediately, like Peter, I realized this was going to be very weird. All my arguments and explanations on why I shouldn’t be first fell on deaf ears. So I sat on the chair and watched, squirming and awkward, as she carried the jug of water to me, bent down and began to wash my feet. It wasn’t perfunctory or half-hearted, she rubbed hard and got all the dirt and grime off them, with water being poured continuously. When she was done, she picked up a towel, and dried them completely. I stood up, and following Jesus’ command, bent down and began to wash the feet of the person next to me.
And so, the cycle continued – all of us washing each other’s feet, one after the other- until all were washed and all had washed. It was a beautiful moment for all of us. Some of us began to weep, overwhelmed by the love and humility in this powerful act. Some were awestruck by how the King of the universe could do this to His servants the night before He died, including the one who would betray Him, the one who would deny Him, and the ones who would run away at the first sight of trouble as well.
While we were lost in the moment, I decided to step into another room to get some paper and pens – just in case anyone would like to write or draw something. Just as I stepped into the room, I suddenly became aware of something – the floor in this room was dirty. Suddenly, I could feel the dirt cling to the bottom of my feet. I couldn’t see it, but I felt what it was doing to me. I felt it trying to undo what had just happened, trying to undo the cleansing of my feet. And suddenly, I did not want to be there anymore. Everything within me wanted to leave that room. And I realized that the only reason I felt this way was because I knew that someone I looked up to, someone who was so much wiser and more respected in society than me, chose to be humble, bow down to the lowest part of my body and wash my dirty feet. Though it didn’t seem like much, I knew that there was a price that had been paid. And all of a sudden, everything within me was screaming against taking that truth for granted.
Jesus said, “Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean”. Jesus not only washed His disciples feet, but also bathed them – bathed all of us – when He chose to die a terrible death upon that Cross. He took our place and His blood cleansed all of us who believe, so that we may be forgiven.
Yet, I realized that there was more to it than just that. The Power of the Cross is not just in the forgiveness of sins, but also in realizing the price that was paid on that dark day at Calvary. It’s in repentance. It’s in realizing what He has done, and letting that realization – that power – cause everything within us to look at sin and scream, “I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to sin anymore. Not after I know the price that was paid for me”. When you understand that Holy Blood was shed for you, that the skin of the Creator of it all was torn for you, that His face was spat on for your sake, and that His hands – the hands that washed your feet – had nails hammered through them for you, you will want to stop saying or doing anything that would lead to an undoing of His work in your life…
Over the past couple of months, through Little More Love, some of us have had the amazing opportunity to visit the kids at Kidwai Hospital. These children suffer from cancer, and through a project called Lifeline, we hope to help them and their families in the little ways that we can.
A couple of weekends back, we planned a visit to the hospital again, to organize a little coloring and sketching activity for the kids there. We were quite excited because honestly, these little ones have got so much energy and are so full of life, that they make you forget that they’re actually suffering. Every time we’ve been to the hospital, we have left carrying their energy with us. Spending time with them has been a true joy, which is why we were looking forward to meeting them; and we were prepared : –
Color pencils – check
Drawing sheets – check
Guitar – check
A good night’s sleep – check
But no amount of preparation would’ve helped us for what we were going to see that day. As we arrived at the hospital, we were asked to sing for a patient – a little boy who had been diagnosed with cancer four months back, and who, while suffering immensely, had touched the lives of many who had visited him.
We were told his parents were devastated that he was dying, and we were asked not to cry in their presence. And so we walked to his room, armed with a guitar and a few hymns and songs of encouragement.
As we entered the room, we saw the mother’s boy, carrying him out of the shower. We could only see his back, as we heard the sound of struggled breathing coming from his mouth.
And then she turned, and we saw him – four-year-old Nithilan
Nithilan had a tumor growing on his face. It had grown through his eyes and ears, blinding him, and had caused him to go deaf in one ear. The tumor had covered his nostrils, and half his mouth, making breathing nearly an impossible task. His face was completely disfigured.
We stood speechless. None of us were prepared for this. I glanced at my teammates and I could see them struggle to hold back their tears. It was horrible!
We did what we had come to do – we sang, and we smiled, or at least tried to, and we prayed over the little boy.
He responded with a little noise of acknowledgment.
We found out that since he had been disfigured, his parents’ families had also disowned them, and they were now looking for a place to stay, as the hospital, who said that nothing can be done, had also asked them to leave. The parents cried, and there was nothing we could say.
None of us walked out of that room the same.
I remember going home and just sobbing, and I’m sure that’s what my teammates did too. Throughout the week, the team members sent messages asking how he is. Finally, one of them decided that we just had to see him again.
The following week, despite being a working day, we made a plan to visit him.. But just like when we first so Nithilan, none of us were prepared…
Nithilan passed away that afternoon.
I’m not quite sure how it happened. One of the team members called me to tell me, and when she couldn’t find the strength to do it on the phone, she sent a text.
We were hit bad. Some of us blamed God. Others couldn’t help but question His existence. We were all shattered.
I honestly can’t even figure out why I’m writing all this down right now. Maybe it’s a release, I don’t know.
All I know is that there is so much we don’t understand. There’s pain and suffering all around us, and it just seems like it’s so unfair, because it seems unexplainable.
It’s horrible when we have to see a four year old suffer – unable to see or hear or breath when he has done nothing to deserve it.
Why did he have to suffer? What did he do to deserve it?
It’s times like these that I wish I had some answers. I wish I had some words to give – to his family, to my team, or even to myself.
But it’s also times like these that I remember why the team exists. Why we – you, me, all of us, were called.
This world is a dark place. It’s not for us to decide where darkness strikes and why. But it is up to us to be a light in this broken world – to reach out to those who suffer, and pour out love. To encourage them with words and hugs and actions, and when we just can’t find the right words or actions to do that, to simply weep with them.
This is our calling – to step out of our diluted lives, and become salt and light.