Archive for the ‘THE INNER ROOM’ Category

Love

There is a beautiful fruit
Borne on stems of thorn
There is a fortress of joy
Where happiness reigns supreme

The luscious pulp
Could bear a bitter tinge
The fort though magnificent
Holds dungeons of pain

Like the pedaling of a bicycle
Sweetness and bitter taste strive
One up and one down
At times both at par

This rhythm makes
This rhythm breaks
For when sweetness bloats
Fruit could turn to missile

Won’t the pain throb
Won’t the heart tear asunder
Shall I then leave the fruit
Or shall I curse the stone

O this rhythm breaks
But this rhythm makes
For when the prick is sore
Sweetness makes it faint

The pain will fade
The torn heart will mend
I will not leave the fruit
I will not curse the stone

Love is a fortress of joy
A place of happiness
Holding dungeons of pain
Deep pain that stabs the heart

Love is a beautiful fruit
Borne on stems of thorn
The pulp though luscious
Could bear a bitter tinge

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Silence

It gnaws.

Silence gnaws.

The pain comes in subtle spasms, quite easy to ignore but reality cannot let be.

What a drug is to the addict, so is the utterance of a word to the pain of this silence, but just like the addiction more and more of words are needed.

Does the pain of silence speak of a greater need?

Warmth Sets In

02/08/2012, 09:37 pm.

She would wear red woolen socks to keep out the cold, and a heavy sweater to go with it. The July conditions in the city went beyond what she could tolerate. Those were the last days I had spent with her.

It occurs to me that the memory of this, is what makes me shudder about Mum’s death. It was a cold August day when I was escorted to the morgue, along some of my siblings and cousins. There she lay, without her socks and without the sweater. The shiver of cold has lived on in me these three years.

Her, being alone in that ward room when the hour had come, has ever made me cringe for I have wondered if she’d needed a hand to hold or a voice, just to get the room warm.

I have cried, silently, and beaten myself but I got relief tonight.

“When you pass through the waters,” says the Lord in Scripture, “I will be with you for I am the LORD, your God.”

Sir Fredrick Treves, an eminent surgeon, says ‘…There may appear to be a terrible struggle at the end, but of this struggle the subject is unconscious. It is the onlooker who bears the misery of it.’

The dying person has her senses fading and is not conscious of what I, the onlooker, considers a struggle.

Death, is a transition from one phase of life into another. In His love, God has taken care of my fears and worries about it.

If I fear its physical act, the senses are not conscious of it; if I fear its finality, it happens not to be an end, but a new beginning – a beginning of rest in Him as I await the future events to unfold. If I fear judgement, He has reassured me that He is my Advocate as I surrender my being to Him.

Mum did not go in all the misery I have imagined…when she was passing through the waters, the Lord was with her for He is the LORD her God.

A Road He Walked

Laughter rings as something about her stirs me within. My heart skips about its cage as her slender palm is closed in mine. The sun of my heart shines bright with the knowledge that the journey to this moment has not been one without event. The road had tossed me here and there and the twists and turns had been without number.

An earlier time had seen my tears make a fog and if I were a car, the head-lights would have been turned on at mid-day. How well despair and hopelessness hid the road ahead, my faith waning as would the golden glow of a setting sun.

Seeking life partnership is as coursing  road not cobbled. There are men who have tough steeds to pull their wagons along, and many more who have to walk it with bared heels. Some are spared the ruts and humps while others have to trudge right across them. I tried every way I could, to walk this highway, but only slipped and fell; did the rain in its wake ever spare me the beating?

A thought to pray dawned, and though I only meant to be faithful in asking God to bring a girl into my life, there began a lesson. I learnt that, unless I was ready to have a relationship with God, there was no way I could have one with one of His daughters. Prayer began a work that then made, and strengthened me.

Desire had at one point driven me to take matters from His hands into my own and the disappointment had been grave. No, I could not approach God to only make my list of needs known, and end at that. He is my Father and longs to engage me.

“Delight in the Lord, and He will grant the desire of your heart”, says The Word.

Taking time to pray and to give thanks when the object of my desire has turned down my advance, helped me cultivate a relationship with God first, before considering His granting me a partner. I learnt to tell him my deepest disappointments, an issue I tried to share with friends, but had immediately had to shy away. They had treated my case with mirth as some pointed out my folly.

A relationship between a man and his wife is a depiction of the relationship between Christ and His Church. It is a time to learn patience and endurance, but most of all to learn that we do not live life for ourselves. The gift of companionship is packaged with a need to make sacrifices. Appreciating one another becomes as beautiful in the light of all these becomes a fragrance to lighten the experience – it makes every effort in the journey, worthwhile. When challenges come, remaining together builds two strong people with a love that endures.

We are shown that God, in the same way, has never walked out on us because of our ingenuity with Him. He has offered His Son as a sacrifice to atone for our sins reunited us with Him.

As I walk with this angel, I know it is not, and will not be easy. It started with the usual glee of new-found love but soon, thorns were pricking. Wading through the mud that follows, together, has helped us grow and develop principles that help strengthen the bond between us. We each know that the other person, though different, is God’s gift. Shall we treat such greatness with contempt or negligence?

Walking with God helps one realise that in His time He makes things beautiful, especially when He comes first in all we pursue.

The Final Nail

Look at him; he was finally getting the obelisk off the ground. For a time he had heaved, willing the rock to stand up straight, all to no avail. The strain of muscle was evident and its sheer pleasure consumed him. He may have felt weak at one point but new strength coursed his veins, strength from the thrill of accomplishment. He pushed once and pushed some more, there was but a tiny angle left and the monument would be standing erect; but as he gave a final shove, there came a slip and his prize crushed to the ground with a dull thud.

A man’s life is a forward march. He is equipped to fight adversity and make the path clear for those who come from behind him – his honour is very important. Is it a wonder that where he fails, he will keep trying until he gets it right? For this he may be well appreciated but the same principle on another front, is bound to be frowned upon. These tempests, however, are what will make him if he will choose to carry the lesson, and they will break him if he considers it a lost battle that is yet to be settled through desperate means.

Desire had previously driven him to take her out for lunch. The odds seemed to be against him at the time, but she had accepted his offer and for a time the fair went well. Fate, however, had it that his ship should dive to the bottom at the peak of the experience. Is not toddling all about tottering at the first steps then getting better at the exercise with the passing of time? He viewed matters so, and though he had experienced a form of failure saw no harm in taking his bid a notch higher this time.

When we approach contentions with half the cards on the table and the other half tucked in the seat pocket, we have a reason to be afraid. He thought it wise to let the bird out of the cage. This way, she would understand that the excursions to cafeterias at the noon-time were not vain ventures but were an exercise with an agenda at the tip of the pole. A gentleman may have a better way of expressing this. I know.

That blessed day of the week came, and he took advantage of its serenity to express his true longing. Just before the start of the Sunday fellowship, he called her aside and asked to have a moment afterwards to express something. She consented – another victory. Could anything then stop Napoleon and his horse from keeping on the forward march? His moment came and as in a former instant, his mouth just about ran dry but like a tap once not issuing water but whose tank suddenly decided to allow a flow, the words came out in spatters. He was surprised that he had managed to let out what had bothered him all along. “What exactly do you mean?” she then asked. “I have known you for quite a while and long to know you more. I ask you to be my girlfriend for you possess so much virtue that I admire and would love to share in” he ventured. Shock had written all over her face but with grace and a smile, she had asked him to give her time to ponder over the matter. He wondered at her reaction but chose to wait.

Four days later saw them take a walk in the evening. It was not a kind of date where one person picked the other, and the air was saturated with the scent of petunias – the rope was taut from the very start. She asked him to repeat the declaration he had made earlier. “Before you get out on certain ventures, Peter, it would be wise to do your homework and know who the person is about. Clearly, you do not know me and know very little concerning me. I am in another relationship, and thus your request cannot be”. The revelation was like a socking about his tummy, and he audibly gasped for breath, for in his life. He had not seen her in a situation that would have suggested this new fact.

The gentle nature of the person he thought he knew had fled and suddenly the pool he was swimming in was not to his liking. It occurred to him that he had taken more bone than he could chew. However, for this matter he had done a kneeling, and a fruit was thus come. Grace did come from above and true acceptance flooded in. “I wanted to express myself to you and hear what you would have to say. The people I shared this matter with did not know that truth too or at least did not reveal to me that you are seeing someone. You are a woman of grace, and I am glad that though my desire cannot come through, I still have a good friend in you”. There was a gentle manner in the following moments but a sudden downpour drenched them both. That made his spirits sag.

He got to his room, downcast in a sense but with a sense of peace. He could not understand his feelings at that moment. That she now knew how he had felt towards her was a consolation. He no longer had hidden longings because all had been laid on the table. That gave him peace. He did not turn on the lights but simply cast off his wet clothes, dumping them on the floor, and tearfully went to bed. He had struggled but now the battle was done. He let the obelisk be.

Desire

There was nothing to say, that was all to it. He raked his mind but no word came through. The silence was deafening. He looked up to find her eyes focussed on him with no expression about them. “I don’t know why it happens. Times come when words simply flee”, he said. “You don’t appear one to get nervous”. She answered a smile on her face. “Have you and Dennis met before?” she asked, her eyes directed at a light-skinned gentleman standing on the cafeteria queue. “Taste my food” she told Dennis, who had by now joined their table. She too, spooned a little of his dish. This action cut Peter to the core, but he took it all in silence.

Desire is a blessed thing for it makes a man make use of the courage God planted in him. It, however, could become a curse; this so when there is too much of it so that it clogs the tap. For Peter, he is often left in a trap from which he cannot, for a time, extract himself. It happens every time desire goes beyond his limit of expression. The tank of words dries up, and he becomes frantic inside but still tries to maintain calm outside. A pin-drop could startle him because he is using so much effort to paint the serene picture.

As the fruit of her lungs filled the chapel that evening, there was one voice as the congregation joined in. Each heart had focussed on the object of the moment – a time of worship during a Wednesday evening service, and he had been a part of it. He next met her during a ‘coffee fellowship’ where he was introduced by one of his friends. A chord had struck inside him, and he knew thus begun a journey.

Given a sword and he could snatch it and make mince of his enemy; with a javelin, the arch cutting through the blueness of the sky could pin down more than a pound of meat. Now, given a mouth, and a mind to go with it, he was at a loss. The art of charm wasn’t his plate of fish.

Hope, to a burdened man is as welcome as dew is to parched land. A whiff of it caught at him that morning, and he clung to it as a drowning man would clutch at a straw. There was a resolve within him that, even if it killed him, he would face her that day.  He had later taken courage and asked her to lunch. “What would you do if I declined the offer?” she casually responded. A tinge of disappointment had sought to pierce him then, but he only chuckled and walked away. Some moments later, she looked at him with questioning eyes when he’d walked by her, “Is lunch still on?” her question surprised him because he had taken the initial reaction as a decline. They went out together.

“I don’t understand why I get the shivers around you. I asked you out just to get to know you better and learn to appreciate you,” he’d told her as they walked to the cafeteria. She smiled, a little surprised, “You don’t seem one to be cowed, Peter. I’m amused”. The chat had been smooth and lively with her laughing loud and asking a question here and there.

He seemed as one who had put water to boil in a cracked pot. The blaze had gone on beautifully when suddenly, the bottom gave way. All the water had poured, getting the wood soggy. The fire had naturally gone out and the cold bit at him. With whatever confidence was left in him. He stood up and got each one at the table some fruit. Clearly, that had not gone well, but it thrilled him that at least, he had tried – and gotten a chance to take her out.

Tempest III: Abating

The water surface is, as a monstrous bear robbed of her whelps. The waves toss this way and that. The vessel seems sure to be swamped, for the monster out there must have its fury appeased. The restlessness brings about a reality of the fragility of life. “Will I ever come out of this? Will I be discovered and brought to shame?” my troubled mind kept asking, for this imagery depicted a struggle within me. With water heaving on without ceasing and the winds piling up in strength, despair is bound to set in. Such times bring either total resignation to fate or a desperate attempt at saving one’s life; haven’t you known of people who jumped into the sea – if only to escape a sinking ship?

Each day brought shame because I did not know how to handle what I was going through. I was more pained by the assumption people bore of me – a good boy with such deep connection with God. I was a role model on the outside but a smelly morgue on the inside. My confidence waned because each moment was spent seeking cracks that might expose my inner shame and bring me to disrepute. The bigger fear was that of falling out with God. I felt I ought to know better; I should be living a blameless life before God. I prayed and sought and did everything I felt could draw me close to Him. All this, so that the awful stain would not matter – at least as I sought to deal with it on my own.

“Come let us reason together so that though your sins be red as scarlet I will wash them white as wool”, the prophet Isaiah reports of the Lord, God of Israel. This taught me that the matter of sin wasn’t one I was going to deal with on my own; I would need a lot of help. Most of all that I had to talk it out with God Himself. I made the confession and extensively talked out my heart to Him. The problem did not disappear and for a long while I thought Him deaf to my petition. It then came to me that though surrendering to Him; I was still trying to solve the problem on my own – my way of dealing with it seemed best in my own eyes. God was doing something else; He was bringing people into my life with whom I could share.

Sharing brings a whole perspective to what goes on in us. When we speak out, we are able to really look at what we are going through in context so that when we are looking for solutions we know where to apply what, and how to do it. It made me realize that there is a reason confession comes before repentance. It also tells me that confession and repentance is not a matter of mentioning what sin one committed and simply saying sorry about it: it is a real delving into the issue and giving it a three-dimensional look so that the genesis, the real problem, and the resolution is clearly brought out. This calls for talking to someone trustworthy and with whom one can be completely open.” Isn’t it enough to just have it with God and the deal is done?” one may ask. Yes, it is but there’s chance we take God’s grace a little too far – especially since He is not there to chide or point out verbally some indiscretions we bear. Confession and repentance are not something we do to simply be right with God, we do it so that we grow out of our area of sin and be wholly free from iniquity. God desires wholesome healing and growth about us, He has then brought a family of people with who to share burden and confess sin, “Confess your sins, one to another”, He says. Insight from my counsellor was amazing. I’d expected an element of sternness and disappointment on his part but what followed, amazed and set me free.

Let me put it in line with scripture. Paul tells young Timothy that for those who are pure all things are pure. God created sex and sexual feelings for a purpose. It is difficult to look at sex from a pure sense because the world hasn’t quite afforded us that: church  circles present it as a serpent one needs to keep watching while the world puts it as a flame safe enough to play about with – you could get hurt of course but ‘ wasn’t it just an accident’?

If God created it, there’s something good about it. In marriage one may rightly say. Well, if God allows me to have sexual feelings before marriage then surely there still must be something good about it. When all these feelings swamp me, aren’t they a sign that I am sexually healthy and when my appointed time comes I will function well? Could it be that when I learn to control myself now, then I will learn to make sex a special thing in marriage too – not something to be had just for the sake of it? I may not have the correct answers now but there is one thing I choose to do, I choose to praise God. I choose to praise Him for making my members properly functional and I choose to praise Him because He is teaching me how to hold myself and practice self-control.

In the midst of praise, I no longer fear falling into sin. I rest myself in the knowledge that though I am weak, there is someone I trust in who is stronger. He lives in me and is the one who works within me to will and desire to do right, and be the best person I could ever be. Though Satan keeps pointing me to consciousness of wrongdoing, so that I live in shame, I choose to focus much on the victory I already have in Christ Jesus. I then find myself not wanting to sin but want to do right, to be a pleasing sacrifice to Him. The striving is then not directed at stopping masturbation or getting me from pornography but on a wholesome walk with God so that reaching out for obnoxious material becomes an abomination in itself and I do not want to find myself there.

As I sail the rough sea and my boat is tempest-tossed. I fret not. I do not find ways of saving myself or condemning my ship, I simply rest in the knowledge that He who can calm the sea is in the hold below. When things, in my perception, get too bad He is greater than it all; He will calm the storm and we will sail on. I am free because I am not on my own. I am free indeed.

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