Sixth

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   I still remember what we were taught in science subject when we were really young: the five senses – the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Eyes to see, ears to hear, mouth to taste, nose to smell and a whole surface of sensitive skin. These are the main senses that help us live our daily life the way we do; we see things so that we can discern, we hear to know what we should discern, our noses tell us what is wrong or what is right, our mouth tell us what to eat, we feel to tell if we are in the right place or if we are clothing ourselves accordingly. And in unison, all these senses corroborate to tell us almost everything that surrounds us and the how’s, why’s, where’s and what’s of our being at a place, at a time each moment that we are. At a higher level of studies we learn that all these senses are governed and directed by a higher center: the brain, which is capable of even more complex work to make us who we are: humans.

   But human life is way more complicated than just these five senses and a brain that controls them. We are capable of emotions. We ‘hurt’ without any physical trauma, we are ‘blind’ to certain things that are clearly visible, we are ‘deaf’ to words spoken out loud, and offensive smells are at times directive, we are ‘numb’ to torture if for a particular cause. We basically defy the very senses that help us live to survive, or rather, is it that there is another sense that works in complete contradiction to these five senses? Often we see things that are not there, hear them speak, smell their familiar odor, tastes them and feel their touch but they are not there!

   It happened to me many times now, I couldn’t see a single flaw on that face which gave the most beautiful smile I ever saw, friends talk of ‘rotten seed’ but it just doesn’t enter my inner ears, I still vividly remember that smell when we’d held each other, and at times I can almost feel that touch across my skin, my mouth knows too well how that kiss tastes. I feel love. I fell in love with someone, a human being, whom I can touch, see, smell, taste and hear. It is so easy, that extra sense in me that made my heart beat faster, that made my chest feel hurt, and that gave me butterflies in my tummy just by the thought alone. And I can make promises I can keep because I can see to it that it happens. Sometimes I don’t even need to open my eyes, all I have to do is hug, close my eyes, and feel everything then and there.

   But to err is human. People find it so hard to love each other. People almost always break promises to each other. Love they can see, smell, hear, taste and touch yet they cheat, lie and adulterate all the time. Promises made to other people and none bother kept even though they see them every single day! So the thought goes on; how can you claim to love God whom you can’t see, hear, touch, taste or feel when you can’t even love your own fellow human who is just beside you? How do you plan to keep promises to God when you can’t even keep a single promise to a fellow human who you can see every day?

1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

8 Feb 2014

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That moment

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 3:41am

   As i cross the street, rain still drizzling over the darkening city, and i am almost knee-deep in the muck that flooded the road; flashes of enormous electrical energy which you call it lightning frequented the night sky right above my head which shook me right off my comfort zone. And all of a sudden, i was extremely glad i have the greatest physicist for a master, rather The Master.

   There are times, big ones and small ones, when for that short moment of realization you arrived at, felt the greatest gratitude to the Master. But as the mind ponders, such moments are acknowledged only when after a thought of realization comes to the self; but fact remains every breathing moment is in need of divine assistance. It’s just the partial ability to appreciate only certain situations thought to be crucial that biased the mind to think sense not often but seldom.

   Thinking back, i can only start to see divinity like specks of twinkling stars on a cloudy night sky. Like the night sky that is cloudy, when looked at more carefully and more attentively, one can make out the specks of stars that twinkles and never dwindled. The stars are always there, ever shining brightly and beautifully; it is just the path of vision that hazes the sight to think as if the sky is dark. When for all that is true you know it very well that the sun may not be visible but yet still existent and very much expected the next morn.

   Life is sometimes like a cloudy night sky. And it takes more than just every day events to enable us to look back and pay attention to divine presence. To look back diligently and with all possible attention, and be able to see life through better sight. And i see more as i look back more carefully. That small voice which became clearer after the storm; that crucial moment when you realize the comforting peace of divine presence.

My Man

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   There was once a man, walking on the crust of this earth like we did today, on two feet. His story is just amazing, freaky at times.

   No one ever knew with whom his mother spent the night with in his making, but one man dreamt about something and became his so-called biological father (actually he’s not). A certain king tried to kill him since he was born, and many have tried that since then; quite awesome, eh? And here’s the best past, he’s still alive!

   He was a simple carpenter for 30 years, the first 30 years of his life. But something happened from that on. After he got baptized, he was shaking the world! No, he doesn’t have big strong arms to shake literally, no, he wasn’t extraordinarily handsome, no, he was not a well-known singer or model or actor, and no! He didn’t go for the American Idol or any other talent shows.

   Actually he simply put on some sandals with simple clothing. In fact, he has no features that would even remotely bear any physical attraction. But let me tell you this: he has grace, like no one else has; he has love, like no one else has; he has peace, of which no one has the slightest idea! A woman just heals when she touched his clothing tip, he just has ‘words’, and death is reversed! He touches, and lepers got cleansed; he whispers, demons flee in fear!

   He suffered the most brutal, inhuman torture. He was nailed to a wooden cross with limbs outstretched, he could not even shoo away the flies that bear upon his wounds. No one, not even one came up to stand for him! Where were all those people he healed? Hasn’t he brought the dead to live? Where are all those ‘clean’ people now? What happened to that guy who was ready to die with him?! WHY?

   Everyone thought he was dead. Is it finished? Yes, this has gone far enough. There is always a limit to everything. The wooden cross, seemed endlessly heavy, endlessly painful, seemed unlimited! But yes, this is quite enough. Those in the hiding started to come out, those who value him showed their faces. It’s the public’s turn to stand amazed. That rich guy, he’s one of them? That man is respectable! Filthy rich! And he followed this crucified guy? Yes! And a whole lot of them did! Surprise!!

   Crucified as a notorious criminal, the crowds crying “Crucify him!” You’ve got to be kidding me! He got a first class tomb, with a big circular block, yes think one – I wouldn’t think of moving it myself. And you think the government is so tough eh? They kept some soldiers guarding the tomb. As if!

   And this is the best news I’ve ever heard in history – He has risen! Okay, so he sure died on that wooden criss-cross right? Yeah, that soldier made sure of that; poked his lungs out! Then he was all covered in some cloth right, I mean in the tomb?

   Let me tell you a story of this man, who feeds the hungry, heals the sick, cleans the dirty, forgive sins. Let me tell you about this man who heals me. I love him; My Lord; My Savior; Jesus Christ.

Sooner or later

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   The other day, on a Sunday, I attended a Bible Class in the church which turned out to be one of the most mind-opening ones for me of the late.

   There was a discussion upon the Second coming of Christ; concerned mainly upon the ‘when’ especially looking back to the Scriptures when most prophets and apostles expect it to happen very soon. Apostle Paul himself thought he might even encounter it during his lifetime! But look at today, not just a mere couple of hundred years since Paul had passed away, and many more had passed away while still claiming the Second coming of Christ is knocking right at the door!

   Sure there are things that start to happen which indicates that the Second coming is seriously near, but we have heard it so often; many has lost their way in their extreme preparation for this End of the World. The question is: What is with all these predictions and premonitions? It never did occur to me but this is all from a perspective that is psychologically as humanly possible as it gets.

   Take an example: your love that went out of station and coming home to you in a year’s time. Imagine the eagerness, the excitement, the waiting, and all the preparations. For a year you’d keep on telling your neighbors your love is coming home. For the least eager ones, a year is long enough to say that you’ve been talking about it for almost a year yet nothing’s happening. But for you, as long as a year gets you’d imagine the glorious moment as if it is going to happen the day immediately after! And nothing can stop you from ceasing to speak about it.

   In the same manner, for those who truly dwell within the love of God, this Second coming is eagerly waited for, thoroughly prepared for over and over again, and told of not just once but several times, and hoped for as if it might just happen the day that immediately followed. We hear of prophets thousands of years ago, apostles hundreds of years ago, speaking of the Lord and His Coming as if it might just happen the morrow.

   Nevertheless, this is going to happen and the Scriptures tell us so. But the confusion in the predictions of ‘when’ is not to be confused with the human heart. For there may be some who fear it, whilst there are some who eager for it. No one knows, not even the Son, only the Father knows. In this world where another human preach to another, where one may be eager while the other is fearful, I vote to rest my faith in God and God alone. For me, His saving grace will always be enough; come when He pleases, sooner or later.

Provenance of life

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Transcribed from Mizo song “Ka Nun Hnarkaitu”

by C. Luri

  1. Who have I but You, Lord?
    My burden and plight, to You I carry;
    And all my joys and happiness,
    My deepest thoughts, you see me through.
  2. Should it be written, my every detail
    You would be there in each and every page;
    Lord, You know that I love you,
    My greatest pleasure is to do Your will.
  3. Your love draw me to You
    Should I falter or lose my way;
    Like sunlight and flower complete each other,
    Like rain and cloud, like the sun, moon and stars.
  4. Like meadow and river, like mother and child,
    Like light and delight ever didst bond;
    I cannot part with You, O Lord,
    My only begotten, I adore You.
  • You are the one who loves me,
    You always care for me
    Ever since my birth till today;
    You are the provenance of my life.

Road to Emmaus

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Transcribed from Mizo song “Emmau kawng dai”

by V. P. Vanlalzuata

  1. On a road to Emmaus, desolate and forlorn
    Passeth two friends, woebegone travelers
    Upon them the dusk, the day closing in
    Pray they Jesus, to wake with them the dawn
  2. Dishearten never, does Jesus Him seekers
    So with them two dwell He thus
    Leaving in their midst peace everlasting
    And with them dwell He thus
  3. Seek I You now, Lord Jesus
    Before the dusk of my life upon me dawn
    Abide thee with me, fore falleth in the even tide
    Await thou my soul, your Lord, Jesus
  •  Linger near thee, Lord; late has it become
    Soon be the sun down the horizon steal
    Fast falls the even tide, on Emmaus, dark and forlorn
    Wake thee till dawn, with us, precious Lord.

Sturdy as the rock

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Transcribed from Mizo song “Sual sipai ral nen nitin kan indo ţhin”

by Laithangpuia

  1. Everyday battle we, against the dark army
    With fatal blight when strike they
    Have I became so weary
    When but Christ swathed me with His armor.
    Chase I them back with renewed boldness
  2. Fear not, thrust on, the power of evil
    Deterred shall we not, soldiers of the Lamb King
    Nor by evil, nor by darkness.
    Parted have become the dark clouds that loom
    In sight is now the kingdom of Zion
  3. Your promise, the Great War, let it transpire
    Send forth Archangel Michael, Jesus Lord.
    Bound be the dark Lord Satan
    Eager for victory dance, are we your soldiers
    Before the dark Lord, our enemy can.
  4. Reach now we, Your peaceful hold.
    Sound it be, our victory song, on heaven and earth
    And to all being
    Saved are we, from dwelling in death
    Worth everything You are, my reason to utter!
  • Bless, you will; though my faith be
    Ever scourged by evil winds
    Waver not, dwindle it not
    Fervent as ever, sturdy as the river rocks

At the altar

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   2130 hours December 2011. As I was sitting there among the many crowds, waiting for the year to end, waiting for the last moment before God for the last time this year; I was numb-struck about what I’d say, what I’d pray for, altogether being grateful for the past 364 days, grateful for the 365th day. Shameful for the errs, grateful for the blessings, and surprisingly calm as ever.

    Then came the Altar Service, the call for the congregation to have one last prayer, and I waiting for few among the sudden mass of crowd that rushed forwards to finish their prayers. My thoughts for prayer were mostly focused on the many blessings that I received during the year, and one, a plea. An earnest plea at a completely unreasonable ground.

    The month I faced an exam that ought to give me a break-free ticket out of my college, and by default I ought to ask for God’s extra help to bail me out. turns out I totally ruined it. My dad often urged me to try harder and put myself in the ‘deserving’ position apart from just asking for a blessing. So I almost totally neglect my prayers because I was sloppy and lazy and never studied, ’cause no prayers would help me if I’d never help myself.

   But this time, I was practically begging for something I wanted so badly when in my own heart I know it so clearly that I do not deserve it, not one bit. So I asked.

   43 days from then on, I still stand at this lowlife of a position, failure for a tag, rebuke for a reward and shame for a crown. The sinner in me would very much like me to scream out and curse at my Father. But the better in me is chanting for something else, and I followed suit. Even though i cannot fully calm the frustration in me, I am glad I have made this far, without much of bad action. And it all started when I finally say, “No matter what I know You are capable of, and despite what You let happen to me, I will do what is right and will only try to love You more, God.”

    At the alter, I will lay me down; my past, my present, my future. I acknowledge my limits, I confess my worthlessness, and I will be as meek as I understand what meek is.

    At the altar, I will seek only You.

All Nations Shall See Him

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Transcribed from Mizo song “Aw tunah chanchin mak tak chu”

by Suakliana

  1. Lo! Behold the amazing Gospel
    Is now here, none can tell enough
    Jesus’ love, the sweetest sound of all
    Is spreading aloft in this world. 
  2. The one who conquered death on Calvary
    There is none who can define
    T’is like a voice innumerable, unfettered
    That heals life in thousands.
  3. Before it’s clarity and coldness
    There is none who can stand
    Glory and power in the entire world
    Amen! To Jesus it belongs.
  4. Fade never will my Savior
    Ever-living, Son of God, King of kings
    Most beautiful, flower of life
    Praise Him all you heaven and earth.
  5. ‘Soon shall I come,’ says He
    Rise up, march onward for God
    His reign is almost upon us
    O my soul, praise the Lord!
  • The one rejected in Zion,
    On the throne of omnipotence
    In all glory, purity and honor
    All nations shall see Him

Samson versus Delilah

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   One of the most contradicting pair of terms in the Bible would be Nazirite and Gentile.

   The term Gentile was originally a general term for ‘nations’ but acquired a restricted sense of usage. The Israelites were constantly tempted to compromise with the idolatry and immortality practiced by other nations, so bringing God’s judgement on themselves. On their return from the Exile, the danger was still more insidious because of the corruptness of the Jews who had remained in Canaan. This continual struggle against contamination from their neighbours led to so hard and exclusive an attitude to other nations that by the time of Christ, for a Jew to stigmatize his fellow as ‘Gentile’ was a term of scorn equal in opprobrium to ‘tax-collector’. In other words, Gentiles were equated to evil.

   On the other hand, Nazirite is one who separates himself from others by consecration to Yahweh with a special vow. The word itself is derived from Hebrew word nazir which means ‘to separate, consecrate, abstain’. In one of the books of the Bible, Numbers Chapter 6, we can find that there are prohibitions and violations in being a Nazirite. In general terms, a Nazirite is one who devotes himself to the cause of God. By doing so he separates himself from the pleasures of this world a lead a life acceptable and pleasing to God.

   Samson was a Nazirite, Delilah was a Gentile.

   In a believer’s life, there is a constant battle fought between the forces of good and evil. Our sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell, perception and emotions almost always affect us to have a twin opinion and thus a twin option about our response towards the stimuli from the things that surround us. Every day we are faced with choices we have to make, and it is the forces in us that affect us to do one or the other. But then, ultimately it is our decision that takes place, and it all depend on us which force we join in the battle. Each person is responsible to make a mature decision in executing his or her actions and this would affect not only self but also the close surroundings.

   In us, is a Samson; and in us, is a Delilah.

   We are the children of God, created in His own image, in His likeness. ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’ (Genesis 1:26 KJV). There is the version of us which is a Nazarite: consecrated and separated for God and His will alone; the part of us which responds positively to the variety of stimulating inputs from our surroundings. Deep down inside a human heart is goodness and nobility; even the worst of murderers have a soft spot. ‘But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding’ (Job 32:8 KJV). It is the one true signature of the Creator, the likeness and image of a loving God. ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

   But after the fall of man, there is constant evil in humanity. There was born a version in us which is Gentile: dead in the sight of God, ‘we grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men’ (Isaiah 59:10 KJV); unhealthy ‘from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.’ (Isaiah 1:6); an adversary to God, ‘I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased’ (Jeremiah 30:14 KJV); worthless, ‘Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity’ (Psalms 62:9); unclean, ‘Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD’ (Psalms 20:9-10 KJV); lost, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way’ (Isaiah 53:6 KJV); evil’s offspring, ‘Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do’ (John 8:44 KJV).

   Taking the context of Samson and Delilah in expression of the good and evil ever fighting within us; Samson stands for everything God has purposed us for, and Delilah stands for the evil that does everything in its power to desecrate that divine purpose.

   In our everyday life, as we face the many tasks, challenges and decisions we ought to make, let us be aware of the Samson and the Delilah in us; and also the consequences both potentiates. Samson was ever against the Philistines, the enemy of God while Delilah was for them. Are you going to let Samson take over, strengthen the Samson in you and let it crush the philistines? Or let the Delilah defeat Samson in a most cunning manner? The choice is yours.