SWITCH ON THE ‘AC’ TO HAVE A COOL AND JOYOUS HEART

I was a mere teenager then and my great grandmother told me something which I will never forget in my life. She looked at me and said, “Son, when I look at your smiling face, my heart fills with peace. Never ever stop smiling“. While going through tough times in my life for the last couple of years, I keep wondering about this fact and keep asking myself, “Does my face really look the same now which she saw at that time of my life?”

There’s a man who comes to our office to repair our computers. He always says, “Chiradeep Da, you are always so calm and composed even when you have so much tension on your head.” I don’t know what he saw on my face.

I believe when we are negative about everything around us, we lose to have a joyous heart and acquire a cranky heart, complaining heart, and a heart full of bitterness. I have been dealing with people who are so unable to take things positively or assume negatively about people – what they say, how they say and why they say. Two things I have learnt in my life about situations and people I face in my life. I have learned to ACCEPT the situations and CONSIDER the people I encounter. And believe it or not, I find my peace and joy remain intact within me. I agree that I am not so calm and positive about everything. But most of the time, I stay calm and joyous while the world around me is in a mess.

This journey was not an easy one. I literally had to train myself over 30 years to be skilled in switching on this ‘AC’, that is Accepting and Considering in any given situation or while dealing with any kind of person I come across. Sometimes, I have found my ‘AC’ fuming, smoke coming out of it and getting out of order but the good thing is, I am always very quick to get it repaired for just to be able to stay on track, holding onto my inner peace and joy. To stay joyful I keep practising it, cultivating it on a regular basis.

In my study of joy, I have also noticed that joy is more complex than a feeling or an emotion. It is something one can practice, cultivate, or make a habit.

Pamela Ebstyne King

This habit of mine made me good at interacting with people making them feel safe and comfortable with me. They receive comfort and consolation from me and I receive immense joy making them comfortable and consoled. While striving for more joy, I continued to interact with people, give them comfort and receive the joy in return. Whether it is on a chat window of Facebook or WhatsApp or Instagram or over the phone or in-person, the more I utilised my skills of listening and comforting the people, the more I felt at peace and joyous.

Now if you ask me how do I manage to comfort and console the people I interact then I would definitely have to mention that it is not restricted to listening to their heartaches only but I try to walk a mile or two extra alongside them.

How do I do that???

I try to write a poem for them, I post a small note for them, make a poster or video for them to make them feel special, happy and valued.

And I can’t explain the exuberant joy that I feel deep inside my heart when I see them happy, comforted and smiling, acknowledging my little something that I do for them.

I have been struggling in my life in every way. If I would have held onto all the struggles and sufferings I went through and still going through then I would have been the saddest person on earth. But I had a problem of staying grumpy sad and with a long face. I wanted to be smiling and joyful all the time, proclaiming God’s grace for me and letting the world know He is always good to me. I accepted every situation that God took me through and considered all kinds of people without judging them. Yeah, I kept switching on the ‘AC’ to keep myself cool and joyous. 🙂

Stay Blessed!

EXPECTED OR UNEXPECTED, OUR TIMES ARE IN HIS HANDS

I was four years old when I first encountered death in the family. It was my grandfather (my father’s dad) who faced death in 1979. The funeral was already done when my parent’s reached home with me in their arms. I had no understanding of how it feels to lose someone you love, at that time of my life.

But it was when my granddad (mother’s father) passed away unexpectedly within the three days of his sickness it felt quite hard and deep in my heart. I was a witness of his falling off his bed till his life going off his body. I was close to him and his contribution and investment in my life were huge. He was instrumental to bring me up with love, care and good health. He died of heatstroke in 1998 and it was very pathetic because one afternoon he fell down from his bed and never opened his eyes till he passed away after three days. We really were broken in the family of seeing a righteous man dying so unexpectedly but as the Psalmist testifies about God, “My times are in your hands”, we know, we had no control over that particular time of our lives.

Next, it was when my Badima, passed away when her sugar shot up so high that she had a massive stroke. It was so shocking and unexpected and was so heartbreaking. She was the soberest lady in the entire world who never even reprimands in the softest way ever. It was truly very difficult to pass through those days with lots of Why questions in our minds but at the end of the day we all knew and remember the same Bible verse as the Psalmist recites, “My times are in your hands”.

I still remember that morning when I had a lot of hope that he will bounce back and I will hear the good news that he is doing better, but God had different plans for him, for his parents and for all of us. This was the worst death in our family that literally dried all the joys from our lives for a few months.

It was at 3:30 am in the morning on 28th January 2011, when my Mom called me. I was shocked to see her number flashing on my cell at that hour of the night. I answered her call in fear and she told me crying, “Danny is no more…”

On 25th Jan 2011, my 21-year-old cousin met with an accident. His bike slipped and he went under a running bus. The back wheel of the bus ran over his hip. He was waiting for help for almost an hour on the road in that condition. When he was being carried to the hospital by his friends and other people, he was searching for his father before becoming unconscious.

Danny was such a wonderful boy. He used to play the guitar in his church. He was an ever-smiling guy and was very helpful, caring and adorable. He was a dog lover. He loved them like anything. I can’t believe or imagine till now that he is no more with us.

How does one cope with the loss of someone you had expected to live longer?” When I was reading Pradita’s article and came across this question that she posed, I remembered my baby brother who is not with us anymore. The experience was horrific for all of us and we took months to come out of the trance we were in. Whenever we used to meet, it was not a smile but tears became a common medium of greeting each other between us for months. We used to weep remembering him but used to keep consoling and encouraging each other. We used to read the words of comforts from the Bible and pray for each other to cope with the pain we were experiencing after Danny’s sudden death. Even after 10 years, we all feel that sorrow deep down our hearts even when we know and understand that our times are in His hands.

Recently, I lost my dad, in the horrific year of 2020, though not in Covid but he suffered a massive heart attack. It was my parent’s anniversary yesterday and my mother expressed while I was talking to her, “he never let anyone to serve him a bit”. I still could not believe that when I will return home I won’t find him beside me on the dining table but when he died, my heart was in so much peace knowing that, my father is safe and secure as his times were in His hands.

I have been going through a lot of pain and suffering since my birth and have experienced many more deaths in the family that had saddened my heart momentarily, whether for a shorter or longer time but all I have learnt to cope with death in the family by knowing, all our times are in His hands.

Stay Blessed!

WHY DO I LOOK UNREASONABLY YOUNG?

In 2000, I began to work. I was 24 then. My aunt’s colleague visited our house and when my aunt introduced me to her, she spoke nicely and asked, “Are you in 12th class?” And my aunt clarified by saying that, I finished my Post Graduation and almost after a year he has got a job locally, in Cuttack. The lady was amazed. “You don’t look like you are 24.”

I was a 34 years old man then when there were a couple of guests in our office. My boss and my surnames are the same. When I introduced myself, one of them got too excited and asked, “Oh, so you are Mr. Patra’s 17 years old son?”

I shook my head with a grin and said, “No Sir, I am 17 years older than Mr. Patra’s 17 years old son.” And we all had a good laugh. He further commented, “Chiradeep, you seriously don’t look like 34 at all”. And I agreed to him wholeheartedly.

My sisters were always queried whether I am their younger brother or what… And the youngest one replies, “Oh no, he is 11 years older to me…” And the other sister replies, “He is 6 years older than me.”

Trust me, it’s a blessing in my case – I look much younger to my age. Nilla, my co-writer here says, “Chiradeep, you have a baby face”. And I am lean and thin because of my health conditions. I never grew fat or chubby with a paunch like other men.

While most people worry about how bad or old or fat, they are looking with every passing year, I keep admiring myself for every additional inch that I put on and how handsome I am looking at every passing day. So to speak, ageing has always been a boon for me instead of a bane.   

There is another psychological factor that works here while I transition to my gray-hair-stage. And that is, when most people concern about ageing, I worry about looking younger unreasonably at a certain age which is a severe disadvantage for me as people do take me for granted a lot of time thinking I am not old enough in certain matters (not for all the matters though).

But there’s a serious question that popped up in my mind in regards to my unreasonable younger look – “What makes me look younger to my age?”

I used to think that my lean and thin body structure makes me look younger but I realized there are many old looking men who are lean and thin like me. So, the physique of a person is a partial truth with respect to looking young. I understand some are born with a younger look and I praise God for bestowing me the same. But I feel there are three more very important factors that make me look younger and will definitely help others to look young as well.

Smile always: “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.” A joyful heart always brings a smile to our faces and the reason behind a joyful heart is accepting life’s problems wholeheartedly. And I know how I have lived my life; I accepted every difficulty with a smile and it became easier for me to smile and look younger. We need to remember, the curve on our lips, erases the wrinkles on our skin. An older person smiles lesser to maintain gravity but a young person usually smiles without caring about maintaining that so-called personality.

Stress-free lifestyle: “But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” And when the spirit is broken, we don’t feel young anymore but we feel tired, weak and old. So, it is important to lead a stress-free life. Do you know why everyone in the world today is so stressed? It is all because of the rat race and the unnecessary competition that we get engaged in every aspect of our lives. Why fret about something on which we have no control? Why to stress when we can simply do what is possible on our part?

Sleep well: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for He grants sleep to those he loves.” And He loves those who trust in Him. Impractical, is it? I have been doing this amidst all my pain and suffering and still sleeping well. But sleeping well doesn’t mean sleep all the time and spending in laziness. It means neither too much nor too less sleep but proper sleep. And proper sleep always makes us happy, less grumpy, stress-free and makes us feel rejuvenated.

For the last two-three years have really sucked off all my agility and youthfulness from my very being. Even a man like me has started to feel old. I stopped smiling; I have been spending sleepless nights because of carrying heavy stress and life’s burden that I can’t really help it. But this year in 2021, I promised myself to get back to my original streak. I want to follow what I have been doing all through my life to look unreasonably young. I don’t want to be generic but would love to be different and special. Of course, with the grace of God.   

In closing, I pray the same prayer as the Psalmist prays in the Bible –

“Now that I am old and my hair is gray, don’t leave me, God. I must tell the next generation about your power and greatness. God, your goodness reaches far above the skies. You have done wonderful things. God, there is no one like you.”

Stay blessed!

PARENTING WITHOUT BEING A PARENT

There was a girl whom we both had loved and cared for. Even she was quite fond of us as well. But it was very difficult to reach her as she didn't have a phone then. That was the time when big smart phones were very expensive and was in an introducing mode in India. Even the bar phones were expensive that time. All her friends had phones in their hands only this girl who used to call me Papa ji didn't have one. 

One day when she visited us with her boyfriend, we both gifted her a phone. She hugged me and was overwhelmed with joyful emotions. Now after 12/13 years, she is happily married with her boyfriend and already  a mother of two beautiful babies. 

Sometimes as human we display that excessive care and concern for another human exactly as parents would do to their children. I have seen people who have that love and concern for others even when they have enough engagements already. I wonder, how we do that in a self-centred world of today. I feel it is a heart’s matter which is instilled in us through our parents, elders, teachers and guardians over the years as we grew up to a compassionate and loving adult.

The more we grow as compassionate individuals, the more we transition better as caregivers.

I have written many times in different articles about how I was brought up in a very cosy family environment with so much care and love engulfing me from all sides and probably I grew up being a very compassionate human being. And I have noticed I become very authoritative and commanding like my mother when I offer my help to another. I would say it was like imposing than offering my help. I have seen my granddad, my mother’s father used to be like that and then I saw that attribute in my mother as well. So I can say, I was quite influenced and inspired by their lives and became what I am today.

There can be another reason why we display that excessive care and love to someone else who is not even our blood relation. The following reflection from my life might shed a little more light on the same which I am going to explain…

The more I get to know her the more I get amazed by her personality. Our interactions were casual till that day when she was sounding very distressed and downcast. I am kind of sharp about understanding people’s mind even through chatting. I insisted her to share with me and she shared her problem. I prayed for her and we had talks over the phone couple of times and became closer. She found a confidant in me, as a spiritual father and I find a sweet daughter in her. Her innocent queries about life and other issues fascinated me… made me feel like a father more and more she asked me matters to understand about the life.

I remember when we finally met each other in person a joyful glee formed in both of our faces as I spread my arms wide for her to come in for a hug… She put her one arm around me as I wrapped my arms around her hugging. I felt all my burden, my pain, my sadness vanished in no time. I was not cold any more as the warmth my heart felt at that particular moment was indescribable. She giggled and spoke gently as I released her from hugging… “I knew you will be coming Papa…I heard it yesterday and I was delighted.” The word ‘Papa‘ made me climb cloud nine. I felt like floating in the air. 

I feel, when someone lacks something in life, he or she desires the same more than anyone or anything else. Like the other day, I was extremely stressed out and while sharing my heart to Kalpana over WhatsApp she sent me her daughter’s video saying, “She is my stress buster and maybe you will feel better watching her doing things“. And that made me sadder even as I replied, “Wish I have one such stress buster too… I miss a daughter in my life… Because the one I have is too big to be cuddled or play with and she is far away from me… Sometimes, I feel envious of you for having such a cute little girl of your own which I can never have any more in my life.” And probably that lacking in me made me display that love and care to someone like Aparna, Vipra and many others who have come into my life.

All these situations were negative, depressing for him. He was negative about his life but he had a hope always, that one day God will do something for him.

Throughout his life he had go through depression or negative situations but he tried his best to come over them by accepting whatever came in his way. 

He played games alone when loneliness tried to overpower him. He invented new games to amuse himself which at times attracted others too. He involved himself in writing stories and songs when he was downcast and depressed. He kept himself busy in drawing, colouring and painting to combat his loneliness. He kept himself busy reading beautiful novels. He started preparing sermons which he never preached to anybody but to himself. He loved to listen to others when he had ample amount of heartaches hidden deep within himself. He made fun, and was humorous to give others happiness. He learned to enjoy within himself.

The above excerpt was from an article where I have reflected how God took me through negative and depressive life experiences to fashion me into a caregiver which I feel can be the third reason why someone expresses that love and care to his or her fellow human being unconditionally.

God, whom I trust has been with me all this time, teaching and guiding me through different life situations as I know and believe that – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds“.

Over the years, I have been attending many that I came across apart from my relatives and family members. And have become their parent in some or other way, whether I call them friends, daughter, sister or brother… I give the care they need at their most vulnerable times. I may not become a father biologically but have been a father figure to many in regards to the love and care I show them. It is not something great I do but it is something that mends my brokenness and fills the gaps I feel in my life. As Rajnandini once commented on one of my articles – “God knows the deepest hidden desires of the hearts of those who love Him and He takes care that the desires are fulfilled in His time…in His way“.

Friends! Are you sad because you don’t have kids or you won’t be able to have a baby of yourself? Are you depressed because you won’t have the opportunity to become a parent? Trust me, parenting and caregiving are not limited only to those who have children biologically but to those who have the heart to be a mother and a father to many who desperately in need of a caregiver or parent today. Are you ready to fill that gap as a caregiver or a parent?

Keep pondering on these thoughts that I incited in you today…

Stay blessed!

I AM THE MAN, HOW GOD WANTED ME TO BE…

I sometimes wonder whether I am truly grown up as an adult according to the generalized societal standards or not. I rarely bother about what should we eat the next day, make a financial plan for the future and what will happen if there is a crisis. Usually, any adult man will poke his whole nose into these matters but I stay aloof about all of them.

So am I still a young boy and haven’t matured to be a man?

Adolescence is a liminal stage—it is the transitional threshold between childhood dependence and adult responsibility. The hard part is knowing when you’ve arrived.

Nancy Darling Ph.D.

I was and am aware of that threshold very well; then why am I wondering about my being a man?

From the very beginning, I had always relied on some or other person to accomplish something or other concerning me considering my ill health. I struggled to lift a heavy school bag, so my aunt and friends helped me to carry it. I found it difficult to run while playing cricket so someone else was appointed to take a run for me. I was not allowed to carry my own bucket to wash or take bath, so someone else at home did it for me. While travelling I rarely carried my own luggage, forget about helping others. I never rode a bicycle to my school or college so I used to go to my classes either by rickshaw or on a friend’s bike or bicycle. I never had the guts to stand for my friend when there’s a fight while studying in my school or college. I was scared considering my health. I used to back off or ask my friends to protect me.

According to me, the standards for reckoning a boy becoming an adult or man depends on his THREE M’s – Muscle, Money, Mind.

The growing muscle power or strength of a boy makes him a man. So when I look at myself in the mirror then I find myself to be the same boy who has never grown up to be a man in regards to his muscle power. I mean, I am not that same boy, I have grown up but I am talking about the degree of the growth in my muscle power.

Considering my health, I studied what would be easier for me than what I was interested in really. And I started working which was never very strenuous or fetch me good money. So I never had that mindset of financial plans considering what I have been earning. Though earning or working in a certain place was not primarily because of my health but it was because of my desire to do something. So whatever may be the causes behind my working in a certain place, the planning in regards to money has never been my mindset. Living in the present, finding joy in whatever I have, leading a simple life and in faith have been my ways. So if money is the major aspect to qualify as a man from a boy, then I haven’t grown to be a man yet.

But!!!

I grew in the midst of pain, suffering, rejection, weakness and sickness which made me mentally very matured and tough. I didn’t become hard-hearted but very sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. I understand a particular person and consider his certain behaviours or actions leniently than how others would react to his misconduct. I grew up to be more compassionate. I grew up to be forgiving and I have always believed in reconciliation than resentment. So considering Mind as one of the standards to qualify me as a man, I am a matured man. I grew up well. My transitioning from a boy to a man in regards to the strength of my mind was absolutely great. I praise God for that.

As I still struggle with my Muscle power, sometimes I curse my not being so manly in regards to physical strength. Sometimes I feel bad when I could not do something for my loved ones or help them financially. But when it comes to the mental toughness, maturity to handle stress, taunts, negativity, I always express my gratitude to God for transitioning me to be an adult this way.

I am the man, how God wanted me to be, and I have transitioned in a special way, only for His divine purposes. I don’t question anymore but take pleasure in them.

Stay Blessed!

HOW TO MANAGE AN UNAVOIDABLE BARRIER IN RELATIONSHIP

We had a great week discussing the barriers in any sort of relationships, especially marital ones. As I was thinking about those barriers, I realised they are to be very common and known to all and we always can try to rectify our relationships by breaking them at some point in our life. But there are a couple of barriers that are unavoidable and unbreakable in life. I am gonna talk about one today.

Usually, a sickness enhances any sort of relationships. How? When someone is sick in the family, all others in the family display their love and care for that sick member and that exchange of loving emotions enhance the bonding between each member in the family. This happens when the sickness is temporary and short term. But in the case of prolonged sicknesses, the exchange of emotions take a different turn.

The whole world now knows I am born with a cardiac issue. Being so, I was the centre of attraction, love and care in the family. But for how long? There were frustrations, bitterness, impatience and irritation that I had felt in my family members along with their immense love and care. Their love and care for me were supreme but they did feel negative emotions creeping in, at times.

My Mom, for example, had to stay back from all the family functions or travels all because of me. I used to be sick and she used to be taking care of me all the time sacrificing all her fun and joy. She never showed it, never made me feel. But at times, it did show up through her anger and behaviour which were natural and unavoidable though I was just an infant to understand those feelings at that particular stage of my life. I heard the stories of her sacrifice later when I grew up.

In schools and colleges, generally, boys and girls rely mostly on their friends. My friends didn’t have that reliance on me when it came to any physical activity, helping someone or in sports. In that regard, my health condition became the biggest barrier to establish friendships with many. I never had the guts or condition or state of adrenaline rush which define teenagers or young boys and girls. This is the foundation of my bonding with peers at that stage of human life. I missed or rather failed to either build or even sustain a friendship basing on it.

The unavoidable barrier of sickness which I was carrying with me was still manageable or can be ignored in all the above relationships or friendships at those stages of my life but when I became a man and there was a need for the higher level of relationship, I faced a real challenge. I reckon I missed out on establishing many possible relationships in my life when I became an adult. And probably for my sickness, many have fallen out after falling in for me. That’s an assumption, I don’t know it correctly, so let’s cut it out.

When I actually got into a bond, a marital knot, I realised how my sickness became such a deadly barrier in my relationship with my better-half.

I remember, we went on a trip to the mountains. And at one point we had to climb up to watch the sunrise on Kanchenjunga peak (Part of the Himalayas). She had to stay back because I can’t climb up. She did it for the sake of love but there was a tiny trace of frustration and unfulfilling desire that remained in her heart. I encouraged her to go up with others later. She climbed up with others but there was a trace of not being together or being alone imprinted in her heart. In my case, I had that anger and frustration within me for not being a man for my woman when she needed me to be the one. And there were many such incidents that brought bitterness into our relationship.

Was there a shortage of love between us? No, not at all. But the charm or the glow of our love was missing. Blame it on the barrier, the unavoidable barrier called, sickness.

Almost all the time of our life till now, she has been doing the outside work, household work as well as taking care of me. Her love and sacrifice for me add so much value to our relationship but the bitterness, frustration, stress out of doing everything all alone and being deprived of a few of joys in a relationship suck off all the juices out of our bond. Blame it on the barrier, the unavoidable barrier called, sickness.

Individuals like me, who live with chronic sicknesses are always very aware of how much our partners do for us. I often feel very selfish and guilty for being such a burden to others, to my wife. One husband says, “My wife lives with the illness, and I live with her. So, in a way, I live with the illness, too”. And these reactions of our partners hit us all the more as we can’t do anything about our own illness. Although if we think from their point of views, we understand how hurting it is for them as well. Again, blame it on the unavoidable barrier called, sickness

How to deal with this barrier in a relationship if we can’t avoid it or break it forever? I can share TWO major ways how I deal with it, though I struggle a lot at times even when I apply all my own tactics.

ACCEPTING the fact
It is applicable for both the sick partner and for the healthy partner. A sick partner should not feel bad or feel guilty of being a burden to his or her partner and the healthy partner should accept the fact s/he has to live with it. Instead of grumbling s/he should find ways to live with it happily otherwise it becomes more taxing for both of them. Accepting also means, keeping the communication channel open to talk about each other’s deepest and darker feelings considering the vulnerabilities of the relationship they both are in. Due to ill health all the time, a couple often feel sad, angry and overwhelmed and it is of utmost importance if they both open up and encourage each other to talk about their feelings without being judgemental.  Accepting is also knowing and understanding the painful thoughts and emotions that pop into our heads due to the presence of chronic sickness of one partner in a relationship. I haven’t seen her treating me as a sick person but have always considered my ill-health by doing things before even I ask her to do. That is her way of accepting me and my share of responsibility on her shoulders.

ALLOWING unthinkable space (or grace)
These kind of relationships are rare and should be managed differently as well. A person like me who suffers almost all the days of the year needs space to regain my strengths, joys and happiness to live further. And this happens almost regularly as the sickness is a regular affair. Similarly, the other partner, who does everything for his or her sick partner needs an enormous amount of mental space and strength to stay encouraged. Instead of terming it as Allowing Space, I will call it Allowing Grace to each other to pacify the barrier of sickness in the relationship. I’ve learnt to just eat whatever she cooks. That helps her not to be so worried about what to cook and how to cook. I don’t even interrogate her about where she goes and what she does. That is my way of allowing space or grace for what she has been doing for me all these years. Allowing that grace to her is in my hand and I do it wholeheartedly. When I shout or don’t talk with people, she makes others understand the reason and they understand it. She doesn’t look into my mobile or inspect what I do all day. This is her way of allowing grace to me.

Have I overcome this barrier forever? No, I can’t. But I am still managing to break a hole in it to keep my relationship with her alive and kicking.

It will be amazing when we take responsibility of managing to break through any barriers and make each of our existing relationships a sanctuary where each person can be seen and loved for who they are. 

Stay Blessed!

HIS AGAPE LOVE FOR YOU AND ME

Agape is a word that is not commonly used by people. The English word agape means, ‘ajar’, ‘open’, ‘amazed’ etc., but the Greek word agapē means, the unconditional love of God for humankind. And this Agape love is mentioned only in the Bible explaining how God has been displaying His love for mankind from the beginning till now.

If we look at ourselves, we find how intelligent and supreme we are from all other animals and all the creations as a whole. The Bible says we were created in God’s image as He formed us from the dust whereas He created all others just by His commands and words.

Doesn’t it show His special love and purpose behind creating us?

Apart from that in human history, we all know, how God has been a God of provision, sustenance and protection. He has always been faithful to control the cosmos, the seasons, the environment etc., all because of His love for us. He never abandons any provisions from anyone despite our deformities and iniquities.

Just imagine if one day, God calls me from heaven and says, “Chiradeep, you have been so wicked for last one month, so as a punishment, sunlight will be suspended for you over a period of one week.” And I will be in darkness for the next seven days. But the good news is He has never done like that to me or to any human-like me though we have always been taken Him and His goodness for granted. His love has always been unconditional whether we obey Him or follow His instructions. The only time we suffer when we go against His set system which He had set for the whole creation to run around it.

But the agape love of God manifested only in the context of Jesus’s coming to the world and dying for the whole of humankind. I agree it is not easy to understand or grasp. As a young boy, I had this quest in my mind which remained and unanswered and unresolved for many years. The quest was – “Why on earth Jesus had to take birth and die if He was God. If He simply uses His might and authority everything will come into order… Then why this drama of such a painful death came into the scene in the first place?” My logical young mind couldn’t find any satisfying explanation for this question.

This question never left me till I entered adulthood leaving behind my teenage years. This burden weighed me down till one of my teachers enlightened me about The Truth through a few truths from the eternal scripture.

I remember, he asked me to name God’s attributes according to my generalized idea of God. As always, I was prompt to respond by giving a list of attributes that seemed appropriate to me – God is Holy, Righteous, Just, Kind, Good, Love etc…

He smiled and started to explain all the attributes of God that I had mentioned to him. As he went on illuminating my mind, I began to analyse them one after the other. This eventually addressed my quest and I could feel a calmness in my whole being.

Let me share about it in details….

If we read the Bible, we will find God’s these attributes are mentioned numerous times but for this article, I am quoting a few of them only –

 God is Holy: “For I am the Lord your God. You must consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.

God is Righteous: “The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.”

God is Just: “The Lord is known for his justice. The wicked are trapped by their own deeds.

God’s holiness, righteousness and justice debar any relationship or connection between Him with the unholy, unrighteous and unjust ones.

Humanly even if we are corrupted, we will never want to be identified with corruption in any manner. So, when it comes to God, who is holy, righteous and just, it is impossible to think that He can easily mingle with us.

Mankind sinned against God and had fallen short of the glory of God and became unholy, unrighteous and unjust – “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

All the above-mentioned attributes of God declare that man cannot come to the presence of God. General understanding says that the consequence of any wrongdoing is punishment. So, men have to be punished. And the punishment is “DEATH” – “For the wages of sin is death…”.

That day when I was eagerly and desperately waiting for my teacher to help me understand my long-borne quest, he dramatically paused there and looked at me while I was amazed at his logical and Biblically proved explanations about the way God deals with His created humans.

He started speaking again about one last attribute of God with a confident smile on his face.

God is LOVE (includes kindness and goodness): The Bible says,

“So, God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, He created them; male and female he created them.”

For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Bible

God’s love ensures and reflects God’s heart – “I created these men and women in my own image, how can I punish them! I will save them from this eternal death. I will make them righteous, just and holy. I will give then eternal life”.

And thus, they can ultimately come to the presence of a Holy, Righteous and Just God.

God can’t die being God and being a Spirit. So, He had to take the form of Jesus – the human form of God with flesh and blood so that He can die substituting the whole human race, saving them from the wages of sin.

While dying on that cross, God showcased all His attributes together not even abandoning one. This was the reason why He had to die for you, me and for all others in this world.

Friends! In my life of pain and suffering, I have known God’s agape love for me all the time. It is possible only when we give in to Him. In closing, I can only say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. Tasting and Visualising are two of the sensory perceptions that supersede the other sensory perceptions when it comes to authenticating God’s goodness and unconditional love in one’s own life.

Stay Blessed!