LOVE – FORGIVENESS & JUSTICE EMBRACING EACH OTHER IN ONE PICTURE.

In my imaginative visit, I was in the shopping mall with my Dad and I got attracted towards the luxurious bone china made Nymphenburg Adonis dinnerware, as I proceed towards the crystal glass made dinnerware shelf, I thought to hold it and feel the touch but as a result, being a kid I was unable to balance the weight of the serving bowl and it fell from my hand.

The noise of breaking the bowl alarm the salesman, he yelled and took me to the manager. I was fined to pay the cost of the complete dinner set but I am just a kid, even it is impossible for me to have at least 50 bucks in my pocket, how can I pay Rs. 16,100/-.

At that point, my father had to jump into the picture to pay the wages of my mistake. He apologized to the manager, paid for my mistake and took me home. He was unhappy with my action yet he understood my weakness and absurdity.

As we drove back, he just smiled at me and said,

“SON, I EXPECT YOU WILL NOT REPEAT YOUR MISTAKE”.

CHILDHOOD: A TREASURED POSSESSION!!!

#Mischievous acts #Classroom bunks! 

#Own Cricket rules! #Bicycle stunts! 

#Story telling! #Friends’ fan following! 

#Stealing sweets #Shaktiman Sunday Series…. 

Oh…how fast I grew up, those tiny shoes I threw up! These are the taglines of my childhood memory lane…

Being one of the youngest sons of the family, throughout my childhood I had to tolerate my elder brothers and sisters – their monarchical rules, their CIA spying to my parents, especially my Di (Elder Sister). I am still confused as to what fun she got whenever my father punished me in the past.

Somehow she was also right because I was behaving like an angel at home and church but was a spoilt-brat outside. I can never forget those punishments from Papa but the best part of the punishment was – every time Papa will punish us, he will take us (mostly me and my younger brother) to the sweets stall and used to give us lots of sweets to eat. Whenever Papa punishes us we were sure that we will have delicious sweets outside. 

When we were in primary schools, Papa used to give tuition to his friend’s son at our home every evening. He was quite older to us but was very loving and generous to all 3 of us (Di, I and my younger brother) as we were his teacher’s kids. But he had a very bad habit, he never used to do his homework and everyday he used to be punished an extra 30 minutes to finish his homework. Then, there were only 2 national channels on Indian Television – Doordarshan and DD2. I used to dislike DD2 because it was mostly a news channel but every Saturday night we were too happy because we were allowed to watch movies along with our parents in late evening hours. It was one Saturday evening, my father’s student (friend’s son) was punished to sit till he finishes his homework and it was about 10 PM in the night. The movie was already on but because he was still studying we were not allowed to switch on our television. Out of anger I and my elder sister punctured his bicycle Tyre. As Papa knew that it was done by us, we were punished to sleep empty stomach and were not allowed to watch the movie. And above all the very next day we had to apologize to that brother.

Then punishments were hard for me and at times I used to think I was under British colonial rule, but NOW I am thankful to my Papa and Mumma though they didn’t feel great punishing us yet they never stopped disciplining us in the hardest ways.

“Don’t fail to discipline your children.

They won’t die if you spank them.”

(The Bible)

Today, it is quite difficult for me to jot down my childhood memories…it needs time to recall, it is past, history, so on and so forth but the impact they made, the lessons taught then, are still working in shaping – instructing – living a good moral life based on godly standards. As I grew older I treasure them in my heart just to build my future family based on the principles I was nourished.

“It’s the time that passes by

but the treasures of childhood never passes by…”

BE YE COMPASSIONATE COMFORTERS

Ever had those nervous moments such as waiting for your turn to face the interview panel or being the next in line for a stage performance? Clammy palms, fidgety toes, twirling hair ends or biting nails?? Been there?

And did you feel better if someone came by and wrapped an encouraging arm around you or gave you an encouraging pat on the back? I bet you did feel a lot better!

Humans need comfort at varying times. Stress, anxiety, disease, worry, financial debt, death – all call for comfort and consolation. At times just a silent presence is the best comforter for an aching soul. While at other times, words or acts of comfort are necessary.

Well rehearsed words of comfort or a gesture of formality serve to console the speaker/doer more than the person(s) in need for comfort.

As I write this, I am reminded about a person called Job mentioned in the Bible:

He lived in a place beyond present-day Euphrates. Job has been described as a man who was ‘blameless and upright, and the one who feared God and shunned evil.’ He was a wealthy and respectable man with a happy family. However, in one day he lost his enormous wealth by natural and human hazards. As if that was not enough, all his ten children died at one go when the house in which they were feasting together, collapsed. To add to his misery, Job developed a horrible skin disease and his body was covered with stinking sores. Instead of standing by him during these tough times, his wife taunted him saying, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job’s pain and suffering was intense.

At this juncture, three of his friends who got the news of Job’s misfortune came to visit him together to mourn with him, and to comfort him. But when they saw Job from far, they could not recognize him. At this they lifted their voice and wept. They could not believe their eyes! So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

After these seven days of silence, each of them spoke up – lengthy speeches. Each of them jumped to various conclusions. The common essence of their speeches was that – only the wicked suffer this way and that Job was suffering because he had done something wrong. They repeatedly encouraged Job to admit his wrong and repent so that God would put an end to his suffering and bless him again. After hearing them out, Job says, “What miserable comforters, all of you!”

Oftentimes, aren’t we quick to jump into conclusions on seeing people in distress? At times, yes the wrong-doing of the person may have led to disastrous consequences. But, that is not always the case. As in Job’s case, we see later, that it was a test of his faith and uprightness and not a punishment for any wrongdoing.

We do not have the answer to all the whys of life – in our own lives and in those of others. A newly married girl loses her husband – why? The much awaited baby is born with a fatal disease – why? Cancer robs a little girl of her loving father – why? A family travelling for a good cause die in accident – why? Parents shot dead in a case of burglary, leaving the children as orphans – why?

Well, we don’t have the answers to events that God in His Sovereignty permits to happen, though He never causes them. ‘Why do bad things happen to good people’ is an often asked question. There is a book by this very name written by a Jewish Rabbi named Harold S. Kushner in which he tries to reason out and come to terms with the death of his son at the age of 14 in 1977 of the incurable genetic disease, Progeria.

Reasons are not always necessary to comfort and console others – a heart of compassion is.

Bear in mind the following when attempting to comfort and console anyone in distress:

  • Do not attach meaning to any event just by looking at the surface of it
  • Pause and put yourself in the same situation
  • Do not be hasty to speak too much
  • Do not add spice to sad events and spread them all around
  • Even if the consequence is a clear action of wrong doing, do not jump to get the credit for pointing it out
  • Speak the language of comfort that the person would understand – silent presence, a warm comforting hug, actions of comfort, few non-judgemental words of consolation
  • Do not accuse.
  • Do not point to generational flaws (mistakes of parents or grandparents)
  • Do not be hasty to provide solutions
  • Make your presence a balm of comfort for the suffering person
  • Allow the person to give a vent to his/her feelings (may be shouts of anger, tears of sorrow, denial, stoic silence)
  • There isn’t an apply-to-all-situations formula for comfort. So, act according to the situation.
  • Most importantly, pray for the person. The God of comforts will provide the peace that passes all understanding.

Anti-depressants, comfort foods, alcohol, drugs and other various addictions never bring the comfort that the heart requires. They, at best, numb the pain for a while. If you are hurting today and there is none to comfort you, I want to assure you that your Creator cares for you and will make Himself known to you if you lean on Him.

Let us be alert towards hurting people around us – in our families, workplaces, neighborhoods and even our helpers. It doesn’t cost to comfort. Rather it is richly rewarding to restore a soul from the depths of distress to the heights of relief!