Smiling: Showing Happy Face

smiling beauty
Smiley: everyone loves to see
‘Papa, you are not smiling!’ exclaimed my little daughter.

She was in her playing mood, imitating people she has seen. These are precious moments for a Stay-at-Home-Dad.

‘Ah! You caught me, dear! I am sorry.’ I replied.

She came forward pulled my cheeks to let me smile. She did it. And she was happy. A face shines while smiling.

‘Umm-uh, you’re handsome, Papa!’ she continued. She made my day. I gathered all my expression and showed her my charming smiling face.

She was chattering and chirping all around me as we played. She was energetic and excited the whole day. And I try to smile more often. We grab teddy bear and make his faces as we like.

What had happened to me! I said to myself. I am not unhappy but my smile did not show out. There was no change in my facial appearance. I am smiling inside of me, just for me only, it seems. I easily get lost in my own thoughts.

My jaws are tight and my facial muscles hardly change. Except for the serial twitching of muscles near my eyes. That too, not a good sign although it ended by itself most of the time. It is uncomfortable at times.

Everyone gets relief to see happy faces. It is a good practice to show our happy faces at least. It is not costly and may be the cheapest way to help others.

My son came home from school. He was happy to show me that his Ma’am (teacher) gave him a smiley sticker for his class work. That’s the power of seeing a smiling face. With words of my praise, I also pat him and smiled as bright as I could. Both of us are happy!

Some of us can lose our smiling face on the way. The reason varied for each person. It might be due to illness, grief, unable to handle responsibility, busy and hectic schedule, and the likes.

But once awhile, it would be a good practice to take time off and smile upon all our difficulties. Reflecting on the good things in our lives so far, less we lose our smile too.

Things have changed a lot. We lose some we gain some. Balancing act in life needs to be maintained.

Wearing a smile on our face is a powerful weapon in dealing with circumstances of life. Smile back to someone at least once a day, not the fake smile of those trained persons.

There are fake and genuine smiles too. A genuine smile can be ease other’s minds. It can change their day. However, a fake smile simple adds to their woes.

A smile can be contagious too. When someone in the room wears a genuine smile it can spread all over the place. “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.” (Proverbs 15:30)

Even in our workplace, we are told to smile often did things with a smile regardless of the situation. (Ephesians 6:7)

Let us try to retain our smiling face. You can join me in regaining a shining face and kept me encouraged.

Smiling is the unique quality or expression possessed by human among all other creations.

Keep Smiling!

Piece of Cotton in My Pocket

There is a piece of cotton in my pocket. My pants’ pocket, actually. Friends, colleagues, professors, and some persons noticed. Some are curious while some of them who saw me using it told me I am being careful.

Piece of cotton in my pocket
Piece of cotton

During our first year in the University we met many new faces. Being new to each other, we wanted to know people more. Our eyes easily spotted if there is anything unusual. A guy knew I had cotton in my pocket:

‘Where did you hide your syringe? You must be using drugs.’ He told me straight
in my face.

‘Uh-huh, that’s not it. My nose bleeds anytime. So….’

‘That’s weird,’ he said. ‘Sorry bro!’ he continued.

‘Yeah, but I needed it every time I was out from home. And that’s alright.’ I said.

Later on, I have come across silly and weird questions not only in college campus. When I started working, same thing happens few times. It is normal with me.

Fresh blood oozing out from any part of the body can never be good. So I’d consulted doctors for treatment, which easily derailed my time-table as a student.

In medical term, it is called Epistaxis, which means bleeding from the nose or blood draining out through nostrils, in common language. It can be due to several factors.

For me, there is no specified time, it happens anytime anywhere. The best thing for me to do is to get ready and quickly take care of it myself. That is why I always kept cotton in my pocket.

Many times, I had to walk out from class. I had to rush to the washroom. Put cotton in my nostril to block outflow of the blood. I’d even attended the class with cotton in my nose.

It can be painful at times. When there’s too much blood being blocked inside the nostril it can entered our mouth too. It was a very disgusting experience to taste blood unwillingly.

As far as possible, I do not want to miss anything because of my nose bleeds. I refused to be let down. I simply hope that it is just for a phase and will cease to happen in the near future. I try to be as normal as I could. Using public transport can be troublesome but I have no choice.

‘I am fine.’ I said to myself. ‘Lord, You see this so you will take care of it,’ I murmured to God because I feel He was with me the whole time. At times I felt dejected though, and the more I murmured. But I am not actually blaming Him in any way. Just acknowledging Him.

The same happened at my workplace too. Sometimes I’d posted or updated unwanted ‘Facebook status’ in my wall. I was criticized. It was annoying for some people.

The irritations, the embarrassment, and the pain can, sometimes, nullify my positive approach. But in His abiding grace, He led me on. It has been going on for several years like that.

‘Dear Lord, help me not to missed putting a piece of cotton in my pocket,’ I used to pray.

Why not pray for the problem to end? I questioned myself. But at times, this nasal bleeding led me closer to God so I simply don’t want to let go. It makes me wanting for His Abiding Presence and Care in my everyday life. So it let me talk to Him more.

There is a phase in life, which need to just pass by. The waiting is hard though. But I was happy I’d earned like people although there is bigger problem in store for me at that time-My Epileptic Disorder. It is just a matter of time for my neurological disorder to get diagnosed. That is for another topic.

In case you missed my points, here are some of the reasons behind writing this simple piece:

The first time ever I thanked God for creating COTTON came because of my nasal bleeding. It makes me think of the importance of His creations.

As I said earlier, some difficulties in life makes us closer to God because there is none like Him. He is always there although we put Him mostly as our last resort.

The holy Son of God bored our sins as dirty or red as crimson, He made them as white as wool, Isaiah had mentioned. (Isaiah 1:18 NLT) The very pretty white piece of cotton became useless when covered in blood. However, we get cleaned in His grace.

The piece cotton in my pocket gave me comfort. But it is God who let it stop the bleeding. In our difficult times, we get comfort in His abiding presence.

At least, I have clean cotton with me. I am always thankful. I have seen cotton cultivation and it is a long process to have ready-to-use cotton with me.

Let me end herewith all adversities can get us closer to God or part ways with Him for eternity.

My Lost Spanner

Fall season for the year is about to end. People started harvesting rice from their paddy fields.

When the harvest season is approaching, it is time for servicing of our old and very small, Rice Mill Plant. For machinery work a “>spanner always become handy.

For starters, a spanner is a tool with openings or jaws shaped for gripping or turning nut or bolt. It comes in different sizes and numbers as the nuts also comes in different sizes.

a spanner and a ring
A spanner: for reference

For some machinery, there is a particular number or sizes, which fit with most of the nuts. And we stored these tools in wooden tool box.

Let me tell you something that happened in my early teenage days:

One morning, my father told me to inspect our field, where we grow mustard for its leaves and seeds, located in the vicinity of the hills nearby a river. We started growing mustard plants in the onset of winter.

I readily agreed, as I know he would be busy with machinery work during the day. I pleaded that I will ride a bicycle to the farm. Since the road can be bumpy with no proper road, my father doesn’t seem to like the idea. It is for my safety as our bicycle can develop a snag during the ride.

I kept pleading hard. So, I was allowed to go, using our bicycle. I took one spanner with me so that if it develops a snag, I could easily mend it.

My bicycle ride was smooth that day, until I accidentally lost control and hit a rock on the way. My cycle really develop a snag around the headset adjoining the front forks. I tried to tighten it, and alas, my spanner’s gone!

Where is my spanner? My father would need it during the day! I keep searching up and down the road but unable to find it! I had been warned about this! I am sweating despite the morning cool breeze blowing gently.

With a heavy heart I went back home. “Whoa! You’re fast!” said my daddy. I tried to gather my composure and smile back. “I saw you taking a spanner with you. Now, please give it back I am going to need it,” continued my father.

Feeling guilt-ridden and helpless, “My friends borrowed from me as we met on our way,” I said. Father said nothing but he helped me get ready for my school. He assured that he would manage without it.

The whole day I had been thinking about that spanner. What if I didn’t find it back! What will I say to my father? The thought kept repeating the whole time. School was not fun today!

When I came back from school, I tried to not come face-to-face with my father. I felt very guilty. But just when I was about to enter our house, father called me!

“See, what our neighbor found on our way to the farm?” he said. And that’s my lost spanner.

He told me that our neighbor went to get some mustard leaves for soup after me. He found the spanner in a bush on his way. Further, there was some damage to the crop and I did not inspect the farm this morning.

The truth was out in open! It was expected. I am unable to hide it. I was proven guilty! What now?

“I am sorry. I was lying the whole time. And I am tired. Forgive me, please?” I could barely manage to utter these words with my choked voice. I was filled with tears.

Father held me in his arms tight. “You are forgiven. Don’t do it again,” he said rubbing my head gently. And we prayed to God for His forgiveness.

A moment had passed when I regained my composure. This time full of joy and gaiety – free from my guilt-ridden heart. I regret not having confessed early before school. It is hard to spent time with a heavy guilty mind. My day could have been so much fun at school, I said to myself.

I wonder how my father could have forgiven me so easily. To which he replied because I am his son!

It is not easy to live with guilt. It can be devastating. Guilt-free life I wanted to live. It is good to confessed and reconnected with God every now and then.

We have a father who always loved us: A father who art in heaven yet His abiding presence felt all over the earth!

Change: Yes We Can! But I Will Not!

‘Yes We Can! But I will not change!’ said one of my colleagues, smiling cheerily.

He is not adamant to change. ‘It is time to act, not shout slogans and/or chanting what we wanted,’ he continued. We used to joke around currents happenings that almost deafen our daily activities.

Yes, I am talking about those times Ex-POTUS Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008. In the end, whether he brings a change or not might differ from person to person, with different ideologies and likings.

Change, in other words, may mean to transform, to alter, to reformed, etc. in its verb form. It is used with hope for positive development or transformation when associated with state and non-state elements.

Human wants are unlimited, we say, which prompts us to like new things, brought-in better practices. Being in stagnant mode can be boring and sometimes led to corrupted minds. So, it is natural to want change once in a while, which history can tell us in great detail.

All changes do not necessarily led to positive changes. It can lead us backwards at times. But we have this innate desire to change, to experience new things at the least, in our minds. For most people, it could be the driving force in their life.

When we do not found the changes we desired, or when things around us seem so stagnant, it can adversely affect us. It can even lead to unwanted thoughts and self-analysis. Further, it can lead us to irritations or having less zeal for living.

Constant:
There is a search for constant to which we can measure or build around our thoughts and calculations. In Mathematical term, we used Pi (π) the Greek letter or 22/7 which is approximately equal to 3.14159. In the same manner, in Physics we have several constant(s). They are useful in many ways to determine values, distance, etc.

Here, it can be known that as much as we want change, there needs to be something which is constant-unchanging figure. When we don’t have that figure in our lives, the waves of life are hard to bear.

When a house is built, there needs to be a constant Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) around which the foundation is laid. The cornerstone becomes the important constant object to build a strong house.

For individuals, when we have constant value inside us, we can be safe amidst the stormy calamities. In the same manner, while embracing the much-needed change in a state or society there needs to be something constant to prevent things are not blown out of proportion.

Now, that constant value which did not change, never change, to the ends of the earth is Christ Jesus. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Here we have a constant value for measuring our lives.

While on this earth, I am also one among many who wanted change in every possible way. But change is the only constant thing on this earth. A change without Christ would be disastrous, for the state, individual, and even for the Church.

Several reforms had taken place. Several Acts and Amendments had been passed, which are still far from perfection. It is for the benefit of most people or citizens, it is being said. That is the nature of the world. However, Jesus Christ never changes.

I am not urging you to resist change. No, make that change happen for humankind to be nearer to God. More changes are bound to happen but if it affects you, remember the unchanging Lord – always standing firm on His words.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Sharing in Sufferings

When we suffered hardships in life, we wanted someone to talk to. That too, if we are able to talk. We wanted to pour out our sufferings by letting it out.

There is no joy to any types of suffering yet there can be joy to any types of suffering. Personally, I’d been through some hardships and suffering and from the people I met on the way. Let’s discuss some of them.

Not all people understand our inner feeling. Most people tend to hide within us. People are afraid to share their sufferings to any random person. We need someone trustworthy, understanding, and not repulsive in nature. Yet it is hard to find.

There are some who could simply react to your sufferings in one sentence – blunt and plain. For, they do not know what is burning inside someone’s life. However, it would be wise not to react or question someone suffering any pain, be it emotional, physical, or even in grief.

When we are in suffering mode, our mind roamed around leading us to happiness and sadness, inside our heart. This resulted in changes of mood frequently, which sometimes becomes unbearable for us and our surroundings.

It is a privilege, I could say, to meet several people I have known in their sufferings and talked with them. Some get comforted and find joy in their suffering as it will not lasted forever. There will be an end to sufferings although in different ways.

Years ago, my father was diagnosed with cancer. It left us in great distress. We do not know what is before us yet we expect something worst to happen as the suffering is life-threatening. That same year, we learned that I would be undergoing brain surgery due to my prolonged neurological disorder.

My father was done with his first round of Chemotherapy when I was operated upon. Unfortunately yet may be God willing, my father and I becomes suffering partner to whom we can deeply let out our sufferings. We talked about so many things. Let lay out some of them here:

About The End:

Death has been the subject of our sharing, sometimes. We reassured each other of what lies ahead. Being both of us enjoying the Salvation of Jesus Christ, we are determined to meet Him in the near future.

In the course of time, I’d brushed with death, which I gladly share with my father and my families. You can read in details here. There is far better place waiting for us to enjoy. No science and technology needed to proof or help but the blood of Christ, shed many many years ago, was sufficient to get us there.

I remember my father calling me over the phone one particular day. He told me, “I thought my end has been approaching. The time has come to be with Him. I can sense death calling. But I am not afraid to go. However, it is not time yet!” I could sense him smiling while telling me this. He was laughing although tired, during our conversation. It was a great relief to hear that! And we rejoice in praising the Lord for such comfort.

A year ago, his time has finally come. My dear father, see you in Heaven!

About Life: (The special Child)

We did talk about life a lot. There are several things we wanted to re-do or make-over but that’s not possible. So far, the sufferings we had are for our own life; very less for others around us. Yet if God blessed upon our sufferings, it can be useful. And we prayed for that too.

‘The special child of God,’ we called ourselves. Yes, there is nothing special about not being able to lead a normal life, at least for a while. I will tell you why we called ourselves special child of God.

In our suffering, we talked to God more often. We need Him every minutes and every hour to be with us. Whatever happens and whatever comes our way, if God is with us, the rest we worry not. We wanted to be in-touch with Him all the time.

More so, our heart becomes more open to Him ever than before. His words are more penetrating than usual. We are in fellowship with our Savior. He looked after every minute details of our life and He is always close by – within reach. To the suffering soul, He is always near.

Does God Really Care?

Jesus Christ’s prayer for His disciples and all believers in John 17:6-25, I remembered, we discussed in a lengthy conversation. We also get comforted by His prayer – the Prayer of the Lord to His Father. He is still praying for us in the same way or even more than before.

In this prayer, it is clear that Jesus Christ knew exactly what we are going through. He Himself lived in this world in our human form. The pain, sufferings, hardships, He knew it all. He’d been through it. He’d seen it all. And now that’s very comforting.

Although I wanted to discuss these verses in great detail, let me pick some in between here. These are the prayer Jesus Christ had for us. Please go through them:

“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” (Verse 12a) He really did. He saved them from their physical sickness and even from the death.

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (Verses 15 and 16) Our sufferings are allowed but not to cause us harm beyond we can stand.

The One who doesn’t belong to this world had gone through sufferings. So, we must also endure some sufferings. But He will protect us from the evil one.

“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (Verse 26) This is exactly what He did. Made known to us and He will never let us suffer alone being Him within us.

We get comforted with this verses in the midst of our sufferings. When we can found the implications and express it out there can be joyous moments.

Becoming a Partner in Sufferings:

Everyone needs someone to talk to, to let out to someone trustworthy while in sufferings. For me, most unexpected, unfortunate or uncalled for, my father becomes my suffering partner. Being both of us suffering we can almost fully understand each other.

Sometimes full of hope, the other time with less hope – the mind of a suffering person can be unsteady. Anyone can fit in as a partner, someone who will listen to them. One does not need prior training. We have God-given quality to do so, if we are willing. You can be one of them.

For those sufferers who do not have someone to share their mind, Our God is there to listen. Not only listen, He act upon our cases too. Although His ways are beyond what men can understand. Not acting or doing something the way we desired does not mean that God is not working. He is always at work.

Lastly, I did not finish my race yet, but I write because I hope it might be useful.

To Timothy, Apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) This was written shortly before his (Paul’s) death.

Although, Apostle Paul’s sufferings were way beyond my sufferings, which I firmly belief. When I finished this world of suffering, I wanted to say the same with my head held high.

I am hurt!

“I am hurt!” said my five-year-old, stumbling on the ground. Anxious at what I do next.

He galloped past me. I had reminded him, many times, to look out, follow my footsteps, and go slow.
I waited for him to get up by himself, which I hope would make him tougher. I also wanted him to learn something from this unwanted situation.

“Do something, Papa? I am hurt, I am in pain,” he uttered repeatedly. And I know he is hurt.

I picked him up and rub his pain gently with my hands. The pain doesn’t go in haste. I have no healing power. But he got comforted, at least, emotionally.

In my helplessness, I rushed him home. We did not bring first aid box with us while jogging in the park. We did not expect this to happen either.

On our way home, I remember myself reiterating the need to learn from mistakes. Here, it would be my forewarning to look out the path and not to gallop unnecessarily. I also knew that it is something irritating in this kind of situation, when the accident already occurred.

This incident reminded me of my relationship with the Lord. There are many instances where I wanted the Lord, my God, to do something quick in my anxious moments. Being the Almighty Father, He is and was never helpless.

Many times, I feel like crying out loud, “My God, I am hurt! I am in pain.” And I already did it because I had cried out in my mind although I did not say it out loud.

Do something, please?
I am hoping you must have plan B, in this. But some of your plans are too hard to bear. Give me strength to carry on till I reached my life’s purpose. I remember pleading hard for His intervention.

Although the waiting and His ways can take time and uncomfortable, Our God –Jehovah has His purpose for all of it. If there is a lesson to be learned in being hurt, it is even more worthy. He has all the solutions for it.

Physical hurt, although not easy, was sometimes even better than being emotionally hurt. Specifically speaking for myself, most the hurts I’d suffered are mainly due to my fault, and I accepted it.

Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob, in the Bible had a rough path in his journey of life. Yet he remained faithful to the One who leaded him through and through. At last, Joseph seemed to have found employment in his long struggle.

However, Potiphar’s wife plays spoil sport in his life. Wrongly accused, he was sent to prison. Consider these few cases:

Just when we started to feel secured and settled, some of us lose our job, although due to different reasons. It can be really hurting at times. However, I believed God has better plan for us. It depends on us being able to submit to Him even in those situations.

Out of the blue, an ex-flame of either side of a couple showed up hurting the smooth family foundation. Sometimes, they ended up tearing apart the marriage. In this, we being hurt and our tears are not unseen by God because He has a purpose in every marriage. Stay closer with Him.

For now, someone tried to live responsibly when illness strike the determination. In the point of no return we stand yet it is hurting to stay in the same place. When you are too hurt to even give it up, God listen to our pain.

You wanted to move on saying you will be able yet you still get hurt. Even more hurt when you try to cope with losing some you have loved so much, Our God will pick you up and hold you in His arm.

When someone, most unexpected, let you down or downplay your existence, remember you are still more than valuable in someone’s eye. You might feel mistaken, unnecessary provoked: you get hurt and it’s not easy to overcome, remember Our Heavenly Father can feel with you.

Not an earthly father He is but someone who calmed the storms of life in His might too.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,”
declares Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 11:28)

Christians also get hurt yet rest is assured. We are allowed to suffer, sometimes, inflicted by evildoers.

‘Believe in Christ, dear friend. You’re worries or you being hurt would get healed,’ some may say. For a true believer, it is true. But to reach a level as such one must be deeply close with Christ. There is no point in following Him if we wanted comfort in our life.

Pour out your heart and let your hurtfulness be known to Him, He will deal with it. In His ways, He will deal with it. We would be blessed if we can closely follow in His footstep.

It is painful to get hurt, physically and emotionally, but it can lead us to be a better person. Stronger in life and closer to Christ Jesus, we can become!

Abiding Presence

He became one amongst them.
The Heaven abider abides with them.
They felt enlightened when He was with them
They get comforted, they felt loved.
Abide in Me, He too pleaded.

And Lo! He had served His purpose,
Went to His Father’s everlasting abiding place.
Deserted, they felt, although His return assured.
His abiding presence filled the earth.
Not everyone feel His presence.

In heaven His throne abided.
So high and far away, someone said.
His abiding presence so close yet so far.
In our soul, guiding, comforting He abided.
He is never far away: always with us.

The heaven abider is He
Yet He walks with us step by step.
He abides with us when we abide in Him.
Are you among who closely feel His presence?
He speaks when we listen to Him.

For you, where did He abided?
Only as the heaven abider or within reach?
His abiding presence felt all over the earth.
Where do you let Him abided?
The Heaven abider and Soul abider.