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.

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.

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.

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.

Abiding Grace: Finding the Zeal for Living

It is my prerogative in His abiding grace; to always start my days with, at least one verse from, the Scripture. It renewed my hope, giving me the zeal of living, even in my worst circumstances.

There are times though, when I go by my own conveniences getting absorbed in other things. At times, my minds got usurped by what is happening around us. Too much focusing on the happening around us might distort our zeal of living.

Some of the Synonyms of zeal are: passion, enthusiasm, eagerness, fervor, love, and many more. In brief, zeal can be defined as the energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause.

In my free time, I would glance around the world through printed media. Hate-crimes are rampant in every corner of the world. The flamboyant lifestyles of some people adversely affect thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.

Distortion of facts, even in religious matter, to suit one’s living and in fulfilling their selfish ambitions becomes a threat to humankind. More and more people claimed to follow God by only befitting or letting down their faith.

Spreading false prophecy, distorting anything on the way; by way of playing the so-called diplomacy has been disheartening. Each day we are closer to the end of time. Especially to those who do not have hope of “life after death” or unmoved by the promise of life after death, they are in their prime.

In a world of distorted conscience, if I do not believe in the promised privilege about our eternal glory after death, it would be disturbing to spend each day. What really does the world has to offer? It is for you to think.

It might sound foolish to someone who enjoyed fitting in the systems of the world, as it is. I have been through some of the enjoyment but it’s not worth it. In the end, you wanted more. Either you ended up with guilty feeling or you get stuck.

Our body has been in its declining mode once it reached its peak. However, our mental strength in keeping our faith just started heading towards maturity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, states, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25)

The time, for my Savior to take me home, is worth waiting. Getting home, from a journey full of challenges and unfulfilled dreams – that’s the reason behind getting the zeal to live on. For someone who is really in Him, life is not burden but enjoyment.

Should you ask me how do I still have hope and have the zeal to go on? By now, I hope, you get it right.
Faith, without His abiding grace would get lost on the way. Yet even when there seems my faith have been lost, in His grace it gets renewed again and again.

Consider the word of the resurrected Christ in these verses, even before His Crucifixion:
“Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). Christ had also taught His disciples, His intention, for all of mankind: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Getting Closer

In my younger days, I loved to read as much as I could.  I’d enjoyed being submerged in thoughts of wise people.  In my innate being, I wanted to know more about them, personally.

Let me confessed little bit, I’d follow few communist whose writing pattern had become an obsession to me.  I’d imitate their styles during my school days.  More than the content in their writing, it is their style of expressing, I had enjoyed.

inspecting or detective
A child getting closer and knowing more

We all enjoyed learning new things, I hope, for which writers or columnist became our channel for getting useful information and resources.

Few years had passed, when I got to know more about their ideologies and personal ethics, I stopped following some of them. I am no more a huge fan of them.  Why?  Because, only in my perception, I know them enough to the extent to even dislike them.

That being said, there are few reasons – I have become more critical of them.  And I remained there, to be among their faultfinders, before I’ve moved on.

Now, getting to know more and getting closed are quite similar yet dissimilar hugely.  And as you see, getting to know more of someone does not end in being getting close, somehow or never.

In the affairs of our so-called ‘love life or romance’, we can be attracted to someone before knowing them as much as we wanted to.  It can led to a spark between two different people meeting in the stages of life – infatuation.

There are some who are unable to tolerate and enjoyed their incompatibility, which gradually let them to split despite their past commitments to each other.  Failed partnership, failed marriage, failed relationship, or whatever name we called them.

In reality, our getting to know more must have led us to being getting closer.  However, it can hit rock bottom and blew wide open otherwise.  There’s nothing as such ‘an incompatibility-proof’ in all matters.

What is next?  Being unable to get closer because of the ‘I know you’ attitude, jealousy plays a spoiler.  When we felt not closed enough for few moments, our innate evil owner could creep in, destroying everything we had.

This critical view of fault finding can turn into compassion! One can take joy in dealing with incompatibility.  When compassion creeps in, criticisms can turn us into being closer.

One thing, I must tell you, in the love of God poured out and made available in the blood of Jesus Christ, all things are made possible in His might.

Remember all the divisive barriers and personal strongholds were crashed on the Cross of Calvary, in His abiding grace.

Apostle Paul urged the believers, of Philippians, to let their knowledge and insights must draw them closer to the resurrected Christ.  When he wrote to them, in Philippians 1:9,

“And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

Our God, always, remained close in His abiding grace. The more we know the more we get closer or want to get closer instead.

Unlike other personalities and existing creatures of God, we could be as close as Christ Jesus, and as much as we wanted to.  His arm is always open to anyone. Let me end herewith;

To know more of Christ is to become closer to Him, day by day!

Seven Lessons to Learn from the Kite Runner

In the city where we now lived, kite-flying has been a common sight as the Independence Day of India is approaching.  Young men and children throng the few open spaces available in the city.

Kite flying in the sky
Kites soaring in the sky

The country’s artist and composers are hugely inspired by the man-made flying object – the Kite.  The Hindi word ‘Udaan’, which can be loosely translated in its Verb form as ‘to soar, to fly or flying’ has been mostly associated with positive inspirations.

In villages and country-side, there are lots of people who do not have the chance to get a glimpse of the modern airplanes.   Although most of fed ourselves, sleep and enjoyed the luxury of the flying object.  For many, it is still a distant dream.

One evening and as usual, we were strolling for our evening walk in the park nearby.  There are few boys flying a kite but two boys catch my attention as I’d sit down in the corner and watch them enjoying.

Kite Flying by young person
Kite Runner enjoying the moment

By their appearance, one seems to be younger who follow the command of the older boy.  Orientation of understanding the hierarchy doesn’t seem to be needed, or they already it, that I don’t know.  However, they are blending quite well.  They work together like a good team.

And as I watched them, their effort paid off after several attempts.  They are running the kite with excitement as the kite began to soar higher and higher.  In gaiety, they looked around their friends proudly.  It is hard to put in words, how happy they when they saw the kite soaring, from their very own hands.  It is a great achievement for them.

Now they wanted to do something by winding the reel, as they are confident their kite wouldn’t simply go down.  They tangled the reel with the nearby kite and successfully cut the reel of another kite.  The other kite runner eventually lost control of his kite, which started to dwindle in the sky following the current of the wind.  They are nor more connected.

As darkness gradually descended, the boys are hesitant to let go of their flying kite.  They simply don’t want to take down the flying kite.  I saw them tying the reel in one of the bench so that the kite will soar on its own.  Now they headed towards the gate of the park, as it was time for them to go home.

They had just reached the gate, when they came back running.  At this instance, I could see their dilemma and enquired their next step.  The boys are shivering as they felt too connected. And they told me, they are afraid it might get lost or either way it might not fly for long before it was grounded by the wind.  More so, someone might take it home, they said.

So they took down the flying kite slowly, handled with care, and took it home.  Safely in their arms, they held the kite when they make their way out of the park.  In the process, it can be seen they have great pleasure in taking home their favorite possession.

Several thoughts strike me as I make my way out of the park too:

One, it is in our natural instinct to be wanting to soar one day, at least achieved something, like the other creatures of God.  Some of us succeeded while others did not.  It is in the hands of God.

Two, in everything there needs to a leader and it emerges out when needed.  A guide, who provided valuable insights and a shoulder to cry on, when needed.

Three, we tend to hurt someone nearby when achieving and enjoying our goals, whether knowingly or unknowingly.  Four, to our God we are His prized possession saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.  He takes pride in us being in Him.

Five, our God full of grace, wanted to stay connected with His creature, in this context, like the Kite Runner.  Six, our God would never leave us midway in our journey.  He let us enjoy the soaring  and He will take care of each one of us.

Last and more importantly, when our flying time was over, when our journey comes to an end, Our God will take us home safely in His loving arms.  Especially, to those who believed in the salvation through his own Son!