Hashtag Rags

The pretty and plush woman sat hash tagging into her latest bling device. Let’s call her the ‘plush lady’. She was beautiful and more so stunningly adorned. The pashmina stole with exquisite design, which was delicately knotted around her elegant, marble neck glistened in the sun light that streamed from the magnificently large lounge window she was seated next to in the restaurant. Her stately personality earned her appreciation from every onlooker. She knew she had many admirers.

Another diner in a nearby open restaurant noticed one end of the plush lady’s stole trailing into the garden pot that perched on the low window sill. Let’s call her ‘fellow diner’. “Oh dear, the costly stole seems to be soaking and coating in the wet muddy water of the garden pot”, she thought. Before long, the plush lady while adjusting the stole, pulled the delicate stole’s one end to the table raking with it grainy chunks of mud and grime all around the place she was seated, dirtying her delicate robe and fine shoes as well. The fellow diner immediately scurried to the plush lady and tried signalling her of what was actually happening. The plush lady didn’t care for the creature who seemed to be saying something. With annoyance writ large on her face, the plush lady feigned ignorance and thought, “What could a menial nothing of substandard looks and lifestyle have anything at all to say to her?” The fellow diner tried with all her strength and understanding to explain the mess that the plush lady was into. Alas, all fell on stubbornly deaf ears!

Then when the plush lady arose to leave, her stole, which by now looked like any other filthy rag, and her dirtied shoes and robe, stained the entire path she tread, completely oblivious of what was happening with her, around her and because of her. She gently adjusted the stole above her head to cover her gorgeous hairdo unaware of the progressive staining. Yet the plush lady walked with gait and elegance bathed under her super rich self-esteem.

The fellow-diner helplessly looked on, praying for her to gain an attitude to listen the Truth one day!

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Unity in Diversity

Once upon a time there lived three interesting neighbourhoods in a jungle. The mongoose, peacock and eagle families lived side by side. They had one common enemy – the evil snake family. The mongoose were alert, the peacock were agile and the eagle were tough. But there was one severe problem. They couldn’t stand each other. Each tried to show the other down and show themselves high. They fought over petty matters. None wanted peace, no not even the slightest desire for peace. They were happy despising each other and felt comfortable in their dissensions. You see it is easy to keep distance, but quite costly to embrace differences and weaknesses of each other in humility for the sake of the Rock of Ages who loved peace and unity among brethren! It costs your ‘self’ to love.

Now the snake, the fallen foe, always strove to survive by deceiving them. The fighting neighbourhood comprising the mongoose, peacock and eagle made life easy for the snake. Every now and then there would be petty brawls and riotous outbreaks in the jungle. Those were opportunities the snake sought to stealthily attack the vulnerable young ones of the communities. The snakes just needed one, small loop hole to get in. This trend continued till the mongoose, peacock and eagle realised their dwindling and weakening quality. They were tired. They knew the root of their problem, but of their own they could do nothing. They even thought of leaving the jungle and going some faraway land, but the adage, ‘a known devil is better than an unknown’ struck fear in their hearts. So each of them, without the other knowing, decided to meet the Rock of Ages, who was their only Hope.

Surprise of surprise, all three landed at the feet of the Rock of Ages at the same time. All three narrated their problem. The Rock of Ages heard each with a keen ear and gently rebuked, “I made each of you with unique qualities. It would behove you’ll to glorify Me in your respective qualities and complement each other in the fight against your common enemy. But each of you puffed yourself and fell away from tolerating each other. It is not too late yet, repent, apologise, forgive and gather together so I can re-build the broken and manifest My Glory amidst you’ll.”

The gentle correction of the Rock of Ages opened everyone’s eyes. They repented and decided to obey the only Wise voice. Each one decided to wholeheartedly perform the duties they were called to and yet with care for the other. While the peacock sent out shrill alerts at the sight of snakes, the eagle heard the alerts and attacked from great heights and the mongoose tackled the slithers amongst bushes and brambles. It became a team work. Soon love blossomed and the once dying neighbourhood was revived. The suddenly united and bound-with-cords-of-love jungle became a terror for the snakes who now doubled their shift work. So while the enemy snake continued their warfare, the unity in the diverse, yet loving neighbourhood continued overthrowing and keeping the enemy at bay!

Ephesians 4:15-16 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the Head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The Wise Surgeon

The surgeon’s secretary deeply apologised over phone specifying the need to re-schedule the surgery, although a minor one. The patient’s husband was obviously angered as they had spent huge volumes travelling all the way for this treatment. It was a very simple operation requiring minimal yet critical intervention. Re-scheduling this treatment did not make any sense. The patient, a famous singer, was to undergo a vocal-cord nodule removal. The husband demanded an immediate, face-to-face meeting with the surgeon, who was also famous in his field. The surgeon being a fine, humble man, yet unable to deny the truth and wanting to effectively convey the same, agreed to meet the gentleman.

On the day of appointment, the husband stepped into the surgeon’s cabin and stretched his hand for a gentleman handshake. The surgeon however, could not do so with his fractured hand that was still plastered. That explained it all!
The surgeon smiled and explained the tragedy and how it rendered him unequipped to operate on his wife’s vocal cord nodule, even though it was a very minor operation. The surgeon gesturing to his fractured arm, humbly explained, “I need to first get my hand in good shape before I can use it to help others.” The husband got the message more so at the backdrop of the surgeon’s humble acknowledgement of his current inability stating, “With a log in my hand I am unable to pull out the speck from your wife’s throat!” At this humour from the surgeon, both the men burst into a hearty laughter and settled for the best possible solution at the moment.

Matthew 7:3 – Consider the beam in your eye, before you behold the mote in your brother’s eye.

Summer Won’t Be Summer Always!

The grasshopper played his violin enjoying the pleasant summer after a long harsh winter. Now he wanted someone to dance to his tune and so hollered out to the ants. But the ants as usual had work to do, and boy they enjoyed their work too! How could anyone have fun with hard labour, thought the grasshopper. “Fools, you ant, the winter has just gone by and you are already back to work? Aw come on now, leave your humdrum and enjoy this soothing sunshine, the fresh blades shooting forth and the plenteous food and comfort. Let’s make merry and live.”

The ants continued their single file, some carrying bits of leaves, some with food particles, some tending to the young and old, etc. They clearly knew what and why they were doing it. They did not feel the need to provide an explanation to the grasshopper but only told him to be ready at all times, as summer wouldn’t be summer always, and that weather change was imminent, be it the floody monsoon, harsh winter or scorching sun.

The mantis in his solemn praying stance from a nearby stalk retorted to the ants, “Now, now, don’t overdo it, why worry about tomorrow. I pray and surrender everything to my Maker and so I don’t have to do anything.”

The prince of ants finally spoke, first to the grasshopper and then to the mantis:
Hopping along all day
Is so much fun you say
But you forget the winter
When you begged stinker

Near the storehouse you lingered
Weak, thirsty, dirty and hungered
Repent and learn from your past
Summer won’t always last

True, tomorrow will take care of itself
Sufficient thereof is today’s evil
But that verse refers to anxiety
However, work we must diligently

Faith without action is dead
Work accountable unto the Head
All pray and no work is laziness sly
It is sinful for you from work to shy

God savours the smell of labour
Trusting Him in all endeavours
Don’t be a burden any further
Rather share burdens of other

Judgement day soon will be here
God then your life’s account will hear
Path of Cross those who didn’t tread
Will partake of hell and its dread

The ants returned to their chores, mundane though it be, cos the sound of impending trumpet forever kept the ants alert and active.

Proverbs 6:6
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

Selfless Love

This is a short story
Of a rose oh so lovely
Yet all with it wasn’t right
Despite the sun shining bright

The lovely rose wept
Silently when it slept
Not a sigh nor rustle
Yet, deep within wrestled

Why should I live with thorns
When I, the nature adorn
While I radiate aura without
Deep within hatred I spout

Amidst these thorns
I am empty and forlorn
They pierce me when I sway
Jubilee is so far away

Thus rose struggled
Even more perturbed
When the Gardener instructed
To love even thorns whole-hearted

I can for once live indifferent
But with them I’m intolerant
I just can’t love those unlovely
Knowing well, me a sinner You loved me

I just can’t love, O Lord!
I remember all their wrong
They schemed against me, hurt me
How Lord, can I love my enemy?

Please help me, O! Gardener!
As a King, You did thorns wear
But You did with genuine love
Not faking, pure love from above

The Gardener heard rose’s honest cry
Rose’s sinful hatred and heavenly desire
Reached out to help with Grace
Yearned rose to be delivered from hate

You hate because you are proud
Esteeming self, more than you ought
You do not credit your Maker
For your ability and caliber

You despise the weak and failing
Forgetting God you is holding
Compare yourself not with weaker
But with Christ, the Redeemer

God made roses, thorns, et al
Said ‘It is good’ when saw ’em all
The Respecter of none
Came to remove man’s sin

Rose, you forget the sin
Thence from you were delivered
You pride today in your goodness
Thinking no end of yourselves

You who are mature in Christ
Bear others’ weakness infinite
Seek to do Father’s will always
In Jesus name, love all in your way

Look at the Faith Author and Finisher
Rather than blemishes of other
Remember, Father look at you only could
Through His Son Jesus’ Blood

Repent rose from self-pity
Pride, hatred, and animosity
Wrap your ‘self’ with His Grace
To love all of Adam’s race

Rose repented of the sin
To have despised kith and kin
Having bitterness harbored
Against those from the fold

So rose with Gardener’s help tried
In every step to love, something died
The dying rose now with changed sight
Saw the thorn in the beauty of Christ

So while the thorn remained a thorn
God helped rose be again born
With a heart filled with selfless love
Replaced hate with love to all serve

That night the storm raged
The thorns well stabbed
Rose swayed and bled
Gazing on Christ, hate fled

The rising sun was joyous
To see a smiling rose
Albeit with scars and bruises
Rose embraced thorns and thistles

Thus ends the short story
Of a rose oh so lovely
When in Christ, all is right
Whether the sun shines or not bright 🙂

Romans 5:8 …but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.