My earliest memories are of my mother, sister & I sitting on a yellow straw mat & praying to You. Mother taught me beautiful hymns, she taught me verses from the bible & I remember coming 1st in Sunday school. She also taught me how to pray.
I knew the Bible quite well....ofcourse I dont claim to have understood it but I could recite many short chapters from the Psalms & knew most of the stories in the Bible. I once read the whole Bible in 1 week[yeah I know You know that I was terribly sick with typhoid & didnt have another book to read]. I knew who Ruth was, what Esther did, who Elijah & Elisha were & how they went to heaven, knew about David & Goliath, Wise King Solomon & most importantly I thought I knew all about your Son & how he gave his life up for us.
All good uptil here huh!!!!
But as You very well know, somewhere along the line I lost interest...not that I didnt believe in you. I did but I never took time out to talk with you. I never thanked you for my blessings, I didnt approach you when I had decisions to make. Even when I had troubles it never occurred to me to come to you and even it did occur I could never do it because my reasoning was that I never did it when I was feeling good so I had no right to approach You when I was feeling miserable.
I dont really recall when or why I started distancing myself from You. I sort of started relegated You to the backgroud during my teenage years. Oh I still sat with my family for the family prayer where we sang hymns[I thought I sang pretty good], read the bible[yeah I liked hearing the sound of my voice], sing songs again. Here I got irritated...well we already sang songs, right???...whats the need to sing again???
Chitrahaar was going to start in exactly 20 mins & this hymn was going to take up 4-5 precious minutes & then the final prayer would take another 10-15 mins. Throughout the prayer I would stealthily peek thru my closed eyelids at the clock & my brain would try to connect with my mom's brains to "Keep it short, keep it short, KEEP IT SHORT, please". Ofcourse Ma would decide to say 2 extra prayers that night. Finally the Amen & the sign of the cross happened in fast forward mode & the next second found me in the living room pressing the red button on the TV remote.
Oh dang...the first break was already in. I bet Ma deliberately does this, I would think bitterly.
Looking back, teenage years were trying times. I sure could have done with some Faith. Whether we joined her in Prayer or not I knew my mother shed tears while she prayed for us. I watched my sister....my younger sister read the Bible & Pray every night before going to sleep while I slept or pretended to.
But I know You haven't forgotten those odd occasions when I did come to You & laid my heart bare at your feet. Every once in a while I reminded you about this wish I had……..for a good husband. Not those rich or pretty-looking dudes, just a good human being who'd stand by me through thick & thin & oh how can I forget that I asked for good wedding photographs. Coz wedding photgraphs were for life & however I turned out later, these pictures would be my signature for life....something to show my kids & grandkids. Ofcourse I realise now that it was 1 dumb request as the kids recognise everybody else in those photographs except me. You must have had a good laugh while granting that request.
You granted both those requests……a fine man by my side & good wedding photographs. My faith was strengthened by the good things which were happening & I thanked You over & over again.
Leaving my family to be with a man I was hardly knew was a big test in my faith in You. I still remember sitting in that plane 10 yrs back to join the man I married, staring blankly through the window into the darkness outside with tears pouring down my cheeks. Just for a moment I even wondered whether I’d reach my destination.
I wonder if You realized that at first when I started praying genuinely I felt like such a fake…like I was mouthing some lines simply because I thought you expected to hear it. Prayer didn’t come easily…and placing my complete faith in You was so difficult. If I gave myself to You COMPLETELY, did that mean I have to give up movies or games or erase that bit of deviousness which was present inside me??? I was not really ready.
The children made their appearance & their growth again made me marvel at Your Kindness. Along with the children I also grew…..wider. But jokes apart……except for the quick one-liners muttered under my breath, there were times I was busy or too tired by the end of the day to speak with You, and strangely my faith was deeper than ever.
Obstacles would appear from nowhere, the people I depended on most may not have been there to shield me and You my Lord also took your own sweet time to respond but there wasn’t any doubt that You’d make it right finally & that if I held on to You I’d be totally safe.
Maybe I’m feeling my age…………..maybe I have more faith than before or maybe its Just You……I’ve gradually started depending on You, learning to let go and lean on Your strength, though I still have my doubts about my Faith whether….
… I’m good enough in your eyes
…or maybe I’m doing it all wrong
...You’ll reject me when I reach there
Then again I realize all these misgivings are about me…….about You there is never really any doubt.
Yours till eternity,