Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grace Is All I Need

A friend teased me one day, how all the favours he did for me will add up in the big account book of good and bad deeds. When the list of good tides over the list of bad, St. Peter would turn the key to the doors of heaven for him. The joke was at my expense of course! Clearly, he did think that was how I determined the way I lived my life. There was an element of truth to what he thought of me too. That is probably how I tried to subsist. All my efforts focused on trying to add on to my list of good deeds, working hard at trying to do the right thing for all the right reasons. The effort was sometimes humungous and almost always ended up tired and sometimes even convinced being good is hard work indeed.

But some days ago, I realised I may have missed a basic point. Maybe I should start living life with gratitude and awe of being a part of creation. Thankful everyday to be alive. Maybe I should open my eyes and look around and drink in the beauty of the bounty. Maybe I should live my life realising I exist because of love. The kind of love that says you love the other not because you’re loved by them, but because God loves you.

And as for being good and actually all about looking at the bigger picture. The ariel view of things. Looking at things the way God sees it perhaps. The view from heaven is the best. Because from up there you see more than from what you see from the eye level of one’s perspective.
Goodness is all about loving. The way the Almighty loves. Unconditionally and without reserve. Loving when not loved back. Loving when the self protests in fatigue. Loving when there are more reasons to hate. Loving when impatience tells you to give it up and move on with ‘your’ life.

Being good just takes me one third the journey to Him. What really takes me there is His love. And the grace that comes with it. I can’t even move my finger or even think a single good thought if not for the grace that comes from Love.
Therefore I learnt today, Grace is all I need!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Through an Open Window

I sit here by the window and look outside at the world. The view may seem limited but it still is a room with a view. And an entire vision of things for someone who seldom steps outside. I see people. I see things too. But it’s people who catch my attention. It is them who interest me. Things, I notice only when the people use them. Like I notice the girl in a pink slipper. Who jumps with glee for she got herself a pink pair to match her pink top. Actually it’s the girl I noticed first. Then the slipper. Then the top.
The girl was petite and pretty. She had her hair long and straight. She had it up to her bum. But what I liked most about her was that she had pretty feet and it looked pretty in her pink slippers. She looked up at my window and smiled. It was irresistible. I just had to smile back. Or she would’ve remained there just beneath my window smiling till I smiled back at her. Satisfied with my smile she nodded and walked away. Turning to look towards me a couple of times. Then she turned the corner and disappeared. And I missed her and wondered if she would pass by my window again.
Then I saw a man. A short man. With long strides. If January was the month he took the first leg forward, it wouldn’t be until September he followed it with the other foot. That long was his stride. Though great distances were covered it seemed like a slow walk. He looked around. He was watching people from down there just like me from up here. I wanted to tell him, ‘Come up here, join me, the view is great.’ But I am sure even if I did call him, he wouldn’t agree about the view. He would say his is better than mine. He would say, I am older than you, so I know. He would say, I have seen more of the world walking on my two feet, so I would know. Therefore I did not call him up. I would not be able to give him answers to that, even if I still think I have a better view from up here.
Then I see another man. This time, a man with a hat. He’s dancing along the way singing aloud. Not bothered that all eyes on the street were on him. As he rushed down the streets his gaze catches mine. Surprising me. I looked away. But then I looked back at him. He was still looking at me. Of all the people in all this time, none has asked me step down. He asked me with his eyes. He asked me to come down. And I asked why? What for? With my eyes. He said you look lonely up there. I then told him. I am alone but not lonely. I like it up here because I see things that you cannot. He wasn’t convinced. “But you just see the street below”, he said. “Come, walk with me”. “There is so much more to see”. I say to him, “the street below, that I see, is really a wedge of every street around the world.” “Though I have not stepped out, I know how things are out there.” “How can that be?” He asks.
I say to him, “Each of the people who walk beneath my window, have roamed the world on their two feet.” “And each of their gazes upward, I capture and I see in them what they have seen on their journeys. That is my vantage of looking from up here. For you begin to really see.” I said. Puzzled, the man said, “What is true for one may not be true for another”, and walked away. Shaking his head in exasperation as if to say “Will she ever learn.”
I couldn’t help smiling at his gait. He came without a worry, singing and dancing. Now look at him walking away like a deflated balloon. The girl in the pink slippers walked by just then. Their eyes met and he said to her “Come. Walk with me.” She gladly and willingly did. She looked at me and smiled and turned back to the man with a hat. I smiled back, feeling my smile spread across my face, feeling happy that life is a gift. And choices people make may seem dissimilar, but actually is the same, in truth. They walked away and disappeared round the corner.
I wanted to say to him, “Only if you could come up here and see, how beautiful that looked to me.” Then he will understand that I see more than he sees, without stepping outside my vista, through my open window. From a room with a view.