So this is the second funny spanish language encounter I’ve had in past few years. The 1st one is already on my blog site, you can check it out later if you want. But let me narrate this to you!
So few months ago, I got an oppourtunity to help out in the kids club at my church. Not sure what to expect, I said yes. I was assigned to play games with bunch of kids. And that was I was doing, until I saw a little girl standing all by herself in of the corner of the room.
I thought it would be nice to get her involved since she was standing all by herself. So I wanted to her see if I can talk her into joining other kids.
Me: Hi, would you like to come and play with other kids over there?
*The little girl just stares at me. And says nothing.*
Me: My name is Sehul. What’s you name?
And out of nowhere, her little brother comes from behind me, and announces, ‘She doesn’t speak spanish.’
For a brief moment, I had no idea what he said since I was not talking spanish because I don’t know spanish. It took me few seconds, but when I realized what he meant, I could not help but laugh.
One thing is for sure, kids are funny, and you never know what would come out of their mouth.
An original fiction by, Sehul Viras
On a clear windy day, a young woman was walking through the trail that was covered in dried leaves. No living soul was around, as if she wanted that. She was looking for a place where she wanted to be alone and broken. No one knew why her heart was heavy. It could have been anything; a disease she may be battling, a broken family, may be it was that she lack resources, or may be it could have been a failed marriage or she had been in waiting for a life partner a long time now. Whatever the reason, it had successfully sucked the life out of her on that clear windy day, no one knew who she was or where she came from, but with each step that she took, her heart grew heavy.
As she walked along the trail, the only sound that broke the silence around her was the sound of dry leaves in her path being crushed by the soles of her shoes. Suddenly she saw a sight of an unusual thing somewhere in the middle of a dry leaves heap. This unusual thing that caught her eye was bright in color but small, much smaller than a leaf.
The sight of this bright object aroused her curiosity, and for a moment she forgot all the sad thoughts that made her come to this trail in the first place. The young woman started walking towards the bright object until it was right in front of her. She bent to pick it up and she smiled. That small bright object was an origami bird, tiny bright yellow in color that stood out amongst the brownish dry leaves around it. The paper bird was very delicately folded, perfectly shaped and as if each fold was added to it shape to make it look like a real bird. It looked like an artwork of a true master artist. She held it by her thumb and her index finger, and said, “And where did you come from?” as if the paper bird was alive and would reply her back.
Assuming that some kid might have dropped it, she looked around to see if there were any. But to her surprise, and not far from where she was, she saw a man sitting on a wooden bench. She glanced at him, and from that distance it looked like he was working on something. So with her heart still heavy, and her newly found tiny origami bird in her hand she started walking towards the man. The closer she got, she noticed that the man was working with bright papers, and there were many of tiny objects, of all shapes and sizes and all very colorful. Much similar to what she was holding in her hand. Right away she knew the little paper bird belonged to that man, and assumed that it might had got carried away by the wind.
She arrived at the wooden bench and stood right in front of the man, but the man did not look at her but rather had his concentration on the origami object he was creating out of a bright red paper. As she stood there, the young woman took a moment to glance at the other origami artworks that were on the wooden table. She was stunned by the perfectness and artistry of each one of them. As if, each one had been folded to look alive and beautiful.
Though she didn’t want to interrupt the man from his work, she did it anyway.
Woman:Excuse me sir, she said. Sorry to disturb you, but I believe this little bird belongs to you.
The origami artist paused from his creation and looked at the young woman who stood in front of him, and then he shifted his eyes at the paper bird she was holding in the palm of her right hand. He smiled at the bird while shifting his eyes back to the young woman again.
Woman:I found it on the side of the trail. Must have been carried away by the wind.
Artist:Thank you. I was wondering where it went. I am glad you found it. May be it was meant to be found by you. Please do keep it.
Woman: O’ thank you so much sir. Did you make all the other ones too?
As she points out to the other origami art works that was on the wooden bench.
Artist: You are welcome. And yes ma’am, all of them are my creations.
Woman: They all are so beautiful pieces of origami.
Artist: Thank you. Yes, they are indeed very beautiful. Just like the world around you and as beautiful as the life itself.
The woman’s face now had the same grim before she found that tiny little paper bird. It seemed like something the artist said made her sad.
Women: Beautiful as my life? No sir, these origami animals that you make are nothing like my life. They are much pretty, than my life. They don’t feel the hurt, they will never feel neglected or failure. They will never feel heavy with worries and are betrayed. And most important sir, your origami animals don’t feel the pain life has brought upon me.
The man didn’t reply. But instead continued to put the final few folds the bright red paper he was working with. And as he finished the final fold, the object came out to be a paper rose. The origami rose was so realistic that the woman for an instance forgot what was on her heart.
The artist placed the rose next to many of his other origami art works. He then took a fresh paper, bright green in color. He hadn’t looked at the young woman since she finished her last sentence, but instead was looking at the bright green paper he held in his hands.
Artist: If this paper were to be alive, it would be proud of itself. It would look at itself and see that it is perfectly square, and has no crease, folds or cuts on it. It will be proud of its bright color. This paper has everything a paper could ask for. If it could it would choose to stay the same.
As the artist finished his sentence, he started working with the bright green paper by adding few folds, and then he continued his sentence.
Artist: But what this paper don’t understand is that even when it thinks that it is complete and beautiful the way it is; it is actually useless without any purpose or a definite shape.
The artist continued to fold the green paper, and now added few cuts. The artist continued working on his origami art, but still continuing the narration.
Artist: But the artist looks at this paper differently and he sees something that the paper doesn’t see. The artist sees the potential and has a desired shape in mind for this paper, a shape that will make this lifeless paper into a beautiful piece of art. But the process of shaping something into a piece of art is not easy for the object being shaped. It’s painful and has lots of folds, cuts and more folds. And as I said, if the paper was alive, it would feel that pain of the process in its life. The same process humans make other things to go through to make them beautiful. They pass silver through fire seven times to bring out its shine. They make a diamond go through enormous pressure to bring out its worth, and trim out branches and leaves of trees to give them a definite shape to make them look attractive.
As he finished his final folds on the paper, he pulled two pointy ends and the green paper took the shape of a swan.
Artist:To achieve my desired shape, beauty and meaning in this paper’s life, I will have to fold it, cut it, trim it and bend it, but despite the pain, in the end this little green paper will come out to be…
And even before he could finish his sentence, the young women with a glimpse of joy and smile on her face, finished his sentence for him.
Woman: …beautiful! We come out beautiful after the process. The process here is the fold, cut and bends that shapes us to achieve God’s purpose and shape in our life.
As she finished her sentence with and enlighten heart, yet her eyes were still focused on beauty of the green paper swan the artist has created right in front of her eyes. The artist looked at her face and as he smiled, he handed her the green swan. But a strong gust of wind blew away the paper swan from her hand and it carried it few feet away from the wooden bench they were sitting on.
Women: I will get it.
She stood up started walking to the spot where the wind had dropped the paper swan. She picked it up took and turned around to walk towards the bench. But to her surprise, there was no one on the wooden bench. Confused, she started turning her head in every direction possible as far her eyes could see, but the artist was no were to be found. Still confused, she started walking back towards the bench, and there on the bench, along with all the origami art works, there was a note. Tears flooded her eyes as she sat down. Her heart was not weary any more, nor she was depressed. And with a faint smile on her face she picked up the note in her hands, to read it again. The note read,
“The hands that shaped the universe are the same hands that are shaping you.”
– The Origami Artist.
I heard this poem in the movie 21 Grams, when Sean Penn recites few lines to Naomi Watts while they are sitting in a cafe. I found it to be catchy, and its interpretation (atleast what I think), is that sometimes things don’t go as planned.
But never the less, ‘The Earth turned to bring us closer’, by Eugenio Montejo is a beautifully worded poem, and if you think you have a good interpretation, do share.
The earth turned to bring us closer
it turned on itself and within us
until it finally brought us together in this dream
as written in the Symposium.
Nights passed by, snowfalls and solstices
time passed in minutes and millennia.
An ox cart that was on its way to Nineveh
arrived in Nebraska.
A rooster was singing some distance from the world,
in one of the thousand pre-lives of our fathers.
The earth was spinning with its music
carrying us on board;
it didn’t stop turning a single moment
as if so much love, so much that is beautiful
was only an adagio written long ago
in the Symposium’s score.
By | Eugenio Montejo
Dallas Baptist University
MBA, Finance Class
I just got reminded of this incident few weeks ago. It’s one of those gem of an incident you don’t want to forget. As the phrase goes, We all know a that one guy name Kyle. Well the person mentioned in this blog is not named Kyle, but for the given fact that he is a good friend and I am sure he’ll read this sooner or later, so we will just call him Kyle to go along with the phrase.
So the professor gave us couple of finance problems for next week’s assignment. And as the custom is, that assignments are to be done on the last day or else it’s not fun and you don’t get your money’s worth from that class. And I was quite good at following that custom.
But there’s always this one guy in the class that goes beyond that custom; that’s our guy, Kyle. He calls me few hours before the assignment is due and asks for the whole assignment. I didn’t mind and I email Mr. Kyle a soft copy of my excel sheet.
Now, fast forward few days. We are sitting in the class, and professor starts handing out the graded assignments to everyone. Folded in half so no one could see who scored what. And to my surprise I got two graded assignments back from the professor. Both of them had my name written on it. At 1st I thought I might had send him the assignment twice, but its only when Kyle stood up as to inquire about as to why he didn’t get his assignment; that’s when everything just got crystal clear.
Kyle didn’t even change the name on the assignment, but instead was so lazy that he forwarded the same soft copy to the professor without even changing my name on the excel sheet. But somehow he was able to convince the professor that he and I had work together on this assignment, and he will email the assignment to the professor again with his name on it. Surprisingly he got away with this and also scored the exact same score as me.
**The above picture has nothing to do with this blog. Its just there to compliment the incident.
A few years back I was invited for dinner at a friend’s house. His parents are nice humble people in their 70’s and they live in an old house build in 1950’s with some old furniture.
The dinner was a complete southern meal with some bbq chicken right out of grill. As we sat down to eat, there was a lot of food being passed around, lots of old stories of their time serving overseas as missionaries, and lots of laughs.
As we finished dinner, I was playing around with an old white cylindrical tin box place right in the center of the dinning table. It read English Peppermint Candy in big red letters. I opened it, there sure were peppermint candies inside. Tempted as I was, I did what anyone in their right mind would do; ate one candy. And as I kept it back on the table, my friend’s mom saw me do it and told me that the candy was old and it was not good to eat as it has been lying around for a long time. And as I picked up the candy box again to read the manufacturing or expire date if any, and surely I found one and it read: Expire Date Jan’1990.
An original fiction by, Sehul Viras
As I drove my jeep in the office parking lot that Friday morning, there was a sense of joy, a sense of job well done. I had just read my name in the morning newspaper, and now was about to start my 8 hours day at work.
Slowly, as I opened the door to the office building, “Surprise!!!!!!…….Surprise!!!!!!!!!”.
My co-workers and managers all were at door congratulating me and shaking my hand. I have to say, they got me; I was definitely surprised. But I knew lot of them were more surprised and even shocked to hear about what I do, when I am not in the office working.
Jay:( my manager, spoke as he came forward): “We want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on successfully solving the case of kidnapped child. We feel honored to be working with a private detective who is also a computer programmer.
Me: Thank you guys, I feel really honored, and thank you all for the surprise.
And a coworker, Alex shouted at top of his voice: “Please let me know if you need a sidekick”.
Me (amused by his joke): I will definitely contact you if ever I need one. I mean I know where your work, right?
And the whole office floor busted into laughter.
I was honored by their surprise and greetings. As as the celebration party started heading back to their desks, I did too, started my long walk towards my cube to burry our heads in the computers again. So starts Friday. Work, meetings emails and unlimited cups of coffee, bathroom breaks, and repeat the whole process. Few hours into the work, I heard a PING sound in through my headphones that almost sent chill down my spine.
That PING sound was of a chat window. Taking my headphones off, as I read the text in the chat windows. It was from Mr. Robert Gale. I responded by typing, “Oh hi Robert, I am doing fine. How’s are you doing?”
And then I responded in text, a “Thank you” for his “Congratulations” response. Hoping that, it would end the chat and I can go back to my work again; but I was wrong, and there was another question from Robert, “Would you be willing to join me for lunch today?“
Mr. Robert Gale was a mystery man in himself. A man of 50 something, a slow talker and definitely not much of a people person. He worked two office down from me. His title was Sr. Hardware Engineer. Despite him working only few feet from each other, I had only visited him once in his office, and that was about 3 years ago when I was a new hire for the company. I remember his office was decorated with few small led lights and bunch of old books on computer hardware. I also remember seeing a picture on his desk, a picture of a rather young lady. At first I presumed that to be his daughter, but later I came to learn during an office party that Mr. Gale did not have any kids.
I heard the PING again, and I realized I still hadn’t answer his question about lunch. After a quick thought, I replied back with, ‘Yes, sure‘. And I had no idea why I agreed.
At about 11:27 AM, I started walking towards Roberts’s office, and found him there sitting in his chair. He look at me, and seemed surprise to see me and smiled.
Robert: You beat me to it, I had plans to come and get your from your office.
Me: Haha, Yes, I beat you to it.
Robert: Great. Well give me a second, as I finish this email.
While waiting, I saw that his office hadn’t changed much since the 1st time I was here. Same old LED lights, a landline phone on his desk, same old books and same picture of a young girl, may be in her 20s.
Robert: Ok, I am done. Ready?
Me: Ready when you are.
As we walked out of his office to the office cafeteria, a place I have always avoided. And as I read the menu, it pretty much was same since the last I was here about 2 years ago. The menu had just one choice, and it : ‘Eat this crap, or drive about 10 miles to a better restaurant.’
So Robert and I got the ‘Eat this Crap…’ and a soda from the menu. Robert took his tray and sat down at a table far near the wall. I joined him with my food tray. As I saw him rearranging the items on his plate in a particular order, he spoke.
Robert: So, I heard that you are a detective. I am impressed.
Me: (….with a faint smile on my face), Well, thank you. But really its not that big of a deal. It something I do when someone brings me a case to look at.
Robert: So does that means you work for the police dept, FBI or what?
Me: Oh’ no. I am a private dectative. People bring me small cases to look at, and I try to find the truth, based on facts and figures. And give my suggestions to lawyers or police whoever is involved.
Robert: Its still imperesive though. Do you get to use some cool gadgets?
Me: I wish. It would be great. But it was also be great if I can get more than 2 hours of sleep in a day.
Robert: So, you try and find the truth! Would you like to hear a case while we are having lunch?
Not sure what Robert meant. But the last thing I needed was another case. Atleast not for few months. I had projects due and Jay has a boot up in mine to meet the deadline.
Me: Well honestly I just want to take a break from new cases now. I don’t have time and resources to take a new one anytime soon. But I appreciate it though.
Robert: I don’t think you got what I said. Let me simplify. I am not hiring you professionally. I would like you to hear an old case, a case that has been closed long time ago. I just want to hear your opinion on it. What do you say. It will be a short good talk on our lunch time. I will make it short and brief, like a story. Say what, you want to hear it?
It all made sense now as to why Robert had asked me to join him for lunch. I don’t know what he expects from me by telling me this old case, but never the less, I am always up for a hearing a mystery story. And after all how hard it could be, I mean he said the case was already closed and the convict was behind bars I guess. So I thought I will give it a hear until lunch time, and if anything it will be fun.
Me: Well, if you insist. Go ahead. But before that I do have to tell you to tell me exactly what you know, how you know it, and not hide or twist any facts or information of this case or story as you said.
Robert: Ok. fair enough. Let me start by asking you this, Do you believe in supernatural power?
Surprised and confused by his question,I answered the best I could.
Me: If by supernatural, you mean ghosts, then no.
Robert: Well, I am sure by end of this story, you probably will. Because the only possible explanation of this case is that of a supernatural.
Me: We will see. But as I said, you have to tell me all, and nothing but the truth. And am not trying to pressure, but if you can do it in about 20-30 minutes, we can make it back to work on time.
As we both started laughing…..but Robert cut short his laugh and spoke.
Robert: Sure, you can expect all the truth. So, this happened in the early months of the year 1980. We had just moved into this new neighborhood. And few days into moving, Martha, my wife and I got to meet out new neighbors, the Spencers. Husband’s name was Martin, he was rather weird, and his wife Jane. Jane was a great lady, and pretty too if you ask me. Jane and Martha became good friends, and often she would come and hang out at our place. But Martin never came to our house, but just once. he never liked us or tried to talk with us as long as he lived.
Me: As long as he lived?, Does that means he is dead now?
Robert: Yes, he died in an accident. A rather horrific one. But I will get to that later. So, as I said Martin was a weird man. And as the time passed, Martha and I realized that Jane was coming to our house more ofter, not to meet Martha or my son Joshua, but she came to our house as an escape from Martin. He was an abusive husband. And a lot of time you could tell by Jane’s face, her voice and her body that she was in pain. This continued for about few years, and during that time Jane was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter, but the face of her daughter didn’t change Martin. He continued to abuse her. He was also a heavy drinker. She also mentioned that Martin was in some kind of voodoo and blackmagic. However I didn’t believe her first, but when I saw these events take place in their house and even in my house, it was hard not to believe about voodoo and blackmagic etc.
Me: What kind of events?
Robert: It was Christmas time, and we invited the Spencers to our christmas party. I remember it was Christmas party because I gave Martha, the something she always wanted, an electronic massaging chair as her christmas gift. At the party, Martin didn’t look happy all. It seemed like he was just there to fill a space in that room. Didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t eat or drink, but he was looking at the massaging chair as if he wanted to steal it or something. But it was only later I realized that he was casting a spell on that chair, you know, Blackmagic! I know this is true, because few weeks after the party my only son, Jousha died on using that massaging chair due to an electric short-circuit. He was 12 years old. Our world turned upside down, and if that was not enough, Martin also casted a spell on my wife too. One day, soon after Jousha’s death, Martha just snapped and lost her sanity . And she started blaming me for Jousha’s death. I had to put her in a Psychiatric Institution, an asylum. She is there since many years now. She sends me christmas card every year, with some Bible verses on them.
Me: I am sorry to hear about you son and what happened to your wife. So, what became of the Martin & Jane Spencer?
Robert: I tell you, who lives by the sword dies by the sword. And Martin met his fate, he died in a house fire later that year. He was drunk and alone when his house caught fire. I tell you, the moment we moved in their neighborhood, I could sense he was up to something fishy and bad. He took away my son, my wife and my world. He made Jane’s life miserable. He deserved what he got, a gruesome death.
Robert: (after a long pause….) So what do you think?
Me: About what?
Robert: About this incident I told you. You said you look at facts when you investigate. How would you be able to explain this incident? I want to know what you think.
Me: Well, there’s nothing we can do about this. As you said, the case was already closed.
Robert: But still, I insist to know your thoughts? Do you think Martin killed my son, and cast a spell upon my wife, and that he died practicing some voodoo ritual in his room?
At this point I knew Robert was not going to leave this topic until he hear something from me. Something he is expecting to hear, he just want me to confirm that thing that’s already in his mind. But I had one doubt I wanted to clarify, and for that I would had to ask him a question, but at the right time at the right moment.
Me: So what happened of Jane…? Have you seen her since?
Robert: (with an ease on his face….) Jane moved to North Dakota, she lives up there now and works as a…
And as Robert was in the middle of his sentence, I shot an unexpected question.
Me: And what did you say the name of your daughter was?
And right when he spoke, his face grew pale and he knew he made a mistake.
Robert: Well, (..trying to correct his previous answer) I mean Ali is Jane’s daughter. I had a son, Joshua. He died when he was 12 years old. I think I mentioned it, didn’t I?
Me: Yes you did. My bad.
Robert: So what do you think?
Me: Well, I think its about time to get back to work? Don’t you think Robert we should leave this topic here? What do you think?
And as I expected this time, he didn’t insist of asking my opinion about his story.
Robert: Yes, there’s no point talking about past events. And the lunch break is almost over. You go ahead, I have to run an errand.
Me: Ok. Thank you for buying my lunch.
And as I got up, I could see sweat on his forehead, and his eye focused dead straight on me, and mine on him.
Robert: No problem. You are welcome.
And that evening, when I got up to leave I walked passed Robert’s office and I saw he had already left for the day. Everything on his desk still as it was, but the only thing missing from his desk was the picture of that young girl. And as I drove my jeep across the packing lot and on to the long road back home, I turned off the FM radio and started answering questions my subconscious mind had created after hearing Robert’s story.
Robert chose me to tell his, because…… he wanted to see if his crime was still foolproof. He was rather proud of his plan, murders committed in plain sight to make them looked like accidents. he was proud that his plan had been undetected even after two decades. He chose to narrate his story to me because he wanted the feeling of accomplishment of getting away with a perfect crime.
It was all matter of connecting the dots. All the right dots. There was no voodoo, magic or spell. As Jane visited Robert’s house more often to escape her an abusive husband, she and Robert grew closer, and she found in Robert what she could not find in Martin. Jane and Robert crossed the boundaries of their marriage, and Jane become pregnant. I assume that Martin knew about this, and later on so did Martha.
Robert and Jane confused lust for love, and they realized that they were still married to their spouses. And Robert knew something had to be done for them to live together.
Robert gave Martha, an electric massaging chair as a Christmas gift. For someone who has a degree in hardware engineer and works with computer chips and circuit boards for living, it wouldn’t have been hard for Robert to rewire the massaging chair circuit, to make it look like and electrical accident. The trap that was created for his wife Martha, but instead his son died when he used that chair. Martha, could not take the pressure of and Jousha’s death, and Robert cheating on her with her friend Jane. She lost here sanity.
Now Martin was the only roadblock. Martin being a heavy alcoholic, it would have not been new for him to pass out. One day when Martin would have had passed out due to heavy drinking, Jane left the house giving Robert the keys to her house. Robert again created an electric circuit failure that caused fire while Martin was still in the house. Jane was involved with Robert all the way. Their plan was successful, and Robet made it look like accidents.
The young girl in the picture on Robert’s desk was of Ali, Jane’s daughter from her relationship with Robert.
As the weekend passed, and monday morning approached. I started the same old long drive to office again. All the way, I was thinking as to what would Robert say to me or I to him if we run into each other in office. I parked my car under the shade and walked towards my desk passing Robert’s office. Robert was not in his office.
Few minutes into office, I see an email from Jay, our manager. The high priority email called for and emergency meeting in 5 minutes in the conference room. And I made my way into the conference room. It was full with about 20 to 25 people. And everyone stopped their chit chat when Jay began to speak.
Jay: Good morning all of you. I will make it short and quick, because I know how eager you all are eager to get back to work. Pun Intended….hahaha. Well, I have called this emergency meeting, to inform you that our Mr. Robert Gale, our Sr. hardware guy, has informed me via an email this morning that has to quit his job with us due to personal and health issues. So at this point we will be looking for a new engineer. But until then we might have to outsource Robert’s unfinished projects to another company. So hope you all won’t mind coordinating with the outside team to get the work done on time. That all I got, unless anyone has a question. No one? Ok, you all are dismissed.
And as I turned around to walk out of the door, I heard Jay call my name. And I turned around and looked at him.
Jay: Would mind helping out by packing all the stuff from Robert’s office? We would have to mail those to his house, since he won’t be coming back to clean his desk and take his things away anyways.
Me: Sure, I will do it.
Jay: Great. You know where we keep cardboard boxes, Right?
Me: Yes, in the stationery room.
Jay: Perfect. Thank you.
I walked into Robert’s office with two empty boxes, and as I started emptying his desk and drawers of files, magazines, old books, and certificates from the walls; something fell off from one of his old books. I picked it up and saw it was a christmas card, and it read,
Over the years, as I have grown older and hopefully a bit matured, I’ve realized that one thing I am in constant and regular need of is ‘GRACE’.
In 28 years, many a times I have stood in front of the Lord, or people, or sometimes even my own reflection in the mirror with my head down and eyes filled with shame. The thought in my mind during such times was, What will be the consequences of my action(s)?. But somewhere in the back of my head, I was hopefully expecting grace.
God, chose to show Grace towards me through the Cross.
People, though are unpredictable, have blown my socks away. If I can find a weighting scale big enough to weight the punishments Vs Grace shown to me by people in my life; Grace will out-weighted the punishments.
So here I am, a convict, a sinner, a mistake-maker; receiving Grace from not just from God, but also his people. How selfish it would be for me to keep it to myself and not to share what I have freely received.
We are called to be like Christ, but let’s all agree its impossible. And yet, there are characteristics of Christ we can choose to live out and show. Grace being one of them.
My prayer is that if you have been shown grace, then do pass it forward to someone else. And when choosing for someone between a Consequence and Grace; if possible, let it be Grace. Because that’s what you and I will expect if we are in their shoes.
image src: http://qualitylivingmadesimple.com/what-is-grace/
This month I found myself to be a bit angry for couple of reasons:
An upcoming deadline required me to work an hour extra at my job.
I’ve been searching for red color Brake Calipers covers for my car in shops and online, and found nothing but disappointment.
And in the midst of this, I was randomly invited by a friend to attend a single mens’ bible study. And I went. And here I am sitting with bunch of single dudes ranging in age from 18 to 35, wearing work shoes to crocs. Clean shaved to a complete homeless look. A prayer, followed by quick introduction followed by few of them sharing their testimonies and finally the finale – Sharing what’s each of us are going through in our lives – prayer request or praises!
I have Attention Deficit Disorder, I think so. And I was #4th or #5th in the line to share the prayer request. As the first person started sharing what he’s been going through in his life, at this point instead of paying attention I started thinking about what I was going to share when it would be my turn. I started making mental bullet-points of all things and how I would say it wheits my turn to speak. About a minute or two of thinking, I had a short but very cliché prayer request. Now that I was done with my mental list, I started paying attention to what others were sharing, and as the minutes went by, I heard a various problems, pains etc that each of these men were facing in their lives.
Someone was molested as a child by his father and is still haunted by those memories. While other was a homosexual trying hard to find his way back. One was trying to reconcile with his wife who on day left her wedding ring on the table, and left. While someone’s dad was suicidal.
One of them was fighting a hereditary disease. While someone’s sibling was disowned by his parents. One was in trauma because of death of many family and friends. And someone was supporting his sister and her baby financially and trying to reconcile her with parents etc.
About 3 or 4 people’s story later, I experienced something in long time -– moisture in my eyes. It was my turn to share, and to be honestly my only prayer request that day was that I was stressed result of working an hour extra. Don’t get me wrong, I do have my share of pains and prayers that keeps me awake at night, but this was the moment I realized I how blessed I am. And I exactly knew why I was randomly invited to this bible study, because so that I can learn few things that day.
I was reminded that…..
Everyone is fighting a battle, be it Personal, Physical, Spritutual, Financial or Relational, but everone’s fighting.
Human psychological is that, we find our comfort zone with people who are similar to us, to avoid the vacuum of awkwardness, and difference etc. I want to learn to break out of that psychological mold and meet people who share nothing in common with me. Because there’s a lot to be learned, experienced and taught. With difference comes a much wider understanding.
Help people. If we boil down the Bible to its bone, its 1st God loves us, and 2nd We, the people, need help . Let’s extend that love and grace to others who are going through hard battles than you and I are. Lets be of some help, be it wiping their tears, giving them a shoulder to cry on, or if anything just praying for them.
At this point, I am still looking for brake covers in red color. Hopefully I will find them soon.
If you would have asked me a month ago, if I see myself riding or owning a motorcycle; I would have said, “May be when Pigs fly”. But some pigs flew when my Dad offered me to buy one. Long story short, he didn’t give me anything on my birthday so he offered me to buy one. I guess it was his guilt and my luck.
But there was one problem. I didn’t had a Motorcycle license yet. So the dream of cruising open road was far way.
“Oh boy, DMV visit are so fun” - No one. Visiting the DMV for my Motorcycle License. It was a combination of long line, rain and me inhaling a lot of 2nd hand smoke from people smoking around me. It took about half work-day just to get a simple piece of paper. But hey, DMV employees are humans too and they try to help as many people as they can with whatever means they have. So no hard feelings.
Few weeks later a Harley Pin and a HOG Patch arrived in mail. I guess I am officially initiated as a member of HOGs now. Now only to grow a mustache, get a ridiculous tattoo that reads ‘Only God Will Judge Me’, chew tobacco, buy a sleeveless leather jacket, speak trash with my heavy east-Indian accent and may be beat up someone. Just kidding.
My good friend Lee and I went riding yesterday. I didn’t bring my bike so had to ride his Honda.
So overall this 1st month of being a motorcycle owner has been fun. But do come back for more pictures and blogs in Motorcycle Diaries as I ride my bike around on service roads and see new frontiers, make new friends or get pulled over etc.
Read this today and something about it made me think. I think these seven points covers almost every area under the Sun, be it Physical, Moral, Financial and most important – Spiritual acpect of life and how we, the people are affected by them. Although they are called 7 Deadly Social Sins, Gandhi called them the 7 Blunders of the World.
Politics without principle.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Knowledge without character.
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Worship without sacrifice.
– M.K. Gandhi, 1925
If I say I work with the most amazing people in the world, it probably would be an understatement. They bring out the best in me. These are some of the smartest people I have ever met in my life. They absolutely love what they do. Being said that, let me also add that there’s a thin line between observing and judging, and I don’t cross that line. By no means I am qualified or authorized to do that…. # Matthew 7:1-5.
But I like to observe people, and below are some of my observations while working with geeks in software programming world.
Number one reason of hair loss and high blood pressure in nerds is when the internet connect is down.
When he/she applies for a medical leave, it mostly means getting a lasik eye surgery.
Its said that programmers find solutions while they are in the shower. About 1/3rd of paycheck goes towards paying monthly water-bill if they have a new bug-list to find solution asap.
If he gets a haircut its normal. But a clean shave with a haircut, that means most likely he has a date in the evening. Met her in that IT convention last month. First gift, a pirated copy of Photoshop as a gift on her birthday.
When late for work, a made up reason is that there was traffic jam at on i35. Real Reason, Couldn’t find his glasses.
When there’s a little free time at work: Male geeks are on StumbleUpon.com. Female geeks on Pintrest and StumbleUpon.com
Goes for a bathroom break, it possible means he just put a new software on download. Or, he just wants to go to bathroom. One of these should be true.
His chair is always uncomfortable than his colleague.
Knows where the best lunch deal is for that particular day in week: Only 1 hole punch away on his membership card from getting that free entrée.
When he tells a story in the breakroom about how he stood up against a bully in high school many years ago. That most likely means it never happened. It was an Imaginary fight, just like the movie inception.
Make sure everyone know he’s got called for a jury duty. Emails everyone how he won’t be available due to national duty. Feels hardcore for a week.
Remembers to clear the internet browsing history everyday: Pays $29.99 every month for certain things.
Computer’s running slow: Most probably the hidden hard drive is full of porn, pirated softwares and songs etc.
Talk to the hottest girl in office: Blushes for an entire day.
Been on TV on local news twice in last few years. Was interviewed while was waiting in line for 10hrs outside Best Buy to get that Apple product.
Bought the new Apple gadget. Morning starts with criticizing Apple products. Lunch break consists of opinion about what could have been made better if he was Mr. Steve Jobs.
When on a group lunch, the discussion starts with a technical problem they are facing at work. But somewhere in about 5 minutes, shifts to Star wars, Dark knight and Pikachu etc.
The action figures on the office desk are still inside the box. Untouched and never opened.
All the jokes in The Big Bang Theory are hilarious. Thinks Downtown Abbey is a street in England.
Postpones his root canal surgery so that he use that money to by multi-monitor gaming system for Call Of Duty game and World Of WarCraft.
The inside of his coffee cup has turned to a darker shade than that of a black coffee. The cup was white/creamish when he bought it few years ago.
It is more likely that his blood group would be Red Bull, Monster, M&Ms or pure Caffeine, than A, B, AB or O.
As I said, these are just some funny observations from work.
I don’t read books or novels etc often, but I just finished reading a 59 page book about christian-leadership. It was a gift given to me few years ago.
Main reason I started reading this book during my lunch hour is because: 1) I wanted a reason to avoid daily eating out trips during lunch breaks, and 2) to avoid that middle age cougar at the office who pretty much hits on everyone under the sun.
I want to share few points that that I thought were worth sharing:
Images, and not words, are the language of the new age. – This point makes sense, because I always wait for the movie instead of reading the novel. And if you want to teach, inspire to communicate better with today’s youth, you need to make your communication more visual and less words.
Both Rivers & Floods contains water, and yet one nourishes and other destroys. – I think life when is lived by disciplines , boundaries, rules and fear of God; it will flow like a river, nourishing others around us. If not, then we are the flood.
Whatever you focus on, expands – I try not to judge people in most cases, but honestly I can’t stand those who constantly complain. And its no surprise that they will always feel like a victim because their entire focus is on the very thought that, ‘I am a victim’. . Positively focusing in the right directions, be it a prayer, scriptures, career, new skills, or a future life partner etc will result in expansion of those possibilities.
People will summarized your life in one sentence, its called the Life Sentence – No matter how good, bad, famous or common we are, when people talk about us; and because of the busy nature of the world, they will always summarized our entire life in one or maximum two sentences. Those one or two sentences will depend on how we are living or have lived. A good example for this would be, the man who funded & founded the Noble Peace Prize. Because he didn’t want people to talk about him as ‘The man who invented dynamites and enabled people to kill each other more efficiently.’
So, the questions that we should ask ourselves:
1) Am I a river or a flood?
2) What am I focusing on in my life? What I want to expand and what to shrink?
3) What would I like my life sentence to be?