Sunday, March 31, 2013

The short journey.

I walk into the town  hoping to pick up some weekly supplies-the empty town stares back at me with a few people like me carrying small paper bags.A ' ninety nine P' shop manned by bangladeshi men are the only ones open.I try to pick a few things I plan to juggle through the week with the canteen fare.The bus stand looks empty.There is a single cab in the taxi stand.I walk up to it and unlike the other cabbies who immediately jump out to help this one stays behind the wheels.Even as I say,'the hospital'I understand why.
His eyes are blood-shot yellow and he looks frial.Even as the music blares I ask him ,'All the shops are closed during easter are they?He is an afro-british and tells me in his british accent -'easter is the only time in the year when everything is closed in this country'.I ask 'not even Christmas,he says-'not even christmas!'The country seems to know it's priority well.
I wonder why he is on the wheels during easter.The journey is too short.Even as I pay him the fare,I ask for his permission to give him a tract,he receives it with grace and puts it on his shield.I ask him,'Are you a christian?He says,'I used to be'.I have no time for further conversation so I wish him a happy easter and fare him well.
The doctor in me looking at him can tell that he does not have much of a journey left in hand-my sincere prayer is he will find his way back home by the power of resurrection that brought Jesus out from the grave to the heaven above.
Happy Easter! Christ has risen!.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I am so glad Jesus set me FREE...

Easter is the day when Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross to pay for my and your past ,present and future sins,triumphed over death and he rose again to sit at the right hand of God interceding on your and my behalf.
The victory was won on the cross.We are justified before God the father because of Christ's sacrifice and we are FREE.......
It is a cause for celebration,it is a cause for proclamation..every man alive has the right to know that the price has already been paid ..and He is free to be what He is meant to be in Christ.

''But the resurrection points to an even greater truth: Death has now been conquered! The grave is not the end, but heaven's doors are now open! Jesus is alive, and He wants to come into your life today. Why not discover this great truth for yourself by turning to Christ today?''-
BILLY GRAHAM

Amen and thank you Lord Jesus.

Another week!

Last week has had it's set of challenges.Half way through the rounds my boss took me aside to let me know that the offer to work another year was open.I warily asked him for some time to consider the offer.He said,' take your time'.I have a month to answer him.
I wrote a letter to my ED in Delhi about it and his reply went in the lines of  'your welfare is the priority'.
That is what touches me about the organisation I belong to.It has a soul.Thank God for my seniors.
I am undecided and keeping things in prayer not entirely sure how another year is going to benefit me.
I have ,as have always done, asked the counsel of some of the seniors.
I try to think how another year is going to benefit me.
For one,I would like to publish one book atleast which seems to be more of a possibility here-may be I could do it in another six months.
I could travel a little more,widen my horizons a little more.....
I am not sure I will learn much if things continue the way it is going.
Tomorrow is easter...Oprah is driving me to church....Happy Easter!Perhaps I will get some leading there.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hossana-'save now!'

It is saturday morning and all of us are in the kitchen cooking an impromptu meal and eating while it's cooking,catching up on old times.Suddenly from the door Ojasvi enters carrying a leaflet ,waving it and shouting,'Hossanna ,Hossana.....'
Anu asks,'what does it mean?-Dinesh says ,-it's something from the bible-I am trying to decipher the exact meaning when Ojasvi starts explaining to her mother-'Mommy you know when Lord Jesus was entering Jerusalem on a donkey ,his friends and disciples were standing by the road-side carrying palm leaves to welcome Him and that is when they were shouting-Hossana!Hossana!'
That started Anu asking me,'Why did Jesus die on the cross?'
I tried explaining things in simplest terms as possible and then one thing lead to other and I found myself sharing my testimony with her.
I have often asked the Lord-why have you brought me all the way to England?
If it is to share the gospel and see hossana in the lives of my friend and her lovely family ,It will be more than worth it .
Oh Lord Jesus,how immense is your love !

Where do my solutions lie?

It is nine o'clock at night.The temperature is dipped down to sub-zero levels.Anu has turned the heating to 30 degrees and yet I am stretched out before the fireplace with my feet sticking into the gas fire.Anu and Dinesh spread out the dinner on the carpet next to me.Ojasvi is on the sofa stretched out .Suddenly she gets up from her position and prances around restlessly,half moaning,half pleading,just these words-Mommy! mommy! mommy!Anu is on her feet asking frantically ,'Ojasvi,what's wrong beta?
She just pleads Mommy,...mommy...mommy even as she prances around.
Anu discovered her little toe had another small injury.She showed Anu exactly how the hinge on the door had hurt her.She had hurt her finger the other day in the classroom.
She was tired,she hurt ,she was sleepy,she was uncomfortable but that eloquent little child could just put one word to the discomfort,'She wanted her Mommy.'
Lord Jesus had a similar solution to all his struggles,the solution was with 'His Father'.
Where do my solutions lie?

It is allright to cry when it hurts.

In school the other day Ojasvi stuck her forefinger under a closing desk.She told me that it hurt badly and she cried until Mrs X noticed and took her to the infirmery and stuck a bandaid.
'You know Chering,there is a clot below my nail and when the clot dries, it forms a scab'-
I know how painful crushing one's finger below the onslaught of a closing desk can be,it can make a fully grown person faint.
I told Ojasvi that and she replied with a sad expression on her face-'But I cried'.
I found myself saying,
'It is allright to cry when it hurts.'
How I needed to understand that myself.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Accompaniment.

Every month without fail the telephone call comes.I find myself blabbering down the line while a part of me wonders,'who is this?'I don't recognise myself,the whining,the complaining,the weeping,sometimes very rarely the sensible sharing.It's my friend Sheba.She listens,she apologises,she sighs......and then she talks sensibly about her challenges,her struggles..,her joys ,her lovely family.....never whining,never complaining,just sharing...
and then she says,'Chering we are proud of you'.I wonder why.
She shares from her spiritual walk and we pray together.
Persistantly,consistantly,almost like Jesus.

The knock ,that I think was heard in heaven.

When I was doing my post-graduation in a christian institute we had a junior doctor's fellowship.We used to get-to-gether every friday evening for a time of praying ,singing and sharing the word together.We had a senior amongst who used to knock every door along the corridor with a question,' A,are you coming?'
Some of us were prompt in answering and immediately responded whereas there were some who did not.She never stopped .It was the same question in the same tone.It was never judgemental,never impatient.
Every friday she would without fail knock at every door,call out the names and ask,'A,are you coming?
There was one particular friend of ours who was very rigid in her ways and did not respond to the call for a long time.One day she responded and she testified about the persistant knock that got through to her.
She did not live long.She succumbed to a bone malignancy while we were doing our post-graduation still.
I should like to think that the knocks of my faithful senior were heard in heaven.

The Laundry

I book a machine,put in my cash card ,the door opens.I empty my bag of the week's laundry and set it going.I leave the place to do other errands on a saturday afternoon.Half an hour later I come back,the laundry is still in the process.I try to stop short the process because I am impatient and think it is enough poking and prodding for now.It does not stop.I give up and then watch the fascinating process the clothes go through before it finishes the entire cycle and is ready to be put into the dryer.
I feel a strange sense of peace even as I give up the thought of short-circuiting and wait and watch fascinated, the process of my clothes becoming clean
The big lessons in life are learnt while we watch ,listen, and wait.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When life gives you a lemon.

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Chering Tenzing

"Because He lives"
The other day I decided to go to the lakeside for an outing.
If you know me that would require quite a bit of discipline from my side.I am the sort of person who will go for a holiday to whatever place but will be the happiest to curl in my bed with a book,albeit whatever location.
The lakeside was a lakeside with a lake ,a cinema multiplex,a restaurant and a host of water sports which did not look like it would take off because of the famous english weather.The ducks added some activity to the placid lake.I walked along the pier,took some photographs and just hung around hoping to see that 'ah' scenery the nature often flings on you unawares.
I went through the movies going on in the cinema-there was Taken2,Halloween.....and some others.It did not inspire me to invest three hours of my precious life in it.
The cold and the scratchy breakfast I had had reminded me that it was time for lunch.
I chose to enter a family type of restaurant .There was a whole host of variety in the menu but I opted for the time tested traditional fish and chips with a hot chocolate.There was the fish and the fries and a helping of fresh salad and a piece of lemon on my plate.I dug into my food with a family of a mother with a three year old to give me company.
The food was delicious and heart warming.
It was that piece of lime on my plate that gave me a food for thought.I love the flavour of lime and more so that of the rind.Somewhere along my meal I found myself cutting my piece of lime and tucking them with the rind because that is how I like them.That was when I realised that my expression was being watched closely by the lady next to me to see if I had a twinge of change in expression at the starkness of the taste.I had none.I enjoyed the flavour.The lemon with the rind ,et al complimented the fish and chips for me.
I continued eating my lunch and popping in pieces of lemon into my mouth as well.
The lady stopped staring after sometime.I enjoyed my meal.
Then it struck me .
Life will give you lemon as it invariably does.When life gives you lemon what do you do with it?You cut it,taste it ,eat it and don't avoid the cover just because that is what everyone else does,it might be the bit which will cure your cancer and complete your meal.

'One liners that stay with you forever.'

My memory of Satbarwa is a maze of different colours-I am not sure which colours would suit which part in my life because it is forever surprising me with odd memories which  I think forever changed the person I was to become.All of it is precious and when I look back I would not change it for anything in the world.If I had one word to describe my time there, it would be,'intense'.
I remember my ED then,observing me at work and telling me,'Chering ,don't hold yourself back,that is what the juniors observe and that is what they will do.'
Somewhere along the way it stayed at the back of my mind.
In last but one year of my life we were organising a get-to-gether for the villagers in our campus and while we organised it, my SAO who was from another campus observed,'How is it that all the staffs and the people involved are putting all their effort into the process ,they are working to the point of collapsing'.
We in the mission circles are good service providers,but we still have a lot of work to do in equiping and releasing people to their fruitful best.Jesus said ,'Go and make disciples ......'He did not say ,come we will run our institutions and organisations as smoothly as possible.'
May that mind of Jesus be our inheritance where he said 'greater work than this you will do....'
We will be truly free then.
After all christianity is full of paradoxes and I believe, this is one as well.
As another senior told me long ago,'We need to open our fist and keep our palms open to recieve.'

Few good men behind the bars!

Today even as I sit on my bed with the day stretched out before me I close my eyes and listen to the sound of the day around me.The faint steady buzz of my computer ,cars moving in a distance ,twitter of a few birds in a distance.Even as I open my yahoo India page the headlines read ,'Sanjay Dutt granted five years term in jail for Mumbai bomb blast case.'There is a twitt fron Pritish Nandy which says ,'It is going to destroy him,-what a prophet of doom!
There used to be a time in my younger years I used to be a fan of the family and used to follow the story closely.In the plastic world of Mumbai film industry being destroyed would I guess be losing out on fame and money but there is ofcourse the dreaded time out amongst the criminals in the prison.And ofcourse he would not be able to have that precious time with himself...the sort I am having now or will he?
Some of the greatest writings and greatest vocations were discovered behind the confines of a jail for whatever reasons they might have been there.
My sincere prayer is even as the ruthless hands of justice continues to create a havoc in his life and the life of his family Sanjay Dutt will find his vocation in life.From what I gather,he is a good man,presumably he can think.
We could do with a few good men unsurpressed by the bondages of social fetter and who can think ,behind the bars.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Clarity.

'You know Chering,I have an unseen friend.' said Ojasvi.
What's your friend's name,I asked out of curiosity.
'Rudy!' she said.
But I know Rudy-I told her.
She said,'I know'.
The last time I was in Anu's place I had dozed off on my bed.I woke up to Ojasvi's-sweet,'Rudy,this is Chering!' I lazily opened one eye and to my utter embarrassment stared at a pair of green eyes of one of the cleaners.
I dived into the covers and remained there for the rest of the time.
'You know Chering',Ojasvi told me further.'I have this lovely diary and a pen covered with jewels and Rudy is jealous of me because of that'.
I was really intrigued to hear the word jealous from a child of her age so I asked her,'Ojasvi ,what is being jealous?'
Her answer was simple enough.
'Wanting something someone has badly.'
She even had an illustartion for it.
She told me that she was jealous of two of her friends in class,H and A because they were first and second in class and she was third.
 

tete tete.

I wake up to the sound of Anu and Dinesh talking to each other in their bedroom next doors.It is six in the morning and it brings joy to my heart.
Reminds me of parents.I can remember forever choosing to take the bedroom right next door to my parents whenever I went home for the holiday.Their tete tete starts from 3o'clock in the morning in a comfortable companionship before each of them enter their prayer time ,to start the day.Mom gets up a little earlier.Dad follows around an hour later,his tea and his porridge eaten he goes for his walk.
He enjoys having us for company.Now I believe my uncle who lives three kilometers away comes to pick him up every morning(By the way he is my mother's brother,and they get along like house on fire.).He must be in his late seventies and my dad is in his mid-eighties.
Mangan is heaven personified.It's a little paradise where you hear the birds singing,the crickets chirping,the flowers blooming,the sun shining ,people smiling from ear to ear from the heart.
I am just going forty,both my parents are double my age but they seem to be so full of energy.I ask at the end of the day,'Don't you feel tired?Don't you have aches and pain?My dad,the evergreen Paul Newman says smugly ,'No'.My mom says her knee troubles her.
I for one am beat and need a nap badly.
Mangan is a laid back town.There is really no rush for anything there.Everything has a rythemn and moves to it.The unconditional love of the parents and family make it even so.
In Brentwood Anu enters my bedroom to say goodbye for the morning as she rushes early to work so that she can join Ojasvi for the concert later.
I tell Anu,'Don't rush Anu,take time to enjoy your family.
She smiles.
I can already see that she is getting there.
One does not have to be old to get the wisdom of the age.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MMMmmmmmmm!

I asked Anu not to pick me up because I wanted to try the bus-route.I saw Billericay ,a huge town which even had a TITAN office.I dropped off at the Hutton village stop and started walking.A lady directed me to keep walking in rounds.I followed the road until a diversion stood before me.I decided to take the church lane.It led me to the Hutton All saints church,extremely beautiful and an old structure.Even as I absorbed the architecture I noticed a gentleman bending down on the grass in the lawn,partially hidden by the fence.I shouted across the boundary ,he did not respond at first ,then suddenly he looked up ,offered a profound apology.He said he was partially deaf.It was then that I noticed he had a camera in his hand and he was trying to photograph something on the ground.
He gave me a detailed direction which I received at once with a lot of gratitude.It was a beautiful walk in the country side ,beyond the Park lane.There lay the familiar Hutton free church,a landmark to identify Anu's place.A few paces more and I walked into the compound which has been a home away from home in a foreign land.... the smell of mint palau and rajma...cooked between the busy schedule of commuting between work and home...it could't get better.

the pause before the applause.

i went to ojasvi's annual concert today.they had a line up of musicals with the form one singing raindrop on roses right up to a song on jonah in the fishes belly to end up with a palm sunday number on jesus rode a donkey to town.
it was a very sweet lining of tiny tots doing everything they possibly could.
the part i liked was that poignant pause after the performance when the tiny tots would expectantly wait for the applause to come.the expression was worth watching,and also the way they sang the part,'when i don't feel so sad.'there was a little genious Max who played the piano brilliantly-he could not have been more than five years old.
there were also two very important looking five year olds who were the stage managers and after each performance went around the stage organising the stands ,et al.
just watching the children being allowed to be on stage performing for an audience can be so very revealing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Athanasian Creed

(Athanasian creed for which the church fathers,I believe were tortured and maimed.)

Athanasian Creed




1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; 2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. 3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; 4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. 5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. 6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. 7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. 8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. 9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. 10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. 11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal. 12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. 13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty. 14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. 15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; 16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. 17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; 18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. 19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; 20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords. 21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. 22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. 23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. 24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. 25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another. 26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal. 27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. 28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. 29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. 31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. 32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. 33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. 34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. 35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. 36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. 37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; 38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; 39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty; 40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; 42. and shall give account of their own works. 43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. 44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
 

'Learning theology from the Theos.'

I remember vividly my senior texting me to prepare a short talk on 'calling 'to be shared with some medical students.
I had no idea what I was to share and I was praying on my couch in Herbertpur asking the Lord.I asked specifically,' Lord what is your calling in my life'?
Suddenly out of the blue came the response,'You are called to participate in ''the intimacy of Trinity'''.
I felt such a release as one often does when the Holy spirit breaks through to us.
That was the one line message ,as abstract as it sounds I had from the Lord.
The more I dwell on it ,the more I understand what a profound and a crux message it was.
I always cringe in the retrospect whenever the Holy spirit prompts because the more I dwell in it ,the more I realise my inadequacy to carry the revelations He gives us when we wait on Him.
The relationship with the trinity was the heart of Creation, reason for Redemtion....and the initiation and the destination for any ministry,relationship and life as it is meant to be.
It is also our identity and the solid rock (Christ)on which we stand and our ministry flows .
Unless our ministry is an out-flow from the fellowship,how will we understand it's heartbeat and it's agenda?
We hardly hear much preached or talked about this.
The last I heard a ranting on trinity was from a man of another faith trying to justify that christians worship three Gods instead of one.
Now I have my hands on an introduction to theology with the help of church fathers which I picked up from Inverness and the book is all about it.
I remember praying and crying before the Lord-'I have noone to help me understand your Word,you be my teacher and my instructer'.
The Lord heard my prayer and continues to instruct ,revealing first and then explaining as I go along.
I say I am inadequate and He says I am your adequacy,
I say I am poor and he says I am your wealth,
I say I am a woman and He says you are my child,
I say I am retricted,He says I gave my life to set you free,
I say I am no theologian,I have no degree,He says remember it is about 'ME'.
Praise Him whose grace is all there is to it.




 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prayers of my friends.

This weekend was the walk through fire.I was to be incharge of the entire acute medical unit for two full days with the two juniors doing the rounds for the monitered beds which is the tougher bit with the consultants covering the either ends.
Friday was the usual take until a tough looking asthmatic came huffing and puffing into the AMU reffered by the GP.We started off with the usual nebs and steroids but half way through his saturations dipped and he started screaming his head off.I thought he was about to have a tamponade or something.His ECG had been fine,his gasses were allright.The med reg was hovering around ,so I  immediately called him for help.He took charge and asked me to call the HDU,while he ordered for mag sulphate and aminophyllines to be given.The HDU consultant came with a junior,wheeled the man to the HDU,started an arterial line and continued with the nebulisers.Eventually he did not require an intubation.I felt a little sheepish at the end of the day.
We've done it all in our hospitals but there is a way to do it and you have to follow the way of the trust.
Saturday I apprehensively walked into the AMU and found an extremely efficient junior posted with me.We had our hands full,starting with a diagnosis of dissection in hand to a young lady admitted as pyelonephrites but found to have six toothbrushes in her tummy with a low saturation,there was a man with bilateral pulmonary embolism on warfarin with a hematoma in the abdominal wall and an INR of eight ,another with a trifacsicular block,a lady with fast Atrial flutter and fibrillation running a rate of 140 to 160 on diltiazem 240mg BD,digoxin 250mic,and on amiodarone infusion,a man with a GCS of 8/15,with dementia,sepsis with severe jaundice who turned out to have probable Ca pancreas with fully blocked biliary canal who needed a stent.At the end of the day he was walking all over the wards,I did not even recognise him.There was another with a sinister presentation of SOB without a cause and a blood pressure of 194/80 on one hand and 140/74 on the other with a funny AR murmur heard all over the precordium.There was no chest pain.The radiologist agreed to do a fast track CT angio.There was another gentleman whose heart rate was running a steady 35-40 in a sinus rythem without a cause with normal trops.He grinned his way through on salbutamol nebs for the next two days and it went on ,day became night and the night gave way to day-we saw dramatic recoveries and thanked the Lord,the last hour I found myself in the Marjorie warren ward for the elderly to asses the mental capacity of a lady with dementia...there Ruby all of ninety five was waiting to rib me...she sang away ,uninhibitted,joyfully...it sounded like, nursery rhyme to me...while I tried to make some sense of the paper forms before me ,my eyes fell on a flower vase with beautiful flowers and a  copy of a New testament placed beautifully on the window sill of the ward,the first I had seen in the hospital.
Yes,I said tomyself,the hand of the Lord has been with me..in my first week-end take in the trust.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

'It's a Christian,I presume'.

The other day I was reading about David Livingstone.All my life ,I have in many ways looked up to him,so much so that the first idea of donning a white coat in life came from the biographies of Livingstone and Sweitzer.David Livingstone in reality was branded a failure by the world.It was Stanley of 'Dr Livingstone I presume', fame who when he went in search of Livingstone, brought back reports that changed the entire impression.
More than the testimony of Stanley were his faithful African friends who had been with him in Africa ,who expressed their impression of him by taking Livingstone's heart out from his body and burying it in Africa even as they brought his body back to the pomp and fare of the glorius funeral England had arranged for him.
That I guess is the paradox of christian life.
The ultimate picture of Christ ,-'it never mattered to Him'........
The picture of His disciples...'till it does not matter to us'....the work on us will continue ...

Friday, March 15, 2013

The man whose blood every sane Indian had bayed for.

The other day I saw a piece of news item saying Ram Singh who was the chief accused in the high profile Delhi rape case had comitted suicide in Tihar jail.This was the man whose blood every sane Indian had been baying for when the news hit the frontline,so much so that it caught the eye of the western world as well.Uncommon occurence, considering how many woman get raped and brutally murdered every day.
The first reaction I had when I heard the news was a painful pang,a sinking feeling...the thought that the news that somebody else had already died for his sins had not reached him.
'For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.'-John 3 vs17.

A great man of God,a born hindu while giving his testimony about his discovering Christ and becoming His disciple was sharing how after he had read the bible and the Holy spirit had convicted him asked his friends in the office,'How come you never told me?'
That question reverbates along the corridor as much as Christ's...'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in(Mathew 25,vs 35)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You are worth weight in gold.

'You are worth weight in gold','what a lovely face you have','you have just the right job you know?''Are you married?,lucky girl!''God bless you'.This was Doris 92 years old lady with dementia,living with her daughter in law.She was brought in with incessant diarrhoea of nine days duration.She repeated the above lines after every two minutes.
The nurses cynically handed the patient over to me saying the relatives had to leave because they had not eaten their dinner!
Doris started telling me about her life,how she had brought up her children on her own ,how her husband liked the pub life a bit too much,spent all the money there.Curiosity made me ask about her husband and she said he's still alive.She suddenly screwed her face and said ,'I don't know where my husband is?I don't remember,she looked terribly distressed and said 'Isn't this terrible,I don't remember.
Her pain and confusion was writ large on her face.I found myself asking immediately,do you pray?Her face cleared and with a big smile she said coyly,'yes I pray to the Lord and He looks after me!'
I started weeping quietly by her side amazed at a love so divine ,so clear,so real...able to reach out to the coldest of places.
Doris,what an amazing God you have!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just a day at work.

It snowed hard today.There was a thin blizzard even as I walked towards the AMU.It was a monday it did not feel like one.I am walking towards a working weekend and I am looking towards it with a certain amount of anticipation and restfulness.Apparently we do the rounds for the monitered beds which is the tougher bit but that's how we learn.
Dr Samuel was post-taking today so it's like seeing someone from home.
Today I saw a patient embolising before my eyes.It was a frightening experience seeing a young gentleman in his forties going into a spasm even as his beautiful wife looked on.That was apparently the fourth time he'd had a similar episode.One big victory all of us gloat over is getting the radiologists on your side and they are a tough nut especially on night calls.For every CT/MRI requested at night you have to sell your case to the consultant radiologist on call.They call back the department and then it moves.The man had S1,Q3,T3 with RV strain pattern.We were anticipating a large embolus which would need thrombolysis.He was grossly hypoxic and mildly acidotic with a lactate which was above normal,somehow the radiologist agreed.Normally they would have asked us to give the treatment dose of clexane and then book for CT the next day.The first question the patient asked me when I told him about his condition was ,'Now I can't go for my holiday to US at the end of the year can I?
I handed the case over to my colleague one hour past my duty hour-a perfectly sweet englishman,never fails to amuse and impress me with his professionalism and sense of humour. He saw to it that I had repeated the ABG at the end of the day and yet managed to sound  so concerned that it was well past my bed-time.I could only grin in admiration.
There are so many things one needs to learn from the English.
There was another patient with GAVE syndrome who had ten co-morbidities,CKD-3,DM-2,Monoclonnal gammopathy of unknown origin,ulcerative colites with an illeostomy bag ,IHD and it just went on.....He presented with low Hb,secondary to maelena for more than seven years,he gets two transfusions every month,he had had one two weeks back....so I had to do some acrobatics there.
Then there was that 92 years old lady with AKI and AF with fast ventricular rate who had an AMT of 10/10.Had been declared unrecoverable the last time she had come in but she was sharper than most of us.She had outlived two husbands ,wore two golden wedding rings on her finger ,only her hyperkalaemia was 'oh so stubborn'.Other cases were predictable....as I walked back to my apartment at the end of the day...I was deeply satisfied...I must have lost a couple of pounds..by the way how many KGs is that?
 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Counting my pennies.

It's almost ten o'clock.It's been one of those busy days when I have not had the time to catch my breathe.I could do with a drink of something.I dive into my handbag and wonder if I have enough of change in me.I take out a fistful of coins and I start counting.My colleague who has just come in to take over, comments from one corner-'That's a lot of money!'.Actually it's not ,it's a lot of five and ten pences and I need one pound forty pence for a cold milkshake.I make it by a scratch but that has all of us grinning from ear to ear in a moment of cammadarie.
It is fascinating how simple threads of vulnerbility brings out the best in us.
Just this afternoon I had to go food-shopping.Having missed my breakfast I entered a cafe,ordered their cod and chips and settled down somewhere comfortable.Got talking with the lady behind the counter about bookshops in the area.A typically regional gentleman entered the cafe.Scrutinised the menu in the cafe for a bit too long and opted for the cheapest fare,after asking the lady a lot of questions .I continued to eat even as my ears were all up listening to the conversation.I felt a little uncomfortable but the kid behind the counter was exceptionally kind.Even as she took the order she must have asked so many times,'Is it all right?'-almost asking without words ,'Do you have enough?'
The sauce we have with our fare normally comes with the meal but here we had to pay 25 pence for two packets.I had taken two and used only one,when I heard the gentleman ask if he could have some sauce.When he heard he had to pay for it he decided not to take any.
I looked at the lady behind the counter put my sauce on the table-top ,cleared my table off my plates and I walked out of the cafe towards the book-shop.My predominant thought was how difficult it must be to be poor in England.
The older I get the more I realise how we need the vulnerable around us.
I have been going through the Gospel of John lately and a senior of mine always used to tell us how that gospel is just so special .......I always thought it was because of the the fifteenth chapter he often used to quote,I realised that one of the reason why it stands out is because John has caught the vulnerability of Jesus,the other gospels have perhaps not.
As I walked through the chapters like as though I was in it ,I began to understand ' a little 'of what it must have been like for our Lord.
A hebrew blessing I just learnt, runs something like this,'May the dust of your Rabbi's feet fall upon you'-
It is going to be no different if you really follow Him.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

How lovely are the feet of them who brings good news.

Caste Demographic data reported by the Sachar Committee on Muslim Affairs in 2006[151]
ReligionScheduled CasteScheduled TribeOther Backward ClassForward caste
Buddhism89.50%7.40%0.4%2.7%
Sikhism30.70%0.90%22.4%46.1%
Hinduism22.20%9.10%42.8%26%
Christianity9.00%32.80%24.8%33.3%
Islam0.80%0.50%39.2
States with significant percentage of Christians as per 2001 census
StatePopulationChristian (%)Christian (numbers)
India1,028,610,3282.324,080,016
Mizoram889,00090.5804,545
Nagaland1,990,00090.01,791,398
Meghalaya2,319,00070.31,630,257
Manipur2,294,00034.0779,960
Goa1,343,99826.0349,439
Andaman and Nicobar Islands356,15221.777,178
Kerala31,841,00019.06,049,790
Arunachal Pradesh1,097,96818.7205,548
Puducherry974,3457.067,688
Sikkim540,8516.636,115
Tamil Nadu62,405,6796.063,785,060
Jharkhand26,945,8294.051,093,382
Assam26,655,5283.7986,589
Tripura3,199,2033.2102,489
Chhattisgarh2,010,9102.5634,253
Odisha36,804,6602.4897,861
Karnataka52,850,5622.01,009,164
Andhra Pradesh76,210,0071.51,181,917
Punjab25,102,2161.5309,490
Maharashtra96,878,6271.091,058,313,notably some states like UP,Bengal,Gujarat,MP,Orissa are not even mentioned.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

'Annah with an H.'

Today I met up with Annah in the assesment unit.A young lady from Kenya,reffered by the GP for low haemoglobin.She was grossly underweight,had a hepatospenomegaly..could have been any patient walking into my outpatients in the hospital in India.Even as I chatted with her,I asked her,'How did you get a name like Annah?'She told me she had been named after Hannah ,Samuel's mother.I asked her if she was aware of the other Anna who had prophesied over baby Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem?She was aware.
She was apprehensive about a lot of investigations the doctors had advised so I had to talk her through it.She was the only person in the UK from her family.Rest were back home in Kenya.
I was deeply moved just seeing her.
The sunday last,I had collected some tracts from my church.I keep it in my bag incase I get an oppurtunity to give it to someone.I have been praying about it but I constantly feel like as though I am carrying a bomb in my bag-not weighed down but I realise how it must be to share the Word in a closed country and the potentiality of the Holy spirit working on individuals makes my heart beat faster.
The joy of hearing the name of Jesus even transiently in passing warms my heart.On the retrospect I wonder what the anglican minister who was praying for a sick patient in the ward must have thought ..seeing me so full of joy ..just hearing him say his prayers.
I also noticed something,None of the tracts were 'rice tracts'..they ran straight to the point......introducing the essence of the sinner's prayer.
By and by as I walked back after completing my duty in the AMU at ten PM ,I realised I seem to have changed as a person.

Monday, March 4, 2013

When the Father looks at us He sees the Son.

The day I joined the trust,I had to get my id made which gave me an access to the computers and the various doors around the hospital at my place of work.It is an electronic pass.When you don't have that pass with you life can be pretty difficult in the trust.
I have used that pass quite flippantly and have never given it a second thought.
Every weekend I go food shopping.Most days I take a bus back and walk a short distance to my quarters.Some days when I have more than I can handle I take a taxi back.However taxi takes us up the hill but does not have access right up to the quarters because there are bars which need a pass.
I dislodge and struggle the short distance up the stairs ,sometimes making two trips.
The other day I needed to get my air ticket printed out and I was not sure where I could go on a saturday morning .I walked up to the educational centre,and lo what do I find, there is actually a few computers with printers and internet kept in a room for staff use ,24 hours.All you need is the same electronic id.I was overjoyed and used the id.
The other day I was walking past the bars which keep the civil cars out of our staff quarter areas and I realised it was the same electronic card one can use to lift the bars up to let our cars in.Almost all the time I always carry the card with me.Can you imagine ,I always had the pass with me in my bag but unawares I used to lug my extra baggage myself because I did not know what the card could do.
Are we living our christian life in the same way.
Our pass is not a scrap of electronic bit which gives access to an institution,it is the key to the kingdom,God himself,our Lord Jesus who stands before the Father.
When the Father looks at us he sees the Son-Can we even begin to understand that?
 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Would you pray for a revival?

Today I walked up to the church inspite of a bit of a flu I seem to be coming down with.I hesistated transiently but the Lord had other plans,the big,bright sun came up my window and fell directly on me.I picked myself up and headed for the church.I took pains to discard my jeans and dress a bit formally.
It was a lesson I learnt in Inverness.One thing I noticed about the missionary who was distributing the gospel tracts was that he was dressed very respectably.
The first thing I did was ask for some gospel tracts.Unlike India,where we see gospel tracts lying all over the place often treated very carelessly,here we hardly see them.Betty directed me to Stewart.Flora,a lady who I had met by God's grace two sundays earlier caught up with me .Suddenly a lady came up to me with a bunch of tracts ,there must have been around fifteen of them and asked me ,'How many do you want?'I was taken aback but I asked back,'Can I keep all of it?' She said ,'ofcourse you can.'I was so grateful and then :Flora wanted some as well.
The service started with the choir singing 'praise the lord oh my soul'...In the course of the worship,we sang this song thrice.....it was so beautiful.
Uninhibitted worship with the joy of oneness of soul,,,,what a blessing it is from the lord.
We continue to do our series on revival....the reason why we need to pray for revival in our place and organisations are to see the change of hearts that can take place..sweeping from the man on the street to the high places.The other day the pastor was telling us how during these revivals all the pubs got shut,jails were empty and there were no crimes.Only a powerful movement of the Holy spirit can do that...it can change the hearts of the policymakers...it can change the way people think and the choices they make.
The joy of the Lord is the inheritance of a believer and the ornament that decorates the bride of Christ.Do we wear that?If not ,we might need to come to Him in repentance.
The desert and the parched land will be glad;the wilderness will rejoice and blossom....then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped....Gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away....
Would't you want that more than anything....?
Would you pray for a revival?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The soup of the day.

On my way back from Inverness,I broke my journey at Farringdon to see if I could pick up a notebook for myself.My old one apparently had cracked the screen and had served it's time .Tugging my bag along I scoured the streets for a computer shop and the last one had closed for the day at three PM. Too late for  lunch and too early for  dinner I realised my need for some supplements.I found a cafe open ,catering I suppose to the institutions around.It had the soup for the day in cans and toasties with various fillings.I picked up one and handed it to the counter to be heated.
It was cold in London after the series of sunshine in Inverness.
It is the soup that always catches my fancy.I get the feeling they just put in everything they can get their hand to make it.It was spicy,tasty and hot,much like the Indian rasam and as I tucked in further there were lentils floating around as well.
It took me back to the soup I had had in Inverness.It was another thick gruel which probably had mashed vegetables and some cheese in it,it was delicious.
I had seen a french family drinking soup and soup alone with such elegance in every meal..I wondered how it worked..now I understand how,you can throw in every type of food into the soup to make up for all the supplements required.
I for one love the idea-
I think I'll have soup for supper today and a few more days to come...see how it goes.

What will it cost me?

For sometime now I have had this desire to meditate on the charecter of Jesus.The background and the culture that we come from, paint a picture of Christ which suit us and makes us feel very comfortable...the sort of peaceful God that toed the line to the tee ..the sort of saint we wonder why the people would want to crucify and yet when we look at Jesus we perfectly understand why?
He broke every heresay,breaking the backbone of every thing false that made people wonder what they could hold on to when they did not have the truth.
It was the beaten,the people at the end of the line..who mostly had nothing to lose who grasped His grace and enjoyed it.His strenght and His confidence in doing what He did came from His identity He had in the father.
I was reading the other day....just the act of washing His disciples feet....only the menial slaves and mind you 'women' were allowed to do that during those times.That is what prompts Simon Peter to say,'No,you shall never wash my feet.'
But Jesus did it ,not only breaking the norm and the accepted of the day but as a pointer towards what it meant to follow Him.How it must have sent shudders through the spines of the respectable.
Every miracle He did came with a wellspring of compassion which cost Him dearly.The bible says,'By His stripes we were healed',it does not say by His power.
''Following''  this man Jesus is going to cost us everything that is false in our life ......we will gain one thing for sure ,which is the truth...and that truth will make us free.