LOOKING FOR GOD ON BRIGADE ROAD
It is under some more than usual stress that one realizes how little one has changed from the child one once was. Recently, I was optimistically looking forward to a vision of the Divine at one of the edges of consciousness--- either before I drifted into anaesthesia or out of it. Alas. No such sublime experience came my way. But it triggered a memory which is nearly half a century old.
When I first began to enjoy listening to stories from the Bible I couldn’t tell the difference between the Old Testament and the New. What did it matter to me when or where Samuel or Paul had lived? Exciting things seemed to have happened to both of them. My chief interest concerned their direct experience of God. If they had experienced this power, why shouldn’t I? I felt an overwhelming longing to hear and see this God who remote-controlled things both at home and in school. No food at home before lamp-lightings and prayers, and school was full of nuns who kept saying, “Praise the Lord,” though I sensed that different departments in Heaven were being addressed by my mother and my teachers.
If I didn’t try, if I didn’t let Him know, how would God know that I wanted to see Him?
At age six, the world is waiting to be conquered.
I often dodged my brother and ayah, went off by myself and tried saying loudly, “Here I am!” hoping that like Samuel I would hear the Voice. What a story that was and how thrillingly my teacher narrated it in class! The whole class used to chorus, “Here I am!” So I was fairly sure I could recognize His voice when it reached me…. it would be so different and would boom from above. But God proved difficult to contact and the stories about the times he spoke with people were not always pleasant. So after a while I thought it would be a better idea to try and reach Jesus. At least I had a vague idea of what he looked like.
Then one day I heard that he had said, “I am always with you.”
I made up my mind to see Jesus as soon as possible. Perhaps he was actually somewhere around and because no one had had the sense to watch out for him no one had spotted him. I questioned people carefully. Have you seen him? No, of course not. Don’t be silly we can’t see him. Your heart has to be pure....all sorts of glib explanations. Well of course my heart was pure. I didn’t hurt people or animals. In an effort to become even more blameless, I stopped plucking flowers and leaves for fun.
I began watching people. Most of them looked angry or sad or disgruntled so it couldn’t be Christ in disguise. I began to take short walks to the gate by myself. Perhaps he was waiting for me to be alone. Heart pounding I stepped outside the gate---something I was not supposed to do---and looked carefully up and down Rest House Road. No. No one at all. In the evenings we sometimes took a walk on crowded Brigade Road. If he wanted to hide this is where he might be but I would spot him in his long robes. The colour of his hair was a real problem. Some paintings in school showed dark hair, in some his hair was yellow. What a bother that no one seemed to have got it right once and for all.
After several days of waiting for God, and hoping to see at least Jesus, I was both angry and sad. I went to school with a swollen face. During a lull between classes I decided I would have it out with the Sister seated at the desk before the blackboard. When the bell rang at break-time I went up to her.
“Is Jesus here in this classroom?”
She stooped to reach my level, held my shoulders and asked me seriously what the problem was.
The great adult conspiracy against children.
|Email this Link to a Friend||Send Your Feedback|
LIGHT OF LIFE
PUBLISHED ON FIRST DAY OF EVERY MONTH