That eternal promise of Love…
Osheen Joy takes a walk down the memory lane, reminiscing on
how the faithful Lord has led her through struggles,always beckoning
her into the bosom of his Love
I remember the day I met you, I was at that tender age where one is still learning to stay afloat the changing waves of the ocean called life. My family was in a difficult situation, our lives had turned upside down with my brother lying in an almost vegetative state – my worried mother running around like a mad woman behind doctors trying to make sense of the rare disease that her son, on whom she had put such high hopes was suffering from, and my father who was broken and shattered that he couldn’t even muster the courage to pick up the broken pieces, because for him the battle was already lost.
I clearly remember that day – I was 10 maybe – attending that holy mass which was part of the daily routine in any convent boarding school. It wasn’t so bad for me because I wasn’t suffering even an ounce of what my brother or parents were – far away in the confines of the boarding school, I wouldn’t and couldn’t know the extent of what they were going through. Yet I remember – of the constant fear of losing my only sibling, of missing my parents, of crying behind closed doors, of the lingering feeling of loneliness, surrounded by bad bullies and good friends alike.
I remember that day clearly, while I was in line to receive the Holy Eucharist, the choir sang the Malayalam song ‘onnu vilichal…’ (If you would call…), the line ‘onnu thalarnaal avan ente karam pidikyum’ (He supports me when I am weary and weak), struck me and I asked you, why don’t you pick up my brother who has fallen? And I felt this peace, everything within me went silent, no words. Over the span of the next few months, in the midst of ongoing struggles, I learned to lean on you, for nothing else around me made any sense to a 10 year old, but you alone. After many ups and downs, after hearing from the doctors that there was no hope for my brother, our prayers were answered and he was brought back from the doorsteps of death, by grace. As my parents began to accept this tragedy as a reality, our faith was made strong, and we grew strong as a family. Medical science had lost hope for his future, but we as a family hadn’t, because as my mother would say, our hope is in the living God, not on mere things in creation, but on the creator.
I remember the day we met again, but it’s a bit hazy now. Our friendship grew and it became a solid covenant on the day of my communion – another emotional day, because unlike the kids of my age at that time, mine was not a pompous affair. A big church with a few family members; there was no choir – I sang all the songs myself because back then I thought I had no other option, but later I realized I was singing with you beside me, holding me so close that those shattered pieces which were glued together may not break again. “It’s okay, I’m here, that’s all you need”, Christ talking to me, how beautiful, how precious! In an almost empty church, in a moment of complete bonding in love, I received my friend Jesus Christ and I promised never to look back. Oh, what pure bliss!
Over the years, over many ups and downs, I met you again many times, in many forms. I had not forgotten my promise, but by now it was not a priority. Faith was there, however actions spoke otherwise, moving along with the secular waves of the world, where everything was acceptable, as long as one is a good human being, but was that enough? My relationship with Christ was reduced to a demand and supply system. Whenever I was in distress, I turned to him and once I was out of that distress, Christ gently fades away as other things in life took centre stage.
Then, by chance or providence, I happened to attend Angelos in June 2019, a Nurse’s conference organized by Jesus youth UK. On 23rd June 2019, the last day of Angelos, as the JY elders went around placing their hands over each participant and praying for them during the final praise and worship, I had a very intimate Christ experience. The Fire of the Holy Spirit felt like a burning flame of love inside me, I could not stop the tears running down my face, tears of joy – the promise I made many years ago now renewed, past transgressions forgotten. I am a new creation in Christ and never have I been so certain in my life as I was that day as to what I am called to do, my purpose in life. All the pieces of my life where falling into place and my life replayed in front of my eyes, as in a flash-back and I could see Christ beside me in all those broken moments of my life, in times of success and failures alike. In that one moment everything made absolute sense, my conviction crystal clear.
Like the lyrics of the worship song, the world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back, I have decided to be a Christ follower and Jesus Youth. To win souls for him through love, to call others to experience this unconditional and eternal love of Christ that never gives up on us even when we constantly deny him; he waits with open arms, because we are way too precious for him and he can’t afford to lose us. Praise be to God in Jesus Christ.
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