Category Archives: Hope

That Stairway inside you

 

Joepa prayed like he and God were thick as thieves, you didn’t argue if he said it was going to rain that day, or that you best stay away from the river a particular afternoon. He was an old school warrior kind of Prayer-er, he’d kneel and kneel straight. Not sitting sideways slumped in the floor, nor cross-legged, like a lotus. Then he’d go softer soft, till you had to lean in to hear the words that would arrive between pauses, as if he were listening.

 

brown and black wooden staircase

Joepa would listen when he prayed, That was new for me. I had heard other kinds – where you instructed God about the rains, exam results, menus, visits; requests for shoes, the right shade of lipstick, cricket matches; pleas for grand-aunt Mei to stop snoring, a certain relative to not visit that frequently, that kind of thing. When Joepa prayed he stood at a stairway, his eyes shut wide, sometimes he would tremble as if the replies that came down were too much for him, or even the Silences. As if his head or skin were too fragile for the intensity of those conversations that went on in the little room above JoseVilla where he had lived all his life, with his canes and hats, his books and shoes, his lovely wife and children.

 

On our many visits, Joepa would tell me little details about his life, about love and faith and trust. He hadn’t accumulated wealth or houses, because he gave them away. If someone wanted something he gave it to them – his radio, a piece of land.  “Some ask me don’t I have my own family. I tell them its what I had to do.”

So, it made sense to me – the way he prayed. He lived like he prayed. His words were lived at an altar, a glass altar here heaven and hell and everyone of us saw his reality.  He lived like he feared to ever hurt anyone. He saw others as if they were God’s own too. That’s what got to me. That’s why I believed that when he prayed he really was at a Stairway and it took him beyond the little room, beyond the nitty-gritty of asking, talking and not listening. Listening deep.

Today I sat with our youngest at home – he prays a few sentences or long ones, depending on the need. His needs aren’t exactly like yours or mine, unless you are visually challenged like him. He is intense, expectant. A few weeks ago he developed these motor/vocal tics twice, thrice a day, or more. All our check ups weren’t revealing much. Wait, Doc says. Go home. Relax. Let me know if there are changes, but right now, there are no signs to alarm us; 

back against the wall, we, I started praying, telling God what He had to do here. Three days ago, out of sheer fatigue I leaned back and refused to say another word, not at the powers that be, at medicines, at Docs, and flustered feelings;

leaned back and took a good look at Joh, our son. He’d changed. Changed from a restless young one, into a quiet careful human, watching the hours of the day – for “Tizzy”. We call his Tics “Tizzy”,

…we let go. Yesterday Joh woke up early (as he always does), ran to us with, “No more asking for healing. I’m thanking God….”

We did a happy dance small celebration, but here’s the news, Tizzy showed up just once so far. I don’t know how to say this without sounding over optimistic. For some reason the pressure is off. Tizzy or no, its like the floor’s changed.

If Joepa were here, he’d have understood better than us, what makes Joh pray the way he does, fearless, focused, as if there’s no veil between the spheres, as if we are a bunch of scaredy- rabbits for nothing. Papa Joe was my father- in- law, I miss him sore today. I miss how his hands trembled when he talked with his heavenly dad , there were no doubts at all between them. If there was a conversation it was about trust, about meeting each other, unconditional togetherness that placed no blame or need between that relationship to sour it,

thank you Pa.

….

 

 

 

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The Embrace of Healing.

This Post inspired by some extraordinary people

Kintsukuroi – (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) the 500 year old Japanese art of repairing smashed pottery. You’ve broken something? Fix it with gold. What a Gift in positive metaphor:

the story is told of a tea bowl that was a particular favourite of 15th century military ruler, Ashikaga Yoshimasa. One day a servant accidentally dropped the bowl. In the breathless pause (Ashikaga was known for a lethal temper), one of his guests reeled off a poem restoring Yoshimasa’s spirits, ” ..instead of its diminished appeal, the bowl is now the more beautiful for being broken. Its value was in its story. Its true life began, the moment it was dropped..”  Continue reading

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My Fantastic Stalker

woman covering her face with corn leaves

Bright scarlet buds in grass, why am I staring ?

I’ve lived in fields and wave, e’en  mountain by the sea, off a river delta, an island, a town in a valley, but today I’m standing still

flower bloom blossom red purple

Today is different; 

there are things to do, promises to keep, miles to go as I sweep through lists of chores, but I’m Stalked 

by tender new leaf & bud –

Stalked by  God’s brand-new batch of new mercies 

blade of grass blur bright close up

Yeah tho’ I go thru’ the next 24 hours of work, love, laughter, sweat, tears, fears, crowds, hope, nail biting hope, 

I fear no evil; 

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

my Divine Stalker is with me, His messengers of Love –these darling scarlet Reminders reinforce the next words: you are not alone. Read that –

You are not alone.

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I said a prayer for you, July

That you and I would find Wings, that we would fly beyond the limitations of dreams and desire. That we could finally shut our eye wide, to human frailty, and breathe, as it were not ours to play gods, nor revert to being babes of wrath,

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Vi’s pastel angel

Oh July, I prayed a prayer that you and I would leave our skin behind and fly out of cocoons we’ve refused to leave; that we would let the process hurt if it must, that we would not be suspicious of skies no matter how high it appears to the little iris in our eye

July, stretch me our Wing, this Thing on my ‘blades I’ve thought was shadows in my shoulder; fly me out 31 days every minute, flung wide with grace, reckless grace in the sapphire of heaven around us, that we might see with shut-less eyes, our Wings

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The Age of Rude ?

She stared through my face as if she never saw me –  stunned, I waited. Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the woman wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. It was as if I did not exist.

The next day we met again, this time in an auditorium. She talked to everyone else, but not even a nodding good-morning hint at me, as if I weren’t there.  These were new family friends, not even distant relatives, no histories exchanged. No I hadn’t stolen her best dress at school, no I wasn’t an artist rival, nothing. She was a mom like me, a citizen of this same earth, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Its possible she was just tired, or thought I had nothing of use to say to her, or be. Is possible she was having a bad day, is possible she was ill, is possible she didn’t like my face, or hairstyle, or work.

But the question followed me all day and night, it stood there between my mirror and me the next morning, it sat in my toothpaste and hair brush, my shoes and sandwich.

 

This morning, I looked at images from around the world images of waiting….
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What made something as beautiful as a human heart, such a refugee

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“Christmas like no other !”

408503_466640510051894_1511555378_nThis December I found myself saying, ” Dearest God  please  give us a Christmas like none other ( not imagining our dear friend Johnston Richard was onto an Album with the same  title , and asked if our visually challenged son Johann Noel would sing and do a small narration for him).

For those who know my family personally, much as we adore our kids and would promote them to the stars, there are often limitations..esp with 2013-03-24 10.20.36

Johann who has never really sung with studio headphones on, leave alone narrate  ‘cold cold snow’ not anything we have experienced. I now understand ‘snow’ is for the cold of the human heart…

Johnston Richard you raised the bar on this mother’s faith, on a  challenged kids’ sometimes lonely existence. Christmas is not exactly a festive season for everyone – for those who are disabled physically, emotionally, financially, socially,oh so many ways…

not everyone gets Christmas trees laden with gifts, banquets and new wardrobe, or Love…

1466022_1387241388187524_205367003_nnot every one is given a chance to be who they are. God reminded me/ us at the Noel home, He did create some really good people on earth, making for Peace, Joy, acceptance, of each other, and the Room for another to also shine.. ( rare ! )..

Listen to ” Cold Bethlehem” and our home visual -mix on U tube 🙂 of the song, also below, a brief from Johnston Richards

Talking about his new album and the Title :

JR  : People around the world give gifts to their loved ones and share the joy of family reunions. For many people, it is a season of give and take. However, the true essence of Christmas is the joy that comes from knowing the truth that you are loved unconditionally by God. No matter how others treat you or how you look at y0xourself. This love shatters all logic and liberates you from self-condemnation and leads you to self acceptance. Through the unseen power of the unconditional love that moves the universe, you are propelled to love ‘yourself’ and then other people unconditionally and give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Christmas like no other is the moment of history when time stands still and you experience selflessness and accept the intense and unconditional love of the creator of the universe who loved the world and gave his perfect gift of love to an imperfect world.

If you could make a wish for the world today – 

 JR    While Christmas is a time of joy and is celebrated around the world, to several people around the world it is a time of loneliness, financial hopelessness and emotional brokenness. But celebration and life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things or plethora of friends. Christmas is a message of hope. A message to the lonely : the Unseen power and love that moves the universe came down to earth in human form on Christmas day to save those who were ‘lost’. Without hope, without a future. Christmas is a time to go back to the basics and accept that love and feel the completeness. Love knocks on your door this Christmas and my wish for the world is that the people open the door and let the creator, who is love personified, fill their hearts with the completeness and euphoria of that blissful unspeakable joy.

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Johann with Daddy Noel at the Studio

 What’s the toughest challenge being  ‘Johnston Richard’?

JR            Writing and composing songs is a gift that God breathed into me. I am strongly compelled that the songs that I receive from the throne should not be kept under a bushel. As any trustworthy steward, as the guardian and scribe of the songs, I am strongly inclined to get my music out in the open and put it on a lamp stand. My mission is to play in what I call H.O.P.E, which stands for Hospitals, Orphanages, Prisons and Educational Institutions. The toughest challenge I am faced with is acceptance. The industry has changed and it is tough to survive, let alone thrive, as a Gospel solo artist. Somehow, I believe that bands gain favourable responses as compared to solo artists. When you are soft-spoken and humble, the world takes meekness for weakness and tried to ride on your back. People tend to judge a book by its cover. You can be judged by the colour of your skin, your nationality, and stature. And there’s another thing. It’s a catch 22 situation -You cannot become recognized if you don’t have enough people buying or supporting your music; and on the other hand, people don’t want to buy your music if you are not well known. So far, I have been funding my music from my own pocket. It’s a challenge to do  huge promotional shows on a shoe string budget especially when you have a family who depends on you. I personally know what sacrifice means. Through it all it has taught me respect for others in similar endeavours and has built in me strong values, character and  gratitude. I praise God for His faithfulness, and thank my wife and daughter, and my dear friends for their incredible support. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my story in here  God Bless what you do…

 
Richie Johnny This is the Best Christmas Gift I have ever received. Thank you so much. I am so moved that God could use someone like me to make something that turned out so beautiful this Christmas and for all other Christmases to come. I was 16 when I wrote and first recorded this song on a tape recorder;) God had his child Johann in mind and I am so overwhelmed with emotions for the love and support extended to me and my family. A special hug to Johann. Merry Christmas and a blessed Newyear. The best is yet to come.

Johnston Richard lives in Bangalore ; besides his 9-5 job as a Professional Writer, he is a singer-songwriter, worship leader, author, producer and a guitar teacher. He has written and composed over hundreds of songs and has released two studio albums.Johnston partners with Besso Orphanage for destitute children. WWW.JOHNSTONRICHARD.COM. His second album, which is a Christmas Album, was released on December 7, 2013

 

http://youtu.be/MvW2-t1ARME

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Image – ing

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‘Bad’…cropped-307094_405748866152326_834877809_n.jpg

we know how it looks walks, talks, steals,manipulates,devours,betrays,tempts,taunts, : we know Its face and voice, we have tasted of its badness – we believe it, we rave and rant and acknowledge it, with seal and stamp and scorn..

child bride abused

Child bride abuse

Peace II

Peace II RNoel pencil

Goodness startles, outweighs, we disbelieve Its power and silence, Its grace and fire – and we denounce Its address, Its evidence – we ask It to leave, we shut It up in the name of law and love, we slap It, crucify It, oh we kill It a million times a day and It refuses to leave/ pursues us as if we were an only child, waiting in corners, kissing our name as if we were written on the palm of His Hand – uh –

I know ‘hate and crime, violence and injustice’… But if Love were to walk in today, follow me room to room to hell and gore, I would die of embarassment and tell It doesn’t exist…I don’t need It… It’s a myth and a result of imagination or stupidity of man….

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Earth Song

Colour me green, please, let the Light feed us, graze

our need, our greed ; with storms

of Peace, 

 

please ?

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Just a wee planet

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So we talked another hour after the movie ‘Cliffhanger’ a needless re-run, but it provoked Maji to ask, “What keeps humans warm when everything out there is cold frost” ( see movie, a perfect ‘signs of the times’ movie ha:) 

To which Noe answered, “The heart.”

Maji, “What keeps the heart going?”

Noe, “Life.”  (Maji rolls eyes and starts to ask ‘ what is life..’ but gives up).

Which got me thinking out loud about how the earth is just a wee planet going on and on in space with nothing to support her and how gravity is limited to us, and how day and night does not matter in calendars outside the sun, but here we are going on and on about human issues, fashions, passions, all temporary pursuits, but out there, I mean get on a space bus, and there’s a whole University out there that has other agenda, and one lil rock from some place has to hit Earth‘s forehead to get us into non – gravity agenda – that is the essence of Life… .. ?

Maji kind of liked that. This morning the sky grinned down at me and asked a few questions, which was my heart thumping new pulse into fingers that I never knew I had. It feels good somehow to know how temporary, how permanent, how transient, how eternal we are ; it feels good to know the heart listens to an order  it bows to,

why do I like that …

 

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Recieve

Two Universes

touched

and diamonds turned,

from dust

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