December 25, 2015
Jesus! exclaimed RB, a story writer, columnist, rolled into one.
It was December 15, 2000 and he was forced by his old college mate, Ivan, into agreeing to give a talk on "Jesus-As I see Him" at short notice. Ivan, after studies had made it big in the Middle East but had made it a point to visit his native every year during Christmas.
He met all his friends then, enjoying every minute. RB had noticed this. However, this request-cum-demand had made him ponder.
"Why me?" he had enquired. "There are so many in your..."
"Let there be," Ivan had interrupted. "I have read some of your articles on Christ and…
"Read... right? To give a talk is so difficult…and do you know how I had written…" RB had argued.
"What do you mean 'know how you had written'??"
"I had this sudden inspiration from…" RB had tried to reason.
"Well then pray for that inspiration to talk too...but do not let me down," Ivan had said and cut the line, not before informing that the talk was scheduled on Christmas Eve and the venue. So much for Ivan, the President of the "Middle East Christian Community", thought RB.
Jesus! Jesus! Can you inspire me to talk? RB talked aloud. "Will you come here and prompt?"
Impossible… Hmm? His thoughts took over…. Then slowly he remembered...William Sequeira! His only "Christian" neighbor when he was a kid! William's son, Melwyn, with whom he had studied together in a convent till Standard V. He had just met Melwyn after a long gap. In the talk that had ensued both had remembered their childhood days and Melwyn had mentioned that he never forgot how he had "knelt down" in the school chapel to pray. "You had your own style of praying to Christ, didn't you?" he had reminded while giving him his number.
Melwyn had married young and now had a son aged nearly 30. "I have named him Christopher...He's deeply religious and is to be ordained soon," he had informed.
Christopher it is then, thought RB and dialed Melwyn explaining his predicament.
"Will surely send Christopher to help you out with points you need to talk about…but there"s a hitch. He is out on an assignment and will be back only on December 24, where will you meet him?" Melwyn asked.
"At the Church Library, 24th December, 6 pm sharp. But then how will I recognize him?" enquired RB.
"Don't you worry. Christopher is playing Christ in a play to be staged very near the venue you have mentioned… Think he will be in Christ's attire when he meets you. Moreover I keep telling him about you, he will definitely find you out," assured Melwyn. "However you both will have little time to interact…"
"Don't you worry…I'll manage," said RB.
"December 24, 6 pm then. I shall inform Christopher without fail," said Melwyn and went on to cut the line.
"Jesus Certainly Helps," mused RB and set about searching for books and sayings of Christ, which had impressed him the most. He would discuss them in detail with Christopher, before preparing his talk, he thought.
December 24, 2000
RB reached the Church Library at 6 pm sharp. He had talked once before on December 20th to Melwyn to confirm his appointment with Christopher. The Library was empty and it was expected. Who would visit a Church Library on December 24? mused RB. He sat at the backend so that he could catch Christopher entering through the main door. From where he sat, he could see the front lawns of the famous church of his place, the huge rock idol of Jesus, with a "Crown Of Thorns" on his head.
RB simply bowed down. He had spent much of his time here when he was a school going kid. Memories floated as he recollected vividly instances of days gone by. Gone never to return, the "Good Times", he thought to himself. Lost in thought, he just happened to glance at his watch… 6.45 pm it was. Maybe Christopher had forgotten, he thought, or was just not able to make it.
He should have known better. Asking help of a Christian lad on Christmas Eve! In any case he had prepared for any emergency. He had his notes ready….
"If this is what Jesus wants me to talk about it's fine," he thought to himself and smiled.
Just as he was preparing to get up some 15 minutes later, RB heard a rustle…rustle of steps and a figure approaching, in that seamless robe draped over a flowing white cassock…What was it called... Holy Tunic… the Honourable Robe…. or…
"RB?? Engrossed in something??"
"NO No," RB stuttered, "Your dress seemed so real… Christopher right? Thanks for coming. Your makeup is so perfect….look so divine that I almost…." RB stammered.
"Is it? No Crown of Thorns…but…"
"Yeah…" RB said gaining composure. "Think you will wear it last ! Can I call you Christy? Man - Do I see an Aura round you…. Think you have your heart in this getting ordained…"
"You can surely call me Chirsty….what did you want to ask?"
"Armageddon…Some sayings of Christ which you have in mind and can elaborate…" said RB. "In any case we have limited time and…."
He saw a smile, which almost took him into a trance.
"The re arrival of Christ now you mean? RB, in your talk you say: "Where has Jesus gone to arrive again? Right? His teachings surrounded around…"Who am I? Why have I COME HERE? What happens at the end of the journey?" Well – to know Who am I? you have to drop the I…then you will know why you have come here and at the end you will know you are just a "witness" to happenings...RB!
"Christopher …For somebody aged 30..this is…RB managed….
"One saying which goes like "Have faith like a child…Unless you change and become like a little child you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven". I shall explain. You grow from being an Innocent Child, RB, to an adult brimming with knowledge. This knowledge is different from "knowing" and many a time burdens you so much that you get wrapped by ego and illusions, not able to see properly.
"You hang on these illusions and in the process forget who you really are. It is imperative that you shed these. Therefore the need to be a "child". Unlearn what you have learnt. See things as plainly and purely as a child does. This helps, RB, to drop the "I" and helps you arrive.
"Are you the "Body" RB? How can you be?? How can you be something that changes constantly?? Your body is therefore a garb which covers your soul. This soul is supreme as it comes from the Supreme". All the "Supreme" wants is your soul back as pure as it was when given to you.
"You understand that you are from the Supreme then there's no coming or going. Therefore it behooves everyone to cultivate Self Knowledge at all times. Self Knowledge serves the practical purpose of destroying pain and suffering and also the positive end of helping everyone enjoy supreme peace and blessedness here and always.
"As far as having 'faith' is concerned, it is said that 'Faith' can shake mountains and that does not mean that as a man of faith, you watch mountains every day, checking whether they are moving or not! Get me RB? Faith transcends everything. Nobody may believe you tomorrow RB but your faith, experiences will be your own. If your 'surrender' is complete then the way forward will be automatic and that is when you are known as the chosen and blessed one!
"Wow ..Christy," exclaimed RB. Busy taking down points…His journalistic experience helped him and how! "That really means Jesus…."
"RB, there's a joke going around that even if Jesus visits a morning mass he would not be recognized". Isn"t it? There should be someone capable of recognizing…Right? An "awake" and an "aware" man can only recognize God, RB!
"Then there's this "Love thy neighbor" saying which has been joked about, explained in numerous ways…but the gist is simple. As you feel, so does the other. If something hurts you , so will it hurt another. I know that as a kid you cried and were un consolable when you saw the "Crown of Thorns", right RB?"
"Did Melwyn tell you that?" RB asked surprised.
"That's what I mean by feeling for others RB. This feeling should never leave you. This is one feeling that will surely lead you to the Divine. This is the "Golden Rule Of Christ". It can be rationally understood and appreciated only when it is realized that by hurting others one really hurts oneself and, conversely, that by making others happy one invites self happiness. Also know that Religion is not the goal but only a path by means of which the aspirant attains ultimate perfection. "Truth is one..but the Masters call it by different names RB..."
"Then you can dwell on the saying, 'Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh recieveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened'. Surrender cannot be in parts RB. It should be full and unconditional. There is never a case of barter with the divine! This is the first step to be known to a seeker. Renunciation should be perfect. There should not be any leftovers, which will of course act as hindrances. These are like "passwords" to the divine, which you now find in computers! A wrong password won't get you anywhere! Same with the Lord! You follow certain guidelines and pray and then only will the main door open! Get me RB??
"Sure," RB managed. I think I have more than enough to talk…
"Done then….take the name of the Lord then and speak RB...May you do well."
"I will catch up with you Christy some time. I have to rush and you also I believe have to play a part…Be careful with the "Crown of Thorns"…
"Sure RB...I have to...now...."
RB saw him turn back with the same smile and happened to see the Aura again. Some reflection from the glass pane above it was twilight and it's effects too might have played a part….he guessed.
Wow! What a session he had! Should inform Melwyn about his son's prowess, he thought.
A few hours later, RB gave the talk on "Jesus as I see Him" that had everybody awe struck. Everybody congratulated him and he had rave reviews. Some even tried to get his appointment to talk on the same subject elsewhere. RB just let it soak in. I have faith now, that I can talk too, not only write, mused RB.
Celebrating Christmas on December 25th, RB was woken early on the 26th by a phone call. It was Melwyn.
"Sorry Melwyn.. I should have called you earlier...."
"I was the one that should have called you," butted in Melwyn. "Was so nice to hear that you had managed the talk on your own… Christopher had a sprained ankle on the 24th and just could not move an inch. We had to take him to the hospital. I tried to contact you…but…."
The receiver just about fell from RB's grasp.
"Hallo Hallo…he could just about hear Melwyn…Christopher will meet you soon…He wants to take notes from your talk...."
December 24, 2015, 7 pm
"Sir…but the Church is just opposite...why are you kneeling here in this Library now at this hour and praying?" Edwin asked. He had chanced to come as he had some time to spare and was astonished to see a crouched figure praying.
"Son...I do it in faith…in "Jesus as I saw him"...but could not recognize. I have the faith that he will come again," said the crouched figure.
"Merry Christmas in advance Sir," said Edwin departing confused.
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