by Rev. Dev Prasad Cruz
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A few afternoons ago, my second son Harsha Jovan who is studying in Kindergarten came to me and ask me “Appa, please write for me ‘M’ - I don’t know which is M or W”. After a moment of hesitation, apprehensively as I mastered a big ‘M’ In the darkness somewhere on the page in the note book held on his outstretch hand, my son was highly thrilled and shouted “Appa, you wrote Correctly!”. Now it was my turn to be thrilled & excited because during the past 3 years, I have not held a pen or pencil in my hand nor I had scribbled anything on paper and here I have written a letter correctly in 3 years!!. I felt more “Touched” and moved to tears at my son’s excited appreciation, than when several learned people including the Industry Leaders, CEO’s, Top Dignitaries, etc., had expressed appreciation & accolades upon my numerous Power Point Presentations, Voluminous MIS Reports, etc., during my efficacious tenure as a Regional Financial Controller with some of the reputed 5 Star Hotel Groups. This brief episode with my son greatly humbled & amazed me at the Sovereign Might of the Almighty and the absolute nothingness of us mortals.
Sometimes God call some of us to come out of our ‘Comfort Zones’ to serve Him. And sometimes when we do not answer His call, He removes our ‘Comfort Zones’ & gently places us were He considers it appropriate for us.
For 50 years I sailed as a convinced and practicing ‘Atheist’ in what I thought was my ‘Comfort Zone’, riding on the crest of the pinnacle of one success on to another at the glittering crescent of career heights journeying in a world were I thought “Man was the Ultimate”. I did not realize like most people that, “Man is made by God and for God”. And then one day 3 months before my 50th Birthday, I stumbled into a Church to drop my Christian Housemaid where the thundering voice of a Pastor at sermon to his Congregation stopped me abruptly while I was half way through the ‘Exit Door’ – “You’re not here by accident, but because Jesus wants you here at this place, at this very moment for Jesus loves you”!.
What transpired during the next 3 months was an astonishing transition – from a hardcore atheist I had became a Born Again believer. But nothing can ever prepare the incredibly amazing occurrence of what happened next - which baffled me and everyone who knew me – I lost my eyesight & became totally blind within 6 hours of admission in a local Hospital.
The next couple of months saw my ‘mobility’ curtailed since my legs ‘slowed’ down as each step forward in the nightmarish dark unfathomable oblivion was a continued horrifying ‘Space Walk’ experience.
Another month later, the vociferous Regional Financial Controller’s eye rhetoric’s which took him to his career zeniths became stifled and I felt myself grasping as I struggled to speak out even normal words in continuing decipherable phrases.
I was astounded as I began to wonder “Why the God who created me with fully able physical functions & led me successfully onto mortal victories by using them, disabled me when I became His ‘Born-Again’ believer??!”. “Why I should be blinded, crippled and almost dumb struck when I became Born-Again?”. I’m sure you are also wondering along with me why, why, why?.
The next few months were excruciatingly painful and torturous. Groping and grappling in the agonizing dark world filled with its faceless voices was pathetically tormenting. And then I knelt down and ask God, “Lord what you want me to do, what are your plans for me, I am at your disposal, please make me serve you in whichever way that would glorify you”.
The compassionate Pastor, his kind wife and the considerate Church Members rallied around me with their phenomenal support & camaraderie. It was then a divine awakening opened my ‘Spiritual Eyes’ and I ‘saw’ the “defining truth” of God’s plans for me.
Like a celestial flash lightening that illuminates even hell's darkest valleys, the compassion of Jesus engulf me in a spiritual glare and a strange & serene calmness descended on me. Stranger and hitherto unknown words leap & loomed gigantically beholding me reading “When he the spirit of truth comes he shall guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). In that phenomenal moment I realized that the Almighty was steering me towards an inherent gift of His which I was not aware that I had possessed until then. Suddenly I began to “Write Electronically in my Laptop” and I was bewildered as “Quotes from the Bible” appeared from nowhere in black & white transcriptions with incredible theological ‘Insight’ which totally baffled me as I had never ever touched the Bible in my 50 years until I lost my mortal sight.
An initial infant scribbling snowballed onto an amazing theocratic blitzkrieg that emanated from humble me who was a total & absolute religious ignorant until that time and blossom into spiritual paradigms of weekly ‘Good News Letters’ titled “Good News on A Thirsty Thursday” to an ever increasing ‘Outreach Congregation’ spread across the globe that includes “Church Leaders, Campus Crusaders, Pastors, Church Councilors & Board Members, Theological Teachers, Clergy, Christian Media Publishers & Writers, Community Service Hedge, etc.,”.
It is this divinely compassionate prompting “Call” of Jesus that led me – a blind man who hardly walks, accompanied by my wife who is my own little Florence Nightingale to fly all the way to London & land up in the arrival lounge of the London Heathrow Airport on a 'Wheel Chair', where at the astonishing Miracle of God, I was lifted up physically by unseen hands which placed me on trains, numerous buses & miles & miles of walks, climbing up & down staircases & bridges, crossing umpteen road signals in the busy London streets & highways, etc., serving Jesus in an intense ‘Gospel’ Awareness Project spreading his love, compassion & peace to the people who were living in spiritual darkness. And it is this Divine Mercy of Jesus that has initiated humble me into an accredited “M. Div.” course to enable me to Magnify His Magnificence, Glorify His Glories & Praise His Praises as high, wider, deeper & farer, as mortally my spiritual eyes can reach out serving the ‘Most High’ in an enlightened passion. Furthermore, it is this magnificent grace of our Merciful Savior that has ‘blindly’ led me to write an unique ‘first of it’s kind’ 226 pages Book on an astounding theme that amalgamates 3,500 years of Historical, Biblical, Archaeological & Nutritional Historicity rolled-up in an Encyclopedic Almanac, as well as, blessed me to Author another Book currently in progress leading me in an intense Theocratic Literary Frenzy & thus establishing my “Comfort Zone”.
Today though I am not rich in the materialistic sense, I am enriched with the love and compassion of Jesus that fills me with His serene peace. God has placed me in a “Comfort Zone” from which only love, compassion & the phenomenal Peace of Christ can emanate & spread.
Focus on these words:
“To get something you never had,
You have to do something you never did
When God takes something from your grasp,
He's not punishing you,
But merely opening your hands
To receive something better
The will of God will never take you
Where the Grace of God will not protect you”.
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