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Elijah Jumps

JUMP or DIVE?
Jump or Dive was written for my daughter Sheva, but this rendition is dedicated to my oldest grandkid, Elijah, on his 16th birthday. You have inspired your Granny.

Granny to Elijah
Jump or Dive

I’m standing in the church with worship welling up in me;
Throngs of people weave around, some swaying up, some going down;
Eyes are closed but looking up as though they can see…
I know they were lookin’ at the true reality.

I dreamt I was speedin’ down a bouncy diving board Runnin’ like a leaping calf, adrenalin flowin’ hard. I knew I had to make a choice perched upon the edge. Like Jesus on the pinnacle, I had a choice;

JUMP OR DIVE ?
I thought about the friends I had who looked up to my lead…What I said what I did, like a shepherd with his sheep. When they fell I’d lift them up (they knew that I was strong).

But could I see the arms of faith to catch me when I fall?

There was one choice and it was comin’ fast I knew I’d have to choose and give it all I had Looking up I saw the living resurrected God Assuring me that even the dead are raised hrough love!

All empowering God above, Who casts gifts down from heaven on us! Through great mercy, grace and love,
The dead are healed when he says “jump!”
That same Word now filters through me, Ignites my spirit to fly and leap Opens doors set the prisoners free!
Pick me! Pick me! Should I bounce and leap?

Jump or dive? I clearly had to leap.

Dive or jump?… choosin’ was for me.
A question bright as neon lights to live or join the dead
The resurrected Jesus is the only choice ahead!

Jump or dive? Time to leap. Dive or jump?…
What’s it gonna’ be?

Warning lights are flashing bright and poundin’ in my head…

The resurrected Jesus doesn’t know a word called “dead”

I choose love!
I choose life!
I choose him, to be Lord of my life!

And my final choice was….

DIVE !

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My Standby

My Standby

This is what happened; my adventure
from Dec. 2020
 to the beginning of July, 2021…
It needs to be told and remembered.

I travelled back and forth; three states and five hours’ drive away. I felt like a pin-cushion and a guinea pig. Every medical test under the sun had been done on me… perhaps. Blood tests were the easy ones, others seemed to be made to…. well, be the opposite of “easy” … and I say that in respect to the medical staff who worked hard to try and figure out my problem. My doctor left no stone unturned. He always explained openly and became a Counsellor for me as to what diseases I might be facing. He discovered my spinal cord was pinched to nearly nothing in my neck, and yet was uncertain if it caused of all my problems; including my complicated walking issue.

It was frustrating not to have a final diagnosis as to why I walked like a drunkard. Walking became so hard that I’d have to stop and start again while hanging onto my husbands’ arm; otherwise, I’d trip over my feet. Yip was always patient and ready to catch me while I hung heavily on his arm. He always stood by; My Standby. We decided to pay the rather outrageous fee in order to get an online appointment with a well reputed American hospital.

I was assigned a neuro-spine specialist. He gave a new diagnosis, called Klippel-Feil anomaly, which just so happens to be a birth defect which sometimes only shows up much later in life. I’m 67. It also can be connected with congenital heart defects —mine was detected when I was seven. I had open-heart surgery.

Close friends, who happened to be doctors, were very concerned. They feared that if something was not done quickly about that pinched spinal cord, I could end up paralysed or worse. They didn’t want that to happen and took it upon themselves to find the best neuro-surgeon in north India. They searched for a doctor with a good reputation and experience in doing complex surgeries in the upper neck. They acted as my Advocate. Their search yielded a renowned neuro-surgeon in Delhi. Off to Delhi, Yip and I sped. Everything worked out and happened so quickly. I never thought I’d get the threatening, risky operation on my neck, but everything was heading in that direction.  Although I felt like a neck operation was going a bit too far, I found myself ready to do the needed. It was the only way to go —many people were praying. For that reason, I knew I was “covered.”

More friends appeared and brought us food daily. They escorted me from our hotel numerous times by car to the hospital —a six-minute walk away, which I couldn’t physically do. They lived 25 minutes drive away by car. They gave sacrificial love. What Helpers they were to me!

Sonu, our son, surprised us and showed up the night before my operation. We hadn’t wanted to bother him, but he wanted to be there for us. It turned out we needed his help. He ran errands, but his gentle kindness worked as a Comforter to me while I suffered with pain; his compassion was sweet.

The doctor emphasized that there was no guarantee my walk would normalize, but he hoped and expected it to improve. He also noted it was a risky operation, though he had confidence in his abilities and in the team who would be involved; he thought it would be successful. He would place thirteen screws and rods in my neck to allow space for the spinal cord. Thus, he was a Strengthener for me.

And so, it happened.

Afterwards, I was immobilized with severe pain. The pain remained even after I was discharged. A few days later it significantly lessened. The operation itself was successful, only months of inner healing, neck collars and time would show the healing which was happening. That inner healing was not from the doctors. The one who created me was the only one who could do the needed healing inside of my neck. God. My Standby.

God was My Standby throughoutand the orchestrator of all the others who worked together, though unknowingly, to make my healing happen —clouds of people witnessing. It was truly amazing how so many circumstances and people involved could make it happen. I counted on all of them. Each one was someone standing by, whether near or far, they were rooting for me. The few I’ve mentioned are highlighted, yet there are many more who were always standing by. Over a hundred people heard of my plight and were praying for me. That is a large number of Intercessors. I don’t take lightly that they were talking to God about my situation, for God became very involved —inner healing is his speciality. They were witnesses in this strange episode of my life.

John 14:26

“But the Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener,
Standby
), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name (in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf), ….”

Heb.12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses….


My Standby… click here for the song

He’s my Standby, through the night, my soft silent song as I sleep
He is there when I rise, as I open my eyes, I see Him, I feel Him always standing by.

He’s my Standby, …………………. My Standby, my Saviour, standby.

I look to the mountains, and on to the skies, arise, Son, to diffuse the love
Heaven waters the earth and I draw from its springs
Who gurgle and sing… with visions and dreams
When I drink deep… I drink deep
I drink deep.

He’s my Standby, …………………. My Standby, my Saviour, standby.

Oh Love, which is there, overflows, why sit and wait at the pool of Siloam?
On every high hill, by land or by sea, in the air we breathe, in rivers and streams,
the glory of God … stands by silently, in silent peace.    (Silent peace.).

He’s my Standby, through the night, my soft silent song as I sleep
He is there when I rise, as I open my eyes, I see Him, I feel Him always standing by.

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The Puppy and the Paper Doll

Click here for audio version 1
Click here for audio version 2

Granny: So, did you say, Go ahead and eat your dream?
Annie: She laughed, and corrected me; No! It wasn’t a dream and I can’t eat it! I actually wrote the story.
Granny: Oh, you wrote a story?

Annie: Yeah. Granny: Cool! Can you tell me?
Annie: Yeah, okay, so its title is The Puppy Who got Peace.
Granny: Peace? A puppy got peace?
Annie: Yeah
Granny: Okay

With a big breath, my granddaughter verbally exploded as she embarked on her story, sweeping me down the current that cascaded out of her mouth …

Annie: So, there is a puppy, who was in the park, and he was abandoned, and he had lots and lots of cuts and bruises like he was kicked from houses. So, a girl whose name was Rani came with her parents to the park and saw this puppy. So, then she asked her parents, “Can I keep this puppy? Because if I don’t clean it up, it’ll just die, because it has too many cuts and bruises.”

So, she took it home and cleaned all the bruises up and took good care of it. So then, a couple days later, the puppy went missing. So, she put up lots of notices, but no one could find him. Two weeks later she was going to put up a couple more notices when she saw him in the park, abandoned again, the same as he was before. So, she picked him up and took great care of him again. And she never let him out of his set her sight again.

Granny: Never?
Annie: Never.

Granny: Then what happened?
Annie: So, what I get from this story is that… that’s how we are. It’s like we’re away from God, and then in sad times we go to God and He picks us up and gives us hope. But then others pick us up and carry us off to the wrong path, and we get abandoned once again. And then, we need God again so we go to him again. And because we learned from our past, we don’t make the same mistake again and God gives us a home.”
Granny: Wow! that’s amazing. So how did you think of this story?
Annie: I just got inspired when we were going to Dehradun. I was in the car, and I saw this street dog. It was a puppy, a small one, and it was just like this puppy was —abandoned with cuts and bruises.
Granny: Ah, so it really happened?
Annie: Yeah!
Granny: That’s really a nice story. You know Annie, I lost my mother in a tragic way, and an enormous, empty hole was left in my life.
Annie: Wow. I can’t imagine that.
Granny: There was no one to talk to. No one to I share my deepest secrets with. There was no one to understand and console my pain and grief… I lay in the depth of “me”. Not a particularly healthy mind space.
Shall I tell you my remedy?
Annie: Sure.

Granny: I drew a little person on a piece of paper. She lived in my pocket. I pulled her out when I needed a friend (in school or anywhere else…) but always and only in a private spot. I’d Look at her and talk to her. She understood the privacy and secretiveness of our relationship. Nobody knew about her or my darkness.

When I grew older and more mature, my paper doll that I’d kept in my pocket was no longer there. But the feeling of loneliness and daytime-darkness hadn’t gone away. Instead, I kept my little friend in my mind. She never left and was safely invisible to others. The truth is, I still meet her, even though I’m a granny. My friend is still there when I call. I can see her. She appears like a silhouette. But I see who she is—she’s me, a dancer. She dances. And when she dances, my own reflection dances. She comes in handy when I lack hope, when despair creeps up on me, or when circumstances say I won’t make it through this one…

I know I’m more than my body and more than life’s situations. I live in the unseen spirit. I soak in the overflow. I’m never alone. I don’t exist to live, but am resuscitated, rejuvenated, full of hope and expectation; that’s my dance. God inside me is the choreographer — with greater purposes than just good dance steps! Even the dance is in the unseen. But God sees me dancing, and I’m his puppy who got peace.

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Grandma’s on the Family Tree

दादी Abuela おばあちゃん Granny

My Grandma is as sweet as a pie
As calm as a lalabai
As wise as an owl
As loving as a mama bird
As soothing as a warm towel
Grandma
Grandma
I wish I were like you
Oh! But I am!
I am your lamb.
Take me with you ma’am
I will follow you.
—written by one sweet granddaughter—

My Dadiji

(Grandmother)

She was so pleased when we accepted her invitation to come for lunch; she couldn’t hide her pleasure and was beside herself with happiness. Now she was fussing over the dinner table, laid with her best ancient cracked china and glasses. As soon as she heard us enter, she looked up expectantly. Her bent form hurriedly shuffled forward and she stretched very long, nearly out of proportion arms upwards to wrap around us. Contrary to her child-like enthusiastic spirit, was her face; a deep well, full of years and full of memories. Each wrinkle carried a different story, and every unwrinkled story was full of wisdom that somewhere, sometime, found a platform to be shared. We loved it when she used us as her platform. Her stories were extraordinary, nearly unbelievable; full of faith. We all have amazing Grandmas, but my Dadi was one of a kind.

How many Grandmas hitch-hiked through Nazi Germany and Europe in 1938? Mine did. How many retired 60-year-old Grandmas (after becoming widowed) travelled alone by ship to India to serve the needy? Mine did. She told us, “I retired; I put on new tires to go further.” How many Grandma’s prayed continuously for the safety and protection of their children and grandchildren? Mine, yours, and nearly all. That is a grandma’s heart.

My Dadi’s appearance suggested she had reached one hundred years old, but outwardly she hadn’t changed greatly over the past ten or twenty years. Dadi loved teasing her young eighty-year-old friends, by calling them “spring chickens” and boasted to them about her many years, cleverly withholding the figures of her exact age. That was her secret. We knew assuredly that she wanted to live to one hundred and looked forward to it with childlike glee. There would have been one very old, very proud, jubilant lady… had that day arrived.

During this strange season of distancing, depression and aloneness, social media has found its purpose. Shower grandma with love. Even Grandmothers who refuse to be techy have smart and cunning grandkids who figure out ways to reach out to them. Marvels of the digital world never cease. We are united even in virtual suffering… May, 2021.

by the way…
Grandmas thrive on their grandchildren,
because their grandchildren are the best.

Grandmas’ Fridge

Grandma’s door