Filing away my lines—Listen to this

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The speaker took his seat again;
The congregation sat enthralled.
Ofcourse, they felt alive, refreshed,
Ready to go to cannibal land,
If so the Lord called,
Or so they thought.
And when they stood to pray, I watched—
Their hands were raised, emotions reigned.
Perhaps some dreamed of martydom
In far-off wild and heathen lands
And at the gates—their diadem

Over dinner that very night,
They heard a radio voice appeal.
No oration this but simple words
Of scripture—sharp and clear and real.
If they’d had ears, they would have heard,
The Lord was actually calling them.
Not to distant lands, but to obedience.
Will these be the ones on that awful day
Who’ll stand before the throne and say,
“Lord, Lord, did we not work for Thee?”
And He must say, “Depart from Me.”

-n- June 1985

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which, as I have mentioned before, also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

Filing away my lines—Reminder

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Penned when living in New Delhi

A bird sat at my window sill
“Sweet Sweet” he seemed to say,
“Sweet is my life since the Father cares
“And feeds me everyday.”

The wise old bird, his head held high
Tweeted shrill and clear,
“When I stumble and fall, the Father knows,
“I’m precious, loved and dear.”

You remind me bird, to you my thanks,
Of the Father’s loving ways–
Of more value am I than you,
Can I forget His grace?

The bird, his purpose over now,
As ‘Thank You Lord . . .” I prayed,
His ‘Amen’ was a joyous tweet
As he took off and flew away.

-n- 15 October 1988

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which as I have mentioned before also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

Filing away my lines—A moment invested

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Penned when I was in Anbu Hospital in Teppakkulam Madurai with Flora Athai

A moment with Thee is like refreshing breeze.
How profits my soul when I’m down on my knees.
Thy presence with me is like healing balm.
The storms in my heart abate and all is calm.

A moment with Thy word and ready I am to face
The trials and toil my life is bound to trace.
I spen a moment to drink my heart’s fill–
Of Thy word, and glory, I am richer still.

-n- 21 December 1986

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which, as I have mentioned before, also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

Filing away my lines—End Of Worship Service

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My note from 1996: My own children are yet too small, although I have begun worrying about their spiritual safety, but right now I feel pressured to keep a check on Prabhu and Sam my precious wards

The worship is ended,
The brethren are leaving,
Their voices and laughter
Fade into the sun.
So silent the prayer room
Just hallowed by praising,
It all feels so empty
And still and alone.

A flash in my mind
And a quick recognition
Of the Presence who stays with me
All the day long.
I kneel at His feet
As I feel healing comfort,
And glory He changed
Lonesome tears to a song.

-n- 6 May 1996

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which, as I have mentioned before, also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

Filing away my lines—Aboard Lord

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My note from 1996: My own children are yet too small, although I have begun worrying about their spiritual safety, but right now I feel pressured to keep a check on Prabhu and Sam my precious wards

Safe from the enemy’s hand
We’re all on the boat, Lord
Safe from the tyrant’s land;
We’re all aboard, Lord.

The children came one by one
And all on the boat, Lord
The journey has now begun,
With all aboard, Lord.

The storms are sudden they say.
We’re all on the boat, Lord
And the kids on the deck play,
But all aboard, Lord.

They lean far over the railing,
While all on the boat, Lord
A sudden heave could a child fling,
Still all aboard, Lord.

They will not come inside
Right now in the boat, Lord
Cover them Master, and help provide
To stay aboard, Lord.

I’m sick with fear
For them on the boat, Lord
May the journey’s end be near,
While all aboard, Lord.

-n- 10 May 1996

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which, as I have mentioned before, also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

Filing away my lines – The Parting

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This was written when Tim was not quite four.

Alone on an island in the empty sea,
Tim stood bewildered watching me
Sail away at a steady pace
Till I was but a dot that he could trace,
And gone now.

He cradled his face in the sand and cried
Mama had abandoned her precious child
To die here.

The heart of his mama broke anew
Each mile of the way as the ocean grew
Between them.

The heart of our God and Parent of all
What sorrow will bear when doom befalls
His children.

Before them—gloom and thickening black precedes
Behind them light, love, good, sing and dance recedes
Never again to see home and Father
Alone and hate and dark and die
Forever.

-n- 31 May 1996

[Disclaimmer: I am not proud of most of the "poetry" that I have penned in my lifetime. I am no poet, but most of these poems were written at times when prose could not have provided the necessary expression and release of emotion. My poems are as important to me as singing may to be to someone who is not endowed with a singing voice---it justifyably fulfils a need. Thus, although not primarily meant for the consumption of the wider audience, it has a place in my blog, which, as I have mentioned before, also functions as a platform for my own retrieval and use.]

College Song of Gurukul Lutheran Theological College

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In 1926, my great grandfather wrote the college song in literary Tamil. In order to make its meaning plain, and disregarding the original meter, here is my translation of the same.

In the hands, pure as petals, of the blessed of the Lord
Deeply rooted is their heritage—the gospel of the cross.
Like the great white lotus spreads its scent, so from their hand,
May the gospel’s fragrance sweetly pervade through this land.

Blooms the creeper as it climbs, entwined upon a tree;
To the Tree, hold on, everyday, together, steadfastly.
As you blossom forth for India’s sake from Gurukul,
May the Lord Jesus’ blessings in your labour be rich and full.

From the pond the lotus looks up woken by the brightness
With much joy and ardour, and did Luther in that likeness.
With his eyes fixed on the cross, to mankind appealing,
Taught the truth—the word of God—words of life and healing.

Ours to study, discern the truth and hold to the Bible way
Ours, ever transfixed in deep devotion to Jesus dear, to pray
Ours to let the songs ring out; to the Holy One be love and honor,
And at the feet of the Triune God, day by day, be rooted stronger.

-n- 2003

Most of what I know about this good man Rev N. Samuel, is from the writings of his son, my grandfather Rev S. Gnanamanickam, whom we called Dhadi thatha because of his flowing beard. Let me read to you from Chapter IV of the book Dhadi thatha co-authored with Rev. J. Sandegren called ‘N. Samuel of Tranquebar‘.

“When the Gurukul at Madras was being planned, he had agreed, in spite of his 77 years, to take one or two lessons a week there. But death intervened before the Gurukul was opened. He did, however write a college song for the Gurukul, which is at present daily used by the students and has become Samuel’s last contribution as teacher of theology.”

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