Stepping into this simple house as One where the Guru is held. There isn’t much to gawk over. No chairs needed as everyone sits on the floor as equals. No grand cathedral windows, ceilings reaching to the heavens, hand carved wooden statues, golden dipped challaces with fragrances of Frakincense and what not strewn about. None of it is needed for what matters most is right here, sitting next to me. The witnessing of priceless moments called human existence. This being and I close to the Mother. The only expectation is to come with empty hands and an open heart.
I enjoy sitting next to the old wise women. I have no idea of their names, which village they were from, or how they made the long journey here. However, when the grandmother smiles at me like I am am her own, I feel a sense of belonging. The harmonium gets louder with the chanting and vibrations of the room float higher. All I want is this grandmother to wrap me in the comfort of her shawl draped arms. Her feet are well taken care of, but I ponder over the many miles she has travelled in her years. Then in front and to the diagonal right I cautiously glance at a young woman. Her shoulders are slumped forward in reverent prayer as a transparent forest green scarf cascades over her long black hair which hovers just above the ground. Then I see the man holding his little one of no more than two years old. He has such tenderness and patience as she quietly sits in his lap, fidgeting every now and again. Oh how I want to place the image of this man in front of all those of my culture who act so differently. Why do these actions of simple human nature seem so foreign and yet familiar? I am struck in faith of something beyond this human condition that transforms me from darkness to light.
I know not what you say as mantra echoes from your lips. So how is it I can feel the meaning of the sound? With every sound of the chiming bells, every pound of the tabla, and echo of mantra I feel my Lord penetrate my soul. He lifts me beyond mindless troubles so I can finally have the scenic view of the illusion. How much closer than ever do I feel to my Christ’s saving Grace sitting here to the enchanting melodies uniting in the same harmony of One voice. The current of hymns of my Lutheran childhood resonate through my blood. And yet I feel ever so close to you, my Lord. You nourish me in places where hunger cannot exist.
Oh Christ, I open my hands upwards, empty in knowing that none can be created without you. I receive your body in the form of Prashad instead of a wafer. There’s no difference. Your sweet nectar nourishes my soul in ecstacy. This remembrance of your promise to me, always held in your Love. My mind cannot conceptualize the closeness I feel to you as when I was a child, kneeling at your altar, receiving the anointing of oil on my forehead time and time again being reminding of my baptism and confirmation in you. My baptism in action through it’s many forms, this being only one. I sit here in humbled gratitude receiving only glimpses into infinite galaxies of your Love and wisdom. Knowing that this communion is actually one in the same as I received in the Church. This sweet nourishment of your Love reminds me that the Trinity lies within me.
Yet, I now know within the deepest parts of my soul what your teachings truly mean. Beyond human interpretation of stories of the Bible, beyond the limitations of the language, beyond conception of the mind. Perhaps you view me as a radical of another kind. I know that I am already found in the possibility of seeing All in Him. The possibility that war, violence, and slander are no longer needed in this age of interdependence. No more false identities can be played out like pieces on a game board. For I am choosing to step out of the game and see all the perfection in the cardboard box that holds the pieces. I Know deeply as I sit here, in Gurdwara, that all is perfect and good and right. And I choose to be here. My faith in God’s Grace. With you. Always in service.