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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tea Time with God

The tea was good. It was perfect, as a matter of fact. The light brown color inside the delicate china cup was offset with the bright orange slice floating on top of it.

"Tea cup," She said, "Is wider than the normal coffee cup because you should drink tea warm, not scorching hot."

"Nothing worse than a lukewarm tea, though," I objected.

"Ah," She smiled, "Don't tell me you've never had lukewarm coffee."

I couldn't help but smile on that remark. She was right, lukewarm coffee was pure blasphemy.

I looked at Her carefully: the lining of silver hair on Her head, the soft tender skin adorned with wrinkles, the grace and understanding, the patience. She looked like a content old woman in Her 70s or 80s, had it not been for Her piercing eyes. If eyes are windows to the world, I was lost in Her eyes because the whole world was truly there. The face was familiar too. It was my face, at least I hope will be in another 40 or 50 years. To be honest I was shocked when I saw Her face.

"But why should you be shocked?" She had ask me with a smile. "I am what you see in yourself."

"Do you mean that I have a serious issue of Delusion Grandeur that I see myself as God?"

"No. It means you see Me as loving, caring, and easy to talk to. This is Me pictured by you. This is Me you found in you. Naturally I will take your form. Slightly older though, I wouldn't dream to fool Myself and look as youthful as you," she concluded with a wink.

"Then others will see differently?"

"If I decided they worth the Time, yes," She answered.

"So You deemed me worthy of Your time?" I asked.

"Yes. And also because you need Me."

"Other people need You too." I objected.

"Ah, but you see, they don't want Me."

It took me a second or two to register Her statement.

"You do aware that there are wars fought on Your behalf?" I asked Her tentatively, all the while thinking was I talking with an impostor.

"No, I am not an impostor," She answered with a wink, clearly reading my mind. "Yes, the wars and hatred were done on My behalf, if you want to call it that way, but it really was not for Me. They are worshipping their own Gods inside their mind."

"What Gods?"

"The seven cardinal sins. Sad Ripu. Satan. Whatever you like to call it."

I was perplexed. Her words were surreal. The white linen adorned with lace, the beautiful china set spread on our tea table, the pretty little canapes and sandwiches, were all of those unreal as Her words? The sugar cubes on the sugar container, the honey, the jam, the flowers on the vase, all the delightful color beautifully arrayed on the table, were all of those unreal too? But they were all too beautiful to be untrue.

"That, my dear," She continues. "Is the problem."

"You think that this whole scene is picturesque. You love it. You want it to stay picturesque because it suits your mind. You will do anything that you can for it to stay picturesque. If any one comes and say it is ugly, or deliberately ruin the table for you, you will be angry and avenge your loss. Even though there were no loss, except the one in your head."

I listened to her attentively, still very much lost.

"It's the same with Me. These people picture religion, Me, as the true source of their happiness. Naturally when somebody criticize it and/or do something to destroy their source of happiness, they became angry and retaliate. Was it truly Me or my teaching they defend? Or was it just their lust and greed for happiness?"

"Is that why You said they don't want you?" I asked.

I looked down on my tea, stirring it without thinking.

"You are wrong," I told Her. What was I thinking to defy God?? Yet still I continue, "They wanted You. They needed You."

She smiled. "Your defiance is what made Me think you worth My time."

She bend forward and touched my arm softly, "I am here. I am always here. Your defiance show your faith in me, your desire for the betterment of yourself and your fellow human. How can you, as My child, learn anything if you do not ask questions? How can you, as My reflection, become better if you just accept everything bluntly? Faith understood is a stronger one than Faith memorized."

"Which is why Satan is my second in command."

I looked at Her in shocked.

"No, I am serious. Satan's Seven Cardinal Sins, or Sad Ripu, whatever you want to call it, allow human to grow even more than all my Archangel combined. The true kindness and betterment of self can only be achieved by conquering one's temptation."

"Tell me, child," She continued, "Which one will give you a greater sense of purpose and pride? Earning an A in basic elementary school math or a B in advanced algebra?"

I sank to my chair. My head spun. The warm summer days seemed almost too much for me. The buzzing of the bees and the insect on the garden can be heard from our charming little gazebo. For a while nobody said anything. She only gazed calmly at the garden with a gentle smile, looking very much like a regular old lady who was enjoying Her life.

"Human often see things in a microscopic scale. Only small things, and only what suits their idea of happiness. For instance," She looked at me, "You see the beautiful table arrangement here."

I nodded.

"Did you also see or think of all the bees that worked hard for the honey? The pain of the sugar cane when it was cut down to make the sugar? Did you think of all the living yeast that got burned in a very high temperature to make the bread? Or the cotton picked and spun to make this tablecloth? There's also the salmon caught and killed and cut for the canapes, and various vegetable that used to adorn them. This whole table can be seen as a pure picturesque perfection, and at the same time it can also be seen as pure grotesque perfection if you think of the pain that involved in it."

I started to tremble when I heard Her voice next: "But it is not bad."

She looked at me straight in the eyes. "My dear, this is life. Life is not striving for happiness only, not to pursue a seat with Me in heaven. It will take a long time to be seated with Me with that method."

She waved at the table empathetically, "This, my dear, is life."

"The goal for human is to understand every aspect of it, all the good and all the bad, to finally accept it as it is. Blind acceptance, just like blind faith, will lead you nowhere."

She let out a long, sorrowful sigh.

"It has been too long," she said. "When I first appointed Satan and the Cardinal Sins I thought human will evolve faster, that there will be more of us having tea time together like this. Instead it went on and on, and they worship and revel in the Sins instead, even though the pretext was for Me and My teaching."

"No," I exclaimed. "You are wrong."

She smiled again. Grinned, to be exact, from ear to ear. I blushed.

"There are people," I stammered, "who recognize the hate and fear and sins we are in. There are people who wanted this to end, who wanted the peace."

"People like you, you mean," She answered.

"Well," I blushed harder. "No. Better people. I have sinned too much," as I remember the raucous nights I spend with different men, of all the lies I did and the wrongs I make.

"No sin of flesh is greater than the sin of mind," She said softly. "It is not what you have done, it is your remorse after. It is your faith before and after. It is your desire to be better not just for yourself but also for others."

I started to cry. I was a sinner. I have always been. How can I be forgiven so easily?

"What is there to forgive?" She said gently, "You do not harm others with your action, and even when you did it was either an accident that you regret, or something beyond your control because you go at length to not hurt others."

I cried harder. She stood up and hug me. I knew I soiled Her pretty dress, but I can't stop crying.

"My child, you are good. You are good." She said that over and over again as She stroke my hair gently.

It took me forever to finish crying. By the time I was done, I knew I was unpresentable: red eyes, puffy cheeks, tears streak all over my face. Yet I strengthen myself to ask Her. I just have to ask her.

"What can I do for you?"

She smiled proudly and gently lifted my chin. "Love. We need more love."

"It is a longer and more treacherous path than the sins, a more difficult one as well. But it is a better solution than sins to be reunited with Me."

She sat down and looked at me in my eyes. "Love yourself. Love Me inside of you. Love others. Love Me inside of others."

I held Her hands tight.

"Sins work best for personal evolvement," She continued, "You learn from your mistakes and become better. But what does that do for others? Love and understanding, in the other hand, allows other to be better as well, not just yourself."

"Don't you ever wonder, dear, why all the God or holy people figure are depicted as humble? Some even go as far as to claim themselves as servants. It's because to be a servant you have to take away your pride and other temptation, and understand what other need instead."

"To understand, to accept, is to love."

I held Her hands tighter, gushes of emotions flowing through me. My mind was blown away and I felt like I am in the state of delusion or even hallucination. I wanted to cry, to scream, to ask Her a million questions. Yet what came out of my mouth was: "When and how can I see You again?"

She stroke my hair and said: "I am always around," and gently kissed my forehead.

I closed my eyes. I knew it is time.

When I woke up I was in my bed, alone. It was a dream, I said. A dream. The thought that it merely a dream threw me in a sudden fit of depression. There was no God. There was only hate. There was only pain. I would open my social media account and be flooded with hatred and vitriol comments. I would turn on my TV and be drowned in conflicting news, an endless array of he-said-she-said. I would go out there to the world and there will only be despair and emptiness. I have had enough. Enough.

My phone beeped. It was a message from my friend. I opened it with a sinking heart, fearing what she had to say. It was a picture of a painting of a tea time table laden with goods and overlooking a garden, with a caption: "Look what I got for your bday!" Tears flowed down my cheek. One and two at first, then it was a river. I was wrong. There was also hope out there. And love. And Her. There will always be the three of them together. There will always be Her around. I wept in joy.

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