Down the road, by the market, there’s a secret garden.

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.
Emily Dickinson

Two preachings. Same message. One Sunday. Today.

One by Lynette, Pastor Kevin’s wife. The other by Pastor Mick in B’s church in Cortland through an audio file.

Yesterday was a day of confronting one’s imperfections, damage, ravaged heart and mind. There are things that one strives to change but cannot. Therefore the shame.

Today, Lynette talked about five women in the bible: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary.

These women were imperfect. Some of them outcasts, damaged, living colorful lives that weren’t acceptable to their religious communities. Tamar deceived and had sex with her father-in-law to survive. Rahab was a prostitute who lied to save Jewish spies. Ruth was a Moabite, a non-Jew, reviled by sticklers for the law. Bathsheba committed adultery and had a child with her lover, David. Mary? Who in this day and age would believe that a virgin could be pregnant with God’s son?

Yet these women were handpicked by God, chosen and celebrated in Jesus’ genealogy. God didn’t care about their social status. He didn’t care about their colorful pasts. Mercy triumphs over judgment, Lynette said over and over again.

God was merciful towards their sin and damage. He gave them a blank slate and used their lives to impact others’. Ours. Mine. Mercy triumphs over judgment, words that are being written in my heart.

When I got home, I listened to a preaching in B’s church–Would you just let God adore you?

Towards the end of his message, Pastor Micks talks about a film he saw called Happythankyoumoreplease. There’s a woman character who is in search for the perfect man. She meets this man in her fifth floor office and they’re on their second date. The man is homely and bald. She is attractive. He asks her if she wants white or red wine and she says, Chuck, we need to talk.

He responds–

I know what’s coming. This is the conversation where you say it’s not me. It’s you. You tell me that I’m too good for you. You tell me that I’m just too wonderful. And I’m not any good and I can’t be in this relationship with you. Now would you like red or white?

Chuck, we need to talk, she continues.

No really let me tell you. What if I know better than you what you need? I want you to close your eyes. You know why I come to the fifth floor? Coz the first time I looked at you I said, ‘Wow!’ That woman. I come down just to be in your airspace. I come down just to be near you. Will you let me adore you? I am totally up for loving you, adoring you and being totally everything to you. I know your problem. You don’t think you’re good enough to be loved by me. You don’t think you’re lovable enough and you keep looking in places so you can make yourself feel lovable coz you think if you’re standing by this person that’s why you’re lovable. But I love you for who you are. Please. Let me adore you.

Pastor Mick closes, Won’t you please, just for a moment, let God adore you?

I look forward to the Weekly Photo Challenge every weekend because I am purposeful when I have a theme that I need to render. This photo challenge has also increased my observation skills.

As I walked along Kala Ghoda Street this afternoon, I noticed a leafless tree in front of a building undergoing restoration. It was ironic that the construction net was green and the tree wasn’t. In this frame, what is man-made overrode nature.

I continued to walk down Kala Ghoda and noticed that the blue in this shoe repair shop popped. I switched to the color accent mode in my camera to emphasize the blue.

As I was waiting for my lunch inside the Westside department store, it dawned on me that the paper receipt could be easily crumpled, torn up, thrown away, while the glass table was more solid and less malleable.

I’ve got a long weekend, one of many this year. Originally, I signed up for a tiger safari in Ranthambore but there were no more train tickets. And catching a plane plus renting a car didn’t seem worth it. So here I remain in Mumbai!

I decided to go shopping in Infinity Mall at West Malad. I’m not a mall person because I’d rather save than spend, but from my limited Mumbai mall experience this is my fave mall. If you go early, which means before 3 pm, there’s no one! A luxury in Mumbai! No need to squirm and wiggle your way through a crowd.

I also have a newfound fave shop. Mango! I stayed away from this shop in Manila because the clothes are quite pricey. And Filipinos (or should I say China?) has a way stealing Mango and Zara designs and making copies that you can find in tiangges, the Filipino word for bazaar, entrepreneurial stores where you can bargain!

So far, I’ve only found one bazaar store in Colaba with designs that I really like so for the meantime, Mango it is!

The have designed clothes that are sexy, carefree and perfect for a woman’s body.

I’m glad my trip to Ranthambore didn’t work out because now I can rest and pamper myself.

How do you take care of yourself?