One of my favorite spiritual authors is Sadhu Sundar Singh. His story is amazing. Born in 1889 into a Sikh family in India (Sikh is a mix of Hindu and Islamic beliefs) he had a hunger to really know God. His father enrolled him in a Christian missionary school where he was introduced to yet another God option, Jesus.
Singh's heart became even more troubled about who or what to believe, and when he was 16 years old, he yelled out to God that if He didn't reveal Himself he was going to place his head on the train tracks and wait for the next train to take his life. Since God had eluded Singh in this life hopefully he would find Him in the next life.
That night at 3:00 am, Sundar Singh had an encounter with Jesus Christ, and for the rest of his life traveled as a Sadhu (holy man) in the Sikh fashion, but his heart and life belonged solely to Jesus.
He refused to clothe his faith with Western trappings, and lived his life in prayer at Jesus' feet, sharing what he was learning from the heart of the Master, as he spoke in parables all over the world. He roomed for a while with C.F Andrew, who wrote a memoir on Singh, and who also spent much time with Gandhi in India.
The Western world was at a loss with what to do with Singh…He challenged the way Western Christianity worshiped intellectualism and structure more than they spent time learning and listening to Jesus, and simply following him. That is a challenge that Western Christianity still needs to heed.
Here is one of his parables called the Hungry Birds…read, think, meditate and apply 🙂
Once as I wandered in the mountains, I came upon an outcropping of rocks, and as I sat on the highest rock to rest and look over the valley, I saw a nest in the branches of a tree. The young birds in the nest were crying noisily.
Then I saw how the mother bird returned with food for her young ones. When they heard the sound of her wings and felt her presence nearby, they cried all the more loudly and opened their beaks wide. But after the mother bird fed them and flew away again, they were quiet.
Climbing down to look more closely, I saw that the newly hatched birds had not yet opened their eyes. Without even being able to see their mother, they opened their beaks and begged for nourishment whenever she approached.
These tiny birds did not say: "We will not open our beaks until we can see our mother clearly and also see what kind of food she offers. Perhaps it is not our mother at all but instead some dangerous enemy. And who knows if it is proper nourishment or some kind of poison that is being fed to us?"
If they had reasoned thus, they would never have discovered the truth. Before they were eve strong enough to open their eyes, they would have starved to death. But they held no such doubts about the presence and love of their mother, and so, after a few days, they opened their eyes and rejoiced to see her with them.
Day by day they grew stronger and developed into the form and likeness of the mother, and soon they were able to soar up into the freedom of the skies.
We humans often think of ourselves as the greatest living beings, but do we not have something to learn from these common birds? We often question the reality and the loving nature of God. But the Master has said: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
Whenever we open our hearts to God, we receive spiritual nourishment and grow more and more into the likeness of God until we reach spiritual maturity. And once we open our spiritual eyes and see God's presence, we find indescribable and unending bliss.