Eat, Child

The first story I remember of inexplicable divine intervention, happened when I was around 10 years old. To say I was a slow eater, would have been putting it mildly. My family tells horror stories of the hours I would readily spend in front of my meals, slowly picking at the food and eating so slowly that eventually even the polite but unsuspecting houseguests, who would try to give me some company until I was done, would eventually give up and leave the table. Still I would continue to sit, and sit, and sit. Hours later, I’d be allowed to get up from the table and end up throwing half my lunch out, only to be alerted (much to my despair) of the upcoming dinner in the next half hour.  

On this particularly afternoon, I had been abandoned to my own devices at the dining table again, my back to the only entrance into the kitchen/dining room of our Saudi apartment. My mom was in the bedroom, probably caring for my baby brother, and there was no one else in the apartment. I’m sure quite a bit of time had passed in front of my still very full plate, when clear as day, I hear a deep voice from behind me, ring out in the silence ‘Kazhikku koche’ (it means something like- Eat, child). The voice seemed so loud, I almost thought the person was next to me, but of course I was alone. I knew it wasn’t my mom’s voice, it was no voice I’d heard before or recognized. I remember looking up from my plate stunned and then turning around to look at the kitchen door, sure someone had to standing there. No one was there. I got up, looked around the apartment and finally even went into the bedroom to look if there was some guest in the apartment I didn’t know about, but again nothing other than my mom and brother sleeping in the bedroom.

I’m glad even then I suspected the heavens had humor, because after a long time of searching and trying to come up with a reasonable explanation, I gave in and decided it must have been either God or my guardian angel, deciding to break their decade of silence in the life of this unsuspecting little girl. I pictured them, utterly at their wits end, watching this child for 3 hours trying to finish her lunch, daydreaming more than actually eating, all of it getting on their last nerve. And thus began a lifetime of utterly frustrating God with my stubbornness and borderline abuse of the free-will I was given, but don’t worry, it’ll very soon become appalling evident from the stories that hopefully follow this one. Suffice it to say, the Lord has His work cut out for Him, in me.


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