From Krishna to Christ

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


For those reading, please excuse the breaks between these posts. With a demanding job and a child on the way time is becoming scarce.

I would really like to move forward at this point to engage some discussions that I have encountered on the internet as well as some of Prabhupad’s teachings. But beforehand, I will leave a second post related to my conversion. I’ve shared my first encounter with the Gospel and would now like to share a little on prayer.

As evident from the earlier posts, growing up within the ISKCON movement I had very little if any Christian influence in my life. We lived isolated from society until my early teens. By that time my parents had divorced and remarried, with father leaving the movement. Through this transition I found myself in public school for the first time, and in the years that followed my faith began to slowly wane. By the time I was in college my childhood almost seemed like a strange dream or a different life altogether. I had become a cynic and skeptic at heart.

At the peak of my doubts a Christian entered my life for the first time on a regular basis. It was my grandmother (father’s mother). Now when I was a child I saw her maybe once a year for a couple days, if that. She lived a couple states away and our relationship was very limited. When I was in my teens she became ill and suffered a stroke, losing much of her cognitive mind. She could remember 30 years ago, but had no recollection of breakfast. After the stroke my father brought her to Mississippi to look after her. This was an enormous burden though as he was in school at the time. Eventually he made the difficult decision of putting her in a nursing home. So on a weekly basis I would visit her and for the first time I had a consistent relationship with my grandmother.

Grandma was delusional, but she was still my grandma. I would sit and listen to her talk for hours. She and my grandfather were missionaries in India for 33 years. They raised 3 boys and a girl overseas, of whom only my aunt remains a Christian today. The influence of India, by the way, played a large part in my father joining the Krishna movement and me being born into ISKCON. Anyhow, I would get to hear stories nonstop from grandma about our family, mission experiences, the church, and of course Jesus Christ. To be honest, I didn’t pay the most attention. Everything she said was pretty much crazy as far as I was concerned. Sometimes I would walk into her room and she thought I was grandpa still alive. But I spent time with her nonetheless because it made her happy.

The thing is, she was the only person at that point in my life, when I despised faith and God the most, that I would actually listen to about anything spiritual. If a kid approached me at college and wanted to talk about Jesus it probably would have ended in an argument. But I would listen to my grandma because I knew that she was out of her mind anyway. And so she went on and on. And she would pray for me. In fact, it would not surprise me in the least if my insane grandmother was the only person on the face of the earth that was praying for my salvation in those dark years of my life. And I would sort of roll my eyes, tell her how much I loved her, kiss her on the forehead, and just go back into my little world.

When my grandmother finally passed and I thought considered it a relief. I was tired of seeing her in such a miserable condition. She was not a perfect woman. She made many mistakes in her life, but to see her suffer in a mental fog was difficult for all of us. I can say that I was actually happy in a way when she died.

Several years went by before I ever found myself on my knees praying to God for forgiveness. Now I can’t help but shake my head as I look around in a troubled world that spites Him as a tyrant. This, the very God who kept His covenant promise to a deranged old woman on her deathbed.

If any old friends or any in ISKCON should read this, just know that today I pray for your salvation and will continue to do so until my grave. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Perhaps you will not agree with anything I have to say. Maybe I even sound mad. But I will share with you regardless and pray unto the end.
Michael 9:46 AM


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