Tuesday, December 28, 2010

“God listens to my prayers”


COLUMN: SPIRITUAL MATTERS

Says newly-crowned Navy Queen, Elizabeth Thadikaran

By Shevlin Sebastian

At night, just before she goes to sleep, Elizabath Thadikaran, all of 19, says a prayer to God. “I tell Him about my day,” she says. “It is a one-way conversation. Although He does not speak, I know that He is listening to me. I thank Him for keeping my family disease and accident-free. I ask God to look after my parents and grandparents. I pray that I am able to do well in my studies and make them proud.”

The newly-crowned Navy Queen also cares about others. “I pray for all the poor people,” says Elizabeth. “That they get enough food to eat. That the sick will get well soon. I know of a few friends whose fathers have passed away. I ask God to give them the strength to bear the loss. I also urge God to protect all those young girls who have been forced into prostitution.”

When she closes her eyes to pray, Elizabeth has an unusual image of God. “I see an empty wooden chair with a high backrest,” she says. “This is because I don't know how God looks like. But to me, he is huge, like a giant Gulliver.”

Standing next to the chair is Jesus Christ. He has black eyes, pink lips, a beard and shoulder-length brown hair. “There is a smile on his face,” she says. “Jesus always gives me the impression that He is listening keenly to whatever I am saying.”

Interestingly, Elizabeth says that while Jesus resides in her heart, God remains outside. “I have no idea why this is so,” she says.

For the Navy Queen contest, Elizabeth had prepared meticulously. Her Toronto-based sisters, Sonya and Tanya, called her up four to five times every day providing tips on how to answer questions, how to avoid walking in a hunched manner and to keep smiling. But three days before the competition, Elizabeth panicked when, during the training session, she was told that she did not have a good walking style.

Elizabeth came home, slipped on a pair of high heels, and practised for hours, trying to improve her walk. And just before she went on stage, for the final, at Kochi, a fortnight ago, she prayed fervently. “I said, ‘God, let me do this well,’” she says. “I prepared so hard. Let me not fumble.”

Elizabeth clarifies that she never asked God for a win. Her theory of success is simple. “You have to do 85 per cent of the work and if He thinks you deserve it, God will provide the remaining 15 per cent that you need to succeed,” she says.

Asked whether she gets angry with God when a negative event takes place, Elizabeth says, “I have noticed that when a bad thing happens, something good will follow soon.”

The youngster feels that man will always need God. “He has given us the air that we breathe,” says Elizabeth. “It is He who has provided the seeds for everything to grow in Nature. Because He created us, God will always take care of us. To me, He is the supreme power in the universe.”

Elizabeth has a morning ritual to please this supreme power. Before she leaves the house, she stands in front of a photo of Jesus Christ and prays for a safe journey.
“When I do this, I know that God will protect me from harm,” she says. But Elizabeth does agree that accidents do take place and people die. “Sometimes, God allows tragedies to happen for reasons we cannot understand,” she says. “His ways are mysterious.”

(The New Indian Express, Kochi)





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