– Taarika Chandy


I have a big problem, a bone to pick (if you will) with the message of salvation. And it is this. To truly understand the vastness of God’s forgiveness, first a girl has to go into her past and remember all the things she’s done wrong, all the times she’s messed up or put her foot on the wrong path.

This is unfortunately not a very exciting way to spend an evening. There’s a lot of cringing in shame, wriggling in embarrassment, and trying to be as numb as possible, to the vivid technicolour memory playing out like a particularly garish episode in a TV series.

But last week I had a weird thought. It was, quite frankly, shocking.

We’ve all been there; that moment when you’re suddenly dizzy at the weight of a mistake you’ve just made, the moment when your best friend/husband/wife/ gets tears in their eyes because of something you just blurted out, the moment that you wish you could run away from, the sense of shame you want to bury beneath the umpteenth repetition of “I didn’t mean it”.

Well, there I was, standing and re-living these occasions in my own life, when my beautiful Saviour suddenly walked into the frame. He glanced at me, smiled at my shock and while I was still standing there with my mouth open, He did something completely crazy.

He walked towards me, turned me around and pushed me out of the frame. Then He stood in my place. Suddenly those words, the same ones that I cringe thinking about, were coming out of His mouth. Suddenly those thoughts, the ones I can’t bear to think about now, are His thoughts. Suddenly, He becomes the one who’s said that hurtful sentence, He’s the one who has made the terrifying mistake, He’s the one starring in the garish TV episode about the brokenness of humanity.

And I’m just standing there, a silent extra in the episode that was supposed to ruin my life. He’s got me covered.

It was flabbergasting! I couldn’t fathom it. How could He, the most perfect love of my life, say those words? How could He stand there and bear to make that terrible mistake I made?

But that’s exactly what He did for us. That, right there, is salvation; being rid of all shame, all mistakes, all past insecurities because He’s taken it and given us a clean slate. He’s taken our wrongs and given us His perfect right. Oh, how He loves us!

And the best part is, that this episode of the TV series of my life, the one I used to hate re-living? It now has my favourite character in the whole wide world in it.

Taarika Chandy is a girl with an interest in many things. Thankfully they all rhyme – Jesus, cheeses and trees. She’s currently working with an NGO in the city and hopes to experience life in beautiful Mumbai for many years to come