Sunday, December 29, 2013

A TRYST WITH THE FORSAKEN

I went through an experience last week. It is something that I go through every year and this time the intensity seemed to be more. Listening to people speak, reading books, watching movies and experiencing situations in life are those that bring intensity into life for me. I have been struggling with Mahathma Gandhi's 'My Experiments with Truth' for quiet some time, but in the process of that slow reading, I found that the areas of social service, that Gandhi had done, to be really incredible. I also happened to read some articles about Mother Teresa and watch 'Ben Hur' last week. And then Christmas was here and there is a church I go to during that time every year. The street leading to that church is narrow and I have always found beggars and lepers on both sides of this street during this time. I have never got back anytime without giving them something. This time when I dropped a coin into a leper's bowl, I went through that same experience, a feeling to quickly drop the coin and walk away. I think that the feeling of being in that environment was more this time, because of the intensity I went through through the reading and the movie I saw. In the case of beggars, I think this tendency in me, to walk away fast is a shade lesser.




I believe this year, I am beginning to realize all the more, that as a Christian am still crippled. I can only claim extraordinary things but I am nowhere close to being a good Christian. When I was in Sunday School I was a serial first rank holder in all the exams. I have served as a deacon in the church services for several years. I don't have any of the bad qualities to be termed as a bad guy. We pray almost everyday as a family. We go to church and participate in the worship almost every Sunday. I have been a teacher at the church Sunday School since my 12th standard. It's only in the last two years that I have dropped out of active participation in the Sunday School due to the demands from my family side. I have bagged a lot of prizes at the Sunday School and my daughter is also following the same path. But the realization that I get as I wade through the book of Gandhi is that, I am nowhere when it comes to showing compassion on the poor or the sick. My religious approach does not have an active social work component supporting the poor or the sick as yet, something beyond giving them money and food. I wonder how Mother Teresa or Gandhi got themselves into a service where they had to touch the sick and the poor. I believe that without being able to touch them, I am actually not giving them love. I am being noncommittal.

I can keep reading the Bible and praying all my life but I would still remain crippled as a Christian if I am not able to take this step forward.



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