Monday, 9 April 2012

A treasure

We celebrated Jesus' resurrection yesterday.  Celebrated as a church by calling people together for a time of sharing our stories and and His story.  The whole week we prayed together in different people's homes.  On Saturday evening we hit the streets and gave our invitations to people we met on the road.

And on Sunday evening we celebrated in the JSK training hall.  As a church we celebrate here each Sunday evening from 6-7.30 by holding a gospel meeting for people admitted at JSK and their relatives - and others who wish to come too.  But for the Easter meeting we pulled out all the stops - music, a mini drama, a last minute correography (featuring Asha as one of the dancers) - it was all there.

We all enjoyed a lovely time together, sharing the joy of Jesus with a group of people of 80 odd people.  Who were they?  Our friends ranged from old acquaintances and neighbours to people who we literally met 'by God-incidence' on the street.

There are many stories to tell about yesterday evening.  But I will just stick to one small tale.

After the meeting was over we had a time of talking with people, praying with them - with chai, soda and sandwiches doing their rounds as well.

Small conversations sprouted across the room - and downstairs in the canteen area.

One of them was a woman who had a patient admitted at a hospital in Mumbai.  She had come for help.  She really wanted money.  One of our church members talked with her and prayed with her.  This lady was very restless.  She halted at the gate of the compound - confused, perplexed - and seeking some kind of help. 

What to do?  How to help?

These questions keep cropping up.  How do you help a person you meet for the first time?  Should you give cash?  How much do you need to find out more about them?  The list goes on...

The story yesterday unspooled this way....

As the lady was leaving another man who had come to the meeting - and who heard what she was saying - gave her a Rs. 100 note.

The man is an old friend of ours.  He has HIV.  A few years ago he was drinking himself to death.  Sitting with another HIV positive man in a place where bodies are burnt and drinking day and night.

Somehow - after many prayers and many visits - he turned a corner.  He is alive today.  He goes to work.

Lets call him Tamas.

At his workplace yesterday, he met an autorickshaw driver who showed Tamas a pamphlet he was given on Saturday evening.  Tamas recognised my name on it - and the venue.  And so he came.

It showed us again - at the crux of need - it is often the poor who know how to help best.

On the day we celebrated Jesus' resurrection - a broken life made whole again reached out and touched another who was in despair.

That small act did not pass the muster of the world's press.  It was not talked about in halls of power.  But the Father up above who is looking down in love saw it.

A treasure.

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