Tuesday, 9 August 2016

This is my body, broken for you

These are days in which Dad is fading.  

Over the last week, each day he is less able to do the things he always has done.  His detailed medicine lists - where he made small diagrammes of each pill he took, and what dose, and when... that little notebook has not had any entries by him since August 3rd.   The last day he wrote, the marks are squiggly.

Dad has been reading less.

Previously, he would pore over his Bible.  Making small notes. Praying.   These days we read to him. He sits with eyes closed.  Hearing some.  Dozing off for other parts.

The paper used to be a small highlight - with him asking several times in the morning whether it has come.  Today it went unread.

He knows he is super drowsy and does not like it.

When he talks with people, he slips off to a kind of sleep.  The portion of the day in which Dad's eyes are closed is ever greater.

Earlier he would force himself to go out for a small walk each day.  The last 3 days have been walkless days.  The short shuffle to the toilet takes enormous energy and concentration.

So many dear ones want to come and meet Dad.   The love that the army of people around the world have for Mum and Dad is just amazing.  We see the many, many who have been touched in various ways across the decades.  People who are who they are today because of Dad and Mum's kindnesses to them at crucial times in their lives.

We are suggesting to most that their coming will be too painful - especially those who plan to travel large distances and have not seen him for many years.  Dad just is not in a position to meet people anymore.  That portion of his life seems to be swinging shut now.   But we have so much hope, since we do believe in the resurrection life - a life beyond the limits of the here and now.  A time when we will know and be fully known.

And so we are left with the remains of the day.  The opportunities that we have had over these last weeks and months to share this life with Dad.  The times of prayer and farewell.

The times of being able to serve him in small ways.   The conversations that we have had.

It struck me two nights ago:  Dad's tongue is now being stilled.

What he has spoken in his life has now largely been said.  He will not greet people on the streets of Landour as he has always done.  He will not give people small portions of Scripture in their native tongue in the trains.  He will not insist on meeting the beggar and slipping him a note along with a word of encouragement and honour - and a short prayer.  He will not tap away at his computer - sending some advice to a person in a distant land, ending it with sooooooooooooooooooo much love!

Those times are largely over.  Dad's fund of words has been largely said.  And he can rest knowing that he has said what he needs to say, and said it well.

Mum continues to love her dear husband in word and deed.

We are grateful that Narendra is with us at this time - his gentle actions and loving words are a great help as Dad slips into increasing silence.

Mum continues to sing to Dad and read from the Book of books.

They started their lives together with scripture: "will you magnify the Lord with me, and shall we exalt His name together?" and have held true to their vows across these 49 years.

They continue to speak to each other - with Mum being the more vocal one now.

It is hard to communicate when the one you love does not reply much.  But love overcomes the silence and fills it with acceptance.

How much does Dad understand?  How much is his pain under control?  It is hard to say since he communicates so much less.

Mum has been so strong in so many ways.

But strength needs feeding too.  We are grateful for the tide of prayer going up on behalf of Mum as well as Dad.

We would love to see Dad 'healed' but it looks increasingly certain that his healing will take place when our Lord returns and everything is renewed.   This is no cop-out.  It is the very hope of glory.  Resurrection.

I am so grateful for Sheba's quiet and sensible love.  It is hard to be supervising your father-in-law's palliation, but the deep core of kindness in Sheba continues to play itself out in our lives.

We are thankful that we do have these days with Dad - as painful as the gradual slipping away is.

At least we are together.

At least we do have these times.

There are a host of 'what-ifs' that swarm around, but we need to hold on to the Lord and not look back.

A bitter-sweet experience for me took place the day before yesterday.

It was the Lord's day - and the family was worshipping at the RE Mission church on the HBM Campus.  I was alone with Dad at home.

Dad and I remembered our Lord's suffering and triumph together.

 "This is my body - broken for you" said Jesus to His disciples on that dark night before the darkest day.   He gave them the bread and asked them to remember Him - something Dad and I were able to do with the symbolic eating of the bread.   "Thank you Jesus" Dad said as we prayed together.

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever to drink it, in remembrance of me," our Lord said when He passed the cup around at the end of that meal.  We here in Lalitpur, the two of us also took part, and joined all those in the church 50 meters from us, and all those around the world who were joined in communion too.

Am I ever glad that Dad and I shared that meal of remembrance of the Lord's resurrection on Sunday.

I don't know if we will do so again in this age. 

God be with you till we meet again;
  1. By his counsels guide, uphold you;
    With his sheep securely fold you.
    God be with you till we meet again.
  2. (Chorus)
    Till we meet, till we meet,
    Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
    Till we meet, till we meet,
    God be with you till we meet again.
  3. God be with you till we meet again;
    When life's perils thick confound you,
    Put his arms unfailing round you.
    God be with you till we meet again.
  4. God be with you till we meet again;
    Keep love's banner floating o'er you;
    Smite death's threat'ning wave before you.
    God be with you till we meet again.
This picture taken this morning - inside Dad's room.... and the picture below in our little garden outside his window...


  1. Bro.Andi ..Thank you so much for posting and describing in way I felt I was there to understand and see the whole situation going on there ... Just an hour before I was with Ron and Lio's house and were discussing about forth-coming OM meeting on 29th August ...It was your Dad's desire all OMers should come to-gather and his whole list of plan to do with and further follow up .... even though I am packed this month but I am going to save this date and Bro. Eicher will be in our thought during this time of fellowship ... you must come up a whole video on his program .... his life in India and moving with all people as you describe bits here .... His contribution is great to this nation ... and you are following the same steps like your dad... May God bless and specially strength to your Mum ..

  2. We are with you at such a time as this empathizing & praying........... May HIS will be done in all our lives........... We love you all......
    God Bless You & lots Of Love........

  3. Hi Andi and Family greeting and prayers from FL. Our love for your parents compels me to write. We spent 3 years serving in DD, your parents were so gracious to us when we would visit Landour or they came our way!
    Please greet them for us and tell them we look forward to a reunion in heaven! God strengthen you all and give you peace! Love David and Sandy Jackson

  4. I am constantly praying for Dads speedy recovery, God will surely do a miracle, Im with you always. God bless, Love to Mom

  5. I saw this post on Premila's FB feed this morning. Last night I was seeking the Lord in my Houston, Texas apartment - a world and some years away from the concerns of India. The song of Chris Hale's called Jaya Dev from the Amrit Vani album came on as my ipod shuffled through songs. I was journaling and as I heard the celebratory sound of Jaya Dev, Jaya Dev, narahari, narahari an image came into my mind - it was Uncle Ray walking and skipping a bit on an Indian path and he was entering the glory of God. I felt that heaven was singing this song welcoming him - a welcome home parade. I looked up the meaning of the words and it is Victory to God. This is the man who proclaims Victory to God and who is walking into His Presence. For those left behind the view is shrouded but God is surely with you, His Father's embrace is around you. I cried as I thought of your mother needing the Lord's embrace in this separation and as I see your post this morning I pray for the same comfort and embrace for you and all of your family. May we all see the Lord clearly and long to be with Him forever. Thank you for your faithfulness, for going deep with your parents at this time. --Sarah Young

  6. Thank you Brother Andy for the update date on Uncle's condition. Praying for strength for you and your family. Please convey my regards to your mom. Blessings! yori Mallipudi living in Andhra Pradesh. Friend of Premila.

  7. Andi, you bless us all by sharing this so openly. Many of us both grieve for your loss (and ours) and rejoice in the great gift that your Dad has been.

  8. Thanks for this Andi. We are walking with you through this. We continue to pray for all of you. For strength and peace. Hugs from the hillside.

  9. Dear Andi, Christa, Ray, Stefan, Premila, and, oh, such an extended family - spouses, grandchildren, so many you, Ray and Christa, have touched, loved, disciplined, prayed with and prayed for - we reach out with longing arms to hold you up, would love to help carry you all through these days. God's Grace, Spirit, Word and Promises do what we cannot do, and He is always to be trusted with what we cannot know and understand. Please know that, having walked similar paths in our own family, our hearts weep with you, as well as rejoice with you over ALL the promises of scripture. Our God Reigns, and that in Majesty.

  10. Dear Andi,

    We send our love and prayers across the miles to Ray and Christa and to all of your dear family at this time. We communicate with such emotion the reality of each day, comparing when Ray was strong and reaching out to so many to how he is now being weak and quiet in body but preparing to enter his heavenly home with anticipation. How we wish we hadn't hesitated to revisit India as we could have fellowshipped with he and your dear mother. I know Gordan Magney will be greeting him in glory and they will both be there to greet us also. Our assurance of heaven is so comforting.
    Be sure of our love and prayers.

  11. Please give your mom and dad Big Hugs from us and tell your dad he has always been a great example to us from the first days we came to India in 1966. We love You....

  12. Praying for all of you as a family at this time Andy bhaiyya. Be assured that the Lord is with you through it all and is strengthening all of you, including Uncle Ray, in ways that our eyes cannot see. Please give uncle and aunty Christa a hug from me and pass on my love and prayers. Mom, dad and Sammy are also standing with you in prayer. We love you...

  13. Dear Brother, Thanks for sharing in a wonderful way as such I was with you. We decided to visit you but after reading the post we decided not to disturb you all in this moment. We are continually praying for your family. Hope Uncle Ray collection of empty match boxes must have had colourful and wonderful pictures, I was impressed by his collection. When a see unique picture on Match box I remember Uncle Ray smiling face. I never worked with him I spent only few hours with family but I am in love with them. Godly people God bless them. See you soon if God's will. Our prayers with you all. Vincent, Hyderabad