Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jehovah Rophi-God who heals!

Monica was wheeled into the out-patient in a stretcher,taken to the orthopaedics OPD where Mathew after examining her promptly called us up and handed her over to us.She was a fifteen year old child with a 0 power in her lower limbs with a bladder and bowel involvement.Some aspects of her sensation were still intact.She had a history of having had fever a week ago following which she had rapidly become paralysed waist down.She also had a confusing picture of some degenerative changes in the spine.However,MRI and a second opinion from a radiologist in Dehradun confirmed a diagnosis of Transverse myelites.The first thing that struck me when I visited her the next morning was her cheerful face.It touched my heart to see a child so obviously incapacitated giving me an ear to ear smile .I mentally made a note that I would take some time to talk to her and share the gospel with her.The power in both the lower limbs was grade 0/5-that did not stop her from giving me the grin.We started her on steroids(IV)and monitered her daily.There was no progress whatsoever but I could literally see her face becoming downcast by the fourth day or so.The fifth day when I visited her I found her crying to go back home and her parents were just waiting for me to let me know that they wanted to take their child home since there was no progress.It struck me with a pang that I still had not taken time out to talk to her so I wheeled her to the out-patient and tried to share the gospel with her.In between my speaking to her and her listening carefully a doubt crossed my mind.I wondered to myself what she could have understood.I gave her a new testament .I did one thing out of desperation, which I normally do not do ,I taught her how to pray for healing in Jesus' name.Her parents were standing by with downcast faces,more so because of the child's situation.
We discharged her.I was out of town for almost a fortnight.
The second day of my day at work,in the mid-morning I found one of my juniors sitting near the door very enthusiastically greeting someone with just the phrase 'very good!' over and over again.
That was when she walked into my chamber supported by her mother.It took me sometime to recognise her ,when I did I was amazed to see her on her feet.Both her parents were smiling from ear to ear.
I remembered I had shared the gospel with her but I had forgotten the exact nature of my sharing so I hesistantly asked her if she had read the book that I had given her-she said yes and that it was all about Jesus.The next thing that I asked her was if she had prayed and then she reminded me that she had been praying exactly the way I had taught her.
Transverse Myelites as a norm takes around six months to heal and there are people who are chronically indisposed for life.
I remember why I had taught her to pray.Prayer in a hands of a person with a clean but broken heart and an innocent faith can be a powerful tool.Very often in life during difficult situations,we do everything but pray in simple faith.
I was overwhelmed,humbled and reminded ,how great a heritage our God has entrusted us with and we continue to move through life oblivious of it's worth.He is a Jehovah Ropha!-a God who heals.We need to take Him at His Word.For that,we need to know His Word.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mumbai,a sprain.......and just blogging!

Was on my way back from Mumbai,had a day in hand in Delhi.Was doing the round of the guest houses to book one for my cousins who were in town,managed to sprain my ankle.
This is become a norm for me.My ankle haS been unstable eversince I chose to wear the white boot in the traffic in Delhi when I was ten.I was in it for a whole month.Went under the wheel of a newly married sardar who was still in his honeymoon haze in defence colony in Delhi.Incidently, my eyes were on the window of a bookshop,while my two sisters walked along with me on the side-walk.I decided to step down instinctively while I watched the white ambassador slowly climb onto my leg.This is India,so the car was immediately surrounded.The agitated man parked his car on my leg.I thought it was crushed but by God's grace it was just the shoe which was torn and I did have a bad sprain to while my winter vacation on and a legacy which keeps taking me back to that winter so many years ago.
I have become quite a veteran with the sprain but for the first half an hour or so ,it literally takes me back to hell and back,sweating cold sweat,nauseated and unable to speak while all concerned are at it asking 101 questions...how I wish they would leave me alone till the pain subsided.My sister who has become an expert of sorts at managing my sprain was quick to order some ice and that helped a lot even as I hobbled into the car ...the next morning the leg was swollen and I had my crepe on,swallowed an analgesic and attended a clinic where I got an X-ray done.My bones were in order.
While on my beige boot I saw the 'Devil's double',a movie on the life of Uday Hussein,Sadaam's bane during his lifetime.Frightening to think that such charecters held so much of people's life in their hands.We see quite a few clones in and around elite circles.
Also managed to squeeze in the '.....dog's story' which was extremely sad.
In the mean time,I have been able to spend some time with my little niece who amazes me with her instant ability to connect with me at such a tender age..she has answers to quite a lot of questions I increasingly find myself asking her.Just for records,she is only twelve,is four inches taller than me and has started passing down her clothes to me.I just fit into a jeans which is a size smaller for her.Sometimes I almost forget that I have lived so much longer than her,we gel like sisters...I guess that comes with being the youngest in the family.
I remember the time when my nephew was born.I was sixteen then and the idea of having a baby in the family just did not appeal to me.I had always been the little one in the family and suddenly the whole equilibrium looked like it was changing.I had a tough time accepting him.He still remembers my being mean to him.My sister went off to Australia with her family and for quite a while the only clear memory of his childhood my nephew had, was of me snatching his crayons away from him and making him cry...there was one patent question he had for me much to my embarrasment then-'why did you snatch my crayons away from me?'.He is grown up into a fine young man , that question often comes on in lighter moments.
My time in Mumbai ,in the writer's workshop was educative,so was my time spent with the Eicher's.I had the opportunity to see lives in different tiny boxes,compartmentalised but uplifting ...everyone stretching out and reaching out to each other ,the Christ's way in a jungle of haze where one could just get lost in the humdrum of it all.Mumbai has a charecter allright .Every little space stands a testimony to a life of struggle,victory,losses and a moment lost forever in the rush of everyday living.Some have relics of their achievement in the infrastructures which ring a thousand bells just by their name...what does the noun 'Cadbury'bring to your mind's eye?You have lived with it forever.....that's what we cross everyday when we travel to attend the workshop in Andheri from Thane.
On my way to the air-port,I cross 'Dharavi',a slum and a famous one for that.
No wonder the India's film industry is based in Mumbai.I should think there would be no dearth of inspiration for someone looking for a story.
It poured cats and dogs all the days of my stay in Mumbai.I have saved myself from the rain for the last five years inspite of my obstinate norm not to carry umbrellas around ....suddenly I find myself drenched in Herbertpur and in Mumbai..for the umpteenth time.Guess what,I did not fall sick.
I am slowly preparing myself to get back into the Herbertpur mode with my swollen legs,et al....I should be fine.....I know the Lord will see me through this as he has done always in the past.I realise I have not even talked to my mother about my sprain..........now when did I change??

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anna and some thoughts!

Have been travelling a bit around the country.Every where you go,the hot topic on board is Anna Hazare.I am an altruistic person by nature.Especially over the past several years I have been rapidly observing myself going soft.I was at it picking up a few necessities with Sheba in Mumbai when I saw a procession moving along the road with lit candles and placards ...........I was touched to see the mood behind it all.Atleast it was uplifting to see the youngsters at it...they seem to be moving along fine.
I ,for one, have not been convinced by this movement.I may be biased but I have had difficulty accepting the entire process at face value.
We have in the recent times seen a host of political figures ,during their tenure, in the government going behind bars for corruption...unheard of in India...would not even have thought it possible a few years back when people used to flaunt obvious misappropriation of power while the civil society used to watch from the sidelines in muted horror while few eccentrics used to dance around the entire drama,beyond the focus of the television spot-lights,hopefully alive to tell their stories sometimes.
We,in India need a deeper revolution.
Was doing my bible studies the other day and was deeply touched by the life of king Josiah(2 kings,vs 22).
He has been described as a man 'who did what was right in the sight of the Lord,and walked in all the way of David,his father,and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.'
Such a man orders the offering of the temple to be used for the repair of breeches in the house of the Lord.The temple priests while collecting the offerings together stumble across the book of law(Torah-Law of Moses,which in the old testament consists of Genesis,Exodus,leviticus,Numbers and Deutronomy),which according to the word had been lost in the House of the Lord.
He orders the Book to be read and interpreted before him and realises that the law had been thoroughly flaunted and disregarded by his ancesters.What does the king do?
He repents,tears his clothes and weeps.
The Lord has mercy on king Josiah.
2nd Chronicles reads-'and the king stood in his place,and made a covenant before the Lord,to walk after the Lord,and to keep his commandments,and his testimonies and his statuates,with all his heart ,and with all his soul,to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.And he caused all in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand by it..........'.....It further amazingly says in vs 33,..'And Josiah took away all abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel.......'
To think what we decide and stand by today is going to decide the inheritance our children are going to have in the future.
May we be long-sighted in all the small and big decisions of life ,leaving inheritances that has a better future for the generations to come.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rain and people -an assignment in the workshop.

We've been asked to write an essay of 200 words illustrating the similarity between people and rain.I have decided to change it to rain and people in Mumbai.
One similarity that imediately strikes me today, even as I struggle past the traffic trying to catch that elusive auto to Thane ,on a day when there is a bus-strike ,is that there is plenty of both in Mumbai.
They are unmanageable,fickle,poring out of every nook and corner,trying to make the best of every little space Mumbai has for them.They have no respect for order,is perhaps a headache for municipality and is just everywhere.
Much like the rain in Mumbai,it's people are un-predictable as well.A posh car stops in the middle of a busy,wet and flooded traffic and agrees to drive us to our nearest stop.One would have to think twice before trying out such antiques in other cities.
It's business time as usual for both in Mumbai.You flow along with them,you go along with them because that's Mumbai for you ,the rain and it's people!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Judas' heart!!

Life has been happening around me .Listening to some lovely taped messages from the Christ Community Church somewhere in the US.The worship sessions are uplifting.Trying to work out my own time with God,but the problem with listening to too many messages is that we forget to get our own communication with God clear.This morning I was listening to one of the sermons titled 'The Judas heart'-It spoke to me.....
The message was based on the palm sunday,Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem...how all the Jews were hailing him as a messiah and welcoming him and the very next moment in their fickle demeanour ,campaigning his crucification.The author was relating his own story about how some years ago while they were attending a sunday service all the while to the church,they argued their way and just as they reached the church premise they were all chirpy anticipating a refreshing time of worship.A refreshing time of worship they did have, they walked out of the church bouyant and their hearts filled with joy .No sooner had they packed themselves into the car,they started off right where they had started and they argued their way all the way to their homes and their lives....That's us!,that's me!I have a Judas' heart,I crucify Christ in all the big and small decisions of my life and next moment,I am at it singing hosanna!
But take heart in the midst of the desperation of seeing our own picture in the mirror ,a gentle whisper cames through...of Christ saying...
'that is why I came!, and that is why you need me!'
Thank you Lord,the desperation of my sinful nature is what qualifies me to come into your kingdom.
As someone said recently heaven will not be filled with good people but with desperate sinners forgiven and restored like the thief on the Cross.
This gives me Hope.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Jam session!

Just laid my hands on God's generals.One of my residents recommended it and especially arranged to get it for me from her temporary settlement in Dehra.Have not opened it as yet but am looking forward to reading it.
Opened my house for the exchange students and two medicoes come for a visit to HCH,courtesy EMFI.Pasta was on the menu.We ultimately had a Newzealander and two english people hard on the stove giving us three different versions of pasta,with white sauce,tomatoe purie and cheese.Had a cool cucumber salad,ready made kababs,chicken curry and mint leaves to accompany it.It was quite a crowd with two english girls,one english man,one newzealander,one german lady,one canadian lady,two khasi boys and me.....I wasn't sure how it was going to work out but it did.The food turned out to be lovely,a friend bought some ice-cream for the dessert.However,the plum to the pudding was when we started singing with a guitar for accompaniement...suddenly the barriers were down and everyone was worshiping well ....old and new songs sung in parts....I had been feeling a bit under weather,was not really sure how I was going to manage the dinner with complete strangers to boot,however the invitation had gone through,I realised how with time I seem to measure everything in terms of why I was doing what I was doing?The two medicoes needed to feel welcome,I just about managed to share my testimony with the Dottie,the German lady who wheedled it out of me while the two youngsters listened carefully.I had been through it with the English girls before that is how the invite had gone through.
These were young kids,just entering the tresh-hold of a life to be lived in an affluent society in an affluent profession but they sure did have their head on their shoulder...they were keen about missions.They were doing their bit already like visiting their ninety plus single grandparent across the counties on a reguar basis to spend time with them.I thought that was a remarkable streak of a consistant missionary in the making especially when you are young and had so many things demanding one's attention.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I am going to Jesus!!

Today one of the staffs who had seen Babita hobbling towards the hospital in alprax haze...was telling us about it.
She could barely stand on her feet but she was rushing with what little bearing she had,mumbling to herself..."I am going to Jesus!".
Lord Jesus,we can never meet the standards of your divinity,love and care but what a tremendous compliment she has paid the hospital and the organisation.
What a great responsibilty you have placed on our shoulders!!
How many of our hearts and lives are the meeting place of Jesus for the broken and lost?