Sorry For the Interruption- Rukavat Ke Liye Khed hai

Matthew 1: 18- 25

 

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yetdid not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

 

Message:

I may be the last of the remnant generation who grew up on the steady and bland diet of watching Doordarshan, as my father refused to give in to my endless rants to subscribe cable TV.  So I tried all the tricks to tune in cable TV as very grainy versions I could manage by wasting my time on the terrace, trying endlessly to make the TV antennae and the cable wire meet. Don’t ask me what was the science or the logic of it. Sometimes it worked and most times it did not, which is not surprising. To cut the long story short, I had to live on endless nonsense on DD like Alif Laila, Alibaba when my friends discussed ‘Friends’ and ‘Bold and the Beautiful’. My friend asked me what is my favorite serial, and I remarked “Rukavat ke liye khed hai: Sorry for the interruption”. And he looked puzzled. It was just my attempt of being sarcastic as a teenager, I had to paint everything in dark by exaggerating. The transmission of the programme went off air, with rainbow colors on your screen and a very annoying tone accompanying,  right at the time of an interesting cricket match, when the ball is in the air and you kept guessing what happened and there comes the most hated lines “Rukavat Ke liye khed hai: Sorry for the interruption”

 

In our lives we have certain calculations and goals that we set. These become your milestones in life. After my graduation I will try to write GRE and study abroad. In another 2 years I should get a job to pay off my loans. By the age of 27, I should get married. As my friend Wret used to say “Dude I wanna earn real quick and fast and before you give that awful judgmental look, I wanna earn so that I can retire by the age of 35 and then chill.” So we all have such expectations, dreams, desires that give meaning to our pursuit for happiness. But more often than not, life is not privy to our dreams or our goals. We hit roadblocks. Expectedly or unexpectedly one fails in a subject, fails to get the job she/he dreamed of. One loses a job with lots of loans and dues to clear. Dreamt of a fairytale wedding and ended up in a nightmare.  A near one dies, leaving a huge vacuum in our lives. These are all the scenarios and even more when life gets seriously interrupted and God is not kind enough to say “Sorry for the interruption”.

Joseph too had very ordinary dreams. Dreams to get married to his beloved and have a quiet family life. And his betrothed Mary comes up with the news of being pregnant. What a scandal? And even more she comes up with a weird explanation. She says that she has conceived by the Holy Spirit. Who would believe it? He could see people talking about it. When in the market he could imagine the stares that he would undergo. Life is seriously interrupted. And he has two options in front of him. One is to expose her so that she is publicly stoned as per the law, and the other is to silently divorce her.

When life gets interrupted, we get anxious to fix it. We are dismayed that our own expectations hurt us and resolve never to expect anything. The hurt of betrayal is a deep wound. And to top it all, the endless questions and stares of the people to deal with.  And divorce it is. Joseph decides that the first thing that he will do tomorrow is to get rid of Mary silently. With great clarity he knows that he is now in control. And then he goes to sleep. Sleep is very tricky. You are just not in control. I unrealistically set the alarm at 5 AM. But sleep rules me down to fail my New Year resolution to wake up early. When we used to go to youth camps my friends were afraid to sleep next to me as I kick those who sleep next to me and snore annoyingly and to top it all, I used to even talk. My only consolation was that another friend of mine sleep walked. I cannot say I will not snore, or kick or talk while asleep. Soji seems like a gladiator to have put up with all this. In sleep, we are not in control of the dreams that come to us. So when Joseph was not in control, in a dream, an angel invaded him saying “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1: 20-21). He is now to decide, whether to be compelled by his hurt, the stares and talks of the people or to consider the gentle whisper of God in the night to accept Mary as his wife and to protect the child. It is a matter of interpretation. One who’s cynical can easily rubbish this off and work from the logic of hurt and revenge. But Joseph interpreted the dream accordingly and acted upon it. Michael J Marsh beautifully says that Joseph had to let go off the fear, anxieties, and imagined scandals and let God take control. He emptied himself and became the womb that would protect Mary and the child from the rage of Herod and the stares of the community. His interpretation led to a creative action. Christmas is the story of two wombs where Mary offers her womb to bear the Child Jesus and Joseph who emptied himself and became the womb. When life interrupts let us not succumb to knee jerk reaction. Let us submit to God by letting go off our anxieties, worries, panic and wait for God to talk in the silence of night, in the deafening pain of waiting.

Joseph realized the scandal was not that Mary was pregnant, but the scandal was that God is in our midst. Scandal is not about the question of faithfulness of Mary but the divine faithfulness of God who would condescend to be man. God would be installed in our midst. God is in our midst. God is here. He is Immanuel. But in circumstances like the above, he seems absent. He seems distant. How do we make sense of Immanuel? The question is are we emptying ourselves to bear the message of God to reach out to people in pain? If this statement makes no sense, let me close with an illustration.

Rev E.J. George is a stalwart priest of the Mar Thoma Church. My first experience of him was when I was rushing to the Kottayam Market to buy vegetables for the seminary mess. Achen, who had never met asked me if I am from the seminary. I answered in the affirmative. He asked me all my family details. And I very impatiently kept answering him. And I thought this would finish with the answers, so that I can be back on track, buying vegetables, I was wrong. In midst of the market, he held my hands and prayed. I was shocked. I never knew somebody would pray for me in midst of a busy market. My rush was over. I had deeply felt the presence and nearness of God. If this was not enough, in 3 days time I get a postcard addressed to me from E.J.George Achen with a quote on it and assurance of prayer for my parents.  But that’s not where the story ends. It is only the beginning of another beautiful strand of story. My cousins Mary and Susan lost their mother on 26th November 2014. My cousin Rev. Mathews George and I received this news when we were at the Annual Clergy Conference. I recollected the 13 months struggle that this family went through when Kunjumol aunty suffered from Cancer. But I was truly amazed at how aunt and the entire family faced this. Mary and Susan tried their best with prayer and service to prolong their dear mother’s life. Even Babu Uncle was hopeful and realistic. Everytime she succumbed to a series of illness, the trend was she would overcome it and comeback by God’s grace. So when in the end of November when she was seriously ill with a lot of complications, we all hoped that she would once again triumph. More so, both the daughters hoped this would be the case. But it was not to be. When we reached Mumbai at our aunt’s house, we were moved to see the mortal remains of our dear aunt and heartbroken to see the tears of our cousins. Once the funeral service at home was over, we were ready to head towards the church. My cousin Mathews George Achen, Mary, Susan and myself were in the same car. It is at that time Georgie aka Mathews George achen told us that while he was rushing home from the Annual Clergy Conference at Kozhencherry, Kerala, he happened to meet Rev E. J. George Achen. When Georgie tried to excuse himself by saying that he was rushing to the funeral in Mumbai of his aunt, Achen insisted to know more. He asked about the daughters and family. And after hearing all this, E.J. George achen took two hand written notes from his Bible to be given to the daughters. The note is a poem that is credited to anonymity. The poem “He takes only the best” is as follows.

 

“God saw she was getting tired

And a cure was not to be

So he put his arms around her

And whispered, ‘Come with me’

 

With tear filled eyes we saw her

Suffer and fade away

Although we loved her deeply

We could not make her stay

 

A golden heart stopped beating

Hardworking hands put to rest

God broke our hearts to prove to us

He takes only the best”

 

After reading the note, both daughters were deeply surprised. How could an achen who is a complete stranger talk to them miles away directly to their hearts? Mary quipped “This poem is the answer to our prayer. God definitely has spoken to us.” I could see how much this great gesture had partly healed the sisters. Achen who is ready to stop and know about others, who writes small notes of healing and comfort for people he has not seen, became the womb that carried the message “Immanuel, God is in midst of this. He is here”

 

(The photo inserted is the photo of the note given by Rev E.J. George)

 

Rev Merin Mathew

Bethel Mar Thoma Church

Kolar Road, Bhopal

 

 

ej george.jpg

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In Beirut, Paris, Syria, Yemen, Iraq……World in a Mess: Where Do I Run?

Jonah 1:1-17
The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.”
But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish. He went to the city of Joppa, where he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard, planning to go to Tarshish to run away from the Lord.
But the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, which made the sea so stormy that the ship was in danger of breaking apart. The sailors were afraid, and each man cried to his own god. They began throwing the cargo from the ship into the sea to make the ship lighter.
But Jonah had gone down far inside the ship to lie down, and he fell fast asleep. The captain of the ship came and said, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray to your god! Maybe your god will pay attention to us, and we won’t die!”
Then the men said to each other, “Let’s throw lots to see who caused these troubles to happen to us.”
When they threw lots, the lot showed that the trouble had happened because of Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us, who caused our trouble? What is your job? Where do you come from? What is your country? Who are your people?”
Then Jonah said to them, “I am a Hebrew. I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”
The men were very afraid, and they asked Jonah, “What terrible thing did you do?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord because he had told them.)
Since the wind and the waves of the sea were becoming much stronger, they said to him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
Jonah said to them, “Pick me up, and throw me into the sea, and then it will calm down. I know it is my fault that this great storm has come on you.”
Instead, the men tried to row the ship back to the land, but they could not, because the sea was becoming more stormy.
So the men cried to the Lord, “Lord, please don’t let us die because of this man’s life; please don’t think we are guilty of killing an innocent person. Lord, you have caused all this to happen; you wanted it this way.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea became calm. Then they began to fear the Lord very much; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made promises to him.
The Lord caused a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
Message
Every tragedy reminds us “What a mess this world is.” The human evil manifested at Beirut in Lebanon, Paris in France, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia show us the ugly side of what humans are capable of doing in the name of God and religion. We have senseless people in U.S. who want only Christian refugees to be allowed in U.S. We have a section of people who want Sharia to be implemented in U.K. We have tribal clans who wish to eliminate their rival. We have people losing lives for no fault of theirs, but just that one section believes the truth of their belief to be supreme and want all else to be shut and closed and eliminated. Everywhere we see fear, anxiety and paranoia. What a terrible, terrible world we live in, is our ruling thought. One question that bothers us all is the same. “If there is God, why do such things happen?” This question disturbs those who believe in God and confirms the belief of those who don’t. I am reminded of John the Baptist who was languishing in the prison of Herod, where he sets a question for Jesus through his disciples “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt 11:3). Seeing that Jesus was doing nothing spectacular and also that John continues to remain in prison makes John doubt. He feels, Jesus is not Messiah enough for the messed up world he lived in. Such times we also feel, God is not God enough. The ways of God just does not work. We are tired of listening to, God is love, love your neighbours, love your enemies. Rubbish! We are fooled.
Let us now go to the text in front of us. The story of Jonah resonates in our lives. It is a call of God to go to Nineveh, to engage with messed up people. People, who are useless, wicked and evil. Jonah is too good to waste his life on such losers. So what does he do? He goes the opposite direction, where he runs away from God to a place called Tarshish. Now Tarshish is a wonderful and idyllic place with great port and wonderful people. It is like the Vegas, where the world can be damned and we can just have fun. But the journey to Tarshish is very stormy. And what does he do? He sleeps through? Jonah has chosen that the best way to avoid the mess and storm of the world is to sleep through it or to escape in the opposite direction that God is leading. This is exactly what I feel like doing. Just to escape to a place that John Lennon talks about in his wonderful song ‘Imagine’. By the way I have been listening to this song and it is the most shared and performed song.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
We really wish that world be at peace. But there is no escape route. We cannot just imagine it. We have to engage with it. We cannot run or hide. We have to get into the mess. The Jonah in us has emerged. But let me introduce to you a person who is in contradistinction to Jonah. His name is Dietrich Bonheoffer. He lived in a time in Germany when all the Christians biblically justified the elimination of Jews and supported the Nazi vision. Along with Karl Barth and the Confessing Church, he challenged the Nazi regime and also criticized the Lutheran Scholars who were party to such madness in the name of religion. His friends saw that there was danger to his life and therefore seemed it best that he is transported to The United States of America. But after the long journey on ship, when he reached America, Bonheoffer was deeply disturbed. He felt he had run away from his calling. He asked his well wishers who risked their life to get him to America, to send him back to Germany. His well wishers thought it was insane. But Bonheoffer would not budge. And he sailed back to Germany. He engaged and challenged the Nazi regime through his sermons and students in seminary. The inevitable happened. He was arrested and was taken to Flossenberg Concentration Camp. He was ready to pay for his conviction. He was executed, hours before the Americans liberated the Concentration camp at the end of World War II in 1945. We could ask, what did he achieve? He lost his life. What good does that do? When and how, religion was bent to suit the oppressor, Bonheoffer through his life and death reminds us that discipleship is not about going where we wish to go and say it is God’s will. But it is abandoning, where we wish to go and to be led by God. I am sure this is what Jesus meant when he called Peter after resurrection in John 21:18 . I tell you the truth, when you were younger; you tied your own belt and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will tie you and take you where you don’t want to go.”
I was very overjoyed to know about the initiative of “The Game Changer Project: The Mar Thoma Youth Ministry of Mumbai” which is led by a dynamic Youth Chaplain Rev. Mathews George. On 14th November 2015, they organized an event called “Dumpyard Dare” in association with Navodaya Movement, an initiative of the Mar Thoma Church, Mumbai Diocese, which is led by the enterprising Rev. Mathew Philip. There are many aspects to Navodaya and one particular concentration is their work among the ragpicker colony in Kalyan and Bhivandi. Along with our church members we visited it as a part of our Edavaka Mission trip. Navodaya has a day care centre in the heart of the Dumpyard Colony and ensures that the children go to school nearby. It is a very powerful movement. Now the Dumpyard is not an easy place. Mind you, there is not one single NGO working there. The stench and the filth absolutely overwhelm us. It is said that when Rev. Mathew Philip Achen went for the first survey, he fainted. But that was his resolve that helped him, that something has to be done. Now the Dumpyard Dare focused on exposing the Youths to something they would never like to engage with or never wish to go. But as 40 youths entered into the world of stench, filth and ugliness, they realized, this is how the people and the children live there. It sure opened new vistas in their lives. A moment where the message of Christmas came early, where we celebrate that God did not abandon this world, but engaged with it, made himself lowly to be a human, lived with us, became a victim, suffered, died and was resurrected. This world is sure a mess. But we are called to engage with it, to embrace the brokenness, to heal the wounds. We sure want to go the other way, but we should not.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”

Rev Merin Mathew
Bethel Mar Thoma Church
Kolar Road, Bhopal
To Know More about Navodaya Movement call Rev Mathew Philip- 9930914409
The Game Changer Project – Mar Thoma Youth Ministry of Mumbai: Rev Mathews George– 9769391772beirut

Shah Rukh Khan, Pakistan, Award Wapasi and The Debate of Tolerance

John 1: 43-51
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him,“Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathaniel said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him,“Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you,[a] you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Message:
I am a pathetic sportsperson, let me assure you that. But that does not deter my enthusiasm for sports. As a child, when it came to one day Cricket, I was always glued to the television. I always preferred to sit down while watching and used to spring up in excitement when something went according to my desire, like a six by Sachin Tendulkar or a clean bowled by Zaheer Khan. The toxicity of my madness used to double and triple up if the match is between India and Pakistan, the mother of all contests. I distinctly remember when I was in standard 10 we were seeing a match between India and Pakistan and all my classmates were together at my friends place. It was a huge total India had to chase , 315. It was an awful bowling and we had lost all hopes that this match could be won. We had a friend Mustafa Khan,(I have changed the name) who out of fun to irritate us supported Pakistan. He truly got on our nerves. He was irritating us by mocking the batting. We had sure no hopes but wished for the best. The match was building up slowly. The scores were coming quite near. And a Pune Lad who was playing cricker for the first time was at the crease. His name was Hrishikesh Kanitkar. The bowler was Saqlain Mushtaq. 3 balls and 4 runs were needed. We were all glued to the television. I was praying to the Triune God, bribing him with “I will do all you say, just defeat these idiots, please please.” And God seemed to answer it. Next ball, Kanitkar hit a4 runs and all our friends went wild with jubilation. And I was hugging and thumping chests with my buddies and that scene still makes me go wild. But what happened next is I blurted out “Mustafa Khan, go to Pakistan.” Within no time I had a fist at my collar. And all my friends came to our rescue and separated us. I kept provoking him knowing quite well, alone he will swing me in the air and throw me to Mars. But with support that my friends will support me, I kept provoking “Pakistani hai tu, bhaag idar se” (You are a Pakistani, go from here.) I still feel the coldness of that statement in my spine.
The text in front of us is a very important one. We see that Philip goes to his friend with a lot of excitement and blurts out ““We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (Vs 45). Now Nathaniel’s reply is a classic one. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Vs 46). To be honest Nathaniel sneers with disgust shouting “Nazareth?” Everybody in Jerusalem looked down on people from Galilee. This kind of attitude is characteristic of the Human race. Enemy nations have looked down on each other just because an artificial boundary separates them. Psychologists say it is human need to look down on people and we keep searching for scapegoats. Always there are smart people, right people, and then there are those others who we detest and abhor. Nazareth embodied backwardness and otherness in the mind of Nathaniel. No good could ever come from such places. People of such places are not smart, evil and below our standard.
There is an interesting story to illustrate this. There was a black man who lived in a ghetto who went to a white church to get membership. As the black man belongs to ‘Nazareth’, the white pastor tells him some excuse and sends him away. After several attempts to shoo the black man the pastor advised “Ask the Lord whether you should take membership here. If the Lord says yes, then we shall go ahead.” The pastor was relieved as he thought that wuld be the end of the nuisance and the black man would never return. But return he did. Pastor asked “I told you to pray and you have come back, do you have a message from Our Lord Jesus?” This was a mock. The black man answered very coolly. “Yes, Lord spoke to me saying, you are trying in vain to enter into that Church. For the last 20 years, I have been trying to enter it but have been denied entry.”
For some time now, the political landscape of our country, Pakistan has emerged as a Nazareth. Actually it always has been. But now the emphasis is more pronounced. Anyone who does not agree to or subscribe to the mainline views, the rhetoric is that such people should be sent to Pakistan. Those who oppose Modi, should be sent to Pakistan. Those who wish to have beef should go to Pakistan. If BJP loses Bihar Elections, there will be celebrations in Pakistan. All the artists who are returning Awards should be sent to Pakistan. And the latest is the demand of Shah Rukh Khan, who expressed his concerns over intolerance in India, who was targeted by saying that it is because of Hindu fans that he is a superstar and if he finds India intolerant, he should leave for Pakistan. Some even called him Pakistani. This has created tremendous furore all over the media, twitter, facebook and memes on whatsapp. There are two groups slinging mud at each other.
While we describe the nature of intolerance in our country, it is important to realize the point made by novelist Manu Joseph who says that the so called right wingers and so called liberals, both are intolerant. Both are defined by their world views and the “other” is beyond redemption. And in such an atmosphere we will keep scoring brownie by humiliating the other and there won’t be any solution. The endless battles on twitter, the madness in newsrooms has made us all alarmed as to where the country is heading towards. There are many arguments and counter arguments.
Now fully sure of Nathaniel’s prejudice towards Jesus, response of Jesus is very interesting. “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”(vs 47.) He sure knew what he did under the fig tree so he sure knew what Nathaniel thought of him. But he ended the cycle of prejudice, by breaking it. He was not defined by Nathaniel’s attitude. Jesus shows a freedom that we seldom exercise. We believe in exchange system. If a person says good about us we return favour by saying something good. If a person offends, we offend and then the person offends and this cycle continues. But Jesus ends this cycle of offense and prejudice and whole heartedly appreciates that this person has no deceit. So when we keep saying about intolerance, we must realize we are promoting Tolerance. But Jesus shows that it is not tolerance but forgiveness that builds relationships and breaks dividing walls. Reinhold Niebuhr says that “Forgiveness, not tolerance, furnishes the proper corrective to egoism and self-righteousness of groups. The religious ideals of forgiveness promotes engagement between groups which fosters relations. Tolerance makes two separate compartments which does not engage with each other. This only promotes ghettoism. Forgiveness, on the other hand, makes it possible for contending groups to fight without denying each other’s humanity and self worth.”
Present situation calls for a healer who breaks down the distinction and helps us to heal the wounds that is festering without any end to the cycle. The problem is very complex and we cannot be simplistic in dealing with it. To illustrate my point let me end with a story that happened in a village where there was a man called Faraz, a 25 year old young bachelor boy. He was a mechanic and a very enterprising man. People liked him for his cheerful nature and for his skill as a automobile mechanic. One day when he was going home, he saw Shyam,a 23 year old man, son of Savitri, a widow, fallen on the road. When Faraz went to lift him, he realized that Shyam was heavily drunk. When Faraz tried to lift him, Shyam woke up with a violent stupor. He started to abuse Faraz and kept intimidating him. Faraz for self defence tried to push Shyam away but Shyam lost balance and hit a stone that was on the road. Shyam lost conscience. People gathered and took Shyam to hospital where he was declared dead. Now this created communal tensions, as people said Shyam was killed by a muslim called Faraz. The Muslim community came to the defense of Faraz while the hindu community held him responsible for the death. There was a huge tension going on. But Faraz decided to go to the funeral of Shyam. The people of his community tried to make sense with him . But Faraz was very determined. Shyam’s home was 3 km away from his home. He started his Hero Honda Splendor and headed towards Shyam’s home. Some youths to protect Faraz, followed him. They entered the vicinity. Angry youths were staring at him. Ladies were crying. 63 year old maternal uncle of Shyam, Raju came with utter rage seeing Faraz. Faraz just stood there. And running came Savitri, the mother of the deceased Shyam. She stopped Raju and hugged Faraz. She cried and said “I know you purposely did not kill my son. I know your mother. I used to take care of you when your mother worked in the Rice mill. I am also your mother and you are my son. I knew you would come. You are my son.” Both hugged each other and cried. The act of Savitri defused the imminent communal tension by her act of forgiveness and love. It not only healed them, but the two communities that were up in arms. We need more healers who overcome the group egoism that is building up. This is dangerous and we need to end this climate of suspicion and condescension. May God lead us to be healers, forgivers and peacemakers.
Rev Merin Mathew
Bethel Mar Thoma Church, Kolar Road,
Bhopal
Sharukh