Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two men of faith whom I have been blessed to know

Dear Friends I wanted to write about two men of faith I have been privileged to know. I will write about them in a few posts so that this will not become one looooong post.

The first one, I came into touch with him when he was started his ministry a little while back. I met him when a very good friend of mine Fr.Varghese took me to visit Akashaparavakal (means Birds of the sky), a home for looking after the destitute picked up from streets. Fr Varghese had a mass there and I tagged along. There I met the person who started the house in Bangalore, Shaju brother. A simple man with an unkempt beard and wearing a simple kavi (saffron) attire and no sandals on his feet. Since then I have known him for almost 5 years and I have never seen him with out a pleasant heart warming smile on his face.

I was touched by his work, he had a small house and it was overflowing with people. All of them were destitute people picked from roadsides, some were sick and dying, 90% were people who were mentally ill. They had either wandered out of their homes or were left on the roads to survive for themselves. They didn't know who they were or where they had come from. Some of them had festering wounds on their bodies collected through their wanderings. He told me there were maggots in those wounds when he found some of his children (makkal), as he calls them. He and the two other brothers he had with him to help, along with his family nursed them back to good health.

I asked him how he manged the food and medicines for them all, as most of them needed psychiatric as well as other medicines. He told me "God's providence" keeps him with out lack all through. I was touched and I told him any time you are in need of money you can call me. I gave my number to him. Two or three months passed by before I again accompanied Fr. Varghese to mass at the Akashaparavakal. The first thing I asked Shaju brother was, why he had never called me, didn't have any lack of money during this time at all ? He told me that they had even come to stages where there was not even a morsel in the house but they all prayed together, including the "children", at the chapel and the food came through. He described an incident a week ago, where they had nothing to cook and in the evening they were all praying together at the chapel asking the good Lord provide them with their supper. A man they had never met walked in with 10 KG of rice and he had heard of the house from a friend of his. He thought it would be nice to take a bag of rice when he went to visit them first. I was touched but was skeptical. I asked him, why he didn't call me at all with such need. He told God does not let His beloved to beg, he will provide from his abundance. He also added if you are provided for more than your daily bread, one will not be able to exercise your faith. I took the money I had in my pocket and gave it to him. He counted it gave me a receipt for that and said, I needed this for settling the account at the provision shop and if we didn't we would not have got our provisions at all. I was a little bit amused. I still was not convinced. I kept visiting house and helped out in any way I can. There used to be brothers from near by seminaries who came to stay there and help out during their holidays and semester breaks. I happened to be there when a few of them completed and were going off. They shared their experiences while they were staying at the house. And they told me about several incidents like these where God provided at the right moment what was needed, nothing more nothing less. They all went strengthened in their faith from there. I heard numerous such incidents all though my association and have come to expect that these every day miracle will happen in their lives. I would be surprised if those little miracles did not take place.

As our friendship grew, Shaju brother told me the secret of how he prayed. Every morning he wrote down the needs of the house on a piece of paper in the chapel, gave it to God and went on with his daily chores keeping the paper in his pocket. When ever he put his hand in his pocket for taking out some thing, the piece of paper came out with it and he prayed for the needs. And unfailingly His God provided.

I will continue writing about Shaju brother in my next post. Let me stop here and thank the God who is his and mine for His generosity in our lives. I have been blessed abundantly with material riches in my life, but Shaju brother has been blessed with more, with an abundant faith which can provide for every thing else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can i have shaju brother's accoutn number?