Friday, February 17, 2012

The Journey 47: Transformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 2:1-12
Key Verse: “ Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God and smitten by him and afflicted” [ Isaiah 53:10].

                           A news that caught national and international attention was in 2003, was when two kids Bency and Benson, aged five and nine,  were denied admission in a local school in Kollam district of Kerala, in India, because parents of other students studying in the school protested against admitting both  Bency and Benson to that school. The reason for their protest was that both the kids were HIV positive. The siblings were orphans, [they who had lost their parents , who were also HIV positive], had no one to support them except their grand parents. Society shunned them and they were discriminated in every way. Even when the government tried their level best to get them back to school, the literate society of Kerala blocked their way to live a honorable life and a life where they could study with other students in school. When everybody was ostracizing the kids, our church took a bold stand. The then Diocesan Bishop of Thiruvanthapuram– Kollam diocese, who is also the present diocesan bishop of the North American Diocese-Theodotius Thirumeni came forward and took the initiative and different transforming measures to see to it that both the sibling be given support, both financially, socially and emotionally, so that they could live in the society in an honorable way. The snap on the cover of the devotion shows thirumeni with the kids and the then vicar of the Kaithakuzhy Marthoma Church– Raju achen, in the auto rickshaw that the thirumeni provided for the welfare of the kids. Thirumeni was also instrumental in starting a project named “Snehatheeram”in 2000, a rehabilitation centre for the HIV patients, which is now functioning effectively today and has become a home for a number of families who are ostracized because of HIV. When society was concerned only about their comforts, the church felt that we need to take risk and suffer so that a person who is suffering can experience some amount of solace and peace.
                           On  Friday’s we meditate on how we can bring transformation in the life of the sick and the suffering people. The passage that we are using for our meditation is from the Gospel of Mark 2:1-12.  While reading this portion most of us may have concentrated only on three aspects– 1. the suffering of the sick person, 2. The graciousness of His friends and 3. The compassion of Jesus. One of the things that we take it for granted is the owner of the house. Do you know the pain that he went through when he realized a few people  without his permission made a big hole [ if the person in the mat has to pass through that hole, the hole had to be big] in the roof of his house. Poor fellow, he thought he could be a good host to Jesus Christ, but now the host has to pay a big price. Has anyone thought about his issue?. But I think he might have been happy at the outcome when he saw the sick person getting up from the mat, taking the mat and walking with a smiling and also an astonished face. I am sure he might have thought “ Yes  my house is in a  bit of shambles because there is a bog hole in the roof, but thank God, my home could be a channel of God’s grace and healing on a person suffering for a long time”. Today I believe  my life has been blessed because someone else at some point of time has taken pain so that my life is blessed. We all are indebted to someone or the other because they never complained about their pain, on the on the contrary they only looked at the benefits that the others, people like us would get. It is time for us also to repay that grace we received in our lives.
Can we consciously suffer or endure pain so that that we can bring joy and peace to a person in suffering and pain?

Let us Pray: Dear God we know our life is blessed because someone consciously suffered for us. Help us also to suffer for others so that their life is blessed with peace and happiness. Amen