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The Strange Strategy of God

My Journey- Part II

by Susan Eapen, Bangalore

In the midst of all this confusion, I realized that my life was too full with the wrong things and I told my friend Sridhar, "I am seeking blessings from God, but if He gives them, I would not be able to receive. My hands are too full with other things, none of which I can let go. I cannot let go my family- not my brother, not my parents, not my father–in-law, not my sons and husband-the only thing I can let go is my job." I gave application for a 2 year Sabbatical.

I had tried books like 'How to stop worrying and Start Living' etc. They made me feel good for a time, but it wore off soon.

A week before my date for leaving the job, which had been part of my life for 23 years, my brother physically assaulted his wife very badly. He hit her left and right and she called my mother for help. My mother called me and asked me to go and check. It was evening and I felt bad about asking my husband to take me to my old home where my brother was staying. Further, I was afraid of him when he was violent. He had once pushed me and I had hit the wall and fallen down. He was seized by rage often. I did not want to go. I told my mother so.

Next day, I went to see her because my conscience pricked me. My sister-in-law was alone there with her young daughter. I met my sister in law. Her eyes were bloodshot, with purple circles around them and her lip was split. I averted my eyes. She talked to me and then said 'look at my face, it is like Christ." I looked and suddenly, it was as if Christ was looking at me.

My sister-in-law went to the Vanitha Commission and left my brother. My brother was summoned by the Commission, which has an IPS Officer also. I was the only person willing to go with him. The IPS Officer was a kind fellow. He told me to ask my brother to read "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus". He did not, but within a month, she was back with him. But he was unpredictable and violent and I was afraid.

In this period I had realized that there was nothing stable in life and we could not bequeath anything to the next generation except faith in God. I had never had a confession as my marriage was held in the Marthoma Church and later blessed in the Orthodox Church. I had done a nominal one before my mother-in-law's 40th day, but it was only a formality. Qurbana, we never attended. I went from one person to another, saying that I want to take my children for confession and Qurbana. My husband told me that it is not really necessary. No one helped.

Then I realized that there was only one way, I must go myself, learn about it, and then take my sons. By then, I had entered my Sabbatical Leave. My father-in-law passed away in a few months and I had ample time on my hands.

One Saturday (I did not know, but it was the Saturday before the Great Lent) I decided to try to go for a confession. I had read the directions in the Qurbana book-beyond that I had nothing. I found some of the sins listed rather offensive and written in rather crude manner. But I prepared myself, read the allotted Bible portions, sat and thought about my sins-I found that my main sin was that I had not given God the place and respect due to Him. I was willing to attend any meeting called for by our Boss in time, but I had not been willing to attend the call of the Church Bells. I found that this sin of mine surpassed the rest. God gave me 24X7 hours, money, health, children, but I respected my General Manager more than I respected God who died on a Cross for me. I realized the hollowness of my faith. I realized that I was a worm. It was like the prodigal realizing that he lived among pigs. I was humbled.

Source: ICON

My Journey by Susan Eapen: Next | Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

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