Monday, January 27, 2014

WE NEED TO LOOK BEYOND OUR OWN SUFFERINGS...













Pic.: Madan Manik
On many mornings, I meet an elderly lady, near my classes, with her 11-year-old granddaughter. She waits till the little-one’s autowalah comes and picks her up. “Bye beta,” the grandma is now on her way back home…


I am inspired by this elderly woman. I am told, that when she was still young and married, with her two daughters and a son, her husband had died in a road accident. So, the struggle for this woman began quite early in life. As years rolled by, one daughter completed her studies and got married to a man in London, and, soon, settled there. The other daughter, after her studies, got married to a businessman in India. But, marriage failed, and, eventfully, she came to live with her mother here. The only son of the woman, when he was young, got heavily into drugs and ruined his life. Under such a condition, he was married to an innocent village girl, and, understandably, the marriage ended up in a tragedy: the girl killed herself, soon, leaving behind a little baby – now, 11-year-old - to be raised by the grandma, here. No one knows about the son’s whereabouts…


Whenever I get to talk to this elderly woman, I never hear from her too many complaints. There is no bitterness, self-pity or anger. On the other hand, there is great amount of grace, courage and dignity… It is so clearly evident from the way she deals with her grown-up daughter and the little granddaughter…


Love is patient,
Love is kind and is not jealous…

It does not brag and is not arrogant,
Love does not act unbecomingly;
It does not seek its own, is not provoked.

Love does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things… endures all things.
Love never fails…”


Just yesterday, while blessing my niece, Sharon and her would-be-groom in their engagement, the priest had asked someone to read these famous words of St. Paul… “What an appropriate piece of advice!”… I had thought in my mind, as I was feeling glad and proud for my niece and her would-be life-partner… “May Love be really patient and kind… May it bear all things, believe all things, hope all things… endure all things. And, above all, may Love never fail,” I had prayed in my heart.


Right at that venue, I had met another relative of mine, who had come to attend the engagement ceremony with her working-daughter. This woman, too, had gone through – is still going through – her own problems. Things were going quite smooth for her family. The elder daughter had just joined engineering and the younger one had just finished ninth standard. The lady wasn’t working, and, all of a sudden, her young husband died of a massive heart attack. The world around the family suddenly crashed. The second daughter, who was very close to her dad, was soon diagnosed with cancer… and, the family began to run from pillar to post to cope with stress. The woman had taken up a job and kept things afloat…The girl’s condition had turned worse forcing her to discontinue her studies, forcing also the mother to leave her job!


“Pray for us,” this was the only request the lady made to us, when we met her, yesterday. There wasn’t any self-pity or anger written on her face…


For this lady and her family, too, Love had helped bear all things, believe all things, hope all things… endure all things. Yes, above all, Love had not failed!  


Yes, as fallible humans, we may fail… But, when our Love doesn’t, that’s when it is possible for us not to take into account ‘our wrongs suffered’…


We need to look beyond our own sufferings to grasp this truth!


GERALD D’CUNHA

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