Orphans & their Families
When we finally met in person after knowing each other for over three years, there were many chunks of new information that silently slid in and filled gaps I did not know previously existed. No matter how much technology helps in bringing people closer and wiping out distance, it cannot convey the vibe and energy you’d get from real-life interaction.
She was in her mid-thirties, full of life and very talkative. She was quite slim, making her look younger than her years.
I have been going through troublesome few years and thought my troubles were unparalleled in comparison to others. I must have been wallowing in self-pity that our conversations were mostly one-sided, so much that I did not know much of her past while she knew all important details of my life. There is a certain selfishness that comes with being in a bad space, you tend to think mostly about your problems and your sad state and the worse it gets, you dig a deeper hole for yourself and hide in it in an attempt to get away from the world and wallow in your own misery. I have observed this selfishness in myself and others who are in a sorry state of affairs. So when I was in one, she was my Ninja whose role was and is to help me deal with hard times better.
Sitting on a couch that afternoon in that one-bedroom hotel apartment in Guruvayoor (in India), we finally got the opportunity to talk about her life and past. None of what I had to go through was really much compared to her eventful life.
She lost her parents in a car accident when she was 1 year & 9 months old. Her parents had money, and it was never settled whether her parents’ was an accident or murder.
Her relatives soon after put her in an orphanage with instructions to put her in a community school for the poor. Till she was around 10, she grew up there. It was during those times a Christian Pastor began to visit the orphanage. Seeing that no one picked her up during any holidays for over 2 years (despite having relations), he felt pity and started taking her to his home for vacations, and took care of her along with his 3 kids. Those were some of her happiest memories.
The Pastor was dirt poor but had a heart of gold and much love to give. She was a brilliant student. Despite her heavy protests he encouraged a Christian family to adopt her so atleast she gets proper education in a decent school. Following completion of high school, the family sent her and a cousin to a college in a neighbouring state, by the time their college education was over they both had become sisters for life. She received many verbal hurts from her adopted family & their extensions during her growing up years. She graduated her Bachelors degree in Law with a rank, and later on went to get first rank for her Masters degree in Law.
She originally belonged to the Brahmin caste in Hinduism before she turned to Christianity. When it was time for her to get married, her adopted family found a Hindu guy from the same caste as her, and soon they were married. If she’d any hopes of receiving the love and warmth she craved from her marriage, she did not get it there. Her husband owned acres of land around their home and runs a successful business and vacays every month, yet she wouldn’t receive 1 rupee from him for any of her expenses. Not even to bear the expenses around her two child births. Theirs is a marriage that serves all its fundamental purposes but lacks warmth, that vital ingredient that elevates a marriage from being just a convenient arrangement.
This is one lady who soon after her birth lost both her parents, was kicked out of her home in her helpless state as an infant, grew up in a pride-filled household which took sadistic pleasure in mocking her for her lacks and then a 10-year old marriage that fails to protect and cherish her.
And you’d ask, how does such a person go on? What gives?
The answer is God. God has watched over her throughout, ensuring this child of His is taken care of. That warmth and love she yearns for, she gets from Him. Where every human has failed her, He has been her respite & life-saver.
She experienced God first in a dream when she was 11 years old, at a time she did not know about Jesus Christ or much about Christianity. On a particular night, she had prayed to know who’s the true God and had gone to sleep. In her dream she saw a lot of white smoke, and two hands with holes on the wrist reaching out for her head and touching her head. She heard in the background a thunderous voice repeatedly saying, I..I am that I am, I.. I am that I am, I..I am that I am.
I have had revelations from God but never a direct experience or one similar to this. My first thoughts on hearing this dream was after all the tough times I went through, why did God not appear to me but to her. And then I heard her story and instantly knew the reason. Her helplessness and repeated injustice done to her was far worse than anything I had to go through, and she really had no one. So He appeared to her in a dream. There were physical effects of that night’s dream, her sight was restored overnight. From the next morning she no longer had to wear her high powered glasses, up till today. Also, she strongly believes she got her intelligence after Jesus had touched her head.
As I sit next to her as she drives from Guruvayoor to Cochin on a Thursday evening, a drive that takes over 4 hours one way, and a drive she has been doing both ways for the last 7 days in a row just because she believed God wanted her to be there for us (my husband & me), as we now drive back I see her constantly communing with God. She prays to Him, praises Him, sings to Him. She is at a spiritual level where she fasts for other people, when she prays for someone she comes to know their personality and thoughts, and when she feels she’s received an instruction from God, she would go ahead and do what’s asked of her despite all odds. She wakes up in the middle of the night and prays for one hour, every night.
Some of the people closest to God are the ones who do not have any close ties here on earth. Or maybe they do not have any earthly ties so they are not distracted and can forge the strongest relation with God. It’s a hard and painful process, but it spans out to be the best bond you’ll ever build.