In the quiet of worship we find guidance and help in personal problems. Don’t be discouraged if there are times in church when the “listening” seems to bring no answer. This has happened to every worshipper who ever prayed. But “wait on the Lord” and you will receive renewed strength and peace, not only for the week to come but for all your time on earth. (By Ruth Matthews in a Readers Digest Book)
48) TV Evangelists
One disturbing observation of mine of the serious minded Christian evangelists who appear on the TV screens is that they do not laugh. They don’t even smile. They all are a grumpy lot who shout, cry, shed tears, warn people of hell fire, quote verse after verse from the scriptures, show gestures of threat to sinners and unbelievers and also appeal for generous donations for their ministry. But a smile? No Sir, never.
Years back, a Hindi TV channel serialised the Hindu epic Ramayan. A young girl in Bihar wrote to the editor of a news paper, “Thank god, they show Ramayan with all its human elements, good and bad, lofty and mean. Had it been a serial on Christ it would have been sermons, sermons land more sermons; a bore.” Even Christ and his disciples were all grim and grave individuals. There is not one recorded occasion when they smiled or laughed. The word smile is not found in the concordance of the Bible. And ‘laugh’ appears only- once in the New Testament: “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” Luke 6:25
49) Laugh like Hell
There are “Laughter Clubs” all over our country. A large number of members of such clubs, both men and women, gather together in a park or an open playground early in the morning and laugh like hell. No inhibitions. Just laugh loud, wide mouthed and deep from the bottom of the stomach. This is considered a therapy to clear lung infections and ailments, to oxygenate the blood and to rejuvenate haemoglobin. You must see them laugh in Shivaji Park, Bombay. Once they were shown in TV laughing their lungs out.
Laughter is said to be a medicine or a tonic to tone up the system both mental and physical. If you want to have a couple of healthy lungs you better start laughing loudly until your neighbours think you have gone crazy!
50) Bodies for Burning
We burnt alive 56 persons, in a railway compartment at Godhra railway station in Gujarat in March 2002. Never mind who were burnt or who set fire to them. They were us, we Indians, both the dead and the living. Dozens of inmates in a pseudo-lunatic asylum in Tamil Nadu, tied by chains to poles, were burnt to death four or five years ago. When the fire engulfed them they could not escape because they were tied to poles by iron chains. And no one tried to save them. On Friday, 16th of July 2004, in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, ninety children, all kids five or six years or less were burnt to death when the thatched shed where they were accommodated in their school caught fire and burnt to cinders. The shed caught fire by mere human carelessness but the lack of love in the minds of the teachers in charge of the young ones enhanced the tragedy. Seven of them jumped from the first floor and saved themselves leaving the young children get roasted by the fire. Not one of them attempted to save a single child. Even if one teacher had attempted to save a couple of those little kids and died in the process of doing her duty, she would have upheld the flag of dignity and honour of teaching profession. But that was not to be.
We talk of love, preach love, quote examples of sacrifice of love and sing in praise of love. Where, in the hearts of the teachers, was human love for another human, when they deserted the children and saved themselves? The death of one child is sad enough. But the mass death of over ninety,` burnt