Tuesday, October 19, 2010


My little Tommy fell asleep in my arms as we watched his favourite cartoon movie together. Twelve this year, he was talkative and playful. As I carried him into his room, I was crying. Those were tears of relief and joy rather than anything. I knelt down by my sleeping boy and thanked God profusely. Carla, my lovely wife, stood by me, as always, cried along.

“Can we take away your baby for some kind of a palliative care?” Those words still rang vividly in my ears when Tommy was born. The cold doctor delivered the bad news to us. We knew our baby had some kind of deformity but shocked at the doctor’s suggestion. Confusion and anguish jammed my mind. Both of us gave him an emphatic no! I still remembered telling God not to treat me like Job. “Please don’t give and then take away,” I prayed with extraordinary fervency.

“Is there anything else we can do about the baby?” Carla implored the doctor and nurses in between sobs. “Yes. Let go,” the doctor said in a tone as if he had seen it all. My wife hollered uncontrollably in my arms as we pondered the next best thing. I finally made up my mind to hang on until God told us to let go. “It’s going to be very difficult for both of you,” one nurse chipped in. Fears gripped us at those words as we were also struggling to make ends meet.

We took the baby home and trusted God. The severe Down-Syndrome child that befell us took a toll on us. But determination and love for our own flesh and blood overcame all adversities. The negative voices were not over yet as murmurings could be heard from our neighbourhoods. Some even called to offer solutions other than the ones we had decided. Carla and I have never been so close to the LORD before as this ‘project Tommy’ (as we used to call it) had brought us. Day and night we prayed for strength and wisdom. At times, when Tommy’s condition didn’t improve, I argued with Carla that we should listen to the doctor’s advice. Other times, especially when Tommy could utter some sounds, they were such sweet music to our ears.

Pastor and members of the church became our greatest cheerleaders. They helped so much that sometimes I felt we have taken advantage of them. Anyway, that was my prayer to God when I complained to Him about my tiredness. “Can you send me some angelic help, God?” Sometimes I did feel angelic presence especially the day we saw Tommy’s first full smile. Both of us cried unashamedly. It was an extraordinary and a victorious day!

Tommy grew up so well it astounded all doctors when we went for his usual check up. They credited the success to the love and patient of Tommy’s parents but we gave all glory to God. By ten, Tommy had become a memory genius. He could remember most of the names of the 300 odd church members. It was amusing to see how he could know all the names of the members who sat at the first few rows without them being present. He was such a joy to the church.

The most incredible moment came when he went up the platform in the church to share his testimony. I promised to buy him his favourite cartoon movie and watch it with him if he shared in the service that morning. There were hardly any dry eyes in the church that morning when he stood to share.

“When I was born, doctors gave up hope on me. They said I would die. Thanks to God and to my dad and mom who loved me so much, they never gave up on me. I know God loves me and He also has a plan for my life. Thank you, pastor and all of you for helping my mom and dad. Thank you. God bless you all.”

The parables of a persistent friend (Luke 11:5-13) and a widow (Luke 18:1-8) are only found in the gospel of Luke.

As usual, Luke writes the gospel concerning Jesus to a wider audience as he is a Gentile. With many Jewish friends, he is considered to have best of both worlds. The poor and the under privileged are common sight to him in the land of the Romans. The Roman citizens enjoy vast support from the governing bodies of the day while other second class people of the land left to fend for themselves. The words of the risen Saviour therefore are vital to these hard-pressed ordinary folks.

Both of these parables tell about persistency in asking for help. One parable speaks of a man who knocks loudly and shouts at his friend’s door at midnight to save another friend. He is not bothered of the commotion he caused to his friends’ family members and the neighbours. His ultimate goal – to save a friend. The other parable tells of a widow whose persistence in disturbing the judge makes her wish to have her case heard comes to reality. These parables tell us about the unwavering urgency in pursuing righteousness and justice!

In both parables, Jesus teaches on prayer. Prayer is God’s method of answering His people. Persistent prayer melts God’s heart. Never give up attitude talks about faith in action and someone who is serious about doing what's right. God stops for all these people! Remember how blind Bartimaeus defies all negative voices, shouts for Jesus! And it makes all the difference. Jesus stops for him. No longer sits in the dirt road begging, he now skips joyfully along with Jesus (Mark 10:46-52)

Children of God, let us never give up asking God to fulfil His will on earth. Not to satisfy our own lustful pleasures but that the whole world may know Jesus! Let us fight for justice! Let us run with righteousness! Let us persevere to hold on to what God has for us!

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it (Matthew 11:12).

Next: Parable of the Rich Fool

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