Some years ago I was at the railway station in Vizianagaram a small town in Andhra Pradesh to pick up a friend. As I walked through the station, a group of people got my attention. You know the kind I’m talking about: beads, sandals, frozen smile, a backpack of essential things. About 14 people came to me and shook my hands and were extremely happy that they were released from jail.
They were from Chhattisgarhi region near Dantewada and were a group of people who left their homes looking for jobs. They were picked up by the police as could not convince the cops that they were jobless and desperately looking from place to place for a job. I had a different experience meeting people who were abused, abandoned, unwanted by someone. It made me think of us humans.
We have pains that we don’t understand and don’t want to revisit. Sometimes it’s hard for those of us who have been hurt to trust God. The fact is we all have habits, struggles, weaknesses, childhood memories, unspoken needs and longings are hidden deep inside. Everyone is born with the need for love, significance and security, yet all too often these needs go unmet. As a result, we look for fulfilment in all the wrong places. And to make matters worse, it can grind on for days, weeks, even months. Following a calamity, the victim crawls out, cries out, and expects overnight relief… it doesn’t come.
Immediately I asked an advocate to look into their problems at the court level and assist them with whatever they need. And I said we will pray together in the prison compound and seek His will and purpose. He will protect you inwardly by giving you courage, patience and hope. He will give you victory through prayer and his divine sovereign work. Above all I would like to quote my favorite verses whenever I get a chance – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Phil 4:8)
Jesus set the example of what can be done when we invest in others. God does extraordinary things through men who have an extraordinary God. Ask God to use your life to be a mighty man or woman for a cause greater than yourself. He delights in such prayers.
And after a span of five weeks their plea was accepted, and they were released. They were picked up by the police because of mistaken identity. An extraordinary thing happened while they were in prison. A distant relative of one of the group members was trying to reach them. He left his telephone number to call him as soon as they get a chance. And they were going to Ulhasnagar which is a suburb of Mumbai because they got jobs in a construction site.
That should drive home the point that we would be able to make a meaningful contribution to the world in a way that only we can. Once we understand our personal and unique talents and abilities, life becomes much simpler. Decisions are easier, and we make better life choices. Ultimately, we live more effective lives, instead of wasting our time on meaningless pursuits. We have fulfilled and satisfying lives, knowing that we are doing exactly what we have been put here to do.