My mother and I were walking out of the local Christian book store, with a brand new bible under one of my arms and a few other books in the other, I was feeling particularly self-righteous and holy!
That’s when a little boy with neatly combed hair, and nicely ironed shirt appeared on the scene. With a smile that could melt an icy heart he said
“Hello Aunty,…..Hello uncle”
“Uncle?” I immediately took offence for being called an uncle and greeted him with a frown!
The bright smile never leaving his countenance he went on to hand us a pamphlet that contained the gospel of mark. As we browsed through the pamphlet he ventured to make a request.
The clouds of suspicion gathered in my mind, AHA! He’s going to ask for some money…..Why that sweet talking rascal!
But his request was noble, pure and sincere!
“Can I pray for you aunty?” My mother nodded in agreement. “Is it okay if I pray in Tamil aunty?”
My tamil knowledge consists of a few words like “Baba” “Pasha” “Chandramukhi” and “Kuselan”. Nothing to write home about! But I listened none the less!
Although I did not understand a word, the forthright tone, the honest demeanor and calm aura of the boy overwhelmed me!
But the remenants of suspicion lingered, My cautious half suspected a plea for donation at any moment
My mother asked him about his family and his education…To which he replied…..
“I live with my grandmother aunty and I study at St anthony’s”
As we separated with an awkward unsaid farewell, we were again stopped in our track by that earnest voice.
“Aunty one more thing……..”
The skeptic residing in the anals of my mind, rose again, ready to crucify the boy for all the false pretense the whole while. It was all about the money! Caught him atlast! HA!
But the boy’s request was far different from what I expected,
“Aunty please pray for me too………..”
Having said that he just walked into the darkness, and we nevers saw him again,with my skepticism silenced, my pride and logic humbled,we assured him that we would pray for him.
On my way home, I was bombarded with still many more offers for exchange, But my mind was fixated on the exchange I had promised to carry through, An exchange that involved no bargain, or statement of warranty or any sort of trickery, An Exchange that perhaps enriched my soul………..
I went home and prayed for the boy who sought a divine exchange!