Surreal

On Monday we attended the funeral of Aji Anthony’s mother. We drove for about an hour and turned down a one lane rock road. When we pulled up to the church there were a couple hundred people gathered outside the building around the body. When we stepped out of the car, Aji Anthony quickly walked up to us and gave us huge hugs. It was hard not to cry. He ushered us straight to his mother’s coffin, which set outside and was in the midst of the crowd. We stood in front of her body which was lying in the most simple of coffins with a white shroud around her. The crowd sat staring at us. For some of them, they had only seen a white person a hand full of time.

After this they had people move from their seat so that we could sit down in the second row. This act of generosity was not uncommon on our trip. All week we struggled with their hospitality. They treated us far greater than we deserved, even at a funeral. After we sat down, Aji Anthony came up and whispered in the ear of Babu Samuel. Babu turned around and said to us, “Aji would like you to say a few words.” At that moment, my heart jumped to my throat. Javan responded, “Whatever Aji Anthony wants. We are here for him.” Javan and I started to rifle through the Bible looking for guidance. What seemed like 10 seconds later, Babu turned to Javan and said, “John, you come and say some words.” He stood and walked forward in front of the people and spoke. Babu interpreted for him, which by this time we had become comfortable with. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Javan spoke graciously. Later, I asked him about how he felt, and Javan said “Surreal”.

Once again, it is hard to explain the depth of the brotherly love that we feel hear in India. It is only explainable through Jesus Christ. By the power of Jesus’ blood Aji Anthony and us have been adopted into the same family of God. In that sense, it seems perfectly reasonable to speak at his mother’s funeral, a lady we have never met. However some day we shall due to her genuine belief in our Savior. After this they had people move from their seat so that we could sit down in the second row. This act of generosity was not uncommon on our trip. All week we struggled with their hospitality. They treated us far greater than we deserved, even at a funeral. After we sat down, Aji Anthony came up and whispered in the ear of Babu Samuel. Babu turned around and said to us, “Aji would like you to say a few words.” At that moment, my heart jumped to my throat. Javan responded, “Whatever Aji Anthony wants. We are here for him.” Javan and I started to rifle through the Bible looking for guidance. What seemed like 10 seconds later, Babu turned to Javan and said, “John, you come and say some words.” He stood and walked forward in front of the people and spoke. Babu interpreted for him, which by this time we had become comfortable with. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Javan spoke graciously. Later, I asked him about how he felt, and Javan said “Surreal”.

Once again, it is hard to explain the depth of the brotherly love that we feel hear in India. It is only explainable through Jesus Christ. By the power of Jesus’ blood Aji Anthony and us have been adopted into the same family of God. In that sense, it seems perfectly reasonable to speak at his mother’s funeral, a lady we have never met. However some day we shall due to her genuine belief in our Savior.