05 Dec The Role model
I got ready. I had a contact I had to meet. His name was Harish Kumar, a Final Year student at the Sewa College of Engineering who stayed at his college hostel. I was also a hostelite, in Bsc.1 yr. at St. Vincent’s College of Science. I had come to know the Lord two months ago and was very eager to share the gospel with him.
I was about to leave my room, when there was a loud knock on the door.
“Who’s that?”I said a little irritably.
It was Deepak, my class mate. I knew what he was going to say. This was the third time in two days he’d interrupted me.
“Hey, Selva,” he said “Look man you’ve got to help. Satya’s really scared. Chemistry is his killer subject. The guy’s desperate. He’ll flunk in the exams if you don’t do something. You’re a wizard at Chemistry. You’re the only guy he can depend–”
“Sorry man. Got something really urgent. It’s his fault. He should have been regular in his studies.”
“Look, man please.”
“Sorry.”I waved him off impatiently. “I’ve got to go.”
I felt relieved.
When I reached Sewa College hostel, I enquired and found out he was in Room no. 12.
I knocked at the room door.
“Who’s that?”I could hear a voice from inside.
“It’s me,”I replied.
A guy with a straggly beard, and untidy mop of long hair, was gazing at me wide-eyed.
“Hey, have we met?”he asked.
“No. Is Harish there?”
“Sorry. Not here. Went to the hospital. To visit a friend who’s got Pneumonia.”
“When’ll he be back?”
“Not before late night.”
“Okay. Can you tell him I’d like to meet him? Tomorrow? At around 6 in the evening?”
“ Don’t know. Around that time I think he’s going to coach a First year guy in his hostel in
Engineering drawing or something.”
“You have his cell no.?”
“Sure.” He gave it to me.
I talked to Harish over the phone and he asked me to come at six pm on Friday.
On Friday I went over to his hostel.
As soon as I knocked, the door was flung open. Someone was smiling at me. He had tranquil eyes and a plain-looking face, and was dressed in kurta-pyjamas.
“Hi” he said. “I’m Harish.
“Come. Come in. Sit down.”
His room-mate was sprawled on the bed. I looked at Harish and pointed silently to his roommate, who was snoring loudly.
“Can we take a walk” I said.
There was a lake close to the hostel. We walked around it, enjoying the breeze. Then we had chai at the tea-stall. After sometime we sat on a bench beside the lake, looking at the ripples forming in the water near us.
“Can I ask you something?”I broke the silence
“Do you know that we’re all sinners and Jesus was the son of God who came to save us from our sins?”
“And that there is no other way to be saved but through repentance at the foot of the cross?”
”And that a lot of people think that doing good deeds and being good to others is enough to get them into heaven?”
“Yes. I know.”
“What do you mean?”
“They’re wrong of course. You are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone–”
“Then why do you go around doing all these good deeds?”
“Look, Selva. I wanted to tell you. But you didn’t give me a chance. You see I accepted the Lord in a youth camp three years ago–”
I interrupted him “Then you were once saved by faith and now you are depending on works or your own goodness to save you?”
“I didn’t say that,” he said quietly.
“Then what exactly are you saying?”
“Well. It’s like this. We are saved by faith, no doubt. But that should result in good deeds too.”
He went on after a pause. “It says….let me remember……Ah yes…Eph. 2:10. “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.”
Though I was still uneasy I decided to listen.
He went on, “Besides, in the book of James this is also brought out clearly–”
“Isn’t that a controversial book?” I interrupted “you know Faith versus good deeds?”
“It’s not faith versus good deeds……it is faith and good deeds…they are both friends… not enemies”
“And besides in the gospels it is also said that Jesus went about doing good wherever he went. In fact though the central core of the gospel is salvation through repentance from sin and faith in His blood shed on the cross…it doesn’t mean–”
“So you don’t believe in preaching the Gospel?”
“Of course, I do. But the evidence of Jesus’ message was backed up by His life. Besides Jesus was also the perfect Role model of an ideal human being–”
“Yes. But that was not His purpose–”
“Let me finish,” he interrupted. “The great thing is when we become believers the Spirit transforms our lives and empowers us to become role models of what a good human being really should be , like our Master.”
There was a long silence as we spent some time gazing at the ripples widening and moving away from us in the water.
Then I said, “Thanks Harish. I think, it’s time. I’ve got to go.”
“We must meet again. Regularly, if it’s okay with you.”
“Hey” I asked. “Would you like be part of our youth fellowship group? We’re having an Evangelistic retreat. On Saturday-”
“You’re part of a Fellowship group? These last three years I had no idea there was a youth fellowship of believers around here. In fact I’m pretty starved for fellowship. Would love to be part of your group.”
We waved to each other as we said goodnight. I stood looking at his back retreating into the evening shadows as he walked away. I couldn’t help feeling a certain respect for him rise up in me.
As soon as I got back, I took off my shoes and put on my shorts and tea-shirt. I was about to lie down when there was a loud knock on my door.
It was Deepak. Of course I knew what to expect.
“Selva, man, the guy’s desperate. Look man there is no way he‘ll make it. He’s going to flunk for sure if you don’t help. Man, Please.”
“Okay,” I said
“What?”He was surprised.
“Tell him I’ll be there. In his room. Give me five minutes,”I said.
“Man that’s great of you” After a moment he added. “Hey Selva, you know what?”
“I don’t believe in God. But you’re an angel,” he said with a wide grin and then disappeared.
I washed my face and combed my hair.
Then I went out of the room.
Dr. Anil Z. Mathew is Former Head of Dept of Eng. Hislop college, Nagpur. Wife Alice serving as High School teacher. Both are involved in UESI ministry for almost 3 decades. Son Ashish serves as an Engineer at Palampur , Himachal Pradesh.