Whom do we trust Dollar or God?
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12: 19
We do often say that we do trust in God , just as the emblem of the USA dollar proclaims boldly. “In God we Trust” But do we really trust in God or only in Dollar?
“Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
1 Samuel 2:30
This was another time that the bribe was asked in our college to give away to the concerned staff to get our arrears released. This time the whole college staff were against but particularly three of the staff members, who had taken further steps to see the end of my principle. They tried to convince me. One said : “How come you only have some principle ? Do you think I do not have any principles? I was against giving dowry in my marriage, but the one whom I married cheated me and took the dowry without my knowledge, when I came to know I divorced him. So what do you think ? Do not dare to think that you are the only one with principles”.
What message did she want to convey to me? Life long commitment was nullified by this woman, by divorcing her life partner; even though she found out that the man trespassed her by taking the dowry , she can as well retrieve the dowry by hook or crook thus teaching him a lesson. But divorcing him is absurd. What she was saying to me , saying that she has principles by divorcing him. Horrible . She divorced him and married another man again. Within months she divorced him saying he was not compatible. Thus she was put into shame but still spoke about her principles. What message is she imparting to me? She is attacking the word of God. Thus behaving contrary to the word of God. I kept quiet even though I could argue with her. Jesus said do not throw away the pearls in front of the pigs they in turn destroy you.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you pieces’ ‘ Matthew 7:6”That morning it was announced by the sister Principal Winifred that there would be a special meeting for the most senior lecturers in a particular room. They were 40 in number. This piece of information was given to me by someone, who was closely following me in my fight over this bribe issue. She was a Keralite Psychology lecturer, Suzan. These lecturers were the staff who had 20 years and above service in the college. so those who fall below that service were not called for this special meeting.
I did not know for what purpose they were called, but in my soul I was not at rest, the spirit of the Lord was pushing me and telling me that I should take this opportunity to address this group of lecturers and tell them the “reason of my hope”– of-why I would not and could not give the bribe.
So I kept my low profile, and humbly requested them I could not participate in giving Bribe for the work the staff has to do to release our arrears in DHE Office. Thus saying to them i spent that night in prayer in tears and supplication at His feet. I was enlightened by the word of God that I should witness in front of the staff meeting that is going to be held next morning. Sr. Principal asked the senior most lecturers to gather in a room for an urgent meeting, for which I Was eliminated. So I Waited for the meeting to be finished.. The doors were shut in while the principal was talking to them. I was outside in the corridor a stone’s throw away. Waiting for the doors to open. That night the Lord spoke to me through the verse, Acts 18:9 “Do not be afraid any longer , but go on speaking and do not be silent”
The contents of the meeting were known to me by a good friend who was in the meeting that day, It seems the meeting was organized by these three staff members to question the Principal about my adamant nature of not giving bribes. They took her into task bombarding her about me.. when she was pressurized to make me to give the bribe; she being a very God fearing sister, by chance, she answered the staff , that “May be because there it is written in the Bible , not to give or take bribe: she is not giving (that is me)” This statement enraged one lecturer to the core of her being, she started to shout loudly saying,” Is it not written in our Puranas??( Mythology) that we should not give , only in the Bible? How can You say that? Its written even in our books, but are we not giving ?” Funny if she follows her mythology, and it is written in it not to give bribes, then why is she giving bribes? What religion she is following? She is speaking crazily. She doesn’t know what she was saying. My bosom friend Ms Kamala Swarna kumari told me the content of the meeting two days after the meeting. I believe the Lord brought up a lot of confusion among them and made them speak which was so absurd and meaningless. There was another one who was a spinster who dedicated her life to an idol and took an oath not to marry. She was so angry , and decided that my papers of application to release the arrears should be kept aside and should not be taken along with others. For which I gave my consent, I said, “ok if you do not club my papers with yours keep them aside, I will not ask you to work on my papers, as long as you expect the bribe from me” I told the concerned clerk, who brought that piece of news that they will keep my papers aside not sending them to the DHE Office.
Its well and good if you do not send my papers. The promise Acts 18:9 was inspiring me to go forward “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent. for I am with you and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city” This promise and guidance was given to my in my quiet prayer that morning, And I did not know then, but until I come to know that there was a meeting told my Suzan just a few minutes back.
This verse was in front of my eyes, I had a habit of writing the verse whatever He speaks to me on a bit of paper and keeping it with me, and looking into it again and again till I fulfilled it or He fulfilled it.
So this verse was in my journal, a small slip of paper, and I requested 5 minutes addressing the stuff.. And she went away. She went back into the room immediately and told them ,“Leela wants to talk to you for 5 minutes.” By that time I was at the door, and she asked me to come in. The haughty looks of some of the lecturers was piercing my whole body. But I was in front of them and started my talk which was not at all in my mind, but to talk spontaneously then and there” I am not worthy to stand before you like this, I am here not to tell you that I am only the righteous and you are not. This act of giving bribe I just cannot do, because Jesus cleansed my sins with His blood, my dad took the bribes as police officer, but he has returned those bribes and set right his consciousness, my husband also took bribes before he was touched by Jesus, he too returned the bribe and set right his consciousness, I want to tell you just one thing, I am neither claim sinless, and perfect, I lived like a pig before Jesus touched my life and forgiven me. I am only seeking to live according the word of God. I am the most sinful person ever lived, but Jesus cleansed me and forgave me. This act of giving of bribe , I just cannot do, I cannot do this knowing this is against the word of God. Please forgive me to behave like this and hurting you all, please try to understand me. I know You cannot take my papers along with your papers to get the arrears, even if I do not get arrears, does not matter, I am not go against my conscious. You can keep my papers of application to release the arrears aside and you can work with your own papers. “ I ended this pep talk with tears in my eyes. I could not control some how, I was standing there in front of them in tears for 2 minutes. None of them talked. There was pin drop silence Then I rushed out of the room before I really broke down before them.
The next day I was called by my principal, and she told me, “Miss, please go to the clerk so and so , she will give some files to be taken to Tanuku (180km from the place we are) and to the concerned officer in RJD and submit . The clerk will let you know the rest of the details with regard to this work” There was a sort of twinkle in her eyes, she is the most beloved principal we ever had had. I told her that I obliged her. I did not ask her for the purpose of my errand. I did not know why I was asked to do this office work. So immediately I went to the concerned clerk and told her what principal told me, she immediately gave me some files and told me that those are the applications of the staff members whose arrears were not yet released, and the RJD is asking some clarifications, therefore she corrected those queries, and now I need to go and give those files to that particular clerk, personally.
I did not say a word to her, I took those files and came home and told my husband about the work we need to do. He immediately realized that I was hooked here, to go and see the concerned people who demanded the bribe. He said, let us fast and pray, Leela. I obliged him, that was Friday , he and I fasted that night and prayed about our visit to Tanuku. What exactly we prayed for I do not remember but I was a little evasive about this task. Their intention of sending me to the RJD office was vague and ambiguous. But I just wanted to do this work only with the help of God. We knew that this personnel from Tanuku RJD office was seeking bribe to pass on any files. And that the staff of our college was always ready to fulfil his desires by giving the bribe even before he demanded. One short lecturer boasted like this in the staff room knowing pretty well that I was there.
She said like this, “ You know how I give the bribe to the concerned person in the RJD office, I keep the money in a notebook visibly and push the book while begging him to pass the files, I push the notebook towards him little by little to and fro till he accept to do our work.” Is this a lady lecturer? So shamelessly giving bribes with those gestures blatantly? What type of moral conduct does she show to the pupils she teaches in the class? Are these lecturers? I felt very sad to hear her audacious blabbering in the staff room in front of 15 staff. She spoke vehemently supporting the bribe and the person in the RJD office. She might be trying to install fear and some knowledge of bribes in my mind.
Knowing pretty well that I am trapped by the staff to do this errand by directly sending me to the person who demands a bribe. If I Could not fulfil the work they would have the upper hand, insulting me how difficult it is to do things in the RJD office. They wanted to have the outright experience of meeting RJD staff and being insulted right out there.
I must tell you one thing here. Though my husband was well aware of the trap he did not utter one single word about how we should act in getting things done. I , on the other hand knew that I had to go to meet this briber, but amazingly unaware of the consequences that I should face there. My heart completely trusted the Lord, that He will be with us, and at the same time unaware of the situation. May be mild, half knowledgeable, unintelligent? I did not know, , must say I was a little in a trance mood. Now after recollecting the incident I feel strange, why and what made me like that. I was fully conscious of His presence and at the same time a sort of fear encompassed me. Not that I did not believe in Him, it’s a strange situation which was strange even now to think of it or explain it in any language.
The next day we both took a bus and went to the RJD office. Even the clerk in our college told me a few weeks ago that the concerned clerk was a very hard man and a strong briber, and would not do any work unless we give money. So we understood that now we were going to meet the same person.
We reached the RJD office by 10 am and waited in the corridor for the clerk till 11: 30 am. Then he arrived, he asked us to come in, and asked for the purpose of our visit. We told him that the college principal gave us some files to handover to him. He took those files and spread them on the table , taking and opening each file he had a commentary on each file. and said like this; ” See this is Miss. R’s file, ( the one who challenged me about principles) I told the concerned clerk to clarify this query, why she would not do the work properly, sorry mam this Miss R will not get arrears. The clerk did not clarify my query regarding this file. He put the file on his left side. And took another file. Miss L ( another colleague) also has some items here , I underline here, ask the clerk to get it clarified. Miss M, her papers are clarified,, Miss Leelavathi, her papers are all right, Miss Leela kumari, these also are clarified… I checked all those papers thoroughly and now tell your clerk to do the work in the proper way”.
And he had given those files back to me. The checking of the files took only half an hour; a sort of strange silence reigned over us for 3 minutes. I was staring at him and somehow pulled my courage to ask him, I said, ” If our work here is over, can we take leave , Sir? ” Yes mam you can go”
You cannot imagine our situation there, we just got to our feet and briskly, walked out of the room and started to walk to the gate crossing the big campus… I was so sensitive, wondering if I may hear any voice at our back, calling us again for some more clarifications!!But , oh no, no calls, we reached the gate at last and almost jumped out of the gate. We did not talk to each other, till we reached the bus stand. When we reached there I sighed, and said, “Emandi, shall we have a cup of tea here in this shed ? “ Usually he never prefers tea outside , but he said ok” and we were about to go into a small kachda hotel, then we saw the bus to Eluru had just arrived there, without another word we just got into the bus. and kept quiet till the bus started. How we reached Eluru and we did not talk about anything during the bus trip. God’s amazing presence overwhelmed us; it was like a dream. ” When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream” Psalm 120:1
Next day I straight away went to the Principal chamber and told her that we went and brought the files back. The first question she asked was, ” Didn’t he ask you anything?” i was a bit puzzled, I said, ‘No , Sister , Nothing he asked?” I was so docile, not understanding what she was asking for. I did not realize that it was a coup set to trap me to give a bribe by meeting the person; to make me realize how difficult it is to deal with the person. When I told her that the clerk asked me nothing she was almost giggling with that wide smiles.
She again asked me, “ Nothing, ah, Nothing he asked you?”—–” No sister nothing he asked, he checked the files and he wrote his queries on the files, and asked me to give those to clerk V. “. She was all in smiles, big sweet grin, happy she was, which I did not understand the reason for then, at that time.. She said,” ok ok go go and hand over those files to clerk V .“.
I went to clerk V and told her, “sister principal asked me to give these to you, the Tanuku clerk wrote everything on those files, and you can call him for further information.” I kept the files on her table. She and her co clerks were staring at me, I did not understand mind their crooked string or did not heed why they were looking like that, but I said, V, I have class now, so I will go” and left the office
Later I got my arrears, Miss Leela kumari also got her arrears, Miss Mathew got , Miss L ( spinster)needed to get clarified some more queries, to get, Miss R ( principle of dowry) could not get her arrears, and she did not get her arrears then. She got it only after two years.
Who is the ruler of the world? Who reigns the lives of the people? He is our Father in heaven who will not bring us to shame? When we honour Him , He will honour us…….The LORD declares”….Those who honour me, I will honour: but those who despise me; will be destined” I Samuel 2:30 He in fact took revenge on behalf of me. And put them to shame, and showed His majesty to them. Miss L( the spinster who hated me utmost to this day did get her arrears very late. Miss R, who took the leadership to scold me about the principles did not get her arrears then at that time . She got them very late after two years. Of Course she is no more now. But I forgave them both. I wish for them whenever we come across them. Ultimately Miss R became my close friend after we retired, Miss and I worked together in the Rotary Club for a few years. Though she expressed her utmost envy for the way I was applauded during my tenure I worked for Rotary club. But never I showed her disrespect , cordially I behaved with her all the time.
God is our Father, who is in Heaven, Such God we are serving and praying , how can He leave us in the wilderness. No never.
Whom do we trust Dollar or God?