We tend to look at the disasters in our life very negatively, unless, you are really part of the show. You will see the hand of God, in mysterious way, and wonder how gracefully He designed every detail of it, and how He wonderfully shows His majestic signature on our lives.
This incident happened long back, but it is as fresh as the sweet white Lilly on a green pasture, with dew drops on it,early in the cool morning, in my mind’s eye.
I was 25 years old, and working as a Lecturer in a reputed college in India. That was my third year of my service, and I was staying in the college hostel.
The summer holidays started from April 30th, 1979. A circular was brought by an attender to the staff members asking us to write our name in the chosen slot of the working dates during the holidays for the examinations invigilation. There were three slots, 1. from May 1st to May 10th; 2. from May 11th to 21st and 3. from May 22nd to 31st.
That year as My dear father was also come to know of Jesus , I was thrilled to take him to the much awaited summer Retreat in Chennai, India. The dates of the Retreat were given as 13th May, to 23rd of May, I signed my name in the first slot of duties. That is 1st May to 10th May.
We were staying in the New hostel building, but as the exams would be conducted in the Old campus we were asked to vacate the New campus and take a room in Old campus. So when I went there I informed the Warden sister, that I would leave the hostel on 10th evening. In those days there were not much reservation of the railway tickets. There used to be lot of space to travel, my father and all others coming from my home town, Vizag did not get any reservation of berths in the Mail Express that goes to Chennai. So my plan was when I saw them in the Railway station, I could just join them then there.
But on 7th of May, the principal, Sr. Josephine asked me to meet her soon after my invigilation duty was over. she was a dictator, though she is very kind and generous towards some of the staff, she likes. I used to pray much for her kind treatment whenever I need to meet her in her chamber.
So when I was asked to come in side, I saw another Tamil lecturer in zoology, who was the favorite of sister principal. In front of her, principal told me “leela, Roopa got some urgent work, so you have to do the invigilation in her place from 13th May to 23rd May.
I meekly replied, “But sister , I am planning to go to Chennai for the summer retreat.”
” Hey I told you, to do this work , and you do” she just blurted out.
I did not know what to say, for she dismissed me, and went outside of the room. I could not say anything.
So I went out and gave a telegram to my dad, like this,” Dad, principal is not sending me to the retreat, so please give her a telegram that my presence is essential and ask her to send me immediately”
I would not speak a lie , and I cannot give any lame excuses of sickness of any one in the telegram to her.
So as I expected the next day he sent the telegram, but only after that day, while I was getting ready for the invigilation ofJunior Intermediate examinations, the attender, Thota Venkateswar rao came with a paper of pink color. As soon as I saw it I recognized that it was a telegram, he said,” Miss, principal asked me to give it to you.”
It was opened already, so I took it and read the message, ” My daughters presence is essential, so please send her” , it was given by my dad to her.
I asked him” what did the sister say about this?’ He replied, “nothing, miss”
Uhmm, it means I have to meet her once again with that telegram. The time is already 7 ;30, the exam starts at 8am , I have to be there half an hour before the commencement of the exam. so I knelt down and prayed for a few minutes and left for the examination hall.
After the exam I went to meet principal in her chamber. She saw me but did not asked me to come inside. Even the attender was not given any instructions. I sent word to her that I came to visit her. but no response. I was waiting , it was 12 O’ clock in the noon, two hours passed but still , there is no response. at last at 2 ;30 she came out, and she was walking out , completely ignoring me,
I was after her, and said, ‘Sister My father sent a telegram to u,”
“What is in it?’ she queried.as if she does not know. I answered that ” My presence was essential,and asked you to give me permission”
She said, ” Give him another telegram that you cannot come” she said coolly, and left the premises.
I was shocked, I stood still, the telegram paper was in my fist, the tears were gushing out uncontrollably, ( All this was witnessed by an young sweet sister student, Sr Ursula, She became our Sr superior now in our college, the other day she was telling me that she knew all that happened that day, and she was the silent witness for my tears, at the corner of the building) I just tore down the paper, and left hurriedly to my room, and knelt down with anguish and poured out my heart tearfully.
This is one of those times, where I downpour my heart in His presence, without words, just my tears, my inner questions, my anguish, untold, unspoken. All knowing Lord first comforts me with ever lasting love, then, I asked Him all that is in my heart. I told Him, “that I am really angry with that sister principal, she is so unjustful, and partial, and that I was just angry with her.”
There was just a great calm in my heart, after I thus poured out my heart to the lover of my soul, who knows my thoughts before I get them.
In that calmness, as if I am in trance I picked up the little book, “OUR DAILY BREAD” and turned to that day daily portion,
I have no tears, no questions any more, just I WAS STILL , when I saw the title of that daily portion, I was just awe stricken. I will scan that paper and post it here as it is. Presently, I am going to write how I felt the wonderful presence of God.
PRAYER CHANGES THE PRAY_ER” is the title.
that day daily portion was the book HABAKKUK , whileI was reading the first chapter, I saw the prophet was wailing just like me, saying “why this injustice? why people behave in such unjust fully way” but by the end of the 3rd chapter it was written by the same prophet that he is happy even though there is nothing for him. “though the fig tree does not blossom… yet will I rejoice in the Lord.”Iin that daily portion it was written, that “do you have any anger towards any one who are treating you unjustfully?” that was the direct question to my heart, I felt the presence of God there. So I closed my eyes and wiped the tears on my cheeks, and kept my right hand on my heart and replied to God, “yes Lord I am angry with principal” then the the voice of the Lord was telling me “just take away that anger and see what I will do for you” Immediatly I obeyed God, and said to HIm, ” yes Lord I forgive her with all my heart” and just opened the Bible, and I saw there the verse, “The Lord is mighty God and He perform greater miracles” in the psalms.
then I told the Lord, Lord if you are going to do such great things in my life, I just yeield to you. and I spent some time in His wonderful presence, and when I got up, there was no sadness, no fear, no anxiety, no anger, my heart was free, and unknown joy filled my heart. I cannot describe it here, i felt great presence of God in my heart, so i was so calm and quiet in my soul.
There was a song in my heart,
Though the fig tree does not blossom….but i changed it into like this “Though the principal does not send me … Yet will rejoice in the lord.”
That night great storm came and the next day when i went to the college, there it was written on the black board that the “intermediate exams are indefinitely postponed” So i need not do any invigilation, and I need not ask the permission of principal to go to retreat.
the rest of the story was just a test to my faith, there were no trains to go to chennai, but i waited for long hours in the railway station, till a train comes, and though the tickets were not issued, we managed to get a ticket for me , and thought the travel was extended for two days, instead of one night, that was the most wonderful journey for me for I traveled with my father, first time to the retreat and with many miracles of that sort.