My Grace is Sufficient for You

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Book

By Ghulam Masih Naaman

All Rights Reserved Copyright © The Good Way 2003

You can imagine what this symbol did for me at school. In addition to its being the cause of much teasing from my friends, it also was what the hands of the other boys reached for whenever I was involved in fights. This sign of my miraculous birth and preservation from death brought me pain and embarrassment to me. But later in life, I came to understand that a divine hand had indeed been laid upon me — not the hand of the goddess, but that of the living God.

My paternal uncle took pity upon me and removed the ring. I was relieved, but my mother was deeply upset. She was distressed because she believed that this would bring about my death. The ring was a kind of talisman guaranteeing me the protection of the goddess — so she thought. 

I was still young when my four elder brothers married. We all lived in the same large house with eight bedrooms and a big hall. My brothers had separate rooms for their wives and children. We shared everything, a situation typical of the social structure in India during that time. In a town or village, this was an essential element for the security of all members of the family. Each family member, whether healthy or handicapped, employed or unemployed, shared in the common property and inheritance.

Our household was a happy one, with a kind mother, an affectionate father, and loving in-laws. I always called my sisters-in-law sisters and my father taught me to treat them as such, because I had none of my own. We loved one another very much.

In a household with four daughters-in-law, it might be expected that conflict would be commonplace. But it was not so in our home. Mother was a gentlewoman and the atmosphere we breathed was one of love and understanding. From my mother, I learned the value of serving others. To live for me, said she, makes me no different from animals. We can only prove ourselves to be true human beings if we live for others. I saw her live out this principle even in threatening circumstances. Her attitude and example were the bedrock for me. Despite the darkness which would threaten to engulf me later in life, I never totally departed from this foundation.

My father had been a military man and held a Viceroy’s Commission in the First World War. During that time, Indian nationalism had not yet reached the stage of opposition to joining the army under British control. India was still part of the British Empire and fighting overseas was regarded as an honorable occupation.

My father cherished his memories of the war. He had a vast supply of stories with which to fill our imaginations. We loved to listen to him tell us tales about the exploits of the army during the campaigns in Africa. Father instilled within me a love for heroic tales. Indirectly, he taught us that a man should identify himself in this world by doing something extraordinary.

People should be able to recognize our abilities; we should not advertise them, but we should act in a way in which they can be honestly evaluated. This attitude had consequences in my life. Lacking fear as I did, and wanting to excel in life, I was led into some dangerous adventures.

My father was concerned for others. If anyone was oppressed or so poor that he could not afford to obtain justice, my father was always ready to do what he could by seeking a remedy from the courts. But he never took any lawsuit of his own to court.

Even soldiers, in receipt of a pension, used to turn to him to deal with their affidavits. My father was compassionate, and because of this, he was respected in the neighborhood and held a high standing in the community.

Because my father had a generous spirit, many guests came to stay in our home. On one occasion, he even welcomed the murderers of his own brother. This brother had been involved in a land dispute, and a group of people had killed him. Afterward, this group fled, seeking someplace to hide; unwittingly, they hid in a small shed my father had built in the fields. Not knowing of their foul deed, my father invited them into the house and gave them a meal.

Later, the friends of his brother, who were pursuing this murderous group, arrived and denounced them. When my father learned of the death of his brother, he was grieved. But to the surprise of all, he was not angry with the murderers. He was a caring person and did not harbor resentment against anyone.

Father derived his character from his religion. He did not care much for the externals of religion and distrusted the Maulvis (the religious teachers of Islam). He disliked public worship and prayed in private. He was a mystic.

DETAILS

Book Author:

Ghulam Masih Naaman

Categories:

Testimonial, Biography

Book Format:

PDF

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