January 2013, Vol. 9, No. 1
Good Son Goes Mad
At 23, Talleen could hardly have been a better son: He helped support the household, was kind to his parents and faithfully prayed to his traditional deity. Yet for all that, Talleen’s family was struggling to survive.
His parents earned a small income as farmers, and the only work Talleen could find was as a daily labourer. He asked his deity to bless his family and provide for his needs, but his prayers went unanswered.
Frustrated, Talleen would share his problems with his friend Kapil, a Gospel for Asia missionary.
Kapil had been telling Talleen about Christ’ love, but the young man firmly rejected the Good News. Every community has its own beliefs and faith, he said, and he wouldn’t betray his own. Besides, following Jesus could have dire consequences.
The village authorities would likely banish his family from the village, leaving them homeless—in addition to all their other struggles.
Still, Pastor Kapil seemed wise, so Talleen sought his advice in other matters of life and even asked for prayer. Kapil continued to encourage Talleen to trust Jesus and shared of God’s faithfulness in his own life. When Talleen explained his fears about embracing Jesus, Kapil prayed for him to be bold.
Determined to trust what he knew to be true, Talleen chose to follow Christ. His family thought for certain he’d gone mad.
The Folly of the Cross
Suddenly Talleen stopped attending religious festivals and refused to take part in any religious rituals. His father sadly thought the family’s poverty must have driven Talleen to insanity. The whole family was worried.
Talleen tried to comfort them,explaining that Jesus had opened his eyes, but they didn’t understand what he was talking about.
Once again, Talleen went to his missionary friend for counsel, and Kapil decided to visit the family. Seeing the family’s poor living conditions moved the missionary to tears. Talleen had not exaggerated their predicament, and Kapil desperately wanted to help them. He began praying wholeheartedly that God would have compassion on them. In little time,God did.
An End to Their Struggles
When it came time for the local church’s Christmas gift distribution program, Pastor Kapil chose Talleen’s family to receive pigs.
The family was overjoyed at the good news. Now they could earn a real living and put an end to their struggles. Through tears, Talleen thanked Kapil, who reminded him to thank God. Talleen has been telling others of Jesus’ faithfulness, desiring that everyone in the village embrace God’s love.
With new hope in their lives, Talleen’s parents could be some of the first to join their son. They’re beginning to realize that maybe the Gospel isn’t madness after all. Perhaps Talleen has led them to something better than they could imagine—just as a good son should.