By Caroline Crawford
Continued from The Forgotten: An Outcast in India (Pt. 2) :
Moseleb died. I don’t even know how else to put it. He died the day after I saw him and I don’t know why. I don’t get it and my heart hurts… a lot.
I went to the leper colony on Monday to see how his arm was doing. I prayed all weekend for it and I believed it would be healed. I remember distinctly driving to the colony telling the other people in the car how excited I was to see him.
When we got there, we were greeted by Janapai, his wife, with tears streaming down her face. At first I didn’t understand what was going on. She kept pointing upwards, but without being able to communicate, I didn’t want to read too much into it. So I pointed towards her room and motioned for her to take me there. We walked slowly, tears streaming from her face and a huge gut feeling within me that things were not right. When we got to her door, she pushed it open and there I saw it.
Where just days before laid Moseleb with his infected wound and multiple rags, now was simply a concrete floor. The room was bare with an eerie feeling to the place.
I turned, threw my arms around her, and just began weeping with her. I wept as she wept because my own heart so deeply hurt. Here, days before, had been Moseleb. Now….. no one…. except a hurting woman without the hope of Jesus before her to carry her through this.
We went inside and I sat on the ground with Janapai. I cried as I rubbed her back. The more she cried, the more I did. Every once and a while she would look up, staring out into the empty space of the room, clearly lost somewhere else.
After the silence and tears became too much, we decided we would sing to her. And so there, sitting in the middle of the empty room where death had just taken place, we invited the spirit of the Living God to come invade every inch of it. All of us in her room began to worship Him through song as Janapai sat listening.
Send you rain O Lord.
Send your rain, O Lord.
Send you rain, O Lord…. to your people.
Soften our hearts.
Pour out your spirit.
Fill us anew.
Let your rain come.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done.
Here on earth.
As it is in Heaven.
After some more worship, tears, and silence, we finally left. I hugged her, smiled at her, and looked into her eye, doing my best to tell her I love her. And then I walked away from her room, eyes still red from the tears and a heart that was broken.
I still feel broken by this. I still wonder why the Lord didn’t heal him. Why He allowed Moseleb to pass away. But then I think of the glory from His timing, that He brought me to him just days before His death. Oh how I pray in those two days, in the midst of all his pain and suffering, Moseleb experienced the unspoken, true love of Christ.
We still have no translator to help us speak with Janapai, but I know that our God is so much bigger than a language barrier. I still go see Janapai every time I’m at the colony and when silence becomes too much to sit in, we sing to her, worshipping the Lord and inviting more of His Spirit into that place.
Even with the reality of loss and death freshly lingering in my heart, I still can’t wipe a smile from my face. When you enter a country like this where there are more gods worshipped than there are people in most countries, you realize just how amazing our God is. We worship THE true God. A God who personally loves his children and longs to sit in that mud with them and brush flies from their bodies. A God who weeps at the loss and brokenness of this world, and yet has the power to bring redemption and hope into the bleakest places. The God who is Father, Warrior, AND Comforter all in one. The God who carries all power and authority in Heaven and on earth. You can’t help but cry some tears of joy when you realize the surpassing beauty of faith in the true God.
All I can say is that we are blessed. We are empowered. We are loved. And we are redeemed. It gives me hope to walk into more and more places of hurt and death, knowing He brings the light of Heaven down to each place we go. I certainly don’t claim to understand why Moseleb didn’t make it, but I see the Lord’s hand all over the timing. So I will continue to love and hug Janapai and brush away flies and re-wrap arms with dishrags knowing how the love of Christ transcends all boundaries to invade the heart of each person we meet.
See Part 1 and Part 2 of this story.
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Caroline grew up in Connecticut in a small town with pretty much the same people from Kindergarten through Senior year of high school. Since committing her life over to Jesus at a Young Life club meeting, life has never been the same. Before entering her senior year of college, she went on a two-month mission trip to Kenya . The trip changed her life and led to her currently traveling the world .