By Susan Eapen, Bangalore
I came to the Eucharistic table when my brother's family faced a crisis. I had married and had gone away from my father's house. There were a lot of fights and vindictive actions in the Orthodox Church which my in-laws attended, to the extent that gates were shut against the visit of the Carol singers. I had a very bad impression about the Orthodox Church and never truly attended Church for nearly 20 years. Before marriage, for a time I used to be an Organist at the Marthoma Church. Prayer was important to me. Every hymn I played on our piano or my guitar was a personal tribute to God. Whenever the world was dark and tumultuous, I would seek Him, and sing in my heart "Master, the tempest is raging, carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep?"But after marriage there was no such personal prayer, no Church –except as a routine. I think, during the first 16 years, my life was not `alive". I despised the Orthodox Worship with bells and kilukkams and pagan rituals. I hated their black clad priests who resembled vultures. People told me that they practiced voodoo and were superstitious and curse anyone who opposes them. I did not trust the Orthodox. Often I was depressed though the world around saw me as a woman with everything- fairly good looking, a good job, a loving husband and two sons. Sixteen years later I came back to Kerala to my home, to find the scene changed beyond recognition. My home was swaying in a storm. My brother was coming home drunk every day and he would beat his wife. My old parents tried to intervene and got hit. I do not know why, or what, but this was hell. (Hell is in this world I have seen its flamed in disturbed homes). In fear, my father and mother, went away from their house and soon settled in a flat. They were broken and sad and defeated. Where there had been love, there was suspicion, and money figured largely in it all. I realized that what I had thought as permanent, had collapsed. My brother was now an alien, living in our parents home with his wife, while my parents lived in a rented flat. He whom I knew in childhood, was a loving boy. What had happened I do not know. We have a story in Hindu Mythology about the King Nala, being possessed by `Kali" and doing wrong things. Everything I believed was stable, crashed around me. Two years went by tumultuously. I also had my father in law living with us. He was often sick. My days were taken up with the problems at my parents home, listening to my brother, who was unhappy at the turn of events and defiant, attending to my ailing father in law (96 years old), worrying about my younger son's (he is Dyslexic) plus two and my job as Manager in the Bank. I shut myself in my room frequently and prayed for my brother, I could not blame him, I knew that all his action arose out of unhappiness and self-rejection and fear of the future. I loved him as I remember him as a sweet and loving, child. I would lie on the floor before my prayer corner and ask Jesus to help, only to hear on the next day, from my sister in law, that he had come drunk and had threatened her. My life was full and overflowing with all the wrong things-there was no space for worship. I sought help from God for setting things right. Sometimes I would wish my brother dead.
My Journey by Susan Eapen: Next | Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
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