You can learn a lot about Jesus if you are not too worried about who is teaching you.
Narayanan Krishnan said, “Being a Brahmin Community and an orthodox family, there are a lot of objections. Brahmins are not supposed to touch these people, clean these people, hug these people, feed these people.”
Narayanan’s religion forbids his actions towards these people. And yet, there he is. He quit his job to feed and care for the people in his community. He is not acting in accordance with the dictates of his religious beliefs but going against them because he does not see an outcaste but a human being.
We believe, as Christians, that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Each of us bears the Image of the Divine regardless of how badly sin has tried to disfigure or destroy that image. The Scriptures tell us about God’s love for us. John writes, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3.16-17).
I have to admit, and maybe I am not alone, that I have often been willing to help others as long as they were ‘deserving’ of help. In the past, however, I have been guilty of determining whether or not someone deserves help because of the choices they made, politics they espouse, sexual identity they have, the religion they practice (or do not practice), their addictions, or their likability. My faith tells me to go out to the world and announce the Good News and I go against it.
My faith, the Christian faith, talks about helping and blessing the least of these, the less thans by loving acts of compassion and thereby announce the Good News of the Kingdom. Luke 10:9 says, “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.’ In the Gospel of John, chapter 5, Jesus heals the man at the pool. Jesus asks if he wants to get well. Most people I ask find his answer as less than a “yes” and more of a complaint or whining. Here’s the kicker: Jesus healed the man regardless of what we think of the man’s answer.
Narayanan rebels against his religious dictates and people get fed. I rebel against my religous dictates and people go hungry. Something is wrong here.
I have to ask myself: Would I quit my job to care for people that are clearly suffering? Would I quit my job to feed, clothe, shower and shave people that others would say are suffering the consequences of their sins and sinful choices? Would you quit your job to help the ‘un-deserving’ poor and afflicted?
There is a lesson for us to learn about being Christlike from Narayanan Krishnan. He is a Brahmin Hindu that can see the humanity in people considered outcastes according to his religious tradition and outside of the need for his care. Jesus uses the strangest teachers at times, doesn’t he?
Maybe you are caring for those in need around you. Thank you and don’t quit. If not, however, what keeps you from helping people regardless of how they got into their situation?