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My first published article
No, my first article was not a scientific article. It was based on a very minor experience I had while I worked in Pune just for six months. It was a spiritual article published in a Christian magazine.
The summer months were coming to an end. The monsoon rains were just beginning to fall and wet the earth. Grass started growing in our front yard. A young boy came one day asking for alms. My wife asked the boy to do some work cleaning the front yard of the fresh grass that had started growing.
On the first day he worked very hard. His enthusiasm for work appeared to come naturally to him. Soon it got dark. The work was not complete. We were so pleased we gave a liberal wage and asked him to come the next day.
Sure enough he was there in our front yard the next day. And just as on the day before, he was doing brisk work of removing the grass. Suddenly it began to rain. He ran and took shelter in the empty car garage at the back of our house. Our clothes were drying in the ropes tied across the garage. We too went inside the house.
Just as we were walking by the window that opens onto the garage we were surprised to see something unexpected. He started pulling down one garment and then as he attempted to pull down the next, we gave a shout from inside. All the good impressions he had created vanished. If we were liberal on the first day, on the second day we were strict to the point of being mean and harsh. We sent him away telling him not to return to our home again. I thought that was the end of that boy.
It was then that God spoke to me. He was very clear. God was telling me that if God was strict with me as I was with that little boy for trying to steal clothes when I am trying to help him, then I will have no future in my relationship with Him. God used a particular verse from Psalms, 103. It goes like this in verses 10-12. “He does not treat us as we deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear Him. As far as the East is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
I may have sent the boy empty handed on the second day of work. But God made me understand and recognize my own need for mercy and grace from God for the number of times I had sinned or said unkind words that were not pleasing to Him. It was an important lesson that God taught me that day which I will never forget. This is not to say that stealing should be overlooked. Instead of being harsh or mean, even such a person could be handled in love and concern, even when one is firm.