Stories

Looking For The Light: A true story of God’s love and power [Part 1 of 3]

{This was written by a very dear friend of mine, Emily Fountain. When she let me read it a couple days ago, I was very impressed by her writing skills; she is 13 years old. She was very gracious to let me post it here (thanks Emily!). I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I did!}

The blazing sun shone down on a little clearing in the middle of a remote Indian village, were three little Indian girls were playing. Ten-year-old Arulai threw the small ball, a wad of dried mud and grass, to her friend Marial. Marial caught it, and tossed it to Setta. As Setta caught the ball, it slipped out of her hands and started to roll down the slight incline. Arulai ran after it, but before she could grab it, it hit a big boulder lying in the way, and the rock-hard dried mud ball cracked open.Arulai turned to Setta in fury. “Setta!”, she screamed. She swung her arm around towards Setta, but Setta and Marial were already running away. Arulai turned around, and slowly walked to the shade of a big tamarind tree nearby, and sat down. She knew she had a terrible temper, and so did her friends. They all knew not to be too close to Arulai if something didn’t go her way.

Every day, Arulai begged one or another of the many Hindu gods her family worshiped to cure her of her mean temper. But she had prayed to them all, from Siva, the greatest of the Hindu gods, to the least insignificant ones, and nothing had changed. She had to find the greatest God of the gods who could help her with her temper.

Arulai sighed. She knew Marial and Setta would not want to play with her for a while, so she headed toward her family’s hut.

The next afternoon, Arulai was returning from drawing water from the village well for her mother. She was alarmed when she approached her hut, for someone was sobbing from inside. Arulai set down her water jar and ran inside. Her mother was sobbing, and on her lap was Arulai’s baby brother.

*******************************

Arulai wandered aimlessly about in the overgrown field just outside the village. She was heartbroken. Her baby brother, whom she had loved and often cared for, had died. And worst of all, she didn’t know where he was. Her mother said he was in the Land of the Spirits of the Dead.. Her father said the same thing, and added that no one could really know where it was until they got there. Arulai could hardly imagine her dear brother in such a place. The God of the gods must be great, she was sure, but who was he? And why would he do such a thing to her baby brother?

Arulai threw herself down in the tall grass. “Oh greatest of the gods!”, she cried. “Hear me! I don’t know who you are, but plase hear me! Who are you?” She looked up at the sky, then down at the ground, expecting something to happen. But nothing did. Finally, Arulai got up, brushed the grass off her sari, and went home.

For the next few months, Arulai continued to search for the Greatest of the gods, but she never knew any more than she did. And in the meantime, she continued to ask the Hindu gods for help. She did not ask her father which god would help her. His answer was always the same: “I know of no such god, child. You must overcome it yourself”. Arulai, now eleven, knew she could not cure her mean temper. She needed the Greatest of all gods to help her.

One day, Arulai was making her daily trip to the village well to get water. As she appraoched the well, she saw a group of people standing nearby. AS she lowered her clay jug into the well, she glanced at the people. An Indian man and some foreign people were talking, and a few more people had gathered to listen. She balanced her jug on her head and turned to go.But the Indian man was talking loudly now, and Arulai couldn’t help overhearing. And what she heard pierced her heart: “There is a Living God! There is a Living God! I was a lion, and he turned me into a lamb!”
Arulai froze. Could she really be hearing this? She had been waiting months to hear this! Oh, how she desperately wanted to stay and hear this God’s name! But she didn’t dare, for she knew her mother would be very angry if she were late.Very slowly, Arulai started to walk away very slowly, hoping she could overhear a little more. But the man had lowered his voice, and she heard no more.

**********************************

That night, Arulai lay awake on her sleeping mat, long after her family had gone to sleep. She kept thinking of the words she had heard: “I was a lion, and He turned me into a lamb”. “There is nothing sweeter than a lamb”, Arulai mused. And nothing fiercer than a lion. My temper is like a lion sometimes”. If this Living God could turn a lion into a lamb, surely He could help her mean temper!

The next day, when her mother sent her to the well as usual, instead of grumbling, Arulai grabbed the jug and ran all the way to the well. She hoped the people would be there again so she could listen. And she was not disappointed, for indeed, the foreigners were there again. This time, Arulai went a little closer. There was an Indian woman ,and older couple, and a younger ammal, or woman, in a plain white sari.

“Why do they look so happy?”, Arulai wondered. People devoted to the gods never looked so happy. But these people had to be devoted to their God, and they were so joyful. “But I wonder who the ammal with the sari is?”, Arulai asked herself. “I think I will go to her. She can tell me about the Living God!” Suddenly another thought struck her. “My family will not like me worshiping another god than Siva as the greatest. I will surely be in trouble”. Then she had another thought. “But if this Living God is the greatest, then he can bring the ammal in the sari to me, I know he can!” Happily, Arulai drew her water and hurried home, hoping she would not be in trouble.

Early that afternoon, Arulai was outside, thinking about how she could be able to see the ammal, when Marial ran up.
“Arulai!”, she cried. “The foreigners are having a meeting for children! Do you want to come?’ Arulai was overjoyed. She didn’t even think about the punishment she would get for going to see low-caste and foreign people.

She listened eagerly at the meeting. But on the way home, Arulai started to doubt. Was there a Living God? Or had she just imagined it? She was almost home, when she decided on a test. “I will ask three things of this Living God. If he answers two of them, I will believe he is real.” But at that moment her thoughts were interrupted by her mother, who ran out holding her broom. She grabbed Arulai’s arm and dragged her inside. You have been listening to those low-caste, foreign people!”. she cried. “You have disgraced our family, so you must be punished! Arulai was kept inside for the rest of the day, away from her family.

But the next day, she slipped out. There was another meeting that day, and she had to go find out more! She sat amid the group of children near Marial and Setta, who had come too.

At the end of the meeting, the ammal asked, “Have any of you been punished for coming to hear about Jesus?” Arulai was too embarrassed to answer, but Setta pointed to her. “If you are punished”, the ammal said, “call upon the name of Jesus, the Lord, and he will help you face your trouble”.

As Arulai left the meeting, she murmured the name over and over to herself: “Jesus Lord, Jesus Lord”. That was the name of the Living God! Suddenly, she remembered her test. Arulai looked around. There beside the road was a tamarind tree, heavy with ripe, sweet fruit. Arulai knew the law in India- it was illegal to pick the fruit off the tree, but if it fell off, you could take it. Arulai looked under the tree.Not one pod had fallen. Arulai closed her eyes. “Jesus Lord, please make a pod fall by my feet for me”. She looked up just in time to see a perfectly ripe, but not rotten, tamarind pod fall at her feet. Arulai picked it up with a feeling of awe. She knew the Living God had made it fall for her.

But her heart beat very fast now, for there was only one more test. And it was the hardest. Arulai was almost at her hut now. As she walked, she prayed again, :Jesus Lord, please do not let my mother be angry with me. Show me you are real.”
She looked up. She was at her doorstep, and there was her mother. But she did not have her broom. “Arulai!”, she cried. “I thought you were lost. Come in child”. Arulai went in with feeling like she’d never had before.

It was settled. Jesus Lord was the living God!

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4 thoughts on “Looking For The Light: A true story of God’s love and power [Part 1 of 3]”

  1. That was very well written, Emily. I enjoyed the first part very much and now I’ll enjoy the second part!😊. You are an excellent writer!

    Like

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