LIFE International ministry partners based in Tamil Nadu, India, shared this inspiring story of a man they encountered during a recent hospital visit.
Guru: a Hindu religious teacher and spiritual guide.
India—that’s elephants, lots of people, and bearded gurus walking the streets in their saffron-colored outfits. Well, our hospital team recently met Pranav*, who used to be one of those ‘holy’ men, walking India’s streets.
He was lying in the hospital with no-one to attend him.
Keep in mind that in India, if you do not have a family member or paid assistant to attend to you, you are missing that vital person who will wash you, walk you to the bathroom, buy your food and medicine, and take care of your every need.
The first thing we did was wash him.
“India is home to 100 million elderly people today. Their numbers are likely to increase threefold in the next three decades” (Neglect and abuse: The reality of India’s elderly people, Hindustani Times, 2015).
Pranav saw us and at that time he was still able to speak. “You can take care of me,” he said, “but only if you do not try and convert me. I am a Hindu.” We agreed. He was discharged from the hospital several days later. There was nothing else the hospital could do for him—he was dying.
We managed to place him in a home for the elderly, where we regularly visited him, washed him, and showed our love to him. It was on his last day here on earth that our staff member, Samarth*, asked him where he thought he would go when he died.
Holding his hand, Samarth shared our heavenly Father’s love for Pranav. When he was asked whether he wanted to repent of his sins and would like to spend eternity with His Creator, Pranav, unable to speak, gently squeezed Samarth’s hand.
“May I pray for you?”
Again, Pranav squeezed Samarth’s hand, and the faint smile on his face was truly beautiful. We love and serve a God who knows our thoughts from afar, who is merciful and forgiving, compassionate and kind!
*Names have been changed for privacy and security purposes.