Are we made Holy by beating ourselves

Or by struggling to be good?

By striping ourselves of raiment, food?

Is poverty the true mood?



North India, a holy man did his thing.

Wore nothing but a turban and rags!

Floppiest turban, filthiest rags!

Of poverty brags!



One such ragged, Holiest of All,

Prostrated self on the road,

Flat out, front of our motorcar,

Like, maybe an old model T Ford.



Lakhimpur, yes, still on the map!

Been there at least 90 years,

Auto transported from stateside then

Persuasive, my father, with peers.



Perhaps considered frivolous

By Carey or by Livingstone,

But fifty miles travel over rough trails

And rivers from sun up until setting sun!



Back to the holy man in the city!

My father moved him aside,

But by the time he got back in the auto,

The poor beggar contrived–



To fall in front of our car again!

This repeated several times

Until our Berah offered to lend a hand.

“Sahib, I will hold him until time.”



Berah with heavy foot on the beggar,

Waited until auto was past,

Then ran, jumped on the running board,

Free of poor Hindu at last.



Could pray all day with a Hindu then

Would be of the same mind still.

Nirvana can only be reached regressively,

Life’s lowest form downhill!



Many converted from higher cast (class)

I recall one such man.

Feasted with us, many others outdoors,

Kindly and not by cast banned!



Curry on rice an Indian staple.

We sat on white cobblestones.

My Indian friend, high class converted,

Spoke covertly in undertone!



“Chota, Sahib, no fork is needed, sir,

Dip first two fingers so

With thumb, then flip morsel into mouth

Repeat until no food below!”



This convert, with his kindly smile,

Middle aged then long ago,

In Heaven I am sure I will recognize

His face, his smile I will know!



Wholeness, way to get there, just one,

Stay close to Jesus that is all!

Looking to Him we are cleansed, purified!

Abide, you will never fall!



John 15:1-7



Sam Cox

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