Episode 10: Cottage Meeting
Recap: In the last episode we saw Molly and the lost girl catch a glimpse of eloping saints on the train.
Daisy’s family is going through some financial trouble. So as per Daisy’s mom the cloud of evil on them can be warded off by conducting a cottage meeting. Today we have a cottage prayer at Daisy’s house. Every member of her family is busy doing his/her part. Daisy’s mother is in the kitchen preparing delicious recipes for saints. Her father has gone to the market to buy snacks and other kinds of stuff. Daisy is cleaning the front hall. Joseph is busy playing a video game!
Daisy’s mom (shouting from the kitchen): Jose….…..
Joseph (from hall adjacent to kitchen): I am here only! Why are you shouting?
Daisy’s mom (from the kitchen): Is this time to play a video game? Go to faith home and bring hymn books, drum and tambourine!
Joseph: Ammachi is coming right?.. She will bring it along with her.
Daisy’s mom: Aiyyo Jose! She is an ammachi… She is so old. How can she carry a weight of 50 hymn books?
Joseph: Pastor can help her Right?
Daisy’s mom: Shuuu! Shame on you! Do you think pastor will lift 50 hymn books?
Daisy (laughingly): He doesn’t even carry his bible! There is an assistant brother for it! Are you new to TPM?
Joseph: I will call Hilda Akka and tell her, “My cycle is puncture so I cannot come. Kindly take two-three sisters with you to carry all the stuff.”
Daisy’s mom gets angry. She comes out of the kitchen with a frying spoon in her hand.
Daisy’s mom: Wait there I am coming…
Joseph turns back and sees his mom with a spoon in her hand. He knows she will beat him. He starts running and laughing..
Daisy’s mom: Are you going or not? Tell me!
Joseph (facing her standing far off): No……….!!
Daisy’s mom: No food for you today…! Get out of my house.. And don’t ever show me your face..
Joseph realizes mom is seriously angry. He hangs his face down as if he is depressed over losing an important battle.
Joseph: Ok Going.. going..!! Don’t get angry..
We see Joseph going out and his father coming in. His father has bags filled with snacks. It is for believers. Daisy’s family is going through a financial crisis. Hence they don’t want to waste money on serving chicken-mutton to all believers. So he buys snacks for them. However, there will be no limitations is spending on saints in white. Daisy’s mother is preparing special recipes. Daisy’s father had brought in broccoli from the market. Someone told Pastor that broccoli salad is very good for health. So Pastor asked Daisy’s father whether they have broccoli salad sold in the town. And therefore he had to search for every shop in the town to find broccoli. Daisy searched the internet to find how broccoli salad is made. Ammachi has also asked Daisy’s father for Amway protein powder. She would take it from them while returning back to faith home.
Daisy’s family is exhausting all their Energy, Time and Money to give the best possible treatment to saints. They are assuming that the blessings of the saints will remove the financial troubles. But the family is unaware that the same saints will not think even twice to say a direct “no” to respectfully bury their dead if the family happens to take medicine. Daisy’s family is unaware that the same saints for whom they are serving broccoli and Amway protein powder with chicken, mutton etc, will not serve them communion if they happen to marry Daisy off into a different Christian denomination other than TPM.
In the twinkling of an eye, saints will forget all the labour of love Daisy’s family is showing them if they deviate an inch from TPM’s rule book. Just like the law of Sabbath was the number one priority for Pharisees instead of healing a man, so likewise TPM rules are number priority for TPM saints.
Daisy (talking on the phone): Hello Molly! Today we have a prayer at our home. Will you please come with your family?
Molly ( talking on the phone, the speaker is on): Sorry Daisy! I can’t come today. I have another schedule.
Daisy (talking on the phone): Ok Bye! See you tomorrow.
Unlike blind believers of TPM, Molly is sharp to notice double standard behaviour of TPM workers. She saw a glimpse of it in their convention and at faith home during her one day stay. She wants to avoid TPM ministers. So she said NO to Daisy.
Daisy’s Mom: She won’t come. I told you. She is the number one Mallu! Had we been Malayalees, she would have joined our church on day one.
Daisy’s family is from Tamil Nadu and is not close to the Malayalam speaking community. In TPM, they developed a nature to discriminate between ethnicity. Don’t be mistaken. No one in TPM teaches ethnic discrimination. But people keep talking about what they see. It is in practice in TPM as blood is in veins of humans. Present Centre Pastor and Ammachi have made sure that all Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu speaking saints are transferred to local faith homes and only Tamil speaking saints be assigned as in-charge of all faith home duties. Tamil-Malayalee game of thrones is indistinct and inseparable part of TPM. You will always see the chief pastor’s chair keep swinging between the two powerhouses. A Telugu, Panjabi, Kannada, Marathi or foreigner saint cannot become the high command in TPM. God himself has not chosen one in 90 plus years of TPM history. Daisy, however, does not believe in ethnic discrimination. She knows it is not right in the sight of God.
Daisy: It is not like that Mom!
Daisy’s Mom: You will understand when you grow old. We know from experience how these Malayalees are!
Joseph returns back. He arrives, keeps the bag filled with books on the table. He has heard their conversation. And how can he be silent?
Joseph (loudly): Now there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or master in Christ. There is no Malayalee or Tamil or Telugu or Kannada or Marathi or Punjabi or Chief pastor or believer in Christ. All are one and all are of Christ!!
Daisy’s Mom: O ho ho hoO…. The great preacher has a nice revelation. Shut up and help Daisy in spreading the mats.
All start laughing at the funny expression of “O ho hoO of Daisy’s Mom. They hear car honk sound. It seems Pastor’s van has arrived. They all run to the door to greet servants of God. We see Force Tempo Traveler in front of their door. Ammachi comes out and sisters follow her. A driver brother drove in a Tempo Traveler packed with sisters to their home. The pastor is yet to arrive. He will probably come in his White Scorpio. Praise the Lords gets exchanged. Daisy’s family starts welcoming saints. Few believers have arrived for a meeting.
Hilda (worker sister): What is this Daisy? All colourful mats…? Unhhh.? Put white bed sheet for workers over this mat. Bring in Fresh bedsheets.
Daisy brings a white bed sheet with pink flowers printed on it.
Hilda (worker sister): Don’t you have another bed sheet? This one has more red colour flowers. There should be no or minimal decoration.
Daisy brings another bed sheet and spreads it for the saints to sit on it.
Glory (worker sister to Daisy’s mom): Sister, please keep a cup of warm water for Pastor. It should have proper white coloured cover too.
Daisy’s mother makes the arrangement of hot water for the pastor to drink. Sister places it near to pastors seating arrangement. All get seated. Believers start coming one by one. Daisy’s father has arranged for some chairs outside. Sisters start singing songs. Singer sister, who always sings during Sunday, is suffering from fever. Therefore, she stayed at the faith home. Another sister is leading the song today. Her voice is terrible, but she is shouting with full confidence. She got this opportunity and she grabs it with both her hands.
The Pastor arrives late for the meeting and takes his special seat. The last song is being sung and he signals Joseph (who is sitting in the front row) to arrange a pillow for him to rest his back against the wall. Joseph brings a yellow coloured pillow and Pastor looks angrily at him. Daisy takes it from Joseph’s hand and changes the pillow cover. After the song, they fill in tongues for 10 minutes and then the pastor gave a sermon for blessings of the house. He asked Daisy’s family to be faithful in tithes and God will bless them. He reminds them that the family may delay in giving back debts of men, but they should not do any manipulation with the money that they owe to God (Meaning them).
After the meeting, people eat snacks and return to their homes. Pastor and workers have delicious dinner, and broccoli salad spiced with black pepper and cumin powder. Sister Hilda asks Daisy’s mother to pack food for 6 sisters in faith home. Daisy and Joseph keep the Tiffin for 6 sisters in the Tempo Traveler. Daisy’s mother and father each give envelop to Ammachi and Appachen, before the final departure. “Faith-home family” returns to their white abode. Their (Faith-home family’s) net gain for today is broccoli salad, delicious chicken-mutton dishes and few thousand Rupees.
Daisy’s family’s net loss for today is 8000 Rs and time and energy hoping of getting a full-fledged return from God. They don’t calculate 8000 spent today. They believe God will bless them in return. Yes, they are going through a rough phase financially, but it was precisely for the same reason cottage meeting was kept. However, if God wills otherwise, i.e. to make her family go through a financial crisis for few more years (maybe for testing them or other unknown reason), then we are sure that TPM workers will stop purchasing lands and extend help to Daisy’s family! Will they?
There is a difference in the way God works than the way humans imagine he is going to work. People imagine God will at once pull Daisy out of the false church (TPM). They think the walls of TPM will blast out in air and captives bound inside will be liberated in one shot. However, God’s ways are past our findings. He promised children of Israel that he would drive Canaanites out little by little, instead of completely whitewashing them off the land. Before God delivered Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, they were made to dwell in Egypt for 430 years. They underwent afflictions in the furnace of slavery. God wounds and he heals. Before Paul could see the light of Gospel he was made a student of Law and became a Pharisee. In a similar way, God is working in the life of Daisy, ounce by the ounce! The curtain from before her eyes is starting to disappear slowly and slowly. It is not like phew and she is out from TPM. Man must pass through the way designed by God.