Episode 12 – Divine Healing?
Recap: In the Last episode, we saw Daisy’s cousin Vanessa got married in TPM.
After marriage, Daisy’s family returned to their home town. Experience at Vanessa’s wedding left Daisy’s family in a daze. Months pass by. Daisy’s mother has now started thinking about her children’s future. She thinks that TPM is no more like it was in old days. Having spent four-plus decades in TPM, she is aware of all hidden secrets of innumerable TPM saints. Many sisters have privately wept in front of her, sharing their grief; some have left the ministry, and some continue. She has seen both ups and downs in TPM. New generation workers are pure nuisance according to her. Pride is always on their nose. Young workers who haven’t even crossed their 30’s, have no shame in making old believers of the age of their parents, to serve them at their whim. Cruelty in TPM is like the cruelty of ostriches in the wilderness. Sexual Affairs and suspected murder news have become rampant. One sister recently tried to commit suicide in faith home. TPM has lost all its shine. At such evil times, Daisy’s mom is not sure of sending her daughter to ministry. She is worried about her future. Daisy will be graduating soon. If she joins ministry will she survive till the end or will she elope with one of the male workers? Oh my God. no no… It is better to get her married instead of sending her in a furnace to burn within herself. Has not Paul said, it is better to marry than to burn (I Corinthians 7:9)? But what will happen if she gets married? Will Vanessa’s pastor become their pastor? Oh my God! No! Let God bring any other saint but not him. What if another pastor also is like him? What if he will also throw Daisy’s wedding card? What if sisters curse Daisy also, saying her children will die or her marriage will never be successful? Will Joseph and Daisy get suitable mates? Her husband’s business is also not in good shape. Caring a lot about the future, her health is deteriorating fast. She has become thin. Today she fell unconscious while working in the kitchen. It is the third time in a month. She hid it twice. She didn’t want to trouble her husband and children for the small unconsciousness she gets at times. She knows this happens with age. But this time her family came to know about it. Joseph saw her fall. He immediately helped her and called the neighbours. She doesn’t want to go to the hospital. Daisy’s father invited Samson their neighbour to analyze Dorothy’s health condition. Samson is a medical practitioner. He suspects something is seriously wrong about Dorothy’s health.
Dr Samson: Madam you have to undergo a few medical tests. I fear there is no alternative.
Daisy’s mom: My body will not rapture if I take medicine.
Dr Samson: For sake of your children, madam…. listen, please!
Daisy’s mom: You know our church rules!
Dr Samson: You will not be given any medication. Will take a blood sample and put you through some scanning machines. That’s all.
Daisy’s father: You leave that upon me, doctor. I will make her ready for it.
Dr Samson: Ok then! Do call me when she is ready.
Daisy’s father somehow makes his wife ready for medical tests. Ultimately they discovered that she is suffering from cancer. It is the second stage but there is still hope. However, she has to undergo chemotherapy. This is an extremely difficult phase for the family. There was a little fight between Daisy’s father and her mom over her medical treatment. Daisy’s father wanted his wife to undergo chemo. But Dorothy is ardent on divine healing. They informed faith home about Dorothy’s cancer. Pastor and Mother are leaving for the Chennai convention today. Unfortunately, they will not be able to come and see Dorothy. The pastor will send someone. Later saints arrive at Daisy’s home.
Brother Timothy(Elder worker): You know….. when I was in Nagaland……. one believer got a hole in his heart. We prayed and he is still alive.
Joseph: Praise the Lord! Was the believer very rich?
Brother Timothy (Elder worker): Yes! He was very faithful in tithes. He would never send any servant of God empty-handed from his home. He would always put some money in the hands of saints.
Joseph asked if the believer was rich or not because he suspected that believer must have got treated his hole in heart illness through doctors. Joseph knows that rich believers of TPM will always go to doctors. Though they will argue with others about TPM doctrines, when it comes to health, they will always consult doctors over TPM Pastors. Also, pastors will never publicly humiliate such rich believers for going to doctors. Rich ones will be always treated with uttermost respect, no matter what rule they flout. In Fact, Joseph himself saw Pastor Dhanaraj getting treated by a believer doctor from Coimbatore, for his sickness. They did this in secret, but Joseph saw this when he went to the Faith Home incidentally. On the other hand, if a believer is a mediocre person, then the pastor will disgrace him openly for taking medicine. Clearly double standards are the benchmark of TPM.
Brother Timothy (Elder worker): Do you want your mother to be healed?
Joseph: Yes and instantaneously; as Jesus healed. It is written, “..immediately he received sight … immediately his tongue was loosed… immediately leprosy departed….”
Brother Timothy (Elder worker): Miracle took place immediately because Jesus and his apostles had a gift of healing. TPM’s ministry is not to heal but to preach the gospel of perfection which no other church has. If you want your mother to heal do RPD from tomorrow!
Scene: Before saints leave, Sister Chandra (worker sister) has something to say.
Sister Chandra (TPM worker): Is there some hidden sin in your life? God doesn’t send so terrible sickness unless you have done something very wrong and you are hiding it from us. I may not see, pastor will not see, your husband, your children will not know, but you cannot fool God. Our life should be transparent.
Daisy’s father isn’t happy for Sister Chandra’s remark. He has not called saints to lecture his wife on her shortcomings. They needed comfort and people to give them courage. Dorothy is going through immense pain both physically and mentally. The entire family is in distress. But Chandra has a stony heart. Her facial expression reveals that she does not have a tincture of sympathy. She has no idea of what cancer is! Her heart is not at all with the suffering family. She reminds him of the words of Romeo in the famous novel Romeo & Juliet. “He jests at scars that never felt a wound.” She is giving a lecture because she has no idea of what family love is. She left her own father to die alone, in his sickness, just because she wanted the prize of Zion. She is the epitome of an emotionless creature. However, Dorothy his wife, she is adorable. He trusts her. They have spent 25 years together. She has toiled day and night for her family and saints. From four in the morning, praying, preparing breakfast, packing tiffins, cleaning home, doing all household chores, up to 10 pm night, she has been working tirelessly all her life. She doesn’t go to bed without praying for her family. She had been foremost in every work in faith home and all conventions. She distributes gospel tracts and keeps discussing the gospel with neighbours and friends. Her price is far more than rubies. Why doesn’t Chandra peek at her own life? Does she think he doesn’t know about her affair with Thomas?
Daisy also didn’t like Sister Chandra’s words. She begins to think, let Sister Chandra first examine how transparent accounting she does. How she manipulates weekly expenditures. She would often ask Daisy “Write ₹ 2500 for snacks and tea..” then she would correct herself saying “..no…no ..no. ₹ 2500 is too much! Write 1500 for snacks and tea….and ₹ 1000 for auto (visiting).” Daisy knows that not a single snack is distributed in any Sunday meetings; all they give is tea diluted with water. But Chandra will write about snacks in the account book for every week. Chandra will always order believers who are autorickshaw drivers for visiting. She does not pay them a single penny, not even the petrol cost. Just because the autorickshaw driver is a believer it doesn’t mean she will use him for her gain. Above that, she writes ₹ 1000 . as autorickshaw expense in account books every week. Has she ever confessed all such manipulation she does in accounting? No one among believers knows the trade secret of TPM accounting, but can they fool God? Is this the transparent life she is asking from her mom? When saints suffer, she says it is the trial of faith, and now as her mother is suffering, she thinks there are secret sins in the life of her mother. Nasty Woman!!
Daisy’s mom (to Chandra sister): Sister! Do pray to God to reveal it to you. I don’t want to die; at least not until I see my children get settled in life. Then my work will be done. Then let God take me and I will happily die.
Sister Alice (TPM worker): No don’t talk like that sister… You will not die. God hears the prayer of saints. He always hears me. I will pray for you daily.
Saints of TPM depart after taking money which Daisy’s family gave to them. Daisy’s father had informed Brother Timothy that if they opted for chemotherapy radiation treatment, then it would cost them about Rs 5 lakh. Timothy is also aware that Daisy’s fathers business is not going well. But still, he didn’t refuse the money given to him. Ideally, in such conditions, he ought to have said, “Oh… no brother..not today.. it is I who should help you in such times..” But all saints cannot be Brother George. He was one of his kind (in TPM)! Had he been here, he would have taken the money he got from tithes and secretly handed to him saying, “Use it now, and return it when you have enough, but don’t tell anyone I helped you.”
Daisy started doing RPD. Joseph doesn’t believe in RPD, but even he has also surrendered to RPD; just for sake of his mother. This indicates the immense power “stress-of-sickness” has, on relationships. Should I call it the power of sickness, or power of love, that made Joseph bow to RPD? Or should I call love as a weakness, which makes giants succumb before maladies that hound their loved ones? I don’t know, but one thing is crystal clear – people will go to any extent for the sake of their loved ones. And Joseph is not a hero. He is a mere kid who loves his family, albeit sharp, unlike the blind followers of blind leaders.
Molly comes to know about Daisy’s mom and she hurries to Daisy’s residence. Molly spends some time with Daisy’s mother. Dorothy asks Molly to be with Daisy if she would leave this earth. Later the friends (Daisy and Molly) go to the rooftop to spending some time together. They always do this.
Molly: What medicine is your mom taking? Can you show me the doctor’s prescription?
Daisy: We don’t go to the doctor. Our church believes in divine healing.
Molly: Daisy it is cancer! Do you even realize what it is? It is not diabetes or blood pressure that can be controlled by changing eating habits.
Daisy knows how saints suffering from diabetes control their eating habits. They do a little exercise and other kinds of stuff to control it. Pastor goes for a morning walk. He always says “no sugar” when people serve him tea. Sisters get a lot of bitter gourd from the market, for the Pastor because it is said to cure people with diabetes.
Molly: Ok tell me. What do you do when an ant bites? Don’t you rub the place with your hand and kill the ant? So it is with medicine! You feel the pain and you rub the pain causing bacteria with medicine or instead of hand.
Daisy: You may be right Molly. I know its cancer and I am frightened. But we have these teachings injected in us by our TPM upbringing. Try to understand my mom’s mental state. It’s difficult for my mom to give up on things she has believed since her childhood. She is not like my Father. My Father believes taking medicine is not sin. He says Joseph had his own doctors, during genesis days (Gen 50:1-2); He also told to my mother that God asked Moses to prepare holy anointing oil to be used in the tabernacle, in a pattern of skills of druggist and pharmacists (Exodus 30:25). If Joseph could go to heaven after using services of his doctors if holy oil of anointing can be made in the pattern of skills which doctors use to make it, if Luke can be a physician, whom God chose to write one book in the bible, then why should my mother go to hell for taking medicine? My father tried hard to convince my mother but she refuses to take even a drop of medicine. It is all because of her TPM upbringing. And if she will die, I swear I don’t know what I might end up doing.
Molly knows it is hard to convince Daisy’s mom. She is TPM partisan. The only way she would listen is when TPM ministers tell her that it is no harm to take medicine. For her, words of TPM workers are the final authority. Molly departs asking Daisy to help her father convince her mom. Three of them try much to take her to the hospital but to no avail. Months pass and Dorothy’s health gets acute. She has become thin like a skeleton. A year later she begins to vomit whatever she takes in. Sometimes blood comes out. This noon she was resting. Daisy’s father had been out for some work. Daisy went out for the college project work and Joseph went out for tuitions, leaving mom to be taken care of by the home nurse. When they all came back, she was breathing her last with loud gasps. Daisy tried much to help her but within a few minutes, she breathed her last. She will no more open her eyes. TPM has been successful one more time, in taking one more precious life, by entangling its prey in the net of salvation by works.