It’s my normal habit to talk to some persons when I am on a city road. I could do so because I am never in a hurry to return home being a retired senior citizen. Talking to the underprivileged gives me greater joy. There are millions of handicapped persons in the world today.

Statistics show that every eighth child born is a disadvantaged child. The disability may be, blindness, deformed body, mentally challenged, eunuch and mute. Some of these would come to light only in later life after the child grows into adulthood. Some would be noticeable straightway. Blindness and body deformities fall under this category.

In the city of Chennai, India, one would find these unfortunate human souls sitting or standing on the railway over bridges or in the sub ways asking for alms. They are the right places for them especially when the Sun is hot or if it is raining.

Some of them make a living by selling something or the other while some prefer to invite the onlookers’ sympathy and ask for donation of money or some thing in kind. I never ignore these people. It is the duty of the well-off’s to show some kindness to these ill starred persons and help them with some money.

One day I came across a middle aged blind man selling sea-shells and a variety of other items. I complimented this man in my heart. Instead of begging and taking advantage of his blindness, he was trying to earn by sale proceeds. I bought a couple of things and paid him whatever price was demanded by him. And when I took leave of him, I happened to say, “May God bless you, friend.”

“Sir,” he hailed me and interjected, “God? Who is he? Where is he? If I happen to get near him, I shall crush his neck and pull out all his intestines.”

I couldn’t walk off but turned back. “No, no, brother, you shouldn’t curse God like this….” Interrupting he demanded of me, “When he created me in my mother’s womb why had he forgotten to give me eyes? What pleasure did he get by making me blind right from birth? And to add to God’s negligence, my own mother threw me on the street because I was a burden to her. Where is justice, Sir?”

It’s difficult to answer a person who is at war with God, perhaps legitimately. However, I wanted to put him wise about whatever I had learnt from the Bible: the disadvantaged people will have a better place in Heaven even far superior to His own elect if they obey His commands while on the Earth. Very little is expected out of them except fear of God.

“Of course, you will receive your eyes then. And, you can see how glorious God, your Creator, looks. He will receive you with open arms, you know? He has a special love for the differently abled people…..”

He was silent for a long time. “Who told you all this, Sir?”

“Brother, I am a Christian. Whatever I said is contained in the Bible, which is the word of God to the human race. Bible is the Truth.”

“Will I certainly go to Heaven, Sir?”

“Indeed, you would. But not if you curse God in this life. Keep praising Him and glorifying Him and thanking him for helping you make a living. OK?”

“OK, Sir. I believe you. If I am going to have a life in Heaven better than that of the normal people, I shall wait for that life. Did you say it is eternal life and not limited to fifty or sixty or seventy years?”

“Absolutely eternal. Millions and millions of years. Your life on this Earth is limited to around seventy. So keep patience, friend.”

“Who is this God, Sir? And what’s His name?”

“Shall tell you that another day. Now, how much do you want for all the goods you have in your bag?”

He took two minutes to calculate that and said, “Around sixty rupees, I think.”

I paid him seventy and collected his bag.

As I took an about turn in the direction of my home, I heard him say, “Mister God. Thank you for my today’s business. Bless that man, God.”

I handed over the full bag to a lame beggar some 200 meters away. “Here, take it free. Sell and collect some money from the passersby. All right?’

The question nagged me no end as I walked back home.. “Why did God create one eighth of the world’s population with some defect. Why?”

Could it be to test us, the perfectly designed normal humans? Could it be that if you ignore these unfortunate people and turn your head the other way, God could punish you?”

Then I recalled a Bible verse, “Giving to the poor and needy is like lending to the Lord.” Don’t you want to lend to the Lord liberally?

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