“I’m so sorry to hear you’re down with Covid!” you whisper with concern into the phone, “And if there’s anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to ask!”

Well, it might not be just during these times of the virus we utter these words, but maybe when there’s a death down the road, or a friend has lost his job. I wonder what would happen if that friend took you up on it, “Yes, I need help!”

 “What?” you ask desperately, your voice turning into a squeak.

 “Could you lend me a hundred thousand rupees during this period?”

 “What?” you ask again, hoping you’ve not heard right.

 “I have to give it to someone tomorrow, and now with this illness I might not be able to honour the commitment, but if you could…”

How quickly you find, not a hundred thousand rupees, but a hundred thousand reasons gushing out about children’s school fees, husband’s business loss and in the silence that follows, you hear the other person, “Then what did you mean when you said you were there to help?”

I think that must have been the feelings of that Man from Galilee, who was about to die, many thousands of Thursday night’s back, when in deep agony he went to pray and told his disciples to pray with him.

Three times he came out and found them asleep.

Twelve men, nay eleven as one had already betrayed him, who had promised to stay by his side as he prepared to be crucified, and they all just fell asleep.

I wonder about His thoughts as He realized they hardly cared enough to prop Him up in prayer for His worst moments on earth when He would be beaten, pierced and hung on a cross to die.

But I do believe that in seeing the fickleness of His followers, He knows how weak we are, and is there now for us, when others aren’t!

 “Lord,” we cry, “I have no one to help me as I am down with the virus!”

 “I have lost my job!”

 “I have been abandoned!”

And the Lord, remembers the time many Maundy Thursdays ago, when He felt the same in that Garden called Gethsemane, when all He wanted was the support of friends and their prayers, but all He got were snores! And He puts out His hands, saying, “I know!”

And those arms you feel around you are the very ones of Him who felt desolate and alone. And in knowing your despair, He brings strength into the very area which needs His touch!

Even as friends put down the phone to your cry of help, know this, that the One above, who went through the same, won’t..!

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