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Five Rupies

Notes & Transcripts

In his book The Divine Commodity, Skye Jethani shares a story from a trip he took to India with his father. While walking the streets of New Delhi, a little boy approached them. He was "skinny as a rail, and naked but for tattered blue shorts. His legs were stiff and contorted, like a wire hanger twisted upon itself." Because of his condition, the little boy could only waddle along on his calloused knees. He made his way toward Skye and his father and cried out, "One rupee, please! One rupee!" Skye describes what happened when his father eventually responded to the boy's persistent begging:

“What do you want?" [my father asked].

"One rupee, sir," the boy said while motioning his hand to his mouth and bowing his head in deference. My father laughed.

How about I give you five rupees?" he said. The boy's submissive countenance suddenly became defiant. He retracted his hand and sneered at us. He thought my father was joking, having a laugh at his expense. After all, no one would willingly give up five rupees. The boy started shuffling away, mumbling curses under his breath.

My father reached into his pocket. Hearing the coins jingle, the boy stopped and looked back over his shoulder. My father was holding out a five-rupee coin. He approached the stunned boy and placed the coin into his hand. The boy didn't move or say a word. He just stared at the coin in his hand. We passed him and proceeded to cross the street.

A moment later the shouting resumed, except this time the boy was yelling, "Thank you! Thank you, sir! Bless you!" He raced after us once again—but not for more money but to touch my father's feet. …

Isn’t this us? We’re like the ragged indian boy. We think we know what we need, and we come to ask God, but what He has in mind for us is of eternally more value than anything we could ask. Look, I know you’ve been disappointed in many things that have happened in your life, but, when You get to heaven and you see how all of these things blended together to achieve God’s purpose in you, I really think you’ll be just like that little indian boy. I believe you and I will shout up and down the streets of Heaven, “Thank You, Jesus! I couldn’t see what You were doing when my husband died; I couldn’t see what You had in mind when I lost my job; I never understood it when my business went bankrupt, but now I know: Your will was better than mine. Thank you Jesus!”

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