The wealthy man sleeps in ignorant bliss, warm, secure in his luxurious king-size bed. His exquisite home is filled with exotic and costly relics. As the dawn approaches his servants scurry to their appointed daily tasks. They rush to fulfil their masterís essential morning routine. The forklift is maneuvered and the harness is attached to the rich manís god - a cow. With the harness firmly secured around the deityís belly, the forklift bursts into operation, lifting the disapproving animal high into the air, up towards the wealthy manís bedroom window - for he must awake to sound of his godís voice - the mooing cow.
A massive spreading tree is the centre of intense attention. Eager devotees tramp around the treeís base - around and around they go, chanting, imploring favour, beseeching hasty relief from their poverty. High above in the expansive branches, demons laugh voraciously at the pathetic sight - man, woman, boy and girl splattered in gaudy red markings across their faces, offering their best portions and costly delicacies. Food that should have fed the manís starving family, is instead offered to the tree god. A fair exchange, the man reasons, my food for my godís favour. The food is eaten by the obese priest as the next desperate family tramps around the tree, muttering their futile plea to pitiless demons - crying in vain.
Suddenly, there is a rush of activity, even amongst the already bustling melee of pedestrians and commuters. Women are frantic to catch in their cupped hands the urine spraying from a passing cow. To their mind, it is a most precious, holy extension of their god. Eagerly, reverently, they bring the warm yellow liquid to their parted lips and gulp it down. They are closer to their god - part of him is now within them.
The first rays of dawn strew their announcement of the new day across the sub-continent. Before long, the planetís most populated cities will be a hustling, shoving, liquid mass of humanity.
Stirring from sleep, and with the realisation of another day of monotonous existence, the inhabitants of Coimbatore, a large city in South India, perform their daily ablutions.
Amongst the increasing, ceaseless activity, in a despised slum on the outskirts of the city, there is a seemingly insignificant event evolving - sleeping on a stone pavement is a beggar. Nothing unusual for India, whose cities teem with these pathetic creatures. The difference is the location of this beggarís blissful slumber. He is sleeping at the feet of his 'gods' - stone images sculptured in the likeness of supposed deities of notoriety.
Covering his emaciated body is a threadbare cloth, the same used to shield him from the heat of the day and sudden outbursts of frigid wind. Shortly he will awaken, gather his meager belongings, pay homage to his 'gods', and commence his tedious beggarly endeavours.
Most remarkably, he does not seem to consider the reason for which his 'gods' have not furnished him with a family, home, food and clothing.
The cold stare from his empty eyes and darkened nature have been indelibly duplicated from the cold stone image that he adores and worships. His futile attempts to survive have magnified the inadequacies and callousness of his 'god's' attitude towards him.
Oblivious to this reality, as in a torturous nightmare, he concentrates on survival alone, not the folly and delusion of serving dead 'gods'. "A deluded heart misleads him,Ē* but he knows it not!
I donít know how reading these accounts were for you, the reader, but it was torturous for me writing these true stories. How can intelligent, educated, modern people be so deceived? Observing scenes like these have always left me speechless, emotionally undone. My heart cries when I see the degrading expressions of worship demanded by these Ďgodsí. Iím appalled, Iím shocked, Iím driven to my knees in prayer, which ascends with a broken heart to the only True God, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all, the One who requires not a sacrifice that degrades my humanity, nor encourages vile affections, but the beauty, the alluring beauty of the sacrifice of praise, adoration and love.
Idols are images, visual replicas of the demon personalities behind those images encapsulated through art. These demons are savage, evil, taskmasters, inciters of every degrading and base activity devised to procure homage. They glory in the misery they inflict, drooling in humiliating practices cruelly drawn from their devotees, to appease their insatiable wicked appetites. They revel in profane worship.
Behind the human face of Indiaís populace are these insidious powers who call the shots and fashion the rules. They have made a laughing stock of men, women and children created in Godís image.
O India, India! - teeming with people, teeming with gods! Join me, dear friends, in prayer for India, that they would turn from dead idols to serve the Living God.
ďO God, may the people of India turn from the delusion, the captivity, the destruction of serving dead idols, false gods and lying devils, casting them aside, and turning to love and serve the Living God. Open their blinded eyes, lift the dullness from their understanding. Cause them to hear and to respond to the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.Ē
*Isaiah 44:20. NIV.
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).