The suit of power . . !



AS I read about the Moderator of the Church of North India, now in jail, I remember another organization he had headed and how I had to come to the rescue of a young priest whose career the general secretary was trying to destroy. How quickly, we forget the God we serve and get carried away by the power handed over to us, from some post we get!”

And then, in my mind’s eye I saw the sacked priest lying on the ground. and rushed over to him. His bruised body was stained with blood. His once white cassock was white no longer. I poured some water into his near lifeless mouth and slowly he looked up at me with haunted eyes. “Are you going to join them?” he asked. “Join whom?” I asked, “I am merely going to take my place of leadership that has been given to me!” “Then you will become one of them,” said the battered priest simply. “Padre,” I said, “I do not know what you are saying, it was only yesterday I was elected a deacon!”

“Deacon,” said the priest bitterly, “by the time your leadership tenure is over, you will lay many like me by the side of this road.” I left the priest hurriedly and walked on to the ‘Leadership Club’. “Welcome!” said an extravagantly dressed man at the entrance, presenting me with a stick and a whip.

“What are those for,” I asked perplexed. “To beat those who oppose you into submission and to whip those who try to take your place,” grinned the suited and booted man. “As a religious leader you will need to use them often. Also take your gold suit and put it on. Don it so others will bow to you.”

“I just saw a priest being thrown out,” I said. “I did that,” said the man with the suit proudly. “He refused to take my order. “Put on your suit, It’s the suit of power and once you put it on, you will feel like us, but don’t listen to that man while you are changing.”

“What man?” I asked, then saw a half-naked man on the ground, a bowl of water in his hand. I saw the blood oozing out of nail wounds on his hands, his feet and his sides. He beckoned to me. “What does he want?” I asked uncertainly.

“He wants to wash your feet,” said the chairman with a laugh. “He has tried to wash all our feet and also tried to insist we wash the feet of others when we became leaders.” “But we prefer the suit of power,” said the chairman giving me a wink. “Go and change and be like us.” I walked past Jesus with the bowl, past his imploring eyes and instead put on the suit of power..!


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