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One Night Watch with an Angel

Have you ever been struggling to manage everything on your shoulders, wondering how you will get everything done? You find yourself having to do smaller tasks that are seemingly unimportant for your valuable time. Nithin was feeling this weight during a season of struggle at Mekhi's Home. Everyone was falling sick, while at the same time, administration needs of the JanPragati organization had deadlines to be met. Written back in February 2021, let's listen in to hear what Nithin learned one early morning.... I was wide awake much before the alarm rang. It was irritably loud on an early morning. Glancing at the clock I saw it read two in the morning. It’s Mahi’s milk time. She was sleeping with me tonight. For those who do not know Mahi; she might need an introduction. For those who have seen her, it’s not an easy feat to drive out the pleasantness of her smile from your memory. She is an ‘abandoned’ baby whose story cannot be recollected here, with the apparent danger of a possible diversion. Yet, she makes the most remarkable impression in the hearts of people who have beheld her. I kicked off the blanket, which I was already eagerly waiting to do, and sat up on the bed.

How am I awake before the sound of the alarm? What woke me up? Do men have maternal instincts?

I looked at the pretty princess sleeping just beside me, and threw a smile no one saw. Yet that smile had a meaning and purpose to assure my heart of the goodness of God. She’s still sleeping, oblivious of her growing hunger which will soon twitch her little tummy, beginning with a groan or even a feeble scream. I had to rush. In that borrowed serenity, I had the luxury of thinking about myself. I father two lovely girls; both go crazy over me, and I enjoy the popularity of kingship at home. But now this sleeping enchantress has strung a soulish chord of love, that I could abdicate my selfish throne. She is a mystery to me.

Who are you little girl? Who is your father?

I could hear my wife coughing in the other room. She had been sleeping with my daughters. They have been showing signs of the intruder virus that has been running amok around the world! I went to the kitchen and poured water to be heated, and then cooled it slowly until it was just warm enough for the delicate lips. I poured it into the bottle and snapped three spoons of milk substitute into it. It was then that I heard the groan coming from the bedroom. I stomped into the room. She hadn’t quite woken up yet. No sooner had I gently pushed the bottle and parted her lips, did she sensed the warm liquid on her lips and jerked instantly to suck the milk.

I am not your Father, baby... But I was sent by your Father in heaven.

My eyes were robbed of sleep. My wife had a terrible cough and was showing signs of breathlessness. An active lady like my wife was reduced to a crumpled blanket, tortured incessantly by the fierce virus. I had to step into the daily affairs of Mekhi’s Home, ever since the flu had begun torpedoing the women. I am the director of JanPragati as well. The weight of the organisation is on my shoulders. I have better things to do than feeding a baby. I need to complete the planning and budgeting of this year and see if we have adequate funds. I grew impatient with holding the bottle. It was becoming bothersome, and the darkness of the night seeped slowly to my brains. If I could finish this feeding and get back to sleep, I could have an early day to begin my precious work. I have a calling and ‘miles to go before I sleep’. There was a justified ugliness in my thoughts. It aggravated the sense of my fleeting life, and the futility of the now trifle act.


While I was wallowing in this shallow idea of mission urgency, I felt the abrupt pause in the movement of the suckling lips. Mahi had slept off before she finished her drink. I caressingly rubbed her ears along the edge of the lobe, tickling her to resume her feed: a trick I had learned as an experienced father. She was pulling my fingers into her mouth as if she would swallow my whole palm. I smiled at her nefarious but vain attempt, bringing my palm closer to her tender cheeks. My eyes fell again onto that precious face. It shone like an angel sent to remind me of whom I am and why I am here. She is the symbol of God’s goodness in the service I have offered. She is the sign of God’s continual presence and guidance.


“I am indeed sent by your father, baby... and I can see your father in you. You are just what he wanted me to see...”


Have I forgotten how to recognise the signs of His presence? Do they show up only as a miraculous parting sea or satisfying water from the rock? Do we hear it only from the mountain top or a whirl wind blowing against us? Do we recognise Him only with a spectacular fish catch or at blinding vision? Was not Moses’ staff the greatest sign of his presence? Doesn't his constant nudging become a formidable interaction with Him? Will not a simple call of our name or his forgiving look after the rooster crows throw me into a comforting vision of His love?

Yes, I, the Director of JanPragati and taking care of Mahi was a re-assurance of my Father’s presence who is always by our side.

Written by Nithin E. Sam

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