Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The only daughter of a distinguished doctor got married and went to live with her husband and her mother-in-law. She could not tolerate the words, habits and opinions of the old lady. They started to argue with each other and to fight at first sight every day. When the situation became unbearable, her husband sought the intervention of her father. The doctor called his daughter and had a detailed discussion about her domestic life. She complained about the mother-in-law and sought his help to eliminate her for ever. “Give me a poison which would kill her instantly”, she requested.

The doctor was very wise and diplomatic. He told his daughter, “I agree with you that she should be killed. But if you use a poison that kills her instantly, others may suspect your involvement and if you are caught, you may be sentenced to imprisonment or even to death by the court of law. We will do it more intelligently. I will supply a special drug which, though poisonous, acts only very slowly. You must mix the contents of one capsule in her food everyday and serve it to her, pretending to be very friendly to avoid any suspicion in any one. We will celebrate her death within six months”.

The girl gladly grabbed the bottle of capsules offered by her father and regularly fed it to her mother-in-law as directed by him. She took great pains to pretend love to the old lady whom she hated like hell. She offered all assistance and tender care to her and stopped her impulsive reactions to her arrogant actions. She prepared special delicious dishes to serve the poison without arousing suspicion. As days rolled on, both the ladies learned to control their temper. The old lady started to shower love, care and affection on the girl as she appeared to her to be very loving, gentle, simple and humble. The conflicts in their personalities came to an end and the girl started to love the old lady like her own mother. She stopped giving the drug and rushed to her father with an earnest and honest request. She told him, “Daddy, please prescribe an antidote to the poison which I had been giving to my mother-in-law. I am genuinely sorry that I misunderstood her and tried to kill her. Now she is dearer to me than my own mother.”

The doctor was very glad to see the transformation. He replied, “I was sure you would approach me, reproaching yourself for being harsh to her. Don’t worry about the drug any more. What I gave you were actually capsules of vitamins. They should have made her healthier now. You may make her happier now.” The affection she showed to her enemy was only pretence with the intention of appearing innocent after the murder. But her acts of love could transform the old lady and sweeten their relationship.

Jesus gave us a golden rule of life, “Do for others what you want them to do to you” {Matthew 7: 12}. The famous phrase, “As you sow, so shall you reap” is based on the words of St. Paul, “A person will reap exactly what he sows. If he sows in the field of his natural desires, from it he will gather the harvest of death; if he sows in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit he will gather the harvest of eternal life” {Galatians 6: 7, 8}.

Our actions have their reactions and repercussions. We will receive the consequences of our actions. Jesus taught, “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others, and God will give to you” {Luke 7: 37, 38}.

The Lord says, “When they sow the wind, they will reap a storm” {Hosea 8: 7}. “Plough new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessings your devotion to me will produce” {Hosea 10: 12}.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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