Like Seeds

Saturdays; what happens between Good Friday and Easter?


We lived in the highest, remotest part of Mussoorie, known as the “Queen of the Hills.” It was quite a walk to the dark side of the mountain. It was the sunless, shady side, full of leeches and scorpions. But it was cheap and we needed “cheap” to house our 25 boys living with us in our 2-bedroom apartment.

Anshul was about sixteen-years-old. He was tall and strong. If it weren’t for his ever- present smile, his appearance would have been intimidating, even a bit scary. Not only did his smile stretch from ear to ear, but it sprouted from deep inside. His eyes were soft, as though you could fall right into them and be cradled. When spoken to, his eyes lit up. And his laugh—like a whisper—sounded like humility.

One day, Anshul took a 12-hour bus ride to see his family. His parents, who had leprosy, lived in the colony allotted to “lepers” on the outskirts of town. Home is home; it was lavished with love.

Daily, his mother and father would go to work. Their income was the earnings they received from begging. If you ask Anshul whether his parents work, he would reply “Oh yes!” For leprosy patients, there is no alternative job. It’s not easy work.

Anshul’s mother was pleased to have him home and spent all their daily earnings providing his favourite foods, fruit and sweets. But what is money for, if not for love? Love was not a thought they struggled with; it was put into action. A few days after his arrival, Anshul went to visit friends and relatives in another colony a couple hours away. That’s when he found Mangat.


Mangat lay on a rope bed in a tiny dark mud hut, covered from head to toe with a blanket. Anshul was surprised, “Mangat? What happened?”

He learned from others that Mangat had tuberculosis, and there was little hope. Few of the colony residents dared go near a T.B. patient. Treatments were unsuccessful and there was limited hope. So, Mangat lay in the dark room day after day.

Anshul’s soft heart broke. He couldn’t bear looking at him in such a pitiful, abandoned state. The adrenaline of love took over, and without thinking through anything, he placed all Mangat’s belongings into a steel trunk, and using a sheet, made a sling for the trunk to be carried on his back. Then he turned to Mangat. His hands swept underneath his limp form. He lifted Mangat up with his blanket wrapped around him, and walked out of the colony. His one goal was to get Mangat to Uncle Yip. Uncle Yip would look after him.

Anshul managed to board a bus, and after many hours reached Mussoorie. He carried Mangat and the trunk up the steep paths, a 45-minute hike, and laid him down in front of Uncle Yip. Mangat was soon on a hospital bed in Mussoorie.


While Mangat was hospitalized, Geeta, one of our girls in nurses training came home for a holiday. She was smart and beautiful, with large, perfectly shaped brown eyes, sweeping lashes and heavy brows. Her thick, black braid cascaded down past her waist. The day she returned to us, she complained of feeling unwell. The following day she was much worse, so we took her to the hospital. No diagnosis was found, but she was admitted and worsened fast. After 5 days, she could no longer feed herself or lift a finger. Her eyes glazed over. The diagnosis came: tubercular meningitis. In no time it went to her brain. Before the week ended, she died.

Yip built the coffin, found the burial site, filed the official documents, dug the grave, gave the sermon, and comforted us all.

Mangat was still hospitalized in the same building, one floor lower. It was his sixth month of hospitalization. The doctors said he’d be discharged in a week.

Mangat calmly protested, “I want to go home.”

“Yes! You’ll go home,” said Yip “A few more days.”

“I want to go home—now.” Mangat looked at Yip. His eyes were filled with longing and an inexplicable peace.

“I’m ready to go home.” Yip took his hand. It was clear. Mangat had made his choice. Moments later, he was gone. Mangat went home.

Yip built the coffin, found the burial site, filed the official documents, dug the grave, gave the sermon, and comforted us all.


Frantic pounding and yelling at the back door woke us in the middle of the night. Startled, Yip jumped out of bed in his underwear and flung the door open. It was our new co-workers, holding their baby, crying, “It’s Nitin, our baby! He’s not breathing!”

We didn’t know what to do, except to fly like the wind to the hospital. Yip jumped into his trousers and then into our jeep. With the gas pedal pressed to the floor, Yip, Nitin, and his parents sped to the mission hospital 40 minutes away.

In the morning, wrapped in his baby blanket, Nitin’s little body was brought home. Death did not stop us from praying. I’m sure God heard our prayers, but Nitin went to heaven.

Yip used a harmonium box for a coffin, found the burial site, filed the official documents, dug the grave, gave the sermon, and comforted us all.


Yip and I had just gone to bed when the phone rang.

Yip answered. “Hello?”

“Uncle, it’s Herb. Uncle, something has happened to my brother, Vinod.”

Yip sat up. “What?”

“Vinod was returning from his factory on a bicycle … Uncle, you know he can’t hear in one ear?”

“Yes. I know.”

“He didn’t hear the truck coming up behind him, and the truck didn’t see him. Vinod is dead.” Herb tried to muffle his sobs. “Uncle, I don’t have enough money to bury him, I can’t even get his body from the morgue. I don’t know what to do. Can you come?”

“Herb, I’ll come on the first train I can catch. I will come.”

Thank you, Uncle,” he whispered.

When Yip arrived, he had to fill death documents to get the body from the morgue. It would be a cremation. Wood, oil, and all the needed ritual costs would have to be met, but neither Yip or Herb had any money. Yip managed to get the body to the ghat for cremation, but did not know what to do. He found the priest of the Dom caste, who earn their living through the business of death, and are known as “untouchables.”

The Hindu priest asked, “Who are you, and what do you have to do with this body?”

Yip did his best to explain that he was his caretaker and the boy was an orphan. He told the priest that he had many such boys he was caring for.

Without hesitation, the priest told Yip not to worry. He would take care of every cost, the wood, the ghee, and all the supplies needed for the ritual burning, numbering to about forty items. The priest did all of that, and even promised to take Vinod’s ashes and scatter them in the Ganges. This was proper, as Vinod was a Hindu. Yip invited the Priest to visit and stay with us when he could.

In this case, Yip filed the official documents, was met by a kind Priest who helped with everything for Vinod’s cremation, gave the sermon, and comforted Herb.


Shivam was studying in a mission hospital to be a nurse. He was smart and did well in his studies. One evening he and his best friend along with others sat around chatting together. Another student walked in, sat down smugly and pulled a gun from his pocket. He laughed and jokingly pointed the gun at Shivam’s best friend, saying, “bang, bang.” Then he pulled the trigger. A deafening explosion of noise, and Shivam’s friend fell to the floor. Everyone in the room instantly disappeared.

Shivam sprang into action, picked up his friend and ran with him to the hospital. The student who’d fired the gun, was shocked, but more afraid than shocked. When Shivam left the room, that student emptied the bullets from his gun into Shivam’s bag. Then he disappeared.

Once more, the phone rang in the middle of the night. Shivam, now in jail, whispered, “Uncle. Help.” He was crying. “My friend has been shot. He’s dead.”

Yip left immediately for the jail which was a full two days train ride away. It took 2 months, but Yip managed to get Shivam out of jail. The case closed in Shivam’s favour, but Shivam was very broken.

Yip went to court, filed paper after paper, ran here and there, and consoled Shivam.


Sheba has always been extremely athletic, talented and popular. Like a magnet, she always had a trail of friends following her. When there was a crisis, she stood up and led the way.

A class-mates’ younger brother had been bitten by a puppy he’d found in the street. Unknowingly, he’d contracted rabies. Now the child was in a very bad state, and his parents were overwrought, unable to find a doctor to treat him. Hospitals would only give the boy a room with bars on it. Too soon, so fast, he died.

Sheba called her classmates and said, “We believe in resurrection. If you want to join us, we’re continuing to pray for life.”

The principal warned Sheba not to pray, or encourage others to pray. She understood what he was saying, but could not find peace in following his caution. Her heart cried, “Seek God.” Sheba and her friends were unafraid and aware that, in some eyes, they were defeated. But, for them, it was a victory. They knew the God of resurrection.

The school year ended and awards were distributed. The athletic achievement award, “Athlete of the Year,” was withheld from Sheba. But Sheba was content, assured she had done what was right. She was satisfied with a higher reward.

Unfathomable Love

It was Friday. A very good Friday, and yet, a very dark day. At mid-day the sky turned black and the heaven’s parted to receive the spirit of Jesus. It had only been a few minutes before, that Jesus cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”

It was his pain, his compassion, his love that made him cry out. Every day since Jesus was born, he was being groomed, trained, readied to save the world and bring redemption, forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift. That was his soul purpose. He knew suffering was the way to reach this goal. He sweat blood while doing so. But he never gave up or gave into the pain.

His last cry was, “It is done.”


Before I met Yip, and before Yip met Jesus, Yip knew “it was done,” after he heard the voice of Jesus.

One starry night, as Yip watched the lights from the hills in Mussoori, Jesus asked him, “What profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

Yip was silent and completely shocked. He spent sleepless hours thinking, and came up with only one answer. Yip told Jesus; “I’m nothing great, I don’t know why you want me. But if you do, then you can have me.” Forever changed in that moment, Yip gained a new life.

It never would have happened if Jesus had not died. We can only love life, through death. Jesus’ life was love directed at us—a love completed in death.

I Release You

I release your spirit to soar the skies
I release your desires to meet your God on high
I release your dreams to be fulfilled
I release you; I release you
If I could ever give you your heart’s desire – now is the time
If I could ever see your faith as truth – now is the time
If I could ever send you to paradise itself – now is the time
For you I would give up all, for you – now is the time.
Blessed is the name of the Lord, who understands the times
Blessed is the work of the Lord, whose very breath is life
Blessed is the power of God, to give eternal life
Blessed is he who walks in hope, and gives up his life.
I release your spirit to soar the skies…
I release your desires to meet your God on high…
I release your dreams to be fulfilled…
I release you… I release you… I release you…
For you I would give up all, for you … now is the time.

By Frieda McRae
Produced by Chris Hale and Peter Hicks
Michael Sethi
Sheva McRae

One reply on “Like Seeds”

I liked these stories and how you put them together at the end. I like allowing the reading to decide how to interpret the stories. The song is one of my favorites. Great picture of Cancer!

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