Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas gift

Many years ago a child known as "Little Annie" was locked in a dungeon of a mental institution near Boston- her doctors' last resort for the "hopelessly insane." At times, Annie seemed to fit the label. She was known to behave like an animal and viciously attack those who came near her "cage". At other times, she sat in a daze.

An elderly nurse, however, didn't see Annie as an animal. She began to take her lunch breaks outside Annie's cell. She hoped to find some way to communicate God's love to this troubled girl.

One day, she left her dessert, a brownie, next to Annie's cell. Annie didn't acknowledge the gesture at the time, but when the nurse returned the next day, all that remained of the brownie were crumbs. From then on, the nurse brought Annie a brownie every Thursday.

As the months passed, the institution's staff noted changes in Annie's behaviours. She was removed to a more humane room. Ultimately, this once hopeless case was told she was able to return home.

Annie declined. A young adult by this time, she chose to stay at the institution to help others. One of the people she taught and nurtured was Hellen Keller. As you've probably guessed, Annie's last name was Sullivan.
From God's Little Devotion Book for the WorkPlace

I came into work this morning and found a Christmas gift nicely wrapped sitting on my desk. Being a Muslim, I don't celebrate Christmas, but I still appreciate a gift! It was a book from one of my co-workers, from which I quoted the story above.

The book has a whole bunch of other inspiring true stories and wise quotes which I am enjoying. As you can imagine, almost all the character traits (I haven't read the whole thing yet) discussed in the book (honesty, optimism, kindness,...) apply to good Christians and good Muslims (probably good Jews and good Hindus too) and are encouraged by both faiths.

Here's the funny part. I was depressed yesterday because after a week long vacation which I tried to make the best of ibadah [worship]-wise (Thul Hijjah first 10 days and all) I was back in the office and I felt it was difficult to keep my promises and survive all fittan the [tests] one is exposed to in a work environment.

As I was reading from this book, I realized that there are other people around me(who may not even be Muslim) who are undergoing the same tests and trying to do their best. It helps to know that I am not alone.


Affad Shaikh said...

that was a really nice reflection. I am blessed with working for a Muslim orientated organization where my fitna is limited to the outside work because of the caliber of people, my iman is kept at a high. Alhumdulillah.

Mona said...

that was such a touching story and a sweet post :)