I am giving below a couple of short extracts from the book. Touching, really.
1. With some grain in the granary
Well – two of the 'most serious' of the lepers have just died, and two new ones came the next day. It's a case of the lord giveth and the lord taketh away! It is all quiet again. But it's wonderful how all things will work out for good.
That old caretaker, who buys the corn for us, begged me not to let any more people in, as the price of corn is going steadily up, and we haven't the money to buy it. His words certainly seemed wise, but I found it wrong to turn people away, who are in need, I told him we would pray about him, and see what would happen. Well – these two have come along, asking to be admitted – and no money – and had been turned out of their house. I doubt if either of us had expected two! One confronted like this so soon, after he had asked me not to take any more. So I called him into the house, and was just going to work out if we could possibly manage till harvest, with the corn we have in the granary. I asked him how much he had, and felt how very cold and calculating I was and it flashed thro' my mind, the words I'd been reading from proverbs to the lepers early that morning.
"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hands to do it. Say not to thy neighbour go and come again tomorrow I will give".
Well – here I was with some grain in the granary, how could I say, go and come again later, when I had it by near. These two were certainly in need, so I showed the old man the passage, and I took in the two lepers. Then we all prayed that because of more members, the food will not be enough and work not hindered, but that the need might be supplied.
2 A ripe tomato to play
The one flourishing things are tomatoes. I have five big plants, trees, almost; three are red and one yellow. Tomatoes come as big as oranges or even grape fruits, and ripen nicely about four a day so I have enough to eat and to give away. There's one of my lepers, a blind man, he used to be our deacon. He just lies in the bed all the day, covered with sores. His main joy seems to be when he asks for 'kill pain' medicine and holds out his hand, what there is left of it. And I put in instead of the medicine, ripe tomato everyday; it happens like a child play.
Extracts from letters written by Laurie Baker from the Leper Colony, Kweichow, Free China, in 1943.
Source: The Other Side of Laurie Baker Memoirs by Elizabeth Baker
ISBN 81-264-1462-6 Publishers DC Books, Kottayam 686 001
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