Chandran D.S. Devanesen wrote this and it was 1982. Some of his language would be different now, but the world has not much changed:
Once again as Christmas approaches
my thoughts are stirred
as I reflect on the meaning
of that event, of that point in history
Where the human and the divine intersect.
My eyes take in the loveliness of green hills
and the ever-changing glory of the skies.
I listen to the whisper of the pines
and the drumming of the rain on the roof.
But the beautiful sights and sounds
do not drown the painful cries the human tragedies,
the agonies of flood and famine, drought and dearth,
bringing hunger and suffering to millions.
And more painful yet is the knowledge
that familiarity with it all blunts our sensitiveness
and shuts the door of our indifferent hearts.
We feel we have enough to do to save our own skins
without trying to get underneath the skins of others.
And we forget why God became man,
laying aside his own indescribable splendor
to take upon Himself the lowly form of a Servant
healing our pain, making us care for one another
irrespective of race, language or colour.
We thought that science and technology
could perform the miracle of unifying mankind
but we continue to collide or drift apart
with the high tide or low tide of our dislikes,
our petty prejudices and cancerous hatreds
as we spin with neurotic, narcotic tremors
towards future shock.
May we be saved this Christmas
from its petty trimmings and empty rituals!
May the creative explosion of the Incarnation
shock us into a renewed awareness
of God’s power and goodness
of His reconciling love
patiently awaiting the return of a prodigal world.
Chandran D.S. Devanesen
I am so glad to share greetings from roofs for the Roofless with some photographs and the poem by founder Chandran D.S.Devanesen.
His son Dayalan writes: Amma (my mother)set up a beautiful tradition of personally giving Christmas gifts to our staff and the residents of the Aged Care Centre. In 2015 Sudarshan ( my elder brother)and Asha with great humility took her place and presented the gifts. In 2016 Rev . Ivor Smith Cameron , one of our earliest supporters and first Ambassador of Roofs gave the gifts. This year Shashi, Emmanuel and I had the honour of keeping up this tradition. We also gave a short Christmas message. I was very emotional at the College because the Watchwomen’s son had recently died in an accident where he was run over by a bus. Selvi is a fantastic person and I never leave the College without talking to her. She has set up a small vegetable garden in the College. Last time I asked her for two chillies she ran and picked 20 for me.
Please continue to uphold us in prayer as we look for Gods guidance as we plan our program for the New Year
God Bless, Dayalan