Shakuntala came from a very poor family in India. Her husband, Patole, made idols out of mud and sold them in the market for his living.
One day Patole asked Shakuntala to take all the mud idols to the market. On the way there she stumbled and fell, shattering the idols. Afraid of what her husband would say, she gathered the broken pieces into her basket and sat weeping under a tree.
When Patole passed by on his way home, he found his wife still sitting under the tree. ‘Why are you crying?’ he asked. Then he saw the basket with the broken idols. ‘You worthless woman!’ he shouted at her.
‘Now how will we eat?’ He continued to shout at his wife, beating her with a stick and dragging her through the dirt toward their home.
Just then a monkey jumped down from a tree and attacked Patole, baring its teeth and striking out at him. Patole was shocked. He dropped the stick and said to his wife, ‘Bring me some water.’
Shakuntala ran to the house and got a glass of water for her husband. As Patole drank, he thought, How is it that the monkey slapped me? That monkey was trying to rescue my wife. Even the animals knew I was doing wrong.
Patole then looked at the basket of broken idols and thought, How is it that the idols broke? If the spirit of God is in them, they should not break.I have always believed in those idols, but now I think they cannot be the true gods.
Not long after that, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor heard Patole talking about the broken idols. ‘Is there a god anywhere that will not break?’ Patole wondered.
‘Yes, I know of such a God,’ the pastor told him. ‘I will come to your house and tell you about Him.’ Bible studies followed, and the couple soon learned about Jesus, their Savior.
As a result, Patole and Shakuntala were among nearly 1,500 people who joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the city of Mumbai in 2004.
Written by Dorothy Watts
Illustrated by Chris Murphy