Because of the distance of father-figures and the closeness of mothers, in Indian culture, Tilak chose to describe Jesus from a more Indian perspective:
------"Tenderest Mother-Guru mine,
------Saviour, where is love like Thine?..."
Professor Richard Fox Young of Princeton Theological Seminary wrote that “to discover his real voice and to put a recognizably Indian face on Christianity, Tilak felt compelled to reject the worship forms in the American mission churches...In a famously subversive poem of protest, he complained that in those churches ‘we dance as puppets, while [missionaries] hold the strings.’ In Tilak’s heart, only Christ could strike the right chords.”
I Have Called You Friends
One who is all unfit to count
----As scholar in Thy school,
Thou of Thy love hast named a friend —
----O kindness wonderful!
So weak am I, O gracious Lord,
----So all unworthy Thee,
That e’en the dust upon Thy feet
----Outweighs me utterly.
Thou dwellest in unshadowed light,
----All sin and shame above —
That Thou shouldst bear our sin and shame
----How can I tell such love?
Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca