Email From My Mom

My Mom recently sent an email to some friends and family that is being circulated. She’s since asked me to post it here to ensure it’s ongoing accuracy.

Good am, Family. I love you all. 

I wanted you all to know that I have spent the last week going through every paper and article in Ravi’s desk, closet and drawers. I moved last Monday as RZIM told me I had 90 days to vacate our home, which had been promised to me specifically in the case that Ravi died for as long as I wanted it. Before I left the house I wanted to be certain that nothing was left of Ravi that anyone could take and twist and create a story to use against him. Included in this were the suitcases from his last international trip last Jan, which have stood unemptied in our closet for the past year. Seeing his shoes in it really undid me. I went through every scrap of paper, all his financial documents, letters, cards he had kept etc. In short, everything he valued and needed in life. 

Ravi was not very organized. His filing system was to designate a drawer (kind of) and throw everything into it. He threw nothing out, and I mean nothing. I found receipts dating back into the 1980’s, including receipts for every restaurant he ever ate in, I think. I lost track of the garbage bags and the hours spent shredding financial & personal documents, as well as confidential & personal documents relating to RZIM.

I found dozens of cards he had kept from the kids & me. I found family pictures, mostly of the kids & me but also some from your growing up days in India. He had a picture of me with my father on my 16th birthday, another of when I graduated from high school. I found notes I had written to him. I found an anniversary gift for me for last year when we were in Houston and a birthday gift for me for last year when he was in heaven. I found cards he had bought to give me but never had the chance.

I found multiple denominations of money in multiple currencies in multiple boxes. I always wondered that he always had cash in the appropriate currency upon arrival in any country I went with him and never had to visit the exchange booths in any airport to pay porters and cab drivers.

I found drawers and drawers of medications he took for the medical issues he was dealing with, including in no particular order sleep aids, metamucil, pain medications, metamucil, energy boosters, metamucil, prostate medications, metamucil, hair growth tonics. 

I found boxes of pens and watches never worn as they were good watches, usually given to him, and he was afraid they would create the wrong impression of him. 

I found the bag of crosses he gave to every therapist who helped him and which have been used against him, called expensive gifts used to bribe or “groom”…I’m not even sure what that is. I guess normal, civil discourse is grooming because you want to make a good impression on someone. The bag has clearly marked on it who gave them to him (he did not buy them), a friend who is a jeweler. He gave one to me, to Naomi & Sarah & Sarah Kay, to Elizabeth & Barb one Christmas & described how he used them to open a conversation about the Lord with people he met along the way. He had literally dozens of them and gave them out liberally. They were not intended to convey a special or romantic interest. 

I am reminded of when Ravi spoke for Billy Graham at Amsterdam ‘86 on The Lostness of Man. Afterward, Billy told Ravi that he had never heard such a powerful sermon on the subject and asked if he could use it. Ravi was really flattered until someone, either Leighton Ford or Cliff Barrows, told him not to put too much stock in what Billy had said as he said that to everyone who spoke for him. 

These crosses were the same. They conveyed no special interest. He gave them to everyone. They were what he said they were, an opportunity for him to open the conversation to be about the Lord. 

I found a receipt book from which he issued a receipt for every massage he received at home, with the name of the therapist and a description of the treatment, signed by the therapist and by him. 

I found multiple cards from people, including some therapists, thanking him for the blessing he was to them, for his encouragement to them, for leading them into a deeper walk with the Lord or being instrumental in bringing them to the Lord. I found letters from people offering him all kinds of advice in boosting his energy levels, on staying healthy, on making his hair grow, on treating his back.

I would also like to tell you that both Naomi and I have had frequent text messages from the therapist that treated his back most often in recent years, affirming the love and respect for him and for us that she and her family still hold and telling us they continue to pray for us and are here for us. She and her family were present at the dedication of the RZIM building. 

All of this is to tell you what I did not find: no suspicious financial documents, no financial or real estate arrangements that I did not know about. No investments that I was not aware of. No suspicious letters or cards of a romantic nature from anyone but me. No suspicious expenditures. No products to treat conditions unknown to me. 

In short, I want you, his family, to know beyond a shadow of doubt that I found not one suspicious receipt, letter, card, expenditure…absolutely nothing to support the claims being made or the charges against him.

As I said, he was not an organized person, except in his logical, philosophical & theological thought processes. He had no filing system. He was not complex. He was not duplicitous, he was not an actor. As you recall, he wasn’t hired for the role in that Christian movie as a teenager b/c he cldnt act. I cldnt even tell him about a surprise I was planning as, like an excited child, he couldn’t keep it secret. I could always tell if there was more to a story b/c his nose would do something funny. Like Jack Delany, a friend here, who wasn’t supposed to eat chocolate: his wife could always tell if he had had chocolate as his nose would get red.

He could never have kept a secret like they are alleging (alleging, I say, as there is not one whit of evidence to support what they are saying). At the very least, with all the medication he was on at the end and his hallucinations something would have come out if something were there. 

When Ravi learned his cancer had metastasized he said he was ready to meet the Lord. He had no regrets, he said, except that he would have to leave us behind. He had no fear of dying, of meeting the Lord. His conversations at the end when he was seeing things we couldn’t and talking to people we couldn’t see were not filled with angst or fear or guilt. He was talking about strategy for sharing the Gospel with his unseen visitors. So much for Randy Alcorn and John MacArthur. 

He never uttered another woman’s name, even in his sleep. His first thoughts every morning were of the Lord, his first words, “Thank you, Lord.” His Bible is marked up and underlined, notes in the margins, interacting with what is written and applying it to himself. I found written in his Bible the following. It has no date. It has no author. But Ravi obviously resonated with it.

Lord, I renounce my desire for human praise,
For the approval of my peers,
The need for public appreciation;
I deliberately put them aside today,
Content to hear you whisper,
“Well done, my faithful servant.” Amen.

More than any other poem I ever heard him quote was this one by Amy Carmichael, Make Me Thy Fuel, Flame of God:

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, Free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not this are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the Love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

He was not perfect. He was a man. As his wife of 48 years, I know this more than anyone else. But his failures were not in this area. He was spectacularly self-disciplined in his conduct, especially where it would reflect poorly on the Lord. He denied himself every single day in order to fulfill his calling and be pleasing to the Lord. He trusted me implicitly and I, him. He loved me completely, even the aspects of my personality that he found frustrating. He was fully committed first to his God, then to me and to his children, and finally to those who looked to him as an example.

Such a man could not be guilty of what is being alleged and there is no evidence at all to support those allegations, not in his personal effects, his financial records, his correspondence, his actions observed by all who knew him over 74 yrs. Even the so-called evidence in his emails is phrases, words taken out of context and never confirmed with those who knew him, who could give some context. Anyone of any celebrity status who gives his email to any who ask because he didn’t want to offend them by refusing, always cautioning them to “be careful what they did with it,” receives hundreds of pictures and selfies from fans & admirers, often inappropriate ones. That is pandemic in our society today. And everything you receive on your phone or computer is there for eternity, as we are constantly warned, and can always be “forensically retrieved.” So there are pictures. The investigator never told us their origin, whether he researched them or they were sent to him. Is he responsible  for what is sent to him? If he is, then so is everyone else. 

There is absolutely no way that Ravi is guilty as charged, convicted, canceled and executed, some even going so far as to claim that he never knew the Lord. I knew him, inside and out. I trust him & believe in him no less than I did on May 18th last year when he called me to him and kissed me as long as he had the strength, his last physical act in his life. It is not because I am in denial. It is because I knew him and because there is absolutely no evidence to support anything contrary. 

I have written this because I feel it is important that you, his family, know what I know, know what I have found and not found, so that you may have confidence to continue to love and respect the man you knew, and that you may know that he was the man you knew. 

With much love, and confidence in Ravi and in the God he knew and loved and served,