Where is God when we suffer at the hands of the vilest of humans, when the weak and the innocent are abused and tortured? Where is God? Kamal Dhillon’s personal story, as told in her book, Black and Blue Sari, forces the reader to wrestle with these questions. Kamal suffered, and endured, through the most inhumane abuse at the hands of her husband. She was tortured to within an inch of her life on many occasions. And yet she survived. Kamal’s story is more than just a survival story; it’s a story about redemption, forgiveness and restoration.
Kamal, like many Indian women before her, fantasized about marrying and falling in love with her husband-to-be, the kind and handsome man her loving parents arranged for her to marry. She dreamed of being a princess and being cherished by her man. Never did she imagine she would instead become the object of his wrath. For years she lived with her tormentor, her torturer, unable to leave. Shame, death threats to her family, and fear of losing her children, were her prison walls. Kamal’s abuse was total. “Raj [her husband] was a tornado that ripped through my life, destroying everything in his path.”
Kamal finally made that impossible decision to leave, but it came with great sacrifice. She wept in anguish and wrestled in uncertainty over her decision to leave. And in her moment of utter helplessness Kamal encountered Jesus for the first time, through the comfort and listening ear of a Christian woman. When this woman shared about Jesus’ love and sacrifice Kamal responded with anger, “Where was this loving God when I was going through hell? I had no one to talk to. No one to protect me from the evil man I had married… Had he been sleeping because it was night-time? Had God been enjoying watching me suffer? … I had encountered many gods in my life, and the last one was my husband” (p. 212). Despite her raw anger, that conversation with the Christian woman set Kamal on a different path. With nothing left to lose Kamal “gave Jesus a try.”
“Kamal’s story is more than just a survival story; it’s a story about redemption, forgiveness and restoration.”
In the final chapters of her book, Kamal summarizes some of her inner struggles on her journey to freedom. She doesn’t pretend to have all the answers to the “Why evil?” and “Where was God?” questions that her story raises, but she does walk us through her journey to freedom. In her heart she was full of bitterness and vengeance, but through the power of Christ she was able to forgive and receive freedom from the continued bondage her husband, though absent, still had over her life. “I am no longer a slave to men but a child of a loving Father in heaven. He is the King, and that makes me his daughter. I am finally a Princess” (p. 279). In Jesus, Kamal is living out the dreams of her childhood; in Jesus, Kamal became a Princess.
Come out to the Apologetics Canada Conference March 7th and 8th, 2014 and hear more of Kamal’s story. Let her take you through her journey of freedom from evil as one who personally wrestled through it.
Dhillon, Kamal S. Black & Blue Sari: The Cost of Leaving a Toxic Relationship and How the Transition Can Prosper You and Others. Surrey, BC: Lotus Speaking & Writing, 2009.