There’s still the dust of India on my boots (it’s red). There are still the hints of curry in the smell of my dirty laundry (and sweat, lots of sweat). There’s still the oddity of driving my car and the comfortable quality of me own bed (and a purring cat).
There’s still the memory of the trip, which’ll outlive the all other remainders.
India, where, at least in our minds, East meets West, that distant land a foreign people. I could write a story for every person I met, for every eye that looked into mine, for every smile made and close call encountered (and I was only there four days).
Everyone talks of the simplicity of other poorer cultures. Everyone talks about how they learned so much from the people they went to serve and how they didn’t expect to do so. I don’t wanna talk about those things.
We’re Americans. We think we can change the world, we’re told we can from very young ages (but if it were true the world would be changing millions of times over in a day). Why do we end up being the ones who learn from the ones we’re serving? Why do we talk of the simplicity and happiness of people who, “Have nothing?”
Because we go into the country with a mindset of saving the world, changing the landscape of wherever in two weeks then leaving. Who are we to change their world with Western (or Eastern) knowledge? Why would we change it? To make it more like ours? To make it more comfortable for us?
Perhaps we serve by giving them the tools they need to work in their own way amongst their own people. By coming in and doing what we can to help their service to others a little bit easier Maybe we just play a quick game of cricket and smile with some kids.
We won’t save them; we don’t even speak their language. But we can give them the tools they need to serve their own. Just like they teach us about how simplicity is really a good thing and happiness in the faith of the providence of God is a possible thing. Things we can use to serve others. (See the circle?)