To Listen, To Sense, To See

I'm going to India in a week and a half.


As much as I want to prepare myself in some way, I can't.  I've checked out books about India from the library and returned them unread.  I've briefly reviewed Hinduism, but I took a whole course in college.  And, honestly, I'm not really sure tha I should reschool myself in it for this trip.   My time has actually been spent reacquainting myself with the God that I already know. In some sense I'm setting myself up for an experience that will simply happen to me, like jumping in a lake and emerging drenched in an element that I don't normally exist in.  Floating in it.  Letting it carry me.

I have tried to cram 11 weeks of summer (and maybe a couple years of life) into about 6.  I've gone room by room, closet by closet, putting things in order.  All the appointments that needed to me made (well-child, dentist, travel vaccines, eye exam, the specialist I've been putting off) have been made and just about completed.  Lesson plans have been created up through Thanksgiving.  Family photo albums done to a point.  Women's retreat planned and organized for when I return.  HHacked bank account dealt with.  We've even met with a lawyer to put our living trust, will and powers of attorney together.   I'm definitely getting things done, but I'm not really present in them.

I've spent the whole summer making things happen.  In some ways it has actually been the most intentional time of my life.  Looking deeply at my children when they talk to me. Calling my son when he's home alone.  Taking them places for quality time.  Letting go of other normal summer stuff so I can just be with them playing catch, watching them play, spurring them on, swimming at the pool. When I'm with them, I'm fully present and I know it.

india/varanasi_rolling_beediAm I afraid?  Am I putting my affairs in order as a result of that fear?  Am I drinking in my kids because of it?  Or am I anticipating that life will be different when I return to such an extent that I'm taking note of life as it is now?  Is all my preparation so that I can re-enter with a new set of eyes?  I can begin again with no loose ends to drag me back to what was.  I can simply jump off and move forward. 

Maybe a little of both.

Pray for us as we go and wrestle alongside an indigenous pastor who doesn't quite grasp a God of grace.  We'll pray with those wives who need love for the churches their husbands are leading.  We'll come face-to-face with sex trafficking in action; smell the slum; intervene for the sick.

And we'll also see the restoration that is already being done through charitable works, engineering and church planting... to see what God is doing through his church to end poverty.

Please pray for us to have eyes to see this part of the world as God sees it, to purposefully associate with a culture opposite from our own to make connections and exhibit grace.

And to return made new and fully present.


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