July 11, 2009

In short, last night we had a “book” study with the CBC people at the Malakars.  It was a good time of prayer and study.  This morning we woke up and went on a slum visit to Nandlal – just about 7-10 min ride up the way.  

I guess I don’t really know what to write about (I’m referring to the slum visit).  It was my first visit this time to India.  We visited the slums in Varanasi last year but I’m not too sure what to say about my visit this time around.  What do I say y’know?  What would you say?  I guess it just becomes or it can, become very trivial if I let it and the fact that its becoming more and more familiar to me and not “shocking” me and that’s alarming to me.  

I’m sad for their conditions but why?  Because I “feel” sorry for them because I have more than they do or because they have less than I do?  Because I get to fly back on a plane in a week or so and get back to my comfortable life style, which I love and am thankful for?  or Because I see very clearly God’s compassion for them and I’m struck to the core in my thinking, without feeling, but believing somehow, my visit is actually doing something?  For them and not for me?  Why am I really sad about the slums?  

Here’s what I’m trying to say.  I’m tired of the poverty of life.  The poverty of my own heart, the poverty I see around me here in India, the poverty of the spiritual state of India, America, Samoa and the rest of the world.  I’m confused to see/visit a slum and live like it doesn’t exist. I’m tired of seeing the slums of man’s hearts/lives (especially my own), the slum like I saw today and living like it doesn’t exist.  I suppose I’m tired of coming to situations like this (and noticed I used “like” because there ARE other forms of these situations, external, relational, physical, mental, spiritual, economical, social, (every) cultural, theological, musical, environmental, etc)…like I was saying, its tiring to come to situations like that, act like I’m doing some good and yet leaving feeling like that was all to point out something about me.  And that’s where the issue really is, I really am just tired of me.  I’m tired of not caring enough, not doing enough, or acting like I’m doing something (when I really am) but not really doing anything, not serving enough, not meeting everyone’s expectations enough, saying enough, saying too much, thinking too much, and not rightly thinking about the little that I actually do think about etc.  

So, the slum(s)…its horrible, in my interpretation.  The conditions are sad and unhealthy.  But they live there and they ARE surviving there.  And I don’t know if they are doing that the best way possible.  But is education the answer?  Is more money the answer?  Is medicine the answer?  I know the answer but the chasm just seems sooooooooooo big – and I suppose its nice to throw “gospel” cliches, that are true and that I know need to be proclaimed…but seriously.  How do you or if you don’t, how would you think about it…not in the compartmentalized way.    

Okay, so one step at a time, I know.  I don’t want to just feel compassion, when I see a slum.  And I don’t want to save it either when I’m comfortable in the U.S. and use it then when the living conditions are in my favor (which, I know doesn’t make it any better or less than pleasing to God…or does it?)  

I don’t see a resolve in this post and so I’m not going to attempt one either.  I’m not angry, nor am I okay.  I’m not disillusioned nor am I completely sensible.  These are just my thoughts and ones I hope and pray will be used to haunt me, challenge me, inform me, remind me, thrust me to educate others and hopefully lead me to God, His love, His promises and Himself.  

I don’t have it figured out and neither do the slums of India.  I’m not mad that they have less than I do in America, nor do I feel guilty about that (anymore).  BUT I also don’t want to pretend like (REAL) slums don’t exist and I don’t want to EVER boast in my blessings – I just want be thankful for them and learn how to give them away very generously and foolishly – money, time, friendships, apartment, sleep, food, clothes, etc…man, I have SOOOOOOOOOO much to learn…



  1. Eric M said

    Thanks for sharing this. I think many of us can relate.

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