My family just returned from vacation on a beach in Thailand… just what the doctor ordered. I needed to be away… from pain… from ugliness… from grief… just for a time, so I could see my Maker… see His beauty… and know His own Love and Grace, that are so deeply hidden in the chaos of these streets of Kolkata.
I returned to day one of work, refreshed and ready for whatever the day would bring. Here’s how the day unfolded…
9am: My Indian co-worker begins to tell of his vacation time at his home. His mother and older brother have cheated him out of his birthright… his farm. He has no recourse and is hurt in the deepest recesses. We cry together and pray.
11am: We go to visit the ladies in Sonagachi. One woman tells us about the cyclone that is hitting her home back in her home state, as we speak. The house where her children live with her 100-year-old mother-in-law is under water. She is worried and fed up with another disaster to deal with. We pray, and ask God to calm the storm.
2pm: My house-helper, a resident of Sonagachi, comes to my home. I ask her how her vacation was. She says, there was lots of fighting in her home. Her 15-year-old sister has been arrested. Her mother poured kerosene over herself in an attempt to kill herself, because of the shame. “That was my vacation!” she says with alarming resignation.
Sometime in the middle of the night: I wake up from a nightmare (which I have frequently here). People are after us and we need a place to hide. It takes me a good five minutes after waking to realize I’m in my own bedroom, and that I can stop looking for an escape on the other side of my window.
Here we are, back in Kolkata! The harsh realities which our Bengali friends deal with every day are so hard to contend with. I do thank God for time away. The glimpses of the life and beauty He meant for us all to enjoy are still fresh in my heart and mind. Deep down I know He is Good.
I appreciated this blog written by Ann Voskamp, that I read while away. It helps give me perspective on Hope and Waiting. Please take a moment to read it and be encouraged, in whatever hardship you or a friend might be facing. Jesus IS making something beautiful… even in the ugliest and darkest of places.