It was an odd scene. On a crowded Chennai street, with cars, auto rickshaws, busses, motorcycles, bicycles and people mixing it up, I could see bubbles. I loved the unusual play! From somewhere beyond my vision bubbles were coming with endless ease. There were no breaks, just an ongoing wash of bubbles caught up and into the wind. The sun created a silhouette of these rainbow edged forms that danced their way into the mass of humanity on the move. The bubbles did not have a long life. A brief moment of wonder and awe was followed by a so many different ways of bubble bursting that I lost count.
The visual metaphor continues to wash over me as I sat down for lunch at a nearby restaurant. There were so many ideas and experiences that come from somewhere beyond what we can see. In the Indian context I was in I could think of Bollywood movies coming with great fanfare, disappearing to the next one shortly afterwards. I could think of a first time author that presold a million copies of the third book of his trilogy. In each, one wonders who is touched on the inside, how long the feeling will last, and what will really change.
Sadly, the problems of the city I was in have not changed much in the last 10 years. If anything, they have become more challenging and difficult. Water was scarce, getting more so. Opportunities for the poor have decreased. Life has, by every measure for the majority, stayed difficult. For large segments, it has become precarious.
I love bubbles. They are magical, bringing beauty and wonder to individuals regardless of their age. In the world’s version of a bubble, the impact rarely seems to last. It is as if “God takes the wind out of Babel pretense, he shoots down the world’s power-schemes.” (Psalm 33.10) When the bubble is one of truth, especially a truth of compassion, love, and mercy, one cannot help but be touched and changed. I found the source then. It time to rediscover.