I can still see the breath and depths of their eyes. Without hesitation or reluctance, with no barriers or hidden agendas, her firm eyes will look up, forward, and into the future. The scene repeats itself constantly in the Khasi Hills, especially when one is wandering through a crowded market. Khasi women run all the businesses, wait on every table, pump the gas, hold title to all the property, and are in control of their future. They know it, the men of their society know it, and strangers find themselves sitting quietly dumb, not knowing what to do with it.
In the days since leaving, the one thing that remains is the reflection of their eyes. They all seemed to come with a twinkle, bright smile, and humble confidence. Age did not deter or empower their gaze; all ages were steady and confident. It was as if they were eager to live and experience life. This included sharing insights with strangers from a foreign land.
I wonder if I will ever be as willing to be candid and open with a stranger if they did not make the first move. I find it hard to be open with myself. How does one learn to live this way with everyone around you? Does this approach lend itself more to a society that behaves as a family, versus strangers occupying the same space?
Solomon noted, “God hates…eyes that are arrogant.” (Proverbs 6.16,17)
Until I found myself looking in eyes after eyes that were wide open, searching, and sharing without motive or guile, I had no idea just how closed and arrogant my eyes often are. If I am not willing to share from the depths of my heart, how will anyone really know what I believe and stand for? If I continue to pull up curtains and barriers to hide what is inside, do I really want God to see who and what I am?
I felt the touch of God’s gaze in the Khasi Hills. She was warm, friendly, and nurturing; everything I imagined God to be.