India is a land full of contrast – which is too many ways is a blinding statement of the obvious. Far too often people focus on the surface – the extreme difference between the poor and those with money, those who consume far too much versus those who have less that the minimum required to survive, and what is clean and much that is not. While on one hand I know that anything anyone might say about the country is true somewhere there is one thing that strikes me every time I am there – most never give up hope that tomorrow things might be better.
It wasn’t always that way. I can remember my childhood, decades ago now, and the dullness that seem to overwhelm the sparkle in most people’s eyes. It is different now. People are working hard to get ahead and many do. Even those who have little are working the angles to make things a little bit better.
Ironically many so called “follower” of God do not have the same fight. It is as if they expect life to be given to them on a clean and buffed plate. Maybe a better word for their relationship with God would be hanger-on – but who am I to judge?
I read Wisdom and I find a clear warning to those who might attack and try to get me down. “Don’t interfere with good people’s lives; don’t try to get the best of them. No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.” (Proverbs 24.15, 16)
Yet like millions in India life does get me down. Wisdom didn’t promise bad things would not happen; just that God’s true disciples would always rebound and get back to the important things in life – dispensing grace, hope, and unconditional acceptance in unlimited measure.
India is a land that is responding to the hope God offers to each one of us. Today, now, is the time to respond. Hope is here.