Far too many people think life is only about being tall, standing up, and defending the turf that is yours. It is as if the only things that matter, the only values and priorities in life, or primary mission of every individual is to stand guard in front one dignity, status, pride, ego, and arrogance. As a result one finds people walking around as if the people besides themselves are something less or smaller than they.
Catching the sights of Madras through a newcomer’s eyes is a refreshing experience. You rediscover the awe of what they see. You find yourself reliving the stunned, glazed, and startled expression that is captured on their face for the first few days. And you even find yourself examining with fresh eyes what is actually around you. The results are silently disquieting, perhaps for me in a different way than most.
So many children live and grow with so little, yet their eyes sparkle with hope and excitement. So many adults accept what is and look for what they can to tomorrow, understand all the while that life is cruel, unfair, and blind. So many have optimistic faith in what will come when everything screams to give up and give in. When I look at the chaos they call life, as I examine the obstacles that face people of all ages and economic conditions, I find myself wondering why the sparkle can be in anyone’s eye.
The answer is found in three steps.
First, see what is. Joel instructions were simple. “Dirt farmers, despair! Grape growers, wring your hands! Lament the loss of wheat and barley. All crops have failed.” (Joel 1.11)
Second, see what could be. God is among us, reaching out in compassion, love, and mercy. We can be part of this!
Third, “be” in the world. Don’t just sit on the side lines! Engage and be part of the fabric of hope. Life is here for living. We can make a difference. We can be God’s arms of compassion.
New dawns, fresh rains, and life to be lived.