In contrast to the rest of India, there are no beggars in Shillong. You can wander the streets, cruise the back alleys, or travel the countryside and you will never have someone coming up to you asking for money. There are so few exceptions (I have not seen any in the past five days) that it is easy to accept this as a norm without exploring for the underlying reason.
Khasi families have all the same problems that families share all over the world. They argue, fight, and gossip just like the rest of us. The dynamic is a bit different since the women hold formal title to everything and the youngest daughter inherits the family estate. The stresses are apparent as the women, especially those in the power line, firmly assert their authority. The enduring trait comes with their unwillingness to disown any member of the tribe, regardless of how good or bad they behave. As a result, every member of the clan has a home, food to share, and a minimal set of clothes.
Even with all this, there are those in Shillong who give up everything for a quick drink or the thrills of gambling. It is easy to ask, “why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore? for a dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?” (Proverbs 5.20) Yet, are we any different?
You and I are part of the family of God. His view of us is unchanged by our actions, good or bad. His approach is consistent and steady. We are His children, created in his image. The dynamic is a bit different because God does not argue with us; he just loves, loves and then loves some more. He has promised that we will always have the Presence with us along with a guardian angel that will watch us from birth to death.
The question sits, waiting for you and I to answer each morning. Do we want to be part of the family or do it on our own? Today is an opportunity to say yes.