Coming back to the village south of Chennai brings a flood of memories. Highlights include being part of an awesome band on the beach (still standing after the tsunami), solitary walks on the beach heading south, and being energized in a new ways by the sparkle found in the eyes of the children in this area. Of everything here, and there is much, it is the eyes of the people in this village which draws me back into the envelope of peace and quietness.
A friend taught me a valuable lesson here. How many people does it take to establish a link in making a difference? Not many; one actually. The hearts of the people in the village are as open, generous, and kind as any I have found in the world. It isn’t that they have much, they don’t. It isn’t that they need much; they do as much as any village does in India. I find that it is the sense of being at peace with their approach, the people who they count as family, and the nature they try to live in harmony with. Their invitation to the visitors who come and stay of the hotel on the north side is willing, natural, and friendly. Obviously the people are a source of wealth. Equally important is the simple fact they are guests. The welcome mat is out and the house is open.
In this context, I remember one person responding to the invitation of a village priest. He said yes, accepted the invitation home, and gently walked into the lives of that family as well as the people who knew him in a way that nobody else had. He witnessed to me of the joy of unconditional acceptance. He stood up and was proud to be counted. Jesus did that for a friend. His words were simple and direct. “Let her alone. She's anticipating and honoring the day of my burial.” (John 12.7) No walls, barriers, or obstacles between these hearts.
Our lives will touch many hearts today. We determine the “how”.
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