In the Chandal district of Manipur it is hard to get caught up in the world's busyness. While I saw a couple of mobile advertisements, there was nothing resembling an internet caf?, use of computers, or a sense of being in a hurry. Given electricity's irregularity and reliance on generators powered by expensive fuel, it was hard to imagine that anyone was willing to live their lives based on modern technology.
I find myself caught in the wonder of simply living. As I walked through the fields soaking up the silence, only the occasional sound of a cow's bell imposes an artificial sound. Everything else had a natural flow. Life ebbs and continues, girls and boys flirted innocently with each other, and adults talked about memories and the passage of time. Life has a completeness and balance that I often find missing.
Spiritually I often find society's expectations conflict with the story in the young Christian church. Even as Jesus was leaving, “He told them, 'You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.'” (Acts 1.7, 8) The witness he spoke of was and is grounded in living the “stuff” of God. Walking with compassion, talking with mercy, and acting with a true sense of community is never as easy as it seems, yet it is at the heart of what is means to truly be alive and a follower of God's.
Today finds me talking on a satellite phone with those I work with. I miss their company and friendship. I am in debt for their gift of giving me time to attend to family matters. I know that their lives are more difficult because of my absence. I hope that I can give back the gifts Manipur has giving me; a sense of being, living, and learning from the beauty present with each day.
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