India's contrasts stay with one long after one physically leaves. As I think of the past few days in Mumbai, the progress in the middle of unending chaos only begins the story. I can see the eyes of happy kids without a tangible item of material value contrasting with those that appear to have everything. I hear the story of a street artist looking for input and critical input, wondering if the artists inside the prestigious art gallery we were standing beside would be so open with their art and souls. I can see temples, mosques, and churches peacefully standing in the communities, hinting at but not quite telling the story of the diversity that lies within this community.
The medley of emotions, experiences, and awareness combines into a soul mix that opens my heart up to the others voice. There is a wisdom transcending our faith. It reminds us of truth principles that can help us in life as we work with each other while reaching for God.
Life is difficult enough; we should avoid giving burdens to those around us. Old wisdom still applies; It seemed to the Holy Spirit and to us that you should not be saddled with any crushing burden, but be responsible only for these bare necessities: Be careful not to get involved in activities connected with idols; avoid serving food offensive to Jewish Christians (blood, for instance); and guard the morality of sex and marriage. (Acts 15.28)
Life has enough chaos; taking time each day for family and friends will give us far more than we realize or can afford to pay for.
Life has enough pain. Given everything above, our focus should always be love. We can make compassion a priority. We can choose mercy over justice. We can embrace hope instead of fear.
I doubt the individuals I met or photographed realized how much they were giving me during the past two days. I walk away richer. Hope and peace flood my soul. I want to make our world a better place. It starts with you, me.