“It's exactly what we find written in the Psalms: let his farm become haunted so no one can ever live there. And also what was written later: let someone else take over his post.” (Acts 1.20)
Imphal, more than any other state capital I have ever been in, reminds me of what reality is really like. Everything is raw, primitive, and real. Nothing can or should be taken for granted. Compared to other cities, in Imphal time has moved at a very different pace than the rest of the world. Basic services should be treasured because they can never be assumed. Infrastructure must be appreciated; often because what one finds in this location functions at the most basic level. It is a distinct dose of unique reality.
I come away from Imphal with a fresh appreciation for relationships. My view of how many blessings I take for granted has been reset. There is a wonder and beauty in Singapore that is different because of Imphal. There is a sense of hope and potential in New York that is richer because of Imphal. There is a beauty and quietness in Redlands that is transformed because of Imphal. Life is different – richer, brighter, and filled with a call to action – because of the city and its people.
Yet I know my understanding of life began to shift with the reality of this city. Life is often like that; seeing life as it really is marks the first step of change. Living in a virtual word takes away the reality of what it means to be truly human. Living in a fa?ade filled with platitudes, clich?s, and fictional conversations does nothing to help one engage. Living where we tell each other only what we want to hear does not connect our souls.
Imphal's reality is brutal, dirty, and often harsh. Life has a very different meaning here yet I find myself richer for the experience. It is time to take positive steps forward, to act with hope, compassion, and love. It is time for a fresh new reality.
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