My first trip to Bangalore occurred when I was twelve. We were on a trip to a hill station for vacation. The Indian summer heat was overwhelming everyone. To get there was a long journey; the first major stop was Bangalore. As we travelled in the car, I played out my arrival in the garden city. We entered to broad streets, well-marked signs, and banners greeting my Dad. Since I was with Dad, I was in the reception.
The only reality from my dream that occurred was the broad streets. I am sure the fact that we arrived around 2am was a factor. Everyone, even those living on the streets, had called it a night. As we cruised one street, then another, it was clear that our directions and understanding were lacking. After waking up a few sleeping policemen at their posts, we had new directions.
In the era, we did not consider hotels or staying at one. I do not think we could afford it. I am not sure what Bangalore had at that time. Whatever our options were, the one of choice was staying with friends of friends. I translated this as strangers.
When we arrived at what we thought was the house, it was in a quiet neighborhood near the cigarette factory. Dad was not sure it was the right one, but he was fairly sure. He took the note from a friend to the Bangalore family we were looking for with him and headed for the door. I was amazed at his willingness to step into the unknown.
His initial knocks were followed by an extended period of silence. On the third set of knocks, we could hear voices and the sound of people getting up. As the door slowly opened, the scene was right out of an old story. “The head man in that part of the island was Publius. He took us into his home as his guests, drying us out and putting us up in fine style for the next three days.” (Acts 28.7)
We were no longer strangers.