Monday, February 15, 2010

The Remedy

One of the things I love to do in this country, or in any country for that matter, is to sit and people watch, while listening to my ipod. Usually the songs that are playing in these instances are songs about life... and God. I like to imagine what people’s lives are like. What hardships they face, what joys they just experienced. What they long for. It is particularly fun to do in an airport. However, here in the city, while sitting in crazy traffic, I kill time by turning my ipod on. And then I just watch. This happened a few days ago, as I sat in traffic on my way home. It almost brought me to tears.

Traveling by rickshaw, you see a lot of things. In fact, every time you stop, you get beggars that come up to your rick, reaching in asking for money. Sometimes they leave after you say no, more often than not, they will persist. Sometimes they are in rags, sometimes they don’t even look like beggars. Sometimes they are naked little children, sometimes it is a man with one leg. Sometimes they reach in and touch you, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you know it is a man, and sometimes you know it is man dressed in a sari and lipstick.  And then of course, you see the hundreds of people walking by. Sometimes you will see a bunch of boys playing a game of cricket on the side of the highway. Sometimes you will see a taxi driver stopping to pee, or a child squatting and pooping.

On this particular night, the words from a book I just read, portraying the character of God, came to my mind.

“Michelle, I am particularly fond of him.”
“And that woman, she is one of my favorites, I am particularly fond of her.”
“See that man, he’s lost, but I am quite fond of him too.”

The people just kept passing by. A man selling something on the side of the road. Dozens of men walking home from work. Who knows where their final destination is. Maybe a slum. Maybe a nice flat. Who knows how much money they made that day. What religion are they? Probably Hindu. Maybe Muslim. Maybe they’ve never heard the name Jesus. Maybe they have, and rejected him. The words of the song started playing in my ears…

“Here we are.
Here we are.
The broken and used, mistreated abused.
Here we are.”

Maybe he is on his way to a brothel. Maybe that woman sells herself every night to feed the rest of the family. Maybe he’s a good father, trying his best to make ends meet. The scenarios kept going and going. The words to the song kept coming…

“Here you are.
Here you are.
The beautiful one, who came like a son.
Here you are.”

Later at night some streets are lined with people sleeping on the side of the road, wrapped up in a raggedy blanket or sheet. Some families live under the highway in makeshift tents. The words kept ringing…

“So we lift up our voices and open our hands.
To cling to a love that we can’t comprehend.
Lift up your voices and lift up your hands.
To sing of a love that has freed us from sin.”

At one section of the road there are little alters with Hindu gods set up with incense and candles and sometimes music playing…

“He is the one who has saved us.
He is the one who embraced us.
He’s the one who has come and is coming again.
He’s the remedy.”

The main road to our house is lined with rickshaws and taxis. They are parked for the night. Often the rickshaw drivers sleep in the back of the ricks. A days work done. How much did they make today? A few hundred rupees? Do they have families? How many mouths to feed? I wonder what they spend their money on. Food? Chewing tobacco? Clothes? Why did I just argue with my rick driver for that one extra rupee back he owed me? Did I really need my two cents back? And the words played…

“Here we are.
Here we are.
Bandaged and bruised.
Awaiting a cure.
Here we are.

Here you are.
Here you are.
Our beautiful King.
Bringing relief.
Here you are. With us.”

These people. These people I see on the streets, sleeping, working, driving, pooping, living… they are all created in the image of God. God didn’t just die for me, he died for them. They have giftings, they have talents, they have dreams…

“So we lift up our voices and open our hands.
Let go of the things that have kept us from Him.
Oh I can’t comprehend, can’t take it all in.
Never understand such perfect love.”

Perfect love. God knows their pain, he sees their abuse. And he hurts when they hurt... when we hurt. He’s constantly whispering their name, reminding them that he is there. Maybe they would hear. Maybe not. In the midst of our brokenness, our dirtiness, literally, our filth, He is there. Though the world would like to argue otherwise. 

Seeing these scenarios everyday makes it become nothing unusual, in fact quite ordinary. This is life in this city. It’s not shocking anymore. This is the way it is. But when you sit back, and think, and realize, it’s enough to make you cry. How lost is this world. How lost is this city. It’s a lot to grapple with. It’s overwhelming to think about.

“Come for the broken and beat, for the wounded and weak.
Come fall at his feet, he’s the remedy. He’s the remedy.”

He’s the remedy. He’s the remedy. I have to remind myself of that every day.  But I believe it with all my heart.

1 comment:

  1. Your so beautiful in every way and your heart oozes with compassion that is so absolutely world changing because it is coupled with the power of the name above all names!

    Keep reminding us here at home what it is like to witness that injustice. Be our eyes and tell us how to see and understand with our hearts so that we can remain fighting at our post's.

    You are called, anointed and appointed Michelle. And your hands and feet are so beautiful! Remain faithful and receive more grace! You are a lighthouse! Much love!