Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vizag, October 21

This week has been pretty good. Mainly Diwali here is like Independence Day in America, people buy lots of firecrackers and whenever we walked down the street we were apt to see small (male) children running quickly and hear loud bangs. We stayed inside on Saturday night because it was the first night of Diwali. (I wonder if Diwali is so extensively detailed on Wikipedia because lots of Indians are helping to write it?) As for actual religious celebrations we saw fewer…last religious festival time there were big tents set up everywhere recreating stories about Hindu gods and with taped recordings in Sanskrit, but I didn’t see any of that this time.
This week has been really good, mostly because a couple of really good things happened.

We’ve kept having really bad lessons with Raju, because he didn’t really want to listen, and it was the same when we went there on Saturday night. This time we went back to what we’d been telling him, which was that God was much less likely and able to help him as long as he knew he should leave tea, coffee, and gukka and didn’t. (He kept saying ‘I can do it anytime I want.’) Basically we went there and the lesson started degenerating and then he and his wife had a quick exchange in Hindi after which he said, I’ll keep it starting tomorrow.

We aren’t exactly sure what happened, if Saraswathi goaded him or what. But he kept his promise. And he already is starting to look better – more at peace, more able to listen to other people, more confident.

We looked at our record and so far we’ve visited them 24 times, which is pretty unprecedented for both Elder Pritchett and myself. Some people need a lot of love. But even as the change comes slowly to his family, it’s undeniable. We can see it in their faces.

Also, we met the most wonderful family this week.

The husband Babu stopped us on the street and we took his contact information but he didn’t really seem to speak English so we didn’t think much of it, but he gave us his address. So when we were nearby we found his house and were greeted at the door by his beautiful wife Swapna, who was overjoyed to see us. They have two small children (like 7 and 5) and Swapna deeply desired to love them, but often became frustrated when they misbehaved, and by the tone of her voice I could tell her guilt at feeling this.

They said they knew intellectually God loved their family. But in their words, and even more in their faces and the tone of their voices -- I could tell that they wondered if it was possible to feel that love.

I have felt. We tried to explain how they could too. I don’t think I’ve **ever** seen two people focused more intently on our faces and words.

These two things are probably one of the two wonderful things that have happened in awhile. And so, life is good.

And following a pattern I’ve seen in the last nine months, when life is good it rarely seems to bear any obvious relation to anything we actually did or intended to do….

Love,
Sam

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