Thursday, August 31, 2006 promised

Sorry it's taken me soo long to get these up here. Honestly I've sort of been avoiding it. Being in India felt like home, and leaving and knowing that I'm probably not going back (overseas, anywhere, for a long period of time) for a couple of years is a little hard to swallow. So I really haven't processed, or thought much about it to ease the pain a little. I know, not the healthiest way but it's all I got.

These are going to be in no order...sorry

this is one of my favorite pics from the taj. I wanted to take a picture of this doorway (it leads up to the ground level of the taj) and as I was taking it this Muslim man walked out...perfect!

A woman praying on the ghats at the river. It was really heartbreaking to see them pouring their lives into the river of death.

this picture is a great image of what life is like there, the daily struggles to get even the smallest things (like crossing the street) accomplished. There were moments of stillness and quietness which were cherished. It was so quiet one night that someone dropping a metal bowl outside our hotel woke me up, but the next morning the noise of daily life started right back up.

to orient us the city we played the Amazing Race. It was just like the real one. Teams of two were given an envelope with clues and some money and set off racing from clue to clue. I've always thought being on the amazing race would be cool, and I still would love to do it, but I cannot imagine being under an adrenaline rush for as long as they race. Holy cow! I was on a team with l-dub and we quickly fell into last place when our rickshaw driver took us to a completely different place (this was the first of many stressful and crazy rickshaw rides with l-dub). We started out as separate teams, but eventually with the help of a monsoon we finished the race together. The last hour was spent in a colossal downpour, not really knowing where we were much less where we were going, pushing stalled out rickshaws through 2 feet of oh so clean water, walking through that water and trying to not think about what just brushed our was awesome. This pic doesn't quite do it justice, but it's all I got.

h-diggity, k dawg and I spent one afternoon with the intent of pr walking the university there. Within about 2 min of being on campus and pring, I see these three girls and just go up to them and start talking. We talk for a few minutes and then continue on with our "task" of pring. The whole time I'm thinking man, we should go back and talk more to those girls, and regretting my decision to continue walking. Not 30 seconds later they come running after us hollering my name. It was pretty sweet. They showed us around and then did the obligatory "come to my dorm to meet all my friends". I even got to share Truth with them through my tattoo. Small seeds, but seeds none the less. So here we are in front of the technology building.

so I didn't take this last picture, and it's kind of random, but its about the closest one I've found to the image from India that will stick with me forever. During the amazing race, on one of the rickshaw rides, l-dub and I ended up in the Muslim part of town. I had never been in a mus. culture, so it was all new to me. Every thing captured my attention and my heart kept filling up with awe and joy and love, and burden. I felt like it was about to burst. The kids were just getting out of school so all the moms were out picking them up (the women usually don't go out on the street unless it's to get their kids from school). There was this one girl/woman in a burka on a rickshaw coming toward us. Our eyes met and, man, it's so hard to describe, but there was just this huge depth of hopeful longing in her eyes. I wondered how many people had actually looked her in the eyes, and told her they loved her and that she was beautiful. Even now she grips my heart.

I'm sure I'll put up more pictures as I process more. It was an amazing trip, completely different from what I expected. Who knows where I'm supposed to end up, but I sure wouldn't mind if it were there....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

a little less clarity, a little more trust

I need reptition. I don't remember ANYTHING the first time. So when things in my life are repeated, i tend to figure that it's just God trying to make a point. I heard a quote by Mother Theresa this morning at church, then as I was reading this afternoon I came across it again...

from Ruthless Trust by Manning

"When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Theresa. She asked, "And what can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "What do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: "Pray that I have clarity." She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of." When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what i have always had is trust. So I pray that you trust God.""

Saturday, August 12, 2006

you two girls and my mom

so i'm back, india was awesome and i'll post pictures later....
last night a friend and I had the most fun babysitting probably the coolest 4 year old i know. he was a riot the whole 4 hours. from randomly screaming to pulling out EVERY stuffed animal that he or his sister owned. i seriously laughed the whole time. Near the end of the night i asked him who the most beautiful girl in the world was. without skipping a beat he says "well you two girls...and my mom....and maybe my sister". it was so sweet. then later he's getting ready for bed and decides that he wants his back rubbed, but "wait i need to get something from my mom's room" and then he runs back in with a jar of lotion that his grandma made and takes off his shirt, so it could be rubbed on his back. awesome. it totally made my week.