Yesterday was the Indian Independence Day. There was a worship concert here. It was India meets Hillsong, meets Sud.z drama team, meets Indian dancing, meets fog machines, meets Pentecostal manifestation of the Holy Spirit. They brought in extra speakers and cranked the volume. They like to rejoice hard, blood-pumping, ears ringing, heart bursting. It was beautiful.
I sat in the front row of the balcony where I had a perfect view of the stage and the people below. More than once I glanced below and thought, this is the look of those who have tasted of the sweetness of the presence of light in the midst of a great darkness.
So far, India has not been an experience of highs and lows. It’s been a fairly gentle journey, kissed with the quiet sweetness of the Lord. He is not shouting in my heart, but I sense him walking with me, whispering softly now and then. Sometimes he is almost silent, but present, like a hand pressed upon my shoulder or holding my hand. The pace of life here leaves lots of time to linger, to reflect, to be. This is something I think Indians do right. As Westerners, when we rush from one event to another without stopping, as if we are afraid of missing something, we miss out on so much more.
Here people are more important than events or tasks. If you are not here we’ll wait for you to come. If you need us, we’ll stay with you longer, letting others wait for us. And then we stop and rest before moving on.
“Take rest,” the Indians tell me. “Take rest.” And I do.