Friday, May 07, 2010

New Delhi, India: Day 6

We finished our last day of medical clinics, and in 5 days saw 2000 patients, dispensed over 10,000 prescriptions and prayed a whole lot. And with all this comes a sense of remorse for not being able to do more. How silly is that. Okay…perhaps not so silly.

When I look back at the 5 days we spent working in some of the worst slums in the world, I see a little speck of light in the otherwise dark cloud that hangs over the lives of these people. The smiles of the children, the glisten of tears of thanks from the parents, and the soft touch of a calloused hand that has felt nothing but garbage all of its life, gives me solace in knowing that at least for now, for even a brief moment, they feel worthy of being valued. They feel the warmth of dignity, the pride of being recognized as human, and the love that they may not have felt for a very long time.  We in turn, felt saddened, angry, frustrated, and confused at the indignities they suffer. But now, we must let all of that go, and realize that it is not easily fixed. What we did do, is leave behind a memory for those who choose to remember, the short time we spent together. The “slum dogs” and us. A memory of being valued and loved. No pity was shown, for that is not what they need, nor I would guess, is what they want. But empathy, compassion, and caring, all of which is sometimes very hard to do and give. This team, this group of 12 servants, did all that. Erica, Greg, Amy, Grant, Ashley, Kelly, Anne, Heather, Jesse, Gretchen, Sarah, and Cammie. Well done silent servants.

There are no pictures this time. I want you to close your eyes and see yourself in what I’ve described to you. I want you to see yourself living in a slum and being called as dog. I want you to make your own picture. And then burn it. You’ll not want to look at it again. But do one more thing for me. Every time you feel like you’ve been dealt a bad hand, give thanks for it, because it will never be as bad as what has been dealt to the “slum dogs” of  India.

In all things give thanks,