One Alive Among the Dead

If I were to catalog all the things I’m grateful for this year, I would begin with my eyes.

“I was blind . . . “

No, really.  I was blind.  Shortly after arriving back in Delhi September 1st, I came down with a fever the complications of which included a severe eye infection, joint swelling and pain.  I spent my days hobbling around a darkened apartment, wearing Audrey Hepburn sunglasses even indoors and at night.  For the first time in my life I became mesmerized by the daily miracle we have of movement and sight. After a week my vision returned, but the pain in my knees lingered as the weeks turned into months.

One day in the midst of this I hobbled out to the corner dairy to collect my milk.  It had rained the night before and as I started up the incline home, I began to slide backwards in the mud.  My left knee couldn’t support my weight at all, and even shuffling forward agonizingly, I was barely making headway.  As the first words of complaint came into my spirit, a man passed me, also hobbling.  “Even he has a walker!” I thought pointedly at God.  Then I noticed he also had no left leg at all. 

I eventually made it home, overwhelmingly grateful for knees to have pain in.

“My son was dead . . . he was lost . . . “

Nearly two months of sickness, blindness, and immobility has brought an unwelcome, but necessary, increase in domesticity.   Sterilizing vegetables the other day I began for the first time to read the newspapers they were delivered in.  “So much life wrapped in death,” I thought as I noticed the listings of all the dead bodies that had been found around the city.  One after another, page after page, their pictures passed before my eyes, unrecognized, unclaimed. 

Then, all of a sudden, one was different.  A nine-year-old boy, round face and ruddy cheeks, found lost — but alive.  My heart unexpectedly skipped a beat.  Alive!  Found!  I couldn’t help but think of his parents as they poured over the same pages, hoping their son would be the one alive among the dead.  I couldn’t help but think of God as he pours over the faces and hearts in Delhi, longing for their life as well, as a father longs for a son who has gone missing.

Most of all this year I’m grateful that I’m not alone.  Love for the sons and daughters of India could never have come from my own heart, it comes from the father heart of God.  To Him, there are many still dead in Delhi, but none are unclaimed.


 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.
We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20


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