She’s so precious. The lines on her face say so much. When I first met her, she looked so sad. Her children left her alone and her husband, a man too old to be working odd hours, found it hard to find money to support the two of them. Traveling to work would easily finish up a day’s wage. Some days they go without food.
Her knees are weak and her eyes don’t lie. They tear easily and the skin around them folds and creases when she laughs and smiles. She speaks about abandonment and loneliness but also of hope and love. When she doesn’t have enough to eat, Ramya, her 19-year old neighbor would share her food. We sat on the floor of Ramya’s little home that afternoon. We had tiny orange biscuits and sweet tea in metal cups.
We talked about family, Ramya’s love for her husband and about being disowned and adopted at the same time. They didn’t talk about community or service, but they were living it. I found this to be true in the tsunami orphanage too. India was filled with paradoxes. The lonely weren’t alone. The poor were rich. The meek had what no one can steal and money can’t buy. The abandoned had homes in human hearts and a shelter. The orphans were adopted into a bigger family. Frail beings with the divine in them.
I still have the luggage tag tied to my messenger bag. I can be stubborn and sentimental like that, but I know I should move on. Life is more than a destination. If I would put myself aside, I’m sure I’d find scandalous paradoxes here or anywhere.
Where I end, He begins.