Cruisin through tea fields as the sun is setting...doing 85 in an old safari style Bolero as six nuns say the rosary while eating chile pickled mango. Its one of those moments where you gotta close your eyes and say...never forget this. And then you blink and two months in India have already flown by. Too many X's on the calendar and only a few malaria tablets remaining. Reality often rears its head in the strangest ways.
A day or two before I left the orphanage, I was at my usual 6:30 post...with Amal asleep in my lap and three year old Santos giving me an inventive martial arts demonstration. It only took him a few seconds to spy some juicy watermelon slices lying untouched next to the teachers bookbag. Somewhere between his roundhouse kick and his wily plot to nick the forbidden fruit, the reality finally surfaced. And it took nearly a month.
Who would EVER abandon this child? THESE children?
Maybe their circumstances were reason enough to give up the child, but I find it extremely difficult to make excuses for ABANDONMENT. Yes, I would much rather have him living at the orphanage than living with a woman who would so willingly give him up...because she didn't want to bring him into a second marriage. Now that...THAT is just asking for me to be livid. But as I watched Santos reek havoc on 6 gargantuan slices of watermelon...anger became a fleeting emotion. Even if it is justified, this is neither the time nor the place to be angry. Even though my brain has been out to lunch for the past month, I have thought that much.
In all of this, I have found it is more than possible for my heart to be full and my head to be empty. I am actually quite enjoying the change-up. After a few hours at the orphanage, some cogs turned and some switches flipped...and my brain was turned off. It took me more than a week to be okay with that. I have spent most of my life trying to love with my head. To love tactfully...to love WELL. Well now I see that love doesn't always hang in perfect balance of head and heart. What if passion is oftentimes total foolishness? Wait, hold the what if...I KNOW it often total foolishness. Maybe loving MUCH doesn't always require the head...sincerity not always requiring the heavy thinking. Perhaps there are times when loving WELL is just loving MUCH.
I am now back in the cool Kodaikanal air...taking a breather. The only thought in my head is how I cannot hope to know God's movement in life if I don't first know His rest. I would rather the bruises of anger, sadness and heavy thought appear later...when I am back in Denver, safe in the arms of family and friends and corner coffee-shops. But then again, I cannot predict when the suckerpunches of India will show their marks...all purple and all over. As heavy as this stuff is, it is equally amazing. And altogether invaluable. For now I hope to follow the advice of a friend...to just let this time be what it is. I'll take to it barefoot and brainless. If you'll excuse me, I need to go see a nurse about a broken toe.
Much love, mal