And two more months with Word Made Flesh in Kolkata. This also being Good Friday makes an interesting twist in the way I think about this City.
Sunken cheek’s, lice filled hair, a bed soar that wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago, and a body so frail that the skin is draped over her small bones. Seeing my friend this way at Premdan angers me as well makes me want to just sit beside her, sing to her, wipe away whatever it is that drips out of her mouth and the globs of stuff in the corners of her eyes.
I cringe when I see and hear the suffering, my head lowers as I walk along the dumps and see the children digging forts on the side of the trash mounds. I know there is suffering back in the states, but I would have never been aware to the amount there is around the world unless I had traveled here and seen it with my own eyes.
While talking with the new resident, she asked if I thought she was crippled. It took me a second to think of how to answer this 25 year old who was paralyzed from the waist down. I said no in the sense that sometimes our bodies fail us or don’t work properly yet she was brilliant and had her mind. It would be hard to be her and to think of how people write her off and she sleeps in a room with 60 other women who are mentally ill or have serious health issues. To me, she is the most blessed there because although she has no physical ability in her legs and is losing ability in her arms, she has a great grasp of reality and a sweet personality. She at least isn’t suffering from pain.
This hit a little too close to home. I may have shed a tear as I explained how much I hated seeing my own mom’s physical pain growing up. Hearing the sounds of pain as she walked up the stairs slowly, seeing how the meds affected her, and a whole lot more that was hard to deal with as a teenager. I hated it. I hated how great my mother’s mind was but how the physical health of her body made her suffer in all aspects of life.
This morning at the Good Friday service, I started to wonder what it was like for God to see his son suffer, to hear him cry out in pain, to feel him gasping for air as he lifted his body to get a breath of air. We can think of God as cruel, but what if we thought of his heart breaking for his son and seeing him in such pain. Knowing that the events were physically and mentally probably the worst kind of suffering possible. Gah, it’s a lot to think about.
I don’t fully understand and am doubtful I ever will. The next two months will be filled with even more eye opening events. It’s time to leave so I’ll have to write more later…