Wednesday 15 November 2006

The Beauty of Brokenness

For Trang and friends, on the day of the news (about the close-down).

… When my Indian teammate in Fiji asked me, “So how did you find India when you were there?”, my first thought was about those suffering people. However, I just said, “You are a very special people”.

“We suffer a lot”, she said. “Wherever we go, we are despised and exploited”.

I did not tell her this then, but later I realized that is why they are such a special people to me. They are a parable of the human suffering. Suffering is their unwilling yet most heartfelt offering to the human experience, a beautiful and precious offering that the world is scared to accept but cannot reject, an offering made with many tears and much trembling, yet bearing witness to the quiet human grace and the undying hope for freedom.

I think of the children I saw on my way from the airport. Theirs is the patience in knocking on thousands of car windows, the humility before rejection, and the shimmering yet stubborn hope that makes them knock their fingers on the next window.

I think of the man with leprosy I saw near the market. His is the faith in his own humanness, the tenacity in not letting go, and the unthinkable courage with which he raises what remains of his face and looks squarely eye-to-eye at whoever passes by.

I think of the dead man on the street. His is the arrogance of someone who fulfilled his share of sorrow, the wisdom of answered riddles, and the depth of the lesson for the living, he himself being the object.

Those suffering people, they make each day a victory and each moment a hard-earned gift in ways they themselves are not aware of!

Those suffering people, they are great teachers in this life! Only if the world would learn more from its struggle than from its achievement!

I thought about the work of Mother Teresa, and then I began to have a glimpse into the meaning of one of her prayers that had struck me as odd, that maybe in the last day we would all realize how much we owe the poor for helping us love God, the God who himself became broken for the sake of the broken.

And that is the greatest beauty of brokenness!