Many of my neighbours spend a lot of time with their gods. Morning and evening, with bells, and incense, rice and flowers, they beseech their chosen god or goddess. There are entire days, strings of days even, when a particular deity is revered and doted upon for its specialist blessing.
The poor, the barren, the unemployed, the sick and the abused; they take their burdens to their gods.
Much effort and expense goes into the upkeep of idols; I see a lot of worship here, but I don’t see a lot of love for the undesirables and the downtrodden.
If a woman sits bleeding on the pavement, eyes wide and face tear-stained, it’s karma. If misfortune befalls your family, it’s one of those pesky past-lives catching up with you.
I see a difference with my God. He is all powerful, omnipresent and creator of all. I expect great things from Him, just as my neighbours expect great things of theirs.
But I cannot leave my flowers and incense at His feet, step onto the street and ignore the poor, the hurting and the lonely. I need to act on what I know about my God. I know that He loves my neighbours, loves the whiffy child with lice, loves the rambling granny in her shredded sari. I know that He first loved me and armed with that sweet knowledge, I am moved to love my neighbour.
I expect great things from God in this place and I can attempt great things in His name. Not things that will bring fame, glory and prestige, not necessarily things that are great in scale and impact. But things that are great to God and that show His love to His children.
- Article by Sophie
Sophie serves with one of our freedom businesses in South Asia.