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fccidelhi042807-102Mumbai, India, April, 2007.  I’ve been here for three days; this city of 20 million people where more than 70 per cent of the population is incredibly poor.  While I have enjoyed the five-star hotel these past days it has been a lesson in how God gives me opportunities to love his people.  India is vastly Hindu and Muslim.  Only a small percentage of its population is Christian.  So when I have the opportunity to speak kindly to the man who sweeps the front drive with a broom of crude straw, his response is awkward to nonexistent.  It is as if he does not know how to respond to kindness.  His lower standing in this caste driven society leaves him with little or no opportunity to advance.  He is invisible.  So when he is noticed and spoken to, he does not know how to respond.  Perhaps he not supposed to respond. 

 

When I travel internationally I seek to put down the “ugly American” image and do everything I can to be kind to people and reflect the character of my heavenly Father.  I want others to smell Jesus on me and wonder what is different about this American.  As I got on the elevator just a few moments ago another hotel employee was cleaning the walls.  I said hello and asked if he was well.  His stare made me think he was afraid to respond.  I smiled and wished him well as I got off the elevator.  But it is sad to think these people are not comfortable with another’s kindness.

 

The hotel bellhops, waiters and desk clerks all smile and speak when spoken to.  But the housekeeping staff and the old man sweeping the front drive seem trapped in their place in life.  I want to tell them how much Jesus loves them and how, if he was here in a physical way, not only would he tell them so, he would probably reach with a hug.  Then I realize that he is here in a physical way…and he looks a lot like me.

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