Worship At the Grand

DSC03358          The Honorable Ndubuisi Amaku, High Commissioner (Ambassador) from Nigeria to India wasn’t the person to be honored. He did the honoring and gave what may have been the most articulate and heartfelt blessing I will ever hear.  To make my point, the clock has to spin back a year.

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Poo On Your Shoe

Hear Bill Tucker assemble his consonants and you’ll spot he’s from Australia but his job as an architect is 6,500 miles away in New Delhi, India. A no-nonsense guy, his corduroy mind is consumed with approved processes and how things done right are best done by the book. This background is helpful so you’ll get the full measure of what comes next.

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Revenge of the Monkey Chaser

Monkey chaserWhen you come to visit, you’ll probably take photos of them at the president’s palace, the Rashtrapati Bhavan.  You’ll think they’re cute.  You’d be wrong.  You might assume that the guards are poised to keep you out, but most days the guards spend a lot of time beating the trees with sticks and keeping them from washing their young in the fountains.

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Normal Sets In

DSC02994        I knew it would come.  It’s the pang of knowing that our “new” is becoming our “normal.”  The family of five on a straining motorcycle now only gets a quick glance even though the kid perched in front of his mom can’t see because her lime and scarlet scarf wraps itself around the top of his head like a fallen turban.  All you see is his grin. And I didn’t even call Lee Ann to come and watch the painted elephant limp his way home from his moonlighting gig at last night’s wedding.    In short, this is becoming home.

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Sister Acts of Grace

Nicholas Kristof is a writer for the New York Times and, until recently, not a particular friend of faith.  Lately he’s been changing his tune because of Catholic nuns (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/kristof-we-are-all-nuns.html).   As he has traveled around the world, he says they simply do what Jesus expected all of us to be doing.

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When Only Small Bills Will Do

DSC02992I walked into our kitchen, slipped a bit on a puddle of water on our marble floors and nearly shattered my mug of coffee.  All because there was a man squatting on his haunches hovering over my sink.  My sleepy mind had forgotten that my driver had called “our” electrician friend to come and fix our geyser (pronounced “geezer) which is the hot water heater looming over the kitchen.

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My mother recently passed away.  Living in India, I didn’t make it home to be at her side as she passed from this life to her next.  Nor could I be there to officiate at her funeral as I had my father’s.  What follows is a note that I sent to my brother-in-law with a request that, if he saw an opportune point in his remarks, perhaps he could read it.  In a few lines I think it summarizes the power of her life on mine in innumerable gifts of grace for which I can only be grateful.

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The Tale of Two Churches

At the intersection of Church and Lothian Roads in (Old) Delhi you will indeed still find a church.  The neighborhood around it looks like a movie set of an old west cowboy town that has been invaded by a drove of broken farm tractors and the hired drifters who’ve herded them.  Sludge, seeping antifreeze, and gear oils grime the blacktop and give off a heavy, used petroleum stink on hot days.  Street dogs and mechanics lick clean the foil cups that held their lunch.  An outdoor barber clips hair.  Life curls on and the neighborhood labors around it, seemingly   immune to the beauty and manners of St. James Church.

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