How far would you go for a story?
I went to India.
|Kendall & I were "Inked"|
Confession: I didn’t go to India for a story. I went with a group of people to work with young women who have been rescued from human trafficking. More about that next week.
While we were there, we divided into teams to pray for the city. Some went to hospitals and others visited neighborhoods.
|A kitchen in one |
of the houses we visited.
Our team had the opportunity to visit in the homes of Christians living in what we in the States call "the slums." I learned a valuable lesson. One I should have known.
Don’t judge what is on the inside by what you see on the outside.
|Sharing a moment with|
a family in their home,
As we drove along the interstate, we could see the slums everywhere, rising up like jagged tin roofed mountains. When we visited our new friends in their 10X10 foot homes, we removed our shoes and walked across their clean floors. They were gracious and hospitable. They smiled with us and we prayed with them.
Their prayers weren’t for money or a bigger house or anything material. They asked us to pray that their children would grow up to know God. Sometimes they prayed for someone to be healed. They welcomed our prayers of blessing on their household.
|One of the women we met on|
the Prayer Walk
Of course it wasn’t all work. We shopped in a market along the street and on one occasion, went swimming on the rooftop of a hotel in Mumbai. Our hosts treated us to a special dinner at a “resort” where we were entertained by Indian musicians and traditional dancers.
The food was spicy and colorful. Much like the saris worn by the women and the beautiful jewelry and scarves displayed in the marketplace.
I know this blog is about writing. So the question becomes “What did I learn on this trip to apply to writing?” I offer these three tidbits:
· Food and location may be as much a character in your story as the people you create.
· Universal truths of love, and hope, and care speak louder than those of despair.
· Storytelling is a powerful tool to establish community. (Okay, I knew that one, but the trip to India underscored it for me.)
I didn’t go to India for a story. If I had, I would have thought it to be one of pain and suffering. But there is a story there. It is called HOPE.
So…how far would you go for a story?