Sometimes it is good to remember the smallness of my place in this world. It is good to remember that my problems are relatively small and proportionately easy to solve.
On Sunday night at church I was reminded of this by the simple act of the man sitting in the row behind me. He didn’t say anything to me. In fact, I’m sure we’ve never exchanged more than a few words. He is from India and is still conquering English, but his actions preached an eloquent message to me in that moment.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the turmoil in the Pakistan/India region in recent days. It is the kind of drama that I usually watch clips about on the news and still don’t understand exactly what has happened, even though I have dear family members living in that part of the world. I am embarassingly uninformed. I need a good long conversation with my Dad about it; he always helps me make sense of this kind of thing. But, anyway, I’m sure you have heard that tensions are high and people are nervous.
At the end of our church service, I sat in my row absent mindedly. My hands were already moving to gather stray sippy cups and rogue crayons when I felt a swoosh of air as the quiet Indian man behind me stood to his feet, arms stretched toward Heaven. A few people had gathered in the altar area to pray, but the church was otherwise seated and awaiting our dismissal. Dan was singing a worship song, but this man did not join in. He began to pray in that upright position. I couldn’t understand a word, but I felt every emotive syllable. His homeland was in distress and he would not be content to simply sit in the safety of America and not intercede for his people.
I am certain I have rarely seen this man express emotions like the ones he was releasing to God in that moment. He was fervent, and I couldn’t help but utter a small prayer of my own. Help them, God. Make a way for peace. Protect the innocent and let justice be done. Amen.