Monday, August 21, 2006
I can't believe it's over. I'm coming home. I'm in Chennai and soon to head back stateside, back to Utah, and back to a lot of headaches. Schoolwork? Job-work? Financial aid? Man, life's about to get a lot harder.
I spent my last night in India at a mosque in Bangalore, just by chance. I felt like going out alone for a walk, and as the sun was sinking a man sitting outside of the rather largue mosque motioned for me to come over and sit with him. He bought me a Coke and introduced me to his dozens of friends as they walked by in long white shirts and pants, caps on their heads. The time for the call to prayer was coming, and my new friend stood and beckoned me to follow him. We went down through a large underground parking area, then up and up flights of stairs to a room where we removed our shoes as the call to prayer was starting to sound from the loudspeakers in the pink light outside. I removed my shoes, walked through a door to our right, and found myself looking at the man who was doing the call to prayer over the microphone. The room we were now in was full of sound equipment - little lights and knobs and lots of cables - and the man held his hands to his ears and let these melodies float from his lips to the world outside. He sang, paused, sang again, repated the process over and over. I couldn't help but be moved.
The men I was with invited me to have a seat and observe the prayers led by the imam, then a long lecture given by a visiting scholar from Delhi. I was honored. When it was all done, my new friends offered me a Qur'an and left me with embraces, held hands, and kisses on the cheek.
I had felt a few weeks before that I wasn't finding my God in India. Yesterday it occurred to me that an Omnipotent, Omniscient God is working with men's cultures throughout the world to enlighten their lives. I'm glad I had my experience last night, one last night of learning in India.
Can't wait to be home though, of course. I'll see you all soon.