New state, new language. I recognized not one single word that this woman was chattering at me. I wanted to, as she was speaking and motioning earnestly. Evidently, there was something she very much wanted to communicate to me, and as I was smiling and nodding, it was apparently not evident to her that I was not understanding a word.
I looked desperately for one of our interpreters. The woman kept talking.
“I don’t speak Tamil,” I shrugged apologetically. She still kept talking, undeterred.
“No Tamil,” I repeated.
She stopped speaking with obvious vexation.
“What’s she saying?” Nirmal, one of the translators appeared at my side.
I shot him a meaningful look of “help!”. He turned and addressed the lady. After a moment he said, “She would like you to come into her house.”
“To bless it.”
“And the family.”
“Oh—okay!” I stepped toward her, smiling brightly at her deep brown eyes and warm skin. She beckoned me to follow her down an alley about two feet wide.
“You’re coming right?” I asked Nirmal. “Travis, wanna come too?”
Nirmal squeezed past me and Travis followed. Her house had one room. One wall was tidily stacked with the popular stainless steel pots, pans, dishware and containers, all glinting. The other wall had an ancient radio and TV, along with the random household articles. There was a pile of bed rolls in a corner and clothing lined the bottom shelves. In a nook on a high shelf dwelt a little house god, draped with the customary flowers and surrounded by burned out incense.
Praying blessings over people and their houses hadn’t been easy at first. I didn’t feel qualified. But I learned that age, gender, and feeling adequate were of no consequence. My prayers are adequate because God is adequate. My blessings are powerful because He is powerful.
As I’ve become more and more aware of this truth, I have come to find that I can feel the power in my prayers. I know they are making differences and changing lives. As we left the house, I was excited. I knew that God had every intention of answering my prayers for this woman’s life—and I had prayed big dreams.