“What are you going to miss about India, Matt?”
Matt stared thoughtfully into the palm leaves. We were sitting on the terrace of the Rescue and Restore Orphange in Chennai. A pleasant, cool breeze stirred the air. I thought longingly of my own Wisconsin summer.
“I’ll miss palm trees.”
“The warmth…it’ll be heart-breaking to be in winter again.”
“I’ll miss rickshaws! I want to build one.”
“Walking to two dozen little shops all within three blocks of home.” He laughed, remembering the long searches for Mountain Dew.
“Not having people understand you—it’s rather fun,” I laughed.
I have only had three hot showers since being here,” Matt observed gravely.
“I like bucket showers,” I stated decisively.
“MATT!” Paul yelled. We peered over the terrace wall.
“Can you come down and bring the ball?” Matt stood up, white dust from the wall on his pants, red dust from the terra cotta roofing on his sleeve.
I remained on the wall watching the children play with the others. I thought about going home, and what it would be like. Would I miss India very much?
“What have I learned here, God? Have I changed since being here?”
Kids screamed with delight as Paul hit for a six pointer during the cricket match.
“What do you think you’ve learned?”
“Hmm…I’ve learned that I do have a love for kids…I’ve learned how to live in close community. I’ve learned that I know so little about love and serving and knowing You.”
The girls doing laundry behind me dumped out a bucket of water. The dark wetness crept toward my toes.
“I’ve learned how to do laundry in a bucket.” God and I laughed.
“It seems like the more I know about you, the more I find I have to learn. The closer I get, the more I see in our way. The more I serve others, the more areas of my life I find devoted to myself.”
“That,” God replied as I stared at the setting sun, “is what I call progress.”