By Jen, University DTS student
We’ve been in the city for a couple of weeks now, and so much has happened in my heart already. Of course everyone who travels will say that. But I certainly didn’t expect my heart to pound out such a loud rhythm of love for the people here.
One of our first days, we went sightseeing to immerse ourselves in this new culture. Being here is like nowhere I’ve ever been. Instead of letters that form words I might eventually recognize, I see characters drawn everywhere. I don’t know if I’ve seen the same one twice yet.
It’s hot and the air is thick with exhaust, dust, and the smells of nearly 20 million people living in one city. By mid-afternoon, we were ready for a break. I sat near the side of the street and people-watched. Several people ate fresh, juicy cantaloupe on a stick as they walked by. Some stopped to throw away trash in a bin near me. After each person threw something away, a man fished through the bin to find it. He ate whatever was left or pocketed some treasure that he could sell or trade later.
“This man deserves so much more than other peoples’ waste!” I thought. That’s when this pounding rhythm in my heart grew louder. I couldn’t ignore it.
I found the vendor who sold the bright orange cantaloupe and bought one. When I gave it to the man, a wide smile stretched across his face. He looked giddy, like he couldn’t contain his delight.
There are more than a billion people in this country. It’s easy to look at that number and wonder what giving one stick of cantaloupe to one man on one street could accomplish. But I know in that moment, the juicy cantaloupe refreshed this man, brightened his eyes. In that moment, he felt like he mattered. Maybe today he doesn’t remember the foreigner who gave it to him, but I know I won’t forget. Because in that moment my heart beat with God’s heart and the sound it made was L-O-V-E.
* To be continued *