At the India-Bhutan border.
In the last several weeks, I have attended a funeral, preached in a local church, and done several interviews for my research.
As I write this, I am in Dalsingpara, a rural part of India near the India-Bhutan border, and I am… idle. I am, to be very honest, a bit bored. I know, I know. Just a month ago I was gushing over how everything here was multi-sensory stimulation.
Due to our new circumstances, however, our plans have changed, and I have no choice but to stay put here, and generally reflect on how God allows things to happen for a purpose.
My host family and I had only stayed several days in Butwal, Nepal, on our way to Pokhara and Kathmandu, where I was scheduled to meet and interview several pastors and evangelists, when the news about kuya John’s father’s death reached us. That same afternoon, we packed, rented a vehicle, and set out for India.
It took us 12 hours to reach Dalsingpara, India, and preparations for the burial quickly occupied my host family. The custom here is to have the burial within a day or two of the person’s death, and have a 7-day wake.
I have heard so many things about kuya John’s Baba (father) – orphaned at an early age, getting into the military, being shunned and prevented from being promoted because of his struggles, leaving the military, and finally becoming a Christian and prolific evangelist and church planter (and being persecuted for it).
I even heard bits of his love story, and how he ended up with Ama (mother).
Now, more than a week after we buried him, the house is filled with Baba’s photos, blown up and framed for the funeral earlier. From what I was told, he was a strong, boisterous, effusive character who loved talking and telling stories.
Now, I see his photos everyday, and I wonder: Baba, sayang! Why didn’t I get to meet you?
And my deep consciousness, there is the quesiton: God, why did you take him now? Even selfishly: God, why couldn’t I have met him?
But such is life – the unexpected happens, and we do not really know, or have control over, the future.
This, I believe, is one of the important things God is teaching me at this period. Nothing is ultimately within my control, and the sooner I accept that, the sooner I calm down and lose my anxiety.