Oh man. So much is happening here in K-town. Life is speeding along. October is here. October! How did you get here so fast?
A brief update on our rat situation. Let me give you the Cliff Notes version: out of control! This morning, in the wee early neighborhood of 1 am, these were my words to Sheila:
"We've got to wage a full-out war. Pull out all the stops."
My roommate of the super-sonic hearing had just heard Mr. Rat rustling about in our trash bag, which I would like to point out was hanging a good five feet off the floor and contained no food fragments. (We're trying.) She shook me awake, and the all-too-familiar huddling in the middle of the bed act resumed. Sheila has a wind-up flashlight, which happens to be incredibly handy for these nighttime crises. That way we don't even have to try to reach the lightswitch from the bed. She pointed the flashlight right on the trash bag, and then I threw the nearest small object at the bag. Out zipped the rat, away to his safe little hide-out behind the cupboard. I'm not sure what good that did, but at least we got him out of the trash.
I know this all sounds a bit silly, but I'm going to play the gender card and argue that--we're girls. Somewhere way back in our genetic code, it must be written that we ought to be irrationally afraid of anything grey with a long tail. It doesn't make sense, but take it up with our DNA.
If any strong men would like to make an emergency trip to Kolkata, you are welcome. We live behind Nepal Sweets. The white house. Next to the big apartment building. If we happen to not be at home, go on in and feel free to "pull out all the stops."
What's going on in my heart? Jesus has been showing me my pride and resistence the past few days. How I think I have something good going on inside of me without Him. I have been thinking about how radical the Incarnation was. I come to India, and I miss the comforts of Western life. But this is nothing compared to Jesus stepping down to earth and slipping on our flesh. He came to earth from heaven! Philippians says that he "made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." I say I want to follow Jesus. I'm seeing, though, that I want to follow Him without having to look like Him. All the things that I am afraid to give up in following Jesus, He Himself gave up! I resist pouring myself out for the poor. Yet Christ poured Himself out to death for the whole world. I resist the thought of remaining single, begging that cup might not be mine. But Jesus lived as a single man, and sometimes even His friends deserted Him. I don't want to live without a comfortable home. But the Son of Man had no place to lay His head, even as the foxes were running off to their dens and the birds settling down in their nests. I balk at suffering. Jesus suffered so much. Loss of friendship, loss of dignity, loss of family, loss of physical well-being.
I am amazed by what the Cross means. I am amazed at this Man Jesus. I am amazed that He has asked me to follow Him. And I am ashamed that I want the crown without the cross. Like the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, I don't understand that suffering is a prerequisite for victory. I want to move into the glorious kingdom right now. Take the interstate fast lane and speed by pain, hurt, or disgrace. But how can the servant be greater than the Master?
Pray for me, that I will be willing to know Christ in His death just as I long to know Him in His life.
And also, even though I say this with a sheepish grin, please pray that Sheila and I will get some good sleep soon. We've been having restless nights, maybe partly due to the rats. To end on a positive note, I love our ceiling fan. I bet we would get even less sleep if we didn't have that ceiling fan. It runs so faithfully every night, all night long. There's a silver lining.
for now, good-bye...