In all these years, after all this time, my experience of Kolkata continues to form, shape me and reveal that there is still work to be done. This place often holds up a very big mirror to my brokenness and the potential for ugliness. I have often thought, If I did not live here I would have been able to live in blissful unawareness of gifts that come with where I was born or the priviledges that come with my birthplace and even the color of my skin. I would not have to know the extent that entitlement lurks in my heart, as does selfishness and hardness. I would not have know the state of a heart that resents being badgered by someone who begs for their bread and be the one who picks and chooses the recipients of mere pennies for occasional donation. I would not have to know that though I do good sometimes, there is always these lingering unredeemed spaces that punch me in the gut when I most tired, most empty and most ready to hold on tightly to what I view as mine.
I can go much longer without these revelations these days…. Lessons learned over and over, finally sinking in some and yet they do still come and I lose it. I become my own worst enemy and the enemy of love in conquering the many broken paradigms of this place.
Praying for the grace to start again, to let love and compassion overcome entitlement and pride. To let my emptiness be a space for God’s goodness to arise, that I may know clearly once again from where my help comes.