Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)
TITLE: India is Like a Melody
By Rebecca Livermore
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What makes India so appealing? It could be the brightly-colored saris, and the intricately embroidered tapestries. Lovers of aromatic spices won’t be disappointed by India’s cuisine, and the forts and palaces are stunning in all of their royal grandeur. But sadly, for many in the western world, India’s song is the enticement of something different and exotic on a spiritual level. Many who have rejected the truth found in the Bible still long for spiritual reality in their lives. Hinduism, Buddhism, and other “isms” offer spirituality without the necessity of a savior, or an acknowledgement of man’s sinful nature. When in India, my heart breaks for the many westerners I meet who are headed for spiritual retreat centers known as ashrams, in futile attempts to find the truth.
Westerners are not the only ones in India searching for enlightenment. All of life in India is driven by a desire to seek and know God, on some level and in one form or another. Before 5:00 a.m., the Muslim call to prayer rings out over loud speakers, calling all Muslims to bow to Allah. This happens a total of five times every day, and even those of a different religion cannot help but hear the call to prayer and acknowledge, at least internally, the masses of people bowing in submission to their God.
Not to be outdone by the Muslims, brash reminders of Hinduism call out from every dirt road, highway, home and marketplace, with a blaring cacophony that makes it impossible to ignore the reality of India’s Hindu majority. As I walk the dusty, garbage-strewn streets to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, or even surf the Internet, my senses are bombarded by chants, numerous Hindu deities prominently displayed everywhere, and the fragrance of incense as it wafts through the air. Unlike the western world, religion is not compartmentalized in India; it is fused into every breath of every day. In spite of their dominant presence, India’s majority religions fail to satisfy the deepest cries of close to a billion seeking hearts.
So why, as a Christian, am I enthralled by India’s song? It’s because I can’t escape the reality of the 600 Hindus who die not every day, but every hour, without knowing Christ. As I eat with them, walk along the streets with them, and in the quiet stillness of the night look into their deeply questioning eyes, I also hear the song of the One who intimately knows each of us by name. India’s melody never stops, but neither does the redemptive song of the King of Kings who reaches out to each of us through the sweet melody of His love.
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