Saturday, November 1, 2008
My eldest daughter has what I like to call the "united nations" for her inner circle of friends. China, Russia, and India are represented as well as Canada...They are very supportive of each other and look out for each other. Tonight was a showing of support for the friend of East Indian heritage. She was performing a dance. You see, today was the celebration of Deepavali or Diwali. This is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness in Hindu religion.
Now, I was a little hesitant to send my daughter last year when we were invited to go, but I couldn't attend, but I prayed about it and sent her off. This year we were asked if we would like to attend again and my two daughters and I graciously agreed to attend. But not before asking the Lord to protect us spiritually and to let me see His Truth and Love in this event.
It was beautiful.
The welcome address included recognition of the major holidays from October to December which included a wish for a Merry Christmas to the Christians. I was a little surprised by this only because this was a Hindu celebration, so why mention other upcoming celebrations that may or may not be celebrated by Hindus. (Including Ramadan and Hanukkah)? However, it was further on after some prayers and the singing of the Canadian National Anthem that the Brahma (or the closest thing to a Hindu priest in attendance) spoke. What this man said was that all people are to...get this..."Love one another"...and "To do unto others as we would want done unto us, just like what the Bible says." At this point, I knew Jesus was letting me know that He was very present in this place.
I smile when I think of it. This group of Hindus welcoming "outsiders" to simply celebrate with them. It was like a Christmas pageant - the kids performed dramas, songs, dances, and even a stand-up comedian. Kids ran around changing their costumes and the women wore beautiful saris and most men wore traditional garb also. Everyone was looking out for each other's children (men included) and it was interesting to see how the men were very encouraging of the children and their performances and in expressing their adoration for their women also. You don't see that in typical "European-Canadian" culture, not with the consistency and sincerity that the East Indian men expressed. I don't know if this was an "odd" experience or whether this is how they always behave towards their women and children. It was wonderful to observe though.
After the performances we moved into the cafeteria to eat traditional East Indian food. Yum. Chick peas, green peas, mixed veggies, tofu, and mixed beans in differing degrees of spicy curry. Oddly, I did well until I choked on a "pickled" lemon that had chunks of hot red pepper in the mix. I did say it was HOT red pepper, right?! I was able to avoid making a scene and as I looked around, I felt much better to see a plethora of red faces and watering eyes around the cafeteria trying to avoid making a scene, most of whom were not East Indian. (Misery loves company...)
All in all, it was a great night. I knew that if Jesus was invited to attend, He would go - and since I asked Him to accompany me, I know that He was definitely there. I saw love, I saw hope, I saw people that God loves and desires for them to know and love Him. I pray my attendance will open a door of opportunity to share that Truth with someone in the future. And not just me, but I pray my girls too will have an opportunity (and the courage) to share the Truth and Love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No comes to the Father but through Jesus. John 14:6 John 14 (Whole Chapter)
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. ~John 21:4
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