We’ve been home from our life-changing trip to Nepal for 5 days now. I think I can safely say I’m feeling almost human again.
(Jet-lag was killer.) Next time I come home from Nepal, I will not schedule things for the first three days.
(You read that right … I said next time. In addition to writing the book for and about Tiny Hands International and their work in Nepal, I’m asking God how He might choose to use me and my family in their efforts to Be the Kingdom. I pray that includes more trips to Nepal.)
I’ve spent much of these last five days reflecting on our 10 days on the ground in Nepal. I’ve dreamt about Nepal. The following image is one I’ve thought of countless times.
This man lived on the street very near our guesthouse in Kathmandu. Unless we were going to our favorite breakfast haunt (Northfield’s), every time we left the guesthouse, I was lost in a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with countless shops that all looked the same. However, when we saw this man, we knew we were almost “home.” It didn’t matter what time of day it was, he was always there. He wore no shoes. He walked back and forth along the equivalent of an American city block. When he wasn’t walking, he was sitting on the second step that ran along the entire course of the Thamel shopping area, and while he sat, he wrote in a notebook. One day he wrote with a green pen, another with a black pen. I noticed. I saw him.
What I didn’t do was talk to him. We passed him every day that we were in Kathmandu and I never so much as greeted him.
When we were on the plane heading home, more than once I had moments of panic, like I had forgotten something back in Nepal and needed to go back. I forgot my shampoo in the bathroom … I should have left the rest of the protein bars with the little street family we befriended … I failed to let our neighborhood street man know that I saw him.
[Tweet “I had moments of panic, like I had forgotten something back in Nepal”]
I think it might be regret whispering in my year, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
In my defense, our neighborhood man never asked for anything from us. He wasn’t begging, though his need appeared great. He was writing. I’m a writer, and I wondered what he was writing, but I never asked. Kadi told me later that on her way back to the guesthouse, after shooting pictures with our friend Matt, she saw about a dozen people gathered around him and he was reading to them. Oh, how I wish I’d heard (and had an interpreter with me).
As I prayed for the people in Nepal today – those we interacted with and those we did not – my mind conjured up the picture of our neighborhood man, but behind him stood a huge warrior from God’s army. Then I saw all the rest of those who are doing God’s work for Tiny Hands in Nepal, the children in the homes, the young woman who Tiny Hands intercepted 8 months ago and I interviewed, our little family on the street … and they were all surrounded by warriors from God’s army. Some had one sentinel, others had a whole battalion standing guard around them.
We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning,
for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
1 John 5:18
Regret is a miserable bedfellow. I don’t think God wanted me to wear that cloak or listen to that lie. That’s why He showed me that though Nepal is ripe with false teaching and strange gods, our God is doing a mighty work in this country – His country.
If you have a moment, please watch this great clip of someone who did take the time to find out what was being written … and the amazing outcome.
*Kadi (my talented and much loved daughter) took the picture I’ve shared above. Check out Kadi Tiede Photography.