I couldn’t escape the horror – that was the horror.
That was my 2am realization.
As I stood inside that 6′ x 6′ hell hole and as I walked through the slum the horror was that I couldn’t get away from it. It was pressing in on all sides via all of my senses. There was no escape.
Whenever we see a picture of a starving child or a child rummaging through a trash heap to find a meal or horrid slums we have the choice of averting our eyes or turning the channel or flipping the page. I couldn’t do that.
There isn’t any way to convey it but let me suggest a meditation on poverty that may help – and make you squirm… in a good way.
Find a picture of poverty that makes you want to look away.
Find a watch.
Spend five quiet minutes on that picture. Imagine yourself there. Feel the grime around you, smell the smell of burning trash and be crushed in on all sides by squalor… imagine the heat of the place, feel the hot sun, feel the uneven ground beneath your feet from where rain water has cut its own path into the ground because there are no gutters, no drains, nothing to take it away.
Let the picture take you where it will. Ask God to guide you. Live in the picture imagine it behind and above you… live in it… and that feeling that you are getting, that horrible feeling? That is reality.
Is it depressing? Is it sad? Yes and yes. But our story doesn’t end here… it just has to start here.