GUESS WHAT?? THERE ARE FLIPPIN 2 DAYS LEFT!!!! AL;SDKFJ;ALSKJDF; ASLKDJF ;ASLKDJFAS JOY JOY JOY JOY some sadness from leaving JOY
Theme of the day! Taj Taj Taj Taj Taj!! God leading me to a certain rickshaw driver + divine meeting with people while stuck in a train station!
I missed the bus I had booked for the night before. ): Sad days!! BUT I managed to make it in time for the 8:30am bus! The delay actually worked out pretty well because I had a greater amount of time to say goodbye to my Jaipur peeps! I miss you tons, keep it real, don’t die, and if you do, make sure you know Jesus!
All of today’s experiences are dragging me towards the moment the Taj Mahal caught my eye. BUT there were other amazing things that happened before that and after that as well so those words of imagery will just have to wait!
I had no idea what was going to happen today. My only plan was to see the Taj Mahal and I would be happy to leave! Haha
When I arrived on the last stop, an elderly man immediately caught my eye. I sort of discerned that he was a rickshaw driver looking for tourist to drive around but there was a different sort of a ‘feeling’ to him. I tried to shake off the feeling, but he kept standing there; not pressuring me to take his rickshaw; but just patiently waiting there.
I walked into the tourist information counter that was a few steps next to the bus stop to ask for directions, or at least the distance from here to the Taj Mahal so I wouldn’t get cheated by a rickshaw driver. I still had this huge mountain backpack strapped to me and didn’t know what I was going to do with that. I was seriously in a bit of a frustrated situation but held myself together.
And again the elderly man came to view in the corner of my eye. Being cheated by rickshaw drivers and having lost the trust in many of them, this man seemed so different. I then heard a voice in my head say, “this is a man you trust.” A peace slowly came and I knew it was God. I walked up to him and asked him the distance to the Taj Mahal. He gave me a calm precise distance. He was a studied man, from how he was speaking English. I asked him for the price and he gave me an answer that I’ve never received from other rickshaw drivers in my 6 months in India.
He told me the price that he would usually charge Indians and then told me to give whatever I wanted to. I was dumbstruck by this and was with words for a few seconds there. I had been so accustomed to being in a cold state, when alone and dealing with travels, that this gentleness was so unarming.
This man then gently asked me a few more questions of what else I wanted to do today, and found out shortly that I had no idea what I was going to do. He then offered a full schedule for me, and even a way for me to book my train ticket to Delhi where I could be able to store my backpack during the day!
God shown His faithfulness AGAIN. I was reminded of the short conversation I had with God this morning before heading in to the bus to Agra. I told Him simply that I did not know what I was going to do today but just wanted to see the Taj Mahal. And He simply said that He would provide a way.
And here was this elderly man whom I have never met offering a full schedule for me, and gently offering me to consider what I could pay him! I had no excuse to not take his offer.
Alexander (the rickshaw driver) and I started chatting on our way to the Taj Mahal. Shortly, I found out that he was a follower of Jesus! I could really see the kindness and gentleness of this man as we stopped half way to pick up a homeless boy to a place where he could sell some of his snacks before hitch hiking the train back to his village at night.
Before heading into the Taj Mahal, the rickshaw driver gave me direct information on what to do, who to trust and not trust, and all that good stuff. Haha
And this is where the words of imagery come in.
The only word I could think of, in my experience of seeing the Taj, is surreal.
It seemed like the world slowed down to a steady halt. My feet were heavy and light at the same time; I was caught in a realm between gravity and weightlessness. It seemed like a painting I could reach out and touch, just to bring me back to a sense of reality; that this was a 2d well done piece of art; not something that could evolve.
And as I reached out, I stepped into the painting; into another world. I took my time examining such a wonderful structure; literally taking cautious steps towards this beauty that could possibly disappear if I made any wrong move. And now I could not imagine what would be found behind the pearly gate if I’ve seen this and marveled at it! I’m so so excited! AHH! Haha
Before leaving, I couldn’t help but do a little bit of a prayer walk around the place, releasing the Holy Spirit there to create opportunities for people to catch God’s glory!
And as I walked out, back to reality, my thoughts wavered about. Thank You, Jesus, for such a wonderful time at the Taj Mahal! It really had made my day! Oh, but it was long from over!
I had some good lunch, a quick trip to pick up my backpack again, a market place to buy a few more gifts, and then towards the train station! All during that time, Alexander and I were getting to know each other more! We were talking about family, and friends, and jobs, and what was next in life. Alexander was as gentle and friendly as ever the whole time! He was really a sign of hope for me on these days of my journey! Praise the Lord!!
God had not stopped moving with this but kept it going! I had arrived on time for my train but found out that the train was going to be late for 2 hours! Not knowing what to do, I continued to listen to God in what to do. I sat down at a bench to read when a couple shortly sat next to me. I started a conversation with them, and soon found out that they were an engaged couple from the states visiting their relatives in India! We exchanged more information and got to just speaking about youth and success and what not. I simply gave my personal views at this time and encouraged this guy look past what every one else was doing and what the media was teaching and left it at that. During my short testimony of what I was doing here, the guy told me afterwards about how 10 years of his life had flashed before his eyes, and whether what he did was worth it.
I didn’t answer his question but simply prayed under my breath. I knew that what I had sown was enough to keep him searching. I knew the Holy Spirit was the one to guide and counsel this time. Not me.
We said our farewells and applauded at the arrival of the much anticipated train!
And then arriving to my seat, I was seated to another family that God had appointed me to meet! That will be for tomorrow’s debrief. I think this is enough reading for you to do. Haha
Extra high fives for those that read through this!!
– please pray for rest for tomorrow’s FINAL FULL DAY IN INDIA!!
– Also pray for Alexander and the couple I had met today! May they continue encountering Jesus and fall deeper into the love of God!
You’re love carries me through all the valleys and the darkest places.
You are faithful.
Much love from India!!