Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stream of Consciousness: A Death Certificate and Why I Go

The other day, for some reason I came into contact with a death certificate. I know, I know. Seems a little dreary and morbid. Actually, with my work that I am doing it's not uncommon for me to see them. However, last week I was really struck by the fact that I was holding an "original" death certificate (because a lot of the time I just see copies). I thought, wow this is so official. And it validates a persons life. I mean, in the U.S. there are people who make a living investigating the reason that someone dies to give a cause and in a way to answer questions for the surviving friends and family and give closure. I was overwhelmed by it because I right away thought of India. How in general, peoples lives are not valued. There are different levels of worth and value in the Hindu religion, and most people's lives don't get recognized. I've been to India and literally seen one small version of a cemetery. Most of the time, if someone dies they either get cremated/burned or thrown in the river. Never to be recognized or documented. I know that part of this is due to a that I'm not use to which many cultures are more focused on each individual being part of a whole and working for the greater good. But, there had been one time when I visited I went to an elderly home that Harvest India built and a man had just died 30 minutes before we got there. People were mourning his death but also celebrating his life, and that He believed Jesus was his savior and was going to heaven.

As all these thoughts and memories were going on in my brain, I couldn't help but think that I would never want to live not knowing that I was created by someone who knows me by name and who ordained all my days and wrote them in His book "before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16). Someone who cares for me and I actually have a relationship with. A Creator who knows every hair on my head. Who cares about my heart and not meaningless sacrifices. One who lets me know He is real! Like today, I got up early (despite not wanting to) to go to a doctor who could write me an anti-malaria prescription before I go to India (because bugs are filthy things that carry lots of germs that I don't want). I tried to go to the travel clinic in Orange County, but they've been booked up for a while. In addition to the anti-malaria prescription, the doctor also suggested that I get another typhoid vaccination. I thought, sure. I'm due for it so why not. The nurse comes into the room with the injection in hand and lets me know the vaccination would be $95. I thought, "what!?!". And I just had a big red flag feeling come over me. I sought some other options and even though I'm not opposed to vaccinations, they had an oral prescription that would last for 5 years instead of 2 for the injection vaccination. I started contemplating my other options, like going just for the typhoid vaccine at the travel clinic if it was cheaper (which would be nice to save money). But looking at paying for another nurses visit and the vaccination, it didn't seem like a cheaper option. I called a few pharmacies, and there was one close by and it was $69.99...but then I remembered that a friend mentioned an on-line free discount prescription card I could get. So, I ended up paying $50 instead of the minimum $65 at the travel clinic. And I didn't have to travel 30 minutes or waste work time. It made me feel that God directed me, He was seeking the best for me, and knew what I needed. This is why I go to show people that I care for them and this is rooted from what God has shown me, done for me and instilled in me. I'm so thankful for how much He loves me! :) And He continually shows me. And I'm thankful for all the ways He continually molds my heart to be like His as I go back to India.

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