Today’s post comes from a fellow twenty something, Cross Point Church’s Digital Communications Coordinator, and my friend, Chelsea Jones. She recently traveled to India with One Life International, an organization that provides to the poor the resources and tools they need to break out of poverty. Grab a cup of coffee and dive into some amazing truths from Chelsea’s recent trip to India…
The words replayed in my head and continued to find their way from my pen to paper.
I wrote it over and over as I sat in the New Delhi airport waiting for our flight back to the states. Kids of all ages had surrounded me during most of my 10 days in India. Their dark eyes had followed me and reflected a joy I’m not sure I’ll ever have words to describe. With rags for crowns and piles of dirt for thrones, they didn’t look like the stories of royalty I’d heard growing up.
For days I’d woken up, tossed on India-appropriate clothing and spent hours playing with children in slums and villages in and around Kolkata. Unless I was sleeping or eating, my hands were filled with theirs. Every ounce of me felt complete on those days, when their eyes found mine and their hands reached toward me.
On one particular occasion, I had probably 6 kids’ hands in mine as we strolled through the dirt path of the Khalpar slum. Feeling a tap on my back I glanced over my shoulder. There she was, small and timid, barely daring to look up. She held out her paper crown. This little girl was adorable and clearly generous, because paper isn’t easy to come by when you live in a slum. Inside, I fell to the ground overwhelmed by this simple gesture. On the outside, I smiled and said, “Tomar naam ki?” which means, “What is your name?”
Honest moment: I don’t remember her name. I don’t remember her face. But those few minutes, I’ll never forget. She quite literally handed her crown to me; I responded with the only Bengali (the language they speak in Kolkata) I know and by briefly hugging her frail frame.
They were the kings and queens.
Though they wear the same dirty clothes day-after-day and sleep in homes laden with trash, I didn’t once see them doubt it. From the inside out these kids shone with the truth.
They were the kings and queens.
Sometimes I wonder if God sees anything useful in me worth showing to the world, if I’ve really got anything to offer. The answer (and I thank the sweet little Indian girl for teaching me this in a new way) is a big ol’ YES.
It’s him. He is the useful thing in me worth showing to the world. And thank goodness, because if all I had inside me was me, it would be way less beautiful. I’m the lucky woman who gets to unveil Jesus. Those kids are the blessed ones who, with their bright eyes and energetic games of Thumb War, get to make Him known. And you are too!
The best thing you and I can do is to offer our crowns with the same courage as the little Indian girl. To tap the shoulders of those around us and hold out what we’ve got, what we’ve been given, whether or not anyone else can see its beauty.
I don’t know what your crown is right now. Maybe it’s your job, school, a project, a relationship or dream. Maybe today’s crown is not the same as yesterday’s. What I do know is that I’ve seen a kind of royalty that moves mountains with very little–in a little slum, in a little heart with a little paper.
We are the kings and queens. All of us have been given something. All of us have the ability and responsibility to invite others into the kingdom simply by sharing our crowns, stretching out our arms to reveal the only thing that’s really worth showing to the world: Jesus.