(Thursday, Jan 19, 2012, in the car driving from Challapalli, India) To me, one of the great mysteries of India is how the women stay so clean and their sari’s so neat and clean despite the extreme heat, awful living conditions and terrible filthy everywhere! They cook, clean, work construction, farm, sweep the streets – yet seem to stay as fresh and spotless as if they just came out of an air conditioned spa. And their hair is always flawlessly kept as well. I saw a woman in a beautiful, beautiful red sari with silver sparkles and fantastic trim – and she was in the middle of the road bent over sweeping the street. It’s true of little girls as well. That’s not an unusual sight here, but it certainly gets our attention!
Men, on the other hand, show the signs of their circumstances – dirty shirts, disheveled clothes and hair, and very often body odor. But not the women. Never the women. Never even once in all I’ve been here.
When I see them James 1:27 always comes to mind. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being spotted by the world.” KEEP ONES SELF FROM BEING SPOTTED BY THE WORLD! What these women do physically we must do spiritually.
I don’t know how they do it, expect that they make it a priority, wash often, and spend the needed time to be and stay clean. I guess that’s the key for us as well – make it a priority and be willing to pay the price. We must do all we can to stay clean in our thoughts and actions. We must clean ourselves quickly whenever we sense some dirt on us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and confess sin as soon as we are aware of it (I John 1:9). It is so easy to be polluted by the world and not even recognize it at first, especially when we are very immersed in things of the world. Being IN the world but not OF the world is the trick. Still it is very possible. Jesus expects it so He knows it is possible. If these women can remain unspotted and unpolluted by their world, we can from ours as well! It just has to be something we want as much as they do! Do you?
We had the first of 9 one-day pastor’s conferences, each at a different location, today. I talk about what God expects of pastors in the morning and spiritual warfare in the afternoon, then we give them a free book about each for deeper understanding. I spoke at 2 churches tonight. The countryside is just beautiful – green rick patties with coconut trees as far as you can see in any direction. The villages are all grass huts, mud floors, and animals everywhere. It is way beyond what I can describe! However these days are full, and they start early and end late, so pray for rest and strength for God to continue to use us to bring the darkness against the light. Thanks!
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization