Sunday the 26th:
This is the day I was supposed to be deported by the Indian government. However, I am still here. On Friday, a miracle happened at the eleventh hour. Well, on Thursday night there was a miracle too, not to mention Monday morning. A sudden series of miracles saved me. I am writing this in my living room beside a roaring fire, sipping tea with two of my lovely children sitting next to me. Morgan is watching Manchester United and Abbi is doing homework, and it’s all so normal, so natural, like so many Sundays we have had all our lives. Only this Sunday was going to be so very different that my mind is still reeling with adrenaline and a thousand disconnected thoughts. I keep glancing at the kids, feeling so incredibly fortunate; I am with them.
After a week spent hiding in friends’ houses until the judge had signed the order, I finally moved back home last Thursday. Our advocate called as I was feeding the horses that night, “Mala, every conceivable obstacle that could have arisen during the day, did arise. We just spent twelve hours trying to file an appeal but we were blocked by the registrar’s office. Finally, in desperation, I called the chief justice at home and he ordered them to register the case.” So, at 6:30, Thursday night, the case was finally scheduled to appear the following morning in front of a new judge.
Miracle number one. The delay strategies to kill the case utterly failed.
On Friday, Greg in Nepal and me in India, and all the folks around the world standing with us, were on the edge of our seats while the judge heard our advocate and his team argue against the central government’s accusation of “missionary activity.” The hearing took five hours.
In contrast to the first judge who heard my case, this judge was curious, asked many questions and concluded that this is an “issue that needs to be heard by the court.” The upshot of the hearing is that he has given the central government two weeks to refute the arguments presented by our legal team. He has ordered another hearing on March 8th, at which point I can only hope that he will make a positive decision about my long-term status in India.
He granted me a temporary extension to stay in India until the 9th of March, miracle number two. This time the judge signed his orders three hours after he verbally pronounced them. This time there are no police at my gates, and I feel safe.
Hope courses through me again, and two weeks feels like a lifetime, a precious gift, a generous reprieve. Two weeks! I can work on the greywater system in my garden, have a few friends around for dinner, train my out-of-control German Shepard puppy, (who recently tore the cock’s comb off our poor rooster).
As usual, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed down to feed the horses at 7 am. When I went into Summer’s stall I found her lying down and the head of her foal already protruding. I ran back up to rouse Morgan and Abbi so that they could witness the birth. She delivered her baby right into my arms, a little filly, coal-black with a tiny white spot on her muzzle and one white sock. Eden is gorgeous and perfect and is the most beautiful gift I could imagine after this last grueling month. The fourth miracle is one of birth and I am dizzy with excitement.
The truth about living in suspension (as opposed to “transition”) is that there is no new life I am adjusting to, no old life that I can guarantee, just the daily “now” of a grace so profound and deep that I can hardly explain. I find myself responding in new ways, with more caution and more restraint (not like myself at all). These days I bite my tongue when I am tempted to speak harshly; I do not know when I will see that person again. I keep short accounts and apologize when I have said something hurtful. I try and catch every chance to speak words of blessing rather than share my typical negative perspective.
I want to express love all the time to those around me. There is no time to be moody, stressed, depressed, or angry, because every moment is precious and I may not have tomorrow in this place. I don’t want to lose a single second of my day. Every sunrise could be my last in this home, the night stars cry out to be admired, and I realize I have missed so much, held things so lightly, and assumed that I had a right to all of this. I forgot it was all a gift. Perhaps my situation is not so untenable? Would that I could live with these new eyes, always.