Though I have spent over three months in India, all told, my grasp of Hindi doesn’t extend past a few memorized phrases and songs. I have never sat down and really studied the beautiful language for myself.

One thing I do know is that Hindi doesn’t have a definite article comparable to the English “the” so something gets lost in translation. Sometimes when listening to my Hindi-speaking friends, I will catch a little slip in grammar, a misplaced “the” where it shouldn’t be. There is one particular phrase that I picked up on the last time I was in India that brings me to tears.

We had spent a week with students who helped translate for the medical camp that was being offered to the people of the village where we were visiting. There was one girl in particular who captured my heart during the week, her smile and bright eyes so welcoming. She was around every corner, wanting to hold my hand, snap pictures, and show off her impressive grasp of English for a young Dalit girl.

You see, the school is home to mostly Dalit children, a group of Indians numbering 250 million, who make up some of the poorest of India’s poor. They are born into a group that is actually below the caste system. Though outlawed, the caste system is still much in effect and dictates the jobs, marriages, and treatment of most Hindu people, and the Dalits are treated as “sub-human” by this system.

They are the untouchables of Indian society, but literacy, English school, and the love of Christ is changing this for many Dalit children.

Such was the case with my beautiful new friend, who had the same English slip as the other students at the Christian school where we spent much of our time. This bright young Hindu girl would talk and sing about “The” God, “The” Jesus” she was learning about in school.

It’s just a misplaced definite article, but it speaks volumes in the land of 330 million Hindu deities, where Jesus is so often added on as another god in the pantheon. We asked the girls to sing for us and they chose a song about “walking with The Jesus alone,” their sweet voices raising in union.

They had no idea how much these three letters rent my heart in two.

For, in a land where only the One true God can bring real, lasting change, we so long to see these girls walking with Jesus alone. So many of them will believe the stories of the Bible but not be able to turn from the millions of other gods that dominate their religion and culture.

But the truth is, back home, in our land of as many gods, we need to see the truth of The God just as much. Our gods may not all have temples or shrines dedicated to them, but they all have our hearts. Money, acceptance, power, entertainment, success, fear, anxiety, addictions, self…whatever idols we are serving that keep us from The God, must be put aside, too. We cant worship Jesus and our lesser gods, too, but we try to every day. And it might be even more difficult to cast down our gods that we can’t easily name, can call good and acceptable in our culture, until they take over our hearts and devotion.

In India, in America, in every heart that seeks to walk with Jesus, maybe we all need to take a lesson from our Hindi-speaking friends, and learn to walk with The Jesus alone.

Perhaps it is their grammar that is right, and ours that is wrong all along. Because He is The God, and there is no other. He will not share our hearts with another and our lives will never bear the fruit he desires them to if we keep trying to worship Jesus plus all our other gods.

God, may we all know you as The God in our lives today.

Walking everyday
All along the way
Walking with The Jesus
Walking with The Jesus alone

Walking in the sunrise
Walking in the shadow
Walking everyday
All along the way

Walking with The Jesus
Walking with The Jesus alone…

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