I’ve Got You (Repost)

I met Kiran a few months ago, but if I live a hundred years I’ll still remember her. Her house is a box six feet wide and four feet deep with a roof made from sheets of plastic held in place with rocks and sticks. There’s not enough room for Kiran’s two brothers and father to sleep inside so they bed down on the street. There’s also no room for furniture or a closet. All they own is pinned to the ceiling by a sheet stretched tight overhead and pegged to the walls with sticks jammed into holes.

Girl named Kiran at her home in Kolkata, IndiaKiran’s house was about four and a half feet tall so the neighbors all came out to laugh at the giant Americans cramming themselves through the miniature doorway. Once inside, my friends and I sat on the ground asking questions and listening to Kiran’s story. Then it was Kiran’s turn to ask us a question.

She stood straighter than before, a big smile on her face. “How do you like my home?” she asked.

We all held tears behind wide grins. “It’s beautiful,” we said.

Keely and Kiran holding handsThen Kiran took Keely by the hand and walked us through her neighborhood. The sudden presence of white faces had drawn a handful of beggars to Kiran’s street. There they sat, parts of their body whittled away by leprosy, pleading for food. The shifting winds blew the unmistakable smell of human waste into our noses then mercifully pulled them away. Together we crossed a bridge that spanned polluted waters shimmering in the midday sun.

As we stepped off the bridge Kiran began to cry.

“I’m just so very happy,” she said.

What could make a girl living in twenty-four square feet so happy? What could make an eleven year-old without a closet, a car, a television or a cell phone so happy? What could make a girl who walks past beggars and through so much filth every day so very happy?

“I have God and my sponsor,” she said.

Indian prostitutes in KolkataThen we turned a corner into a brothel where women tricked and trapped into prostitution stood waiting to pleasure sweaty strangers for fifty cents an hour. Men stared at us. At Kiran. Seemingly oblivious to the danger and lust all around us on the crowded street, Kiran began to sing.

“Lord, I lift your name on high…”

She swung Keely’s hand in hers.

“Lord, I love to sing your praises.”

Almost skipping, Kiran floated through the darkness like a firefly.

“I’m so glad you’re in my life. I’m so glad you came to save us…”

I don’t believe God loves the poor more than he loves rich folks like me. But I do believe they’re often better at loving him back. “Blessed are the poor,” Jesus said. To those with nothing Jesus is everything. That’s something to sing about.

I’ve Got You
Words and music by Shaun Groves
Copyright 2010 Simplicity Street Music/ASCAP

Got nothing in my hands to part these waves
Got nothing in my bank account that saves
Got no more might left to muscle through
But Oh, I’ve got you
I’ve got you

Got demons gathered ’round – oh laugh it up
Spreading doubts a plenty I can’t drink this cup
Got no one left who thinks I’ll make it through
But Oh, I’ve got you
I’ve got you

Got faded memories of better days
Got a prayer that they’ll come back around my way
You’ve got me and oh that gets me through
Oh, I’ve got you
I’ve got you
Oh, I’ve got you
I’ve got you