Part two of a photo series on the resilience of the human experience. The countless untold stories that I encounter remind me of the burden and need to press even deeper into the art and craft of storytelling.
While in India, my heart skipped countless times thinking about the honor I had to spend a Sunday morning with a leprosy community. As someone who cares deeply about the suffering of the human experience, this was a piece of humanity that I needed to embrace with my own arms. Even though I could recount written narratives of leprosy, they were all separated by the distance of history. It’s hard to imagine this disease still exists when we are constantly surrounded by the modern use of medicine.
As I walked along the dirt road of a community built out of love, I found myself carrying camera equipment that was insufficient to recreate the experience of physically being here.
My translator led this small team of people to stop at a specific home. With a stern, thick Tamil accent, the translator called out to the residents of this particular wooden structure. A 75-year-old man came wobbling to the door, shoulders slumped in an exhaustion I have never seen. They bantered back and forth as this man stepped into the hot midday sun. He sat on his cot that was woven by the strength of the cord that held it together.
As the interview began, I was in awe of the strength of this man. Though leprosy fought to destroy his physical body, he looked forward to the future hope of heaven where his limbs would be restored.
Sitting outside this man’s home, I listened intently to him share his story of loss. Of all the things that leprosy had stolen from him, there was a constant that remains not only for him but for all of us. Somewhere in the middle of his story, I caught myself glancing over at the house. There in the doorway was a glimpse of unconditional love radiating from the gaze of his daughter.
Despite the many limitations that the human experience ensures, there is a truth that remains constant. In the eyes of this daughter, her father was a hero without limitations. Over and over again, her love reiterated one simple truth:
YOU ARE ENOUGH.