- A few nights ago, Steve and i skipped dinner and took a night walk instead. We walked out to the hippo trench, dug so the hippos can't come up onto the hotel property. With flash light in hand, we peered into the darkness to see if there were any "critters".(Steve is always on a wonderful critter hunt here.) Two eyes glowed back at us. They were tiny and low to the ground (we later found it was a mongoose). It stared at us for a moment, but then retreated quickly. I thought --- without a "light" shining into the darkness, you would never know what is lurking near by. In broad daylight, we can be in the midst of "darkness", so we better keep the Light on --- always. Light will always overcome the darkness.
- One evening we sat out by a beautiful water garden here at the hotel. The stars were showin' off and the moon was a perfect crescent hanging just about a magnificent acacia tree. The air was perfect, the conversation was too. Then the water garden residents began "singing". Dozens of frogs, making loud frog noises, it was a great serenade for sure, but they literally drowned out our conversation. As much as i love nature and these wonderful nature sounds, i was completely distracted from everything else by the loud croaking crooners. I thought --- life can do the same thing to us. We can sometimes miss the beautiful things around us and the good words being given us -- by the demanding things that steal our attention. Funny thing was -- when Steve and i finally stood up to leave -- the frogs went absolutely silent. No joke -- complete silence. We laughed and laughed. I thought of the scriptures --- "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." Ephesians 6:13 After we stood up -- and the crazy frog noises were silenced -- we could "see" and "hear" clearly again.
- Today i stepped into a blind widows home and was overwhelmed with love. Children "escorted" us there through the back trails at the base of the Aberdare Mountains. There is quite literally no "road" that leads to her home. When we arrived, i lingered at the doorway. Dirt floor under her feet, plastic wrap covers the inside walls of her wood slat home to keep the wind from blowing through the many cracks. She sits in darkness, but shines with Light. She doesn't realize how dark it is inside her tiny home, she can't see. The children greeted here one by one, she smiled sweetly to each of them. Then i reached for her hand and said, "Hello Mary, I'm donna". When she heard my voice she shot out of her chair and hugged me BIG. I was completely overwhelmed with intense love as she wet my shoulder with her tears and cried, "thank you Jesus, thank you God".This washing of love lasted several minutes --- it was deeply intense. Her love for me mixed with her love for her Father and i was swept away in the goodness of it all. Mary knows --- i love her son Daniel very, very much. There is no specific reason or story behind the love, except for the touch of God on my heart the first time i saw him. He is a struggling young man in Kenya, with a dead father and a blind mother. God whispered to my heart, "love this one donna, for Me". I've visited Mary before, several times. But today, she did not know i was coming. She had heard we were in the area, but did not know of plans for our visit to her humble home hidden in the blue gum trees. While sitting in her tiny home, I thought --- of my Abba's love --- intense, overwhelming, unconditional, eager, astonishing, beautiful, waiting patiently for me to reach for it. Her son Daniel was not home ---- he had walked to the children's home we had visited to try and find us. When she told him we were with her, he ran the distance to find us. Minutes later, he arrived, drenched in sweat, gushing with love and joy. I thought --- in a whole lifetime there aren't many moments when someone runs miles to find you and grabs hold with such simple, beautiful love. God is good.
- Less than a mile down the road from where we are staying, lived two remarkable ladies. Joy Adamson and Joan Root traveled these roads just a few years ago before they each were murdered in their homes. Joy Adamson wrote "Born Free", the story of raising three lion cubs after the cubs had been orphaned. Joy and her husband George lived an amazing life of adventure, their home "Elsamere" holds many relics that whisper of their ecsentric life here in Africa. But she was killed by a worker on her farm, a man disgruntled that she had not paid him. She shot at him in self-defense, he speared her through the heart. Joan Root, along with her husband Alan Root, were among the first nature videographers in the world. They lived a life that reads like a fiction novel. Safaris, parties, romance, adventure. Their home was a menagerie of wild animals they had rehabilitated, boasting of a pet hippo, aardvark, caracal, and hiena allowed to roam freely in and out of the house. They raised orphaned elephants, bongos, etc. Jane Goodall was first introduced to her beloved gorillas by the Roots. What an unusual, interesting life they had together. But sadly, Alan Root was unfaithful and left Joan for many other women. Joan's heart never left Alan though, so she secluded herself away on her Lake Navaisha farm caring for her animals and protecting the ecosystem of the lake she loved. Her death came as a result of her dogmatic stance against wealthy, affluent flower farmers erecting greenhouses all along the shoreline and carelessly allowing pesticides and environmentally destructive chemicals to leak into the lake, killing fish and wildlife. Her stance against these powerful, moneymaking moguls resulted in a price on her head and 3 gunman shooting her to death in her home. Both women's life stories have been written about and portrayed in film. Julia Roberts will soon star in a new movie being produced telling Joan Root's story. But behind all the adventure and exciting stories ---- i wondered ---- did they know their Father? Never once in my readings about them have i found mention of Him. Did they walk with the One who created the animals they loved so much? Are they with Him now? What would they say to us, if they had opportunity to leave one last message now? From where they are now, what would they want to change about how they lived when they were where we are now?
©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe