Whatta ya' do with it?
I wake up peaceful each and every morning here --- that's a pure, straight-up miracle in itself. The one who wakes up beside me begins every morning praying. We hear the world waking up around us outside as we talk to Abba about everything you can imagine. Seriously --- everything...
The roosters crowing.
The dogs yelp and snarl (the guard dogs here on our compound are intense!)
Cars rattle down our bumpy dirt road.
We don't budge from our bed until we've established again exactly who is Boss.
We make our way downstairs to the kitchen. Coffee and toast for Steve, tea and granola for me. Silently we gravitate to the veranda with our books and Bibles and breakfast tray.
The bird sounds in the morning are mesmerizing here... birds do mornings so much better than people.
Then the tension begins.
The voices of people --- speaking words we don't yet understand fully. We can grasp just a touch of what's being said --- but all those words in between that we don't yet know, we're clueless about.
She walks in the gate, early, early. Seven days a week we hear her rattle that early morning gate. She speaks no English, but she's slowly come to trust us.
When veggies are gathered from our garden, we always make sure she has some in her bag at day's end.
Khesed love tears down walls.
Khesed --- the original Hebrew word referring to "loving-kindness". The kind of love that is given with no measure-for-measure return expected. It's the kind of love that focuses on giving --- not receiving. Ruth loved Naomi with a khesed kind of love. It's such a beautiful love, with clear waters around it. Not muddied by the ugly tinges of "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine...".
So after 4 months of living here, she finally smiles and waves big to us each morning. It's taken some work to get this far.
We've learned... her mother is a Christian lady who loves her very much. But she married a drunkard who beats her hard. When my day is tough ---- i think of the dear lady who rattles our gate each morning as she comes to work for another after enduring another night with the drinker.
Tension. Not just my tension ---- but a Holy kind of tension ---- because i don't think for a second my Abba is ok with her world.
The donkey drawn cart goes rattling by. Two donkeys pulling a too-heavy-cart. The man on top whacks them again with his heavy stick. The pop makes my stomach roll over. i want to run out of the gate, chase him down, grab the stick from his hand, and smack him until i hear the same deep pop (yeah, some great missionary i am huh). Tension ---- righteous anger mixed into that tension...
Our new missionary friend has taken in a tiny baby. It was abandoned at the hospital by it's too-young mother. The hospital called her to say, the child is too small to survive in the hospital, there aren't enough hands to give it the care needed. Paperwork is completed, the 3.5 pound treasure finds itself cradled in creamy white arms. After many nights of round the clock feedings, we get to help care for the miniature angel, while those who have brought her under their wings get a good, long, uninterrupted night's sleep. We hold her. Almost losing her in the blanket that swallows her. What a beauty she is. How could a mother abandon such a treasure. As the nighttime gave us silent visiting hours together, i talked long with Abba. He was very near. And my words rolled into praying for the mother who knew she couldn't take care of this little one she had held inside. For all her days ---- she will miss her doll. She was a girl herself. I wept for her "mother-heart" as i looked into the perfect round eyes she had never seen. And i knew... she was not a "bad" person. She went to the hospital, she gave birth in a safe place, then she... ran. But she did NOT use a wire on herself to abort the little one inside. She did not throw her baby in the bushes. She did not keep the child only to watch it suffer in her world. She went to perhaps the cleanest place in town, gave birth, and ran. Tension --- oh such a gut-rending tension.
The street "man" (not a boy, but not a man by any stretch of the imagination) argues with my husband, spouting out lies, "you said you would give me money for food today... you promised..." No such promise had been made. But how do you talk rationally with a drunk, high, street guy. Street boys gathered 'round. They're learning. My husband stands his ground and speaks truth to the obstinate, toothless, loud drunk. To give him a shilling would be to teach the boys how to stay on the street. To walk away... is hard. We're here to help... right? But when he continues to rant his lies, louder and louder ---- "the very thing i do not want to do, that is what i do..." (Paul would have understood the tension.) I raise my voice and act nothing like i want to act, but the confrontation is short and effective. Oh God... the Tension on that day deserves a capital "T". But as the man walked away, even through his drunkenness, he understood full well, he had gone too far. There is a line.
Twenty women have gathered in the room with me. I tell them the story of Ruth. Three times i tell the story. They are frozen in their seats. Like beautiful, little girls, their eyes remind me of little girls. And we talk of the love we see woven throughout the story. It's not just any kind of love ---- it's that beautiful khesed love. We "cough" the "k" sound together as we say the word aloud. Eyes become misty as we realize the great tension that was surely there with Ruth as well. Husband dead. No food. No home. Gleaning in the field her only option.
But everything she did, was wrapped in khesed.
... and God sees...
©2013 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe