In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. I’m left though, trying to catch this elusive God like a 3rd-grader trying to catch a cold the day before the science fair (in which case he does not catch the cold, but instead, his dad pumps him full of scientific jargon like, “luminescence” and “evaporation” and tells the kid to use these words, when the kid has a hard enough time trying to use the new stand-up urinals that were recently installed at school which were clearly put in with 6th graders in mind). All this to say, that sometimes it’s hard to see God.
Other times, it’s not.
This could easily be a page written about how my house got broken into a month ago, my belongings were stolen, and I was left with a feeling of dismay, discouragement, and disillusion. Instead, this is a page written about my neighbor, Mr. Okello Alex, and how God shows up big in people sometimes.
To make a long story short, over a month had passed since my home was robbed, and though I had moved on and accepted the loss of some belongings, my neighbor had not. Unbeknownst to me, Alex continued to keep an ear open about my missing things. He let my sadness and my frustration sink into his own heart and he prayed, and thought, and though he didn’t tell me, he talked to people and searched.
When God was with the people of Israel, He manifested Himself in fire and smoke. Then, He was seen in the flesh as Christ. I think today, at times, His Spirit manifests this presence in the actions and words of His servants. Sometimes these servants mess up and don’t display His glory, but other times, we se what’s it’s like to be…somehow greater than what we currently are.
Alex came over to my house one night, late. He said he needed to talk to me. “Hunter, tonight, with my own eyes, I have witnessed your things!” He told me he had found many of my stolen items. He told me about how he had tracked down the person who had taken them, and how he had gathered the authorities (a side note about the “authorities.” Now, my brothers are never too short on things to say about the authorities, and I’m sure they would have a heyday about the ones here. Let’s just say that as the report was being written and the account told, there was clearly a bottle of gin being passed around (at 10am) that made the story more than a little contradictory) to search the house. I think he may have been happier even that I was!
Sometimes you meet people, even if it’s only briefly, whose very presence is like a fire to frozen hands, breaking you free to move and think and dream and rejoice as you haven’t in a long time. I’m grateful to Alex for the things he’s helped recover. But more than that, I’m grateful FOR Alex, and that he would never ask a 3rd-grader to use the word luminescence.
Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back
Right when I started teaching, a girl in the front, Monica Ruth, spoke up. “Sir,” she said. “I don’t think we should have class today. We’re not very happy.” “Why is that?” I asked. But she kept quiet. Then, fifty other girls began explaining it to me all at once. The girls hadn’t done an acceptable job mopping their class, and they hadn’t picked up the grass cuttings as they had been instructed to. So they were beaten. As I listened, I noticed about one-forth of the class were on the verge of tears, if not crying already. Some of the girls had welts on their arms and legs, but I think most were just kind of emotionally shaken. So what could I do? I told them to suck it up and get their algebra work out. Ha! I did not. We didn’t have class. But this is a problem. I mean, I know about “sparing the rod and spoiling the child,” and as I look back on my own childhood I note that I wasn't exactly "spared" very often, and that might have been a good thing. But where’s the line between instructing in love and releasing anger and pride on one’s pupils? The girls will be ok, but did they really learn what that person was trying to impress upon them? Or did they only learn anger and fear and resentment? My brother has been with me here for the past week, and it’s been great. We’ve been walking to the market, he’s been riding a bike on the village roads, and the amount we’ve both been sweating has caused me to be reminiscent about being a student of one, Coach Ed Fox in Carroll High School’s wrestling room. It’s been such a blessing having him here. But if he gets out of line, I know now which person to take him to to put him back on the right path!
The Fossil Trade
21 hours ago