“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Friday, March 17, 2017

The fragrance of my presence...

The Ethiopia/Uganda Chronicles
Chapter Seven - The Fragrance

Guest House, Gojo Ethiopia
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014


Written on Wednesday 2/12/2014
In Gojo, Ethiopia

Yesterday, I would sit with the Ethiopian widows for hours.  Just knitting.  No interpreter.  Just me and them.  Smiling.  Nodding.  Me occasionally giving a thumbs up which always made me feel silly, but I didn't know how else to show my pleasure of their progress.

No words.
Just me
and them
and the sound
of knitting needles.

A gift of my presence.  An American stay-at-home mom who flew half way around the world to sit with them.  To teach them to knit.  And to knit with them.  The gift of my presence.

But I wanted more.  I wanted to be able to use my words.  Because I am an encourager.  I thought words would be a gift.  But there would be no words.  Teaching knitting through wordless example.

No words - and so I was missing out.  I wanted... me... for me... just some words.

But for them I was a fragrance of Christ.


For we are a fragrance
of Christ to God
among those who are 
being saved and
among those who are 
perishing.

2 Corinthians 2:15

It was written on a 3x5 note card with a heart sticker that my precious 88-year old (now 91-year old) Jean B. had written and asked me to take with me on my trip to Africa.  And when I looked at it on Monday morning before it all began -- I knew it was a verse I would hold on to and cherish.  And so I did.

And this morning as I pondered an encouragement from my pastor, Ray Noah, that it was a gift that I could sit and work on the process of knitting all day.  That he himself could not possibly sit still and do the process all day.  "Just go buy a hat and scarf, why don't you?" he said.  And I finally realized that this Type B personality - which in the midst of many Type A personalities didn't seem to show much value at least to me - all of the sudden made complete sense.

There were no words.
But there was a fragrance.
A fragrance of my presence
"among those who are
being saved and among 
those who are perishing"
that would last longer
than the words I thought
I could offer.

No words.
Just me
and them
and the sound
of knitting needles.





For more of my thoughts on Ethiopia/Uganda visit here.

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