Sunday, February 2, 2014

Feet and Snakes

So, it's Ground Hog Day! Did the Punxatauny Phil see his shadow?  How much more winter will there be in the US?  Obviously, my mind has turned to mundane things today. 

I have also been thinking about feet.  Since I live in a place there many roads and paths are dirt and it is the dry season, there is lots of dust.  I can just imagine what the dust was like in Jesus’ time in Galilee and Judea – desert areas with no paved roads.  No wonder the Bible talks about washing feet. 

I have found that I need wash my feet at the end of the day before I got to bed.  They are filthy, true and need to be cleaned, but feet-washing is relaxing and calming, especially when I then rub in some cream (to counteract the dryness.) 

In Bible times, it was common to wash a traveler’s feet when s/he arrived at a destination.  Imagine how dusty and dirty they would have been after walking long distances on unpaved roads.  Imagine, too, how welcome and relaxing it would be.  But who did the washing?  Servants, no doubt, or a lowly person in the household.  When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, they protested.  He insisted to indicate that our role as Christians is to serve others, not demand to be served by them.  I can’t help but think of this scene as I regularly wash my feet.

I have a new appreciation for feet washing and what it symbolizes!  (In the rainy season, there isn’t the dust, but there sure is a lot of mud.  Feet still need to be washed!)

I have also been thinking about snakes.  When I went to the Bible School for the morning meditation earlier this week, the director showed me the snake they had found and killed.  It had been hiding in the small crack/hole by the entry door.  They used gasoline to get it out and then burned it.  One of the students said to be careful because the venom in the head was still dangerous.  (Those of you who know about snakes, is that true?)  I had no desire to touch it, but one of the other students poked it with a stick.

This is the first snake I have seen even though I know they are around.  This is the (very good) reason that people keep the area around their houses clear of grass – snakes are less likely to be there and then get into the house!  High grass during the rainy season gives them more places to hide, but they are obviously around during the dry season, too.

All of the first shipment of humanitarian aid (rice and oil) has arrived in Bouar.  Getting the 2 truckloads across the border took time, but it’s now done.  Patrick and Antoine have now been working to get it distributed.  A drop in the bucket, but a very necessary drop. 

Violence continues in the country although Baboua is calm again.  Bouar is on one of the roads that heads north toward Tchad so it has had more looting problems as ex-Seleka have moved through the area.  Bangui and other towns in that area (and along that main route north) continue to be plagued with many difficulties.  Please continue to pray for peace.  March 9 has been selected as a Sunday when all churches (and mosques) are asked to pray for the Central African Republic – its displaced people, those in fear in villages, the newly formed government, and the rebels and perpetrators of violence and looting.  Add your voices, please. 

Remember I wrote before about my theory of teleporting ants?  I have more evidence…  The water filter I have in the kitchen has several parts.  The top part is filled with water that goes through the dome-like ceramic filter (and then other filters) to produce drinkable water.  I have found ants on the top of the ceramic filter.  How did they cross the moat of water to get there??  They can get into that part of the filter because the lid does not have a tight seal.  I can understand dead ones that might have been in the water when I added more water so they floated onto the filter, but the live ones that are still crawling around?!? Teleportation.  It has to be. 

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