blessings ex nihilo (africa7)
The high point of my African experience was the people. I saw wild baboons on a hillside, vervet monkeys on roofs, and hyenas up close and personal, but they did not lift my soul as did the people. I ate goat meat, seasoned raw beef (didn’t know beforehand), and some of the best sambusa and fuul anywhere, but that didn’t rekindle hope like the people did. They blessed me. And not accidentally or casually, but intentionally and deliberately. This post is coming slowly because I keep pausing due to being overwhelmed on this point.
One particular family stands out because they are barely eking by. When I showed up there to encourage them, I
Let’s return to the prayer service with friends where they prayed for me. By the end of that, I was a mess. I was twitching and convulsing so badly that I couldn’t speak well. I don’t like people to see me in that condition, and one of the friends recognized this and escorted me on a walk around the block to decompress. As we were walking through the rocky, dusty, trash littered streets of Ethiopia, my twitches began to wane and I saw a woman sitting on the side of the street. She was dressed in dirty clothes but covered such that we could tell she was a modest muslim woman. The wrinkles of her face and hands betrayed the frailty of her old age. The cloudiness of one of her eyes betrayed her blindness. The other eye seemed to look further than I was capable of seeing with both of mine.
The friends in Africa were not blessing me ex nihilo (out of nothing), as my materialist mind suggested, they were blessing me ex infinitas (out of infinity). Not from what they had, but from who they were. From the infinite love within them. This is how God blesses. Not from what He has, or because of what we don’t have, but from who He IS. That’s the best kind of blessing.