From Geoffrey, Tassels and Shawls

Friday April 24, 2009

Tassels and Shawls

It is pretty easy to get caught up in going through the motions of my faith and I don’t think I am alone in this. We get so focused on going to church, feeding the homeless, reading our bible, going to bible studies that we forget about the purpose of why we do what we do. Our actions lose their essence and just become empty actions. We seem to define Christianity by how often someone prays and how involved they are with church, which seems more like a man-made version of Christianity than the real deal; we confine our faith to a few traditions we follow and practices we perform. Sure we have a few routines down and are really good at praying a good prayer, but we are missing the main point. It seems pretty easy to put on the Christian front at church on Sunday morning and then ditch it the rest of the week. Being a Christian around other Christians is the easy part of our faith, doing it when no one else is looking is where the rubber meets the road. About eighty percent of Americans claim to be Christian, but I think about eighty percent of Americans are really good are going through the motions, but lack demonstrating our faith when it counts; when we aren’t surrounded by other believers and every day besides Sundays, or maybe a Christian for the receiving aspect but as soon as they bring up “tithe” I go kick rocks.

What never fails to leaves me standing in awe, day after day, still remains the level of faith combined with action that these people have intertwined with their every day life. They aren’t going through the motions, they aren’t putting on a front, they don’t pretend to be something they are not, they stand before one another and before God broken and transparent with who they are. Remarkably, when I give a lesson these people actually apply it to their lives. Whenever bibles are available, crowds gather and hoard around to hear the word of God. Lives are being transformed instead of fronts being put on. I know of people of make less than twenty dollars a month, and yet give abundantly to those who have less than them. Whether I am breaking bread, conversing over tea, sitting on the back of a boda boda for six hours, or walking the mean streets of Masii, the interlacing of faith and deeds in this place is made apparent.

Numbers 15 presents a command to make tassels on the corners of garments using a blue cord. It is to serve as a constant reminder to live a life in reverence to God. In Numbers 15 the word Kanaf is used to describe the corners of garments where the Tassels are supposed to be attached. A prediction of the coming messiah is found in Malachi 4:2 it says “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” The word used for wings is Kanaf, the same word which means the corner of garments. Many people believed that the messiah would posses healing powers in his kanaf, the corners of his garments also the tassels. In Luke 8, there is a story of a woman who had been bleeding for many years. Women were unclean during their menstrual cycle and could not be touched or associated with. Understand that for YEARS this woman lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world. Put that on the back burner; realize that Jews were commanded to wear prayer shawls, so we know that Jesus was wearing one. It says that Jesus was completely surrounded by people. This unclean woman sneaks through the crowd and gently touches the edge of his cloak, the tassel, and was healed. Through her actions she professed her faith. By touching the edge of His cloak, without words, she said that she believed the prophecies about the messiah; she believed that Christ was the son of God and that he was truly the Messiah. I imagine that each member of this crowd was telling Jesus how much faith they had in Him, but there was only one who believed enough to put their faith into action and that was this unclean woman, whom everyone else disassociated with and thought of as garbage. I hope that my faith will become as real and genuine as this unclean woman possessed and the people of Kenya have an overflow of.

Anyone can stand in a crowd around Jesus and tell Him how much faith they have in Him, but few are willing to put their faith into action and touch the kanaf.



Prayer Requests:
Stacy’s wheelchair
My speaking at the youth conference tomorrow and the youth camp on Tuesday
The funds for a generator for Tumaini
My safety

I keep on having people offer to shave my legs and arms
I am the only one who washes my underwear outside… people just don’t do that here… and I got made fun of and laughed at because of it
Whenever people tell me stories or if they are referring to someone they always call them the “black woman” or the “black man”… it is funny cause EVERYONE is either a black woman or a black man
I ate a lemon thinking that it was an orange, because both of them are green, and it was horrible
I bought a pair of white leather shoes, just cause, for about ten bucks
I don’t know if I mentioned how horrible the water taste… but I am pretty sure our toilet water has a better aftertaste
I found a place to buy cookies… granted they are stale and old… but cookies are cookies
Flyers, brochures, signs and posters generally have spelling mistakes… its kind of funny
A week from tomorrow I am going to the animal sanctuary… I was told that I get to hold a cheetah and pet a giraffe… I am STOKED!
The chickens here don’t have feathers on the back of their necks… they kind of look diseased!
Most places smell like sewage…. ESPECIALLY the bathroom… I dread going ha ha

Asante sana kwa chacula sasaaba
Uh-s-on-tay sauna kwa chu-cool-la saw-saw-baaa
Thank you very much for the lunch

This entry was posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 4:40 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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