Updated: Aug 26
God provided a visual in the most unexpected place.
A number of years ago, Steve and I were part of a small Bible-teaching team from the States who went to Kenya for a chance to disciple believers in some remote villages. Steve taught men, and I, along with several other ladies, taught groups of women. That's how I found myself teaching about the concept of sin, sitting under a tree with an interpreter, facing about a dozen ladies, several with babies strapped to their backs, all of us on makeshift benches.
The women were illiterate but astute aural learners. They sat with rapt attention as I taught lessons every day for five days. The first day, of course, was about Adam, Eve, the Garden of Eden, the serpent, the first sin, etc. Another day the lesson included David's sin, Bathsheba, Uriah, and David's repentance in Psalm 51. We talked about our need to repent, Christ's sacrifice on the cross, how to receive forgiveness, and as much as I could fit into those lessons.
One day I was teaching my heart out with the help of Priscilla, my very competent translator, when I noticed that the attention of the ladies in front of me had wandered. This was unusual because they normally hung on every word. When I asked Priscilla what was going on, she said, "There is a green mamba snake in the bushes right behind you. Just sit still, and it will soon go away." !!!!! I have since learned that a green mamba snake is highly venomous, but at the time I just knew it was a SNAKE!!!
In a few minutes, one of the ladies who had been listening intently for the whole week, said, "That reminds me of the snake in the Garden of Eden."
Suddenly, I wasn't frightened anymore. I was just in awe of how God had sent the perfect visual for my lesson and how this woman had remembered the story and applied it.
The photo below is not a photo of that woman -- Oh, how I wish I had one of her -- but maybe it will give you an idea of the women I taught that week. The woman in the photo seems much more prosperous than the ones I taught. Those women got up early every morning to go out and gather firewood and haul water to cook their food. A life I have a hard time imagining.
I was thinking about the woman who recognized the snake as being like the one in the Bible story and about times when I see reminders of God's word.
A rainbow is a symbol of God's promise. The sound of a dove as I take my morning walks reminds me of the one that brought the branch to Noah's ark and when the Holy Spirit "descended like a dove" on Jesus after His baptism. This extreme heat we've been experiencing reminds me of famines in the Bible, brooks that dried up, Jonah under the plant that God provided to give him shade from the harsh sun. Fresh honey at the farmer's market reminds me of Samson eating honey from the lion's carcass. When I held my first great grandchild last Friday, I remembered the wonder of all the women in the Bible who held their babies for the first time.
I want more reminders like this, don't you? More time in the Word will lead to more times when I look out at the world and see something that brings to mind what I've read. I want to wear Bible-colored glasses.
A favorite hymn from my childhood was written by Clara Scott in 1895 -- "Open my eyes that I may see."
Here are the words to the first stanza:
Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,