Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Young Elder.

I know The Elders will support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair. ~Nelson Mandela
Quick note: Since I have not been online in many days, today is a two-fer. Don't forget to read both!

A few days ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine. He was kind enough to walk with me through town to show me a hoteli (restaurant) that I had heard about but could not seem to locate based on a verbal description of how to get there. So after walking for a bit, we found the hoteli and had lunch. Following lunch, I walked around the soko (market) to find the shop that sells CDs and VCDs to see if I could find some new music CDs. From there, I began my trek back home to read and relax a bit. Then I ran into a friend of mine who wanted to introduce me to two strangers who turned out to be reverends.

It seems to me as though in just about every introduction I get asked the question “Are you saved?” Usually I think to myself, “I did not realize I needed saving. What does ‘being saved’ really mean?” Basically the question is “are you a born-again Christian?”
My typical response used to be “No, I’m not” but this time I responded “I no longer classify my religion.” When I replied I had no idea what kind of response I would get as this was the first time I was going to use this response – after long consideration of a new response to the question. One of the reverends looked at me with surprise – not the kind of surprise that I’m used to when I would say “No, I’m not ‘saved’” but a rather different surprise as though my response was one which was never expected. The reverend’s reply was a simply, yet inquisitive, “Why?”
And so our conversation continued and after some time had passed I was invited to attend their church service and I was also asked to take a look at the church computer equipment. Simple requests I agreed to.

After the two reverends left, my friend said to me “I believe if we were to have a gathering of our community heroes, you would be among them. You might even be made an elder; you have shosho qualities.” Shosho (sp?), it was explained to me, means elder and is often used to refer to a grandparent.

The words spoken during this encounter have penetrated deep into my mind and I am truly humbled by them.

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