Monday, July 6, 2009
Those Big Fellas
In an earlier post I referred to our friend Geri. She and her husband Allan played a very large role in encouraging my wife and myself in early Christian experience. She was the wide-eyed, petite, feminine one with a tremendous sense of humour, hospitality and gentleness in her treatment of others. Allan, a long-trip trucker, had a remarkable way, out on the road, in meekly coming alongside a fellow trucker, hearing of his gains or losses, and turning the conversation toward Christ.
I wish that I had retained the details better on this story, but here goes. Geri had a sister who was in missionary work in South America with her husband. The native communities contacted were very primitive and significantly uncomfortable with outsiders. This was over forty years ago.
The husband was called away by small aeroplane from their new and undeveloped mission camp. The woman busied herself with domestic improvements, singing and Bible reading to stave off loneliness. At night on the outskirts of the dark bush, she thought often that she was hearing the sounds of furtive native feet, or perhaps animals coming close to the shack. She made a point of keeping some lights on inside. In heated prayer, she met God on many of these occasions.
Her husband returned after about a week with good news of a safe and successful trip. One morning shortly thereafter, he discovered a native elder with a small retinue outside the home. The old man seemed embarrassed and apologetic. He admitted that, unknown to him, some of the younger tribesmen had planned to harrass and perhaps kill Geri's sister. They had felt threatened by the presence of the misssionaries.
But each night as they approached the shack, "those big fellas" were there again, guarding the front door. Tall. Muscular. White. Almost glowing. Repeatedly the interlopers lost heart in the venture. " Please, sir, who were these men that you left with your wife?"
Psalm 34: 7
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.