Friday, January 23, 2015

Fleas from friends

Last week I went for a walk to visit some friends in the village and brought home a surprise. I often go for a walk in the village and come back with various gifts from my friends there, corn, sweet potatoes, soy beans, popcorn kernels, sugar cane, etc. Last week I came back with an unexpected "gift".... fleas.

As I was sitting talking with one of the women, she began telling me about the bugs in her house that are biting her. She  then asked me to come into her house to show me. I thought it would be rude to refuse, so I walked in. I really do love this family and consider them friends. I know that two of the women are my sisters in Christ and I am praying for God's work in the hearts of the rest of them. (Please pray with me.) As I entered, I could not see any bugs since there are no lights or windows. I felt sad that my friends were being bitten by bugs, but I didn't know what to do other than express my concern for them. 

After visiting for a little longer, I walked home and arrived just in time to get dinner on the table. After dinner we got the kids cleaned up and in bed, and I was so exhausted that I just went to bed. I knew I should go shower, but I lacked the energy. Big mistake....

Later that night David found a flea in our bed. I hoped that was it. Then I started finding flea bites on me. A week later I found another flea. I now have about 20 flea bites and much more compassion for my friends in the village. I realized that while I felt bad for them before, I now understand their struggle much more. I know what it is like to wake feeling the fleas jumping on you. I understand the itchy feeling all over. And I know that I want to do whatever I have to do to get rid of these blood sucking pests.

Accidentally getting fleas is an inconvenience and frustration, but it occurred to me that what Jesus did for us is so much more, He loved us so much that he humbled himself by leaving heaven, becoming human, living 33 years in this fallen world without sinning, and intentionally suffering on the cross in order to wash away our sins and give us his righteousness. That kind of love amazes me! He didn't just accidentally get fleas because he forgot to shower. He knowingly touched lepers. He slept on the ground here and there as he traveled to heal the sick and preach the gospel. He went into homes of people who were outcasts. He let a woman of the night wash his feet with her tears. He even reaches out to you and me. Our sin doesn't contaminate him. He is not afraid to deal with our mess. He knows that He does not just feel sorry for us. He knows how we struggle, and he still chooses to love us.

As I write this story, I have a fear. I want you to understand that I am not like Jesus. I cannot save anyone. I am not super holy because I got fleas while trying to build a relationship. I was just unwise in not showering and changing right away when I got home. I write this story because this experience made me realize how amazing Jesus is. He would not hesitate to enter into that woman's house even if he knew that he would get fleas. On the other hand, I am trying to think of every way to prevent future infestations. His empathy for us and his willingness to sacrifice for you and me are amazing! I am so thankful that "we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) His love is amazing!

1 comment:

  1. I love your heart, but on a practical note, can you get a hold of any food grade diatomaceous earth? It kills bugs like bed bugs and lice too. Here at least, it is very inexpensive so you would be able to share it with your neighbors. In addition to being completely safe, it is actually healthy for humans to ingest. Google it! Love you, Laura