The last thing Gordan Wilmar remembered before the crash was green leafy treetops reaching for the underbelly of the small, private plane as it hurled helplessly to earth. There was screaming and praying, and then darkness.
The bleeding middle-aged minister tried to move across the sweet smelling grass beneath him. His right arm dangled as if it belonged to a stranger. Consciousness took its leave and refused to return for longer than he knew.
Cool water thoughts seeped into his awakening brain. His parched lips and battered body yearned for the precious liquid. He opened his eyes.
“Good morning, Sir.”
Gordon tried to put a face to the voice but the whole world had a fuzzy haze. Blinking did not improve his vision.
“Who is it, please?”
“I am Jama. You are in my humble home. I was schooled in your country and speak your language.”
Gordon tried to rub his eyes with his left hand. His broken arm was well trussed in a sturdy splint. He could barely make out the form of a person who sat by his cot. The articulate, well-modulated voice continued.
“I found credentials in your pocket and a valise with your initials.”
A valise? Where did this strange fellow learn English? Where am I? Dear God, HELP!
The bruised and aching preacher only thought those things. He was too weak to do more than whisper, “Thank you.”
Jama held a small mug to the lips of the injured man. “Drink a little. It will help.”
Gordon took a few sips before he closed his eyes. Help? Do you mean help the man who has lost everything; who has no family; whose church is full of deaf ears and liberal sentiments; who went on a mission trip trying to capture that lost zeal to be God’s mouthpiece? Why didn’t I die?"
For as many days and nights as it took, the quiet and faithful Jama brought nourishment. Tiny but steady steps precipitated healing of Gordon’s body and mind.
“Jama, why don’t you live in the center of the village as the others do? You obviously command respect.”
The efficient young doctor stopped what he was writing and stared at Gordon.
“I command nothing. These are simple and caring people who revere knowledge and ability. I have had the opportunity of education. I will share the story with you at a later time.”
Gordan’s fuzzy vision had improved enough to recognize a Bible on the bookshelf in Jama’s modest dwelling.
“Do you read the word of God?”
”If you mean the Christian Bible…yes. I also have read the Torah and Koran and others”.
“I have not told you, Jama. I spent many years as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Jama laid his pen down and folded his hands. He looked at the distinguished gray haired gentleman for several seconds before he responded.
“I know. I have heard you preach.”
“You heard ME? Where?”
The eager older man sat down across from the serene younger one, ready to know more. Continued blurred vision made it difficult to see the speaker’s expression.
“When I saw the address on your identification, I remembered visiting your church. I took my internship in your city.”
“Well, well. It sure is a small world. How’d you like it?”
“I did not like it at all.”
The preacher chuckled uncomfortably. “It’s good to hear truth spoken with such uh…honesty, my friend.”
“I know no other way.”
The anguish in Gordon’s voice was hard to miss.“ I was a failure at preaching the word of God, so I resigned and took this trip.”
“ Sir. I told you of the volumes I have read. The one by which I live is the Holy Bible. Perhaps your people did not hear with their hearts, but this one did.”
That was the most the stoic doctor had said since the minister’s unplanned drop out of the sky.
Jama continued, “Our small congregation here has asked the Lord for a real preacher; a shepherd. I go now to a meeting of prayer.”
The quiet, determined physician strode out the door toward the village. As Gordon followed and hummed softly, a strange thing happened. The veil over his eyes lifted.
“Hey Doctor Fleet-foot. Can you wait?"
Jama turned in time to hear the elder singing the end of a beloved hymn as he hurried to catch up, “… was blind but now I see.”
“Yes, Pastor Wilmar, I can certainly wait…. “
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