Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Right and Left (07/31/14)
- TITLE: Collision of Cultures
By Pauline Carruthers
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I found him by the river. Sleek dark body lying face down on the ground, powerful hand poised over rippling water. Not until he had a dozen fat fish anchored to the end of his spear did he stand and acknowledge my presence.
“See, Pale Friend, in my right hand I have my spear and in my left I have vine leaves for cooking the fish. That way I am well balanced. Like the scales of God you have told me we will all be measured upon.”
His guttural laugh echoed through the jungle. Pure delight replacing his usually indecipherable expressions. Was he mocking or grasping a truth? Fifteen years living in his village had brought me no nearer to seeing his salvation. Nor to understanding his logic.
We strode purposefully back to the village, along the rough hewn path with its overhang of dense green foliage, Chief leading the way. The village was growing smaller every year; civilisation creeping closer. Now just ten huts made up the semi-circle surrounding Chief’s.
“Pale Friend, Pale Friend, come and see. Hurry Pale Friend.”
I wandered over to the group of dark skinned children of indeterminate ages, sparkling white smiles, ebony eyes, all eager to show me what they had been working on all morning. If just once, just one time, someone would call me Arthur. As the thought crossed my mind, my eyes automatically sought out the tall tree that grew alongside the grave of my wife and tiny son, massacred during a tribal uprising eleven years ago.
Chief called to me, gesturing for me to join him. Small Flower, his quiet, thoughtful wife, was placing two cups, of what I had learned to call tea, on a hand made table outside their hut. Chief sat in his customary cross legged position on the ground. I mentally prepared myself for the barrage of familiar questions.
“Tell me Pale Friend, when God in His heaven raised Jesus from the dead and sat Him at His right hand, who was sitting at His left?”
Closed eyes and gritted teeth hid the silent prayer that crushed my desire to blast out the frustration. ‘Lord, how many more times must I go over the same ground?’ Fifteen long years. The loss of my precious family. And still no fruit.
“When you have crossed the barrier of his culture.”
We sat together in intense discussion for several hours, Chief becoming more animated, whilst I became more passive. Dusk fell over the village like a star studied blanket and a half moon nestled close to a lonely blueberry cloud. Words from the twenty third psalm thrust through the present darkness of my heart. ‘He restores my soul.’
“Pale Friend. Why do you hesitate? I have many more questions.”
Weariness drenched my soul with an unfamiliar longing for home.
“Tell me Pale Friend, when Jesus was crucified on the cross, which of the two men crucified with him was on the right and which on the left?
Close to tears I repeated the gospel to Chief. He listened patiently and according to their customs, without interruption. Helplessly I sought the Lord and He answered with a Father’s love. The time was right. Light was dawning.
“Pale Friend, I do not mean to offend you. We are of different nations, different customs, different cultures. What is familiar to you is alien to me. We have not the same thoughts. You do not fully understand my questions and I do not know how to ask. Yet on the inside we have a heart that beats in exactly the same way and we can work in unison like a right and a left hand.
His wisdom astounded me. My watering eyes closed as he gently laid a dark hand on my pale one. In all these years how had I failed to grasp that details were of vital importance in Chief’s culture?
“ My friend Arthur.” he murmured.
I wanted to envelop him in a hug, but it was alien to his culture. Instead, according to his custom, I gripped his right hand with my left.
The fires in the village were now just glowing embers fading into the blackness of the night. But the light of Jesus had begun to pierce the darkness. I couldn’t see the tall tree next to the grave of my wife and tiny son, but I thanked my Father and prayed that the sacrifice had not been in vain.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.