We walk with dust magnet appendages around here. They attach to the ends of our legs with the love of new born puppies. No need for any electro-magnetic charge to make them work. We stimulate their hormonal attraction to us as if they are teenagers taking a break from gender-specific boarding schools!
Regardless of how much our lungs filter dust from Arusha air, we never seem to run out. Roads constitute a frolicking playground for their recess, like kids getting a brief outside relief from the school day. Riding behind another vehicle virtually guarantees a dust party.
We plan to attend a wedding tomorrow. But people’s celebration and toasting will likely not come close to matching the exuberance that will swirl our car. Many will hitch a ride on our tail bumper, while others will cling to the paint job that somebody rumored as protecting our vehicle’s metal skin.
When the shower tub welcomes my feet in the morning, dirty puddles form near them. Although soap and water will have already taken a shot at returning my bottoms to skin color, little mud puddles continue to linger. I generally take the hand-held shower head behind yesterday’s lovers and shoo them to the drain. Can’t rush them, though. They like to mossy around before finally retiring.
The little critters (they must be alive) congregate an inch thick over many town passages. Like dogs barking at passing cars, these little road watch guards renew their excitement every time another one passes.
I think dust magnets welcomed Christ’s disciples much like those in Tanzania welcome us. I now revere more reverently the significance of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. More than getting down on one’s knees, replacing dust particle love with personal discipleship service requires a special measure of individual grace. It must somehow parallel God’s Son subjecting Himself to human (in)justice and someone else’s self-righteous piety, though still a measure of humility infinitely smaller.
Quite often, when someone else serves me a meal (maybe Lota, maybe Pastor Abel’s assistant), he or she leans, pours a little water from a pitcher over my hands. I furiously rub them to make sure the last of the clingers-on release their grips to my skin. “Asante Sana!” (Thank you, very much!) I quickly respond.
A humbling gesture of neighborly love permeates the society into which I’ve recently entered. Discipleship service symbolizes in only a small way the grace that I’ve found shared among my peers.
I’ve assembled quite a long list of culturally significant activities that could be included with the Christian Enablers mission team experience. The inclusion of a feet washing exercise during an evening fellowship hour could add an experiential measure of Christian humility. It could renew awareness of mutual discipleship service in a way that few other exercises could. It might just reinforce for everyone the significance of humble service to our neighbors.
I wonder if neighborly love could ever match the fervor of dust particle love?