Sunday, August 31, 2008

his name is King

Two weeks ago a grizzled dread-locked musician showed up for Sunday morning worship at the International Fellowship. He came with the young dread-locked artist who has attended almost two months. Rinaldo at first brought his 3 year old nephew named Sprite (after the soft drink), but invited his Rasta uncle this time.

I greeted this "elderly man" (have since found out that I am older than he is) and chatted over tea with him after the service. We had a mutual acquaintance in the Culture House in town. Monday he went back to the fellowship house, asked where I lived, and tracked me down. This was a feat because he was given some circuitous directions by the resident pre-teen.

To be sure I was surprised to see him at our gate, but he said he wanted to talk and had obviously taken some effort to find me. He shared a burden on his heart which had to do with the mutual friend at the Culture House. (I had already heard her side of this problem, since I tutor her in English every Wednesday afternoon.)

We sat for over two hours on our front verandah and King (that is his name) regaled me with stories of his life in the resistance movement, famous people he knows and is related to (nephew of the assassinated first president of Frelimo). He has traveled the world; music is his passion; Rastafari is his ideology. Please just look it up on the internet, I had to. I only had the vaguest notion of what it entailed and could not begin to explain it to you. Suffice it to say, it is Afrocentric and revolutionary.

So, middle-aged white woman converses with world-traveled troubador full of resentment for neo-fascist feminists. What does one say? He wanted someone to hear his resentment at being marginalized and treated contemptuously.

What a beautiful opportunity to beg pardon and tell a story about a God of love who created us for fellowship. And we spurned it. So He came in flesh to explain and open the communication again. Then we killed him. King heard me through. I hope he saw the parallel: God doesn't force Himself on us. He gently calls us.

The problem has not been resolved. But what amazes me is that he came back to fellowship this morning. He was very subdued. He wouldn't stay for tea. Nevertheless, he came. . . . why?

Maybe Holy Spirit is blowing fresh breezes through King's dreads. Maybe something miraculous is going to happen. I don't know. But I've resolved to take the opportunities that come. Don't shortcut something that seems a detour.

"When Thou callest me to go through the dark valley, let me not persuade myself that I know a way round . . ." (Baillie)


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