Wednesday, October 7, 2009

N Misti Miti Nha Mon Juntu Na Pratu Ku Bo

Every so often God uses someone’s words to dramatically impact your life. The words above were such words for me. They were spoken in prayer in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa while my wife and I were missionaries. Upon hearing these words the Bible came alive to me like never before. Translation: “I want to put my hand in the bowl with you.”

West Africans eat in community from a common bowl. It is quite normal to see six or more men squatting around a bowl on the ground with their hands thrust in the middle to grab handfuls of rice and small pieces of fish. The picture this brother had of the Lord ’s Supper was one of a group of men squatting around a bowl.

When you eat from a common bowl you try and keep an eye on the hands around yours. I began to imagine eating from a bowl with my eyes fixed on the hands of the others eating with me and then suddenly seeing a nail scarred hand scooping up rice beside me. Wow! To have the hand of the Son of God in the bowl with mine! I can hardly wait!

Before that day I had the common American idea of the Lord’s Supper as a long elegant table filled with food, crystal goblets, and candlelight. I think that the African idea has more merit because it is more intimate. The African idea sounds more like what went on in the upper room with the disciples. Lord Jesus, I long for the day when I can plunge my hand into the bowl with yours!