We have a couple of friends visiting us in Ethiopia from Switzerland. We have tried to show them a piece of what Ethiopia is. This weekend we took them to Debre Labanos – about two hours’ drive from our home in Addis. It is a breathtaking river gorge with waterfalls, baboons, a fertile valley, and a historic church and monastery. As we gazed across this gorge, I couldn’t help but be awed by the Creator and His imagination. As my heart was full with utter amazement, my thoughts went to the people God has created and how much more intricate, complex, awesome, and beautiful people can be – even above something as huge as a mountain, or impressive as a deep gorge, or powerful as this thundering waterfall was. We were in this place with Ethiopian friends, Swiss friends, and our children. Local Ethiopian guides brought us around the gorge on foot to get the best views. At the monastery, we had the same kind and knowledgeable priest as we have had three times previously give us the tour. I sat outside the church with our children (who are a little bored with the church tour at this point), and we had several conversations with Ethiopian pilgrims. Some have traveled many days to come to the sacred church, where it is claimed that healing waters come from the mountain side. How interesting to listen to the perspective on religion, world politics, and other things from someone who comes from a life completely different from my own. The richness of it all was wonderful.
Another thing our friends have done while visiting us is spend time with the children on the ward at CURE. We made crafts, played with Play-Doh, and laughed with them. Talk about beauty. I hope I never fail to see the beauty in the people God places in our lives. Of course, we all lose this vision from time to time. What a gift when God gives a special glimpse into this particular kind of beauty.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Gen 1:27
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14