Rwanda is known as “the land of a thousand hills.” At least a thousand. It’s easy to be a grace-spy here. Grace is all around.
--“Traveling mercies”: I love that old Christian phrase. It’s all about grace-on-the-road. Because we were “on the road” more than 48 hours (including one hotel layover), the fact that we made it here somewhat rested, safe and with our luggage intact moves me to gratitude. I am especially grateful to the funny, friendly stewards on the British Airways flight from London to Nairobi. Our USA airlines could take lessons.
--Early morning sounds: Every day, I hear the call to Muslim worship promptly at 4:50. The tropical birds kick in at 5:30 with a multitude of musical numbers, including my favorite, the waterfall song that starts high and warbles all the way down to the pool at the bottom. Soon after that Quaker drums call the faithful to morning prayers. I hear no traffic at all.
--Grandkids: During our first week (last week, in fact) we got to attend the talent show at the school Gwen and Alandra attend here in Kigali. Alandra’s karaoke rendition of the Rabbit Tango won first place, even though this clever 5th grader was competing against the whole grade/middle and high school. Actually she wasn’t competing; she was just up there having fun, with her usual great flare for the dramatic. She was stunned at winning. I wasn’t.
--Health foods: My daughter-in-law Debby is close to fanatic about natural, organic, healthy foods. She does the research and experiments with her findings, much to the benefit of the family. Currently on the menu—fermented cod liver oil (which only David endures, gamely calling it “fish puke oil”), Mother of Vinegar, kombucha tea, morniga powder, and virgin coconut oil. Hal and I have been on kombucha for some time now, and the values of coconut oil are beginning to convince me. (In addition to consuming three tablespoons a day for general health and weight loss, it can be used as a face cream, shampoo and deodorant. Deb buys it by the gallon.) While some of this just seems funny, I’m seeing more of God’s grace than I realized in the natural world.
--Grace to accept changing relationships: With teenaged grandkids, relationships change. We find that Grandpa and Grandma are no longer the sun around which the planets revolve. No one fights over who gets to sit next to us at meals or comes in the early hours to wake us up and play or asks us to tuck them in at night. We’re still in the same universe but relegated to more distant spheres. While I sense some loss, I know that all this is right and good. Growing up is good. Change is good too, when it flows according to God’s plan. God gives us grace to accept those changes and explore new ways of relating to these marvelous young adults in the making.
--Easter across cultures: We celebrated a Seder meal earlier this week and on Sunday we’ll celebrate the resurrection with Rwandan believers. All over the world, the children of God acknowledge that “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.” There is more grace in this reality than I can begin to understand.
--The Celtic prayer that has been in the back of my mind for two weeks now: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.” Yes. Yes, indeed.