The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8
It happened as I spent a Saturday morning looking and learning, wandering the hillside with Peter, one of my Papua New Guinea friends. We were looking at once fertile, lush land he’d inherited from his family now all but been destroyed by years of pigs wandering amuck. I was learning how Peter wanted to restore it by planting the trees that replenish nutrients and beauty to his piece of earth. Then, I learned something else — the hard way.
When crossing a wooden ladder-bridge over a 5-6 foot trench, one needs to “step close to the sides, not the middle”. For when one of the rungs broke, I fell down. My ego nicely bruised, I said, as Peter helped me up, “I’m alright. I’m OK.” And to my surprise, he replied, in perfect English, “But you are on my watch now.”
I have no idea how that phrase came to Papua New Guinea, but it sounded like the crucified Christ: “The pain you feel, I feel too. I will restore you; you are on my watch now.”
Prayer: Thank you, dear Jesus, for watching over us as we replenish misused lands and for feeling our pain when we fall. Help us to also care for our neighbors “on our watch” and to lift them up in times of pain and failure. Amen.
Deaconess Linda Funke – Shinyanga, Tanzania