On Saturday's I will be sharing memories of our time spent in the Amazon jungle. Today I share something I wrote several years ago for The Jungle Hut.
wish you all could meet a friend of mine from the Ye'kwana tribe.
Cristina was my neighbor for all those years we lived in the village.
When I first met her, she was a married woman with 5 children. A few
months later, her husband died of a high fever, probably yellow fever.
This made her a widowed mother of 5. Life in the jungle is hard even
with a husband but for a woman alone...no hunter...no one to build the
house every five years or so when it falls down...HARD!
this same time, I had my first back surgery. This meant I could no
longer do my own laundry in the river. Lugging dirty clothes down the
bank and then heavy, wet clothes back up was no longer possible.
Cristina showed up one morning and told me that God had led her to do my
laundry for me. I had been praying about whom to hire. It is hard in a
small, cashless society to hire one person over another. But this was
the perfect answer, as everyone knew Cristina needed help. She did my
laundry for several years.
One dry season, she was
collecting fire wood, which must be collected before the rains and kept
under a roof to use during the long rainy season. She stopped at my door
and took off the head strap of her handmade back pack.
(These men are wearing the same style back pack.)
"WOOO", she called.
opened the door and as she came in I could tell she was not feeling
well. Now, Cristina stands at about 4'8" or so and might weigh 45 kilos.
I had just watched her come in carrying a good 25 kilos of firewood on
her back. Her garden was probably 2 to 3 kilometers away, so, she had
every reason to not feel well!
She asked me if I could give her a "red" pill for her pain. The "red" pill was ibuprofen, the Miracle Pill in the jungle!
went into the store room to get it for her, and when I came back out,
she was sitting with a smile on her face looking around my house.I gave
her the pill and began to tell her how that in heaven there would be no
need for medicine as there would be no pain. And there would be no need
to gather firewood, as God would provide all our needs and be the very
light. I said it would be so great in heaven , to have all our needs
met and provided AND , we would each have a mansion!!
Her face lit up, she looked at me and said something I will never forget. She said, "Heaven will be like your house!"
my heart stopped for a moment. My house, that she was referring to was a
mud hut! With a palm roof!! When you touched the walls, pieces of it
fell off. Worms and cock roaches nested in the palm roof and even
occasionally fell on you, not to mention the lizards and snakes! I had a
generator and lights though, and a rough cement floor. I had colorful
curtains, and a sink!
To Cristina's mind, this was as good as she could imagine!! (Inside The Jungle Hut)
I remember thinking, "Please God ,let her be wrong! Heaven has got to be better than this!"
And then I began to think, in Cristina's limited imagination, my home was a mansion.
What if, in our limited human imaginations, we are as far off as she is in what we imagine heaven will be like!