In recognition of African Heritage Month, during the month of February, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs circulated weekly samplings of African Nova Scotian history to all government employees. The final one included a link to the site Afriprov.org, which contains some really cool African proverbs and stories. While browsing the site, I found the following story and absolutely love it! A wonderful reminder that encounters with the Spirit are not restricted to places of worship or times of formal prayer.
A sharing...a smile...open hearts...connection to the divine within. What a beautiful message.
I Had Lunch With God
NOTE: When Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in the garden she first thinks he is the gardener. Then she says, "I have seen the Lord." Yes, Jesus comes to us in disguise. But how often do we recognize him? How often can we say: "I have seen the Lord.
A little African boy wanted to meet God. He knew that it was a long trip to where God lived. So he packed his suitcase with small cakes and a six-pack of soda and started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some birds. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his can of soda when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry so he offered her a small cake. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again. So he offered her a soda. Again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!
The little African boy and the old woman sat there all afternoon eating and drinking and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave. But before he had gone more than a few steps he turned around, ran back to the old woman and gave her a big hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond he added, "You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!"
Meanwhile the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked: "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied, "I ate small cakes and drank soda in the park with God." However, before her son could respond she added, "You know, he’s much younger than I expected."
(East Africa adaptation of a universal story)
Another of the many beautiful banners in my church: