Pure—that is the way I like my chocolate. So much better than milk or white. All that added milk or even leaving out all the cocoa takes away the best of it. This week, here in Ethiopia, I have gotten a taste of purity. Not the diluted 55% kind you find in our stores. But the real stuff. Fully pure.
It started right away on day one. The drive from Addis Ababa to Zeway.
No big buildings (the few that did exist were under construction with big wooden scaffolding meters and meters high). No chain stores with advertisements screaming at you on every street corner.
With colors that talk, but don’t scream.
People, the way they are. Full of passion? They sing it out. Not softly, somewhere where nobody sees them, but full and uninhibited. Pure.
Desperate and without hope? They won’t conceal it in a dark corner, but display it, on the middle of the street.
No distractions. No interruptions. No hiding. No dilution.
Even the coffee is pure. Kind of like espresso, the Ethiopian way. Flavored, the same way they decorate the houses and streets, with colors that talk, but don’t scream.
There is no need to scream.
Because there are no distractions which need to be overcome. No cars which take up the road. No lights which pollute the dark. No shame which is disguised.
Oh yes, there is brokenness. Sorrow. Pain. Grief. Lives with deep sadness and despair.
Just like there is laughter. And good jokes. Hugs. Love. Joy and Thankfulness.
Ethiopia, as I have gotten to know it this week, is pure. Just the way I like it.
There is no need to seek, to scream, to jump out of the way. Pure and raw.
That is precisely the only reason I can think of why the work of the strongest enemy, the greatest created being, Satan, is so pure and visible here.
Because here there is nothing that distracts men. Nothing men hide behind. Satan has to work here. Pure and real. To reach his goal.
Yes, it is difficult. To see the fight. But here, just because of the lack of distractions, because the people don’t get overwhelmed by TV programs, by blinking billboards, too long schooldays and speeding cars. Because of that it is tangible to discern God’s voice. To hear His word. To feel His touch.
Life is earthy. Pure.
Not perfect. There is still spiritual war going on. Real, tangible, pure, raw and hard.
All the more it speaks of the confidence that we have as children of Father God, siblings of Jesus. We do not fight for victory. But fight from victory. In Christ’s power we are invincible.
So with our breastplate on and belt around our middle, our sandals on our feet and helmet on our head (which in our Ethiopian attire looks like this) we go on our way.
Enjoying the purity of all our precious new friends—their coffee and their tears and their hugs.
Pure. Just the way I like it…