Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Eggs Instead of Stones

Written by Ken Herfst
The sun rapidly sinks behind the mountains as we sit around Chemito's table eating supper. We talk about the plans for the next day. Chemito's daughter and son-in-law live in a place called Patuy, about an hour's walk upstream from Chirramos. We had previously made arrangements to visit them and two other young couples. However, Chemito's son-in-law sent word that his grandmother, with whom they live, refuses to let us come. She threatened to meet us with stones and sticks if we dared to set foot on her property. If we should decide it better not to go, they would understand and come to Chirramos instead.

Santiago and Chemito look at me. "What shall we do?" they ask. After a moment's reflection I suggest that if they are willing, we will go anyway. "No doubt, the woman has some misconceptions about us," I say. "It would be good to talk to her."

The next morning, after prayer, we set out for Patuy. As we enter the community, we are met by the school teacher, a young man from Rabinal, whom I had previously come to know. He invites us to meet the class and gives me the opportunity to address the students. I explain who I am, what my purpose is, and encourage them in their studies, stressing the great privilege that is ours when we can read God's Word. I read some verses of Scripture with them that speak of God's love for sinners. If one cannot read, I ask them, how would they ever come to know this God? The students listen well. After the appropriate good-byes, we are on our way again.

Jeronimo, Chemito's son-in-law, and Victoria live at the far end of the valley. Finally their house comes into view and we are met by a pack of dogs. These are quickly called off and we make our way to the porch. We are offered a seat and sit down. Grandma is there. While her face shows her dislike for what is going on, she does nothing. Instead, she disappears into the simple wooden house from which she can watch us carefully.

I let Santiago and Chemito do most of the initial talking. They speak extensively to the elderly grandfather, but he responds that he only has a few days yet to live and isn't interested. After an hour or so, they ask me to read something from God's Word. Taking Psalm 130, I begin by talking about our inability to stand before the infinitely holy God. Gradually I move on to God's abundant redemption provided in His Son, and how one becomes partaker of it. The younger couples listen carefully, murmuring their approval from time to time. By this time, Grandpa has turned his back to us and stares across the valley...

Finally it is time to leave. Yet, even as we talk about leaving, they offer us lunch: egg soup, tortillas and coffee. We accept their offer and sit down again to eat. Later, after prayer with the younger couples, we say our good-byes to the elderly couple and start on our way back. We cannot but help to reflect on God's wonderful ways. Instead of stones, we were given eggs! It reminds one of the well-known text of Luke 11:

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he
give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he for a fish
give him a serpent? Or if he ask for an egg, will he offer him a
scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to
your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the
Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

What we long to see in Patuy as elsewhere in the Cubulco area is a thorough working of the Holy Spirit. Surely, God is more willing to send His Spirit than grandma was to give us egg soup! He says to us: "Ask and it shall be given you.."

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