The Desert Dweller
He has lived in the desert so long that all of its moods have long since become a part of the daily rhythm of his life. But it is not that fact that is of crucial importance. For many years it has been his custom to leave a lighted lantern by the roadside at night to cheer the weary traveler. Beside the lantern there is a note which gives detailed directions as to where his cottage may be found so that if there is distress or need, the stranger may find help. It is a very simple gesture full of beauty and wholeness. To him it is not important who the stranger may be, it is not important how many people pass in the night and go on their way. The important thing is that the lantern burns every night and every night the note is there, “just in case.”
Years ago, walking along a road outside Rangoon, I noted at intervals along the way a roadside stone with a crock of water and, occasionally, some fruit. Water and fruit were put there by Buddhist priests to comfort and bless any passerby—one’s spiritual salutation to another. The fact that I was a traveler from another part of the world, speaking a strange language and practicing a different faith, made no difference. What mattered was the fact that I was walking along the road—what my mission was, who I was—all irrelevant.
In your own way, do you keep a lantern burning by the roadside with a note saying where you may be found, “just in case”? Do you place a jar of cool water and a bit of fruit under a tree at the road’s turning, to help the needy traveler? God knows the answer and so do you!
– from The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations by Howard Thurman
– Each week in December we will focus our thoughts and prayers on one of our Field Staff. For this coming week, be in prayer for Joyce Ajlouny, her husband Ziad Khalaf and their three boys, Tareq, Nader and Ramzi. Throughout the coming week you will find tidbits about Joyce’s ministry in Ramallah at the Ramallah Friends Schools on Facebook.
– Praises for the Belize Friends School include: all of the students are current on their tuition payments at this time as a scholarship was received this week to cover half of each of their tuition, 75% of our students have an overall passing grade.
– Prayers for safety for the Belize Friends School students who all live in gang areas to resist being recruited by the gangs. The children who live on the south side see gang involvement as an easy way out of poverty and suffering.
– Pray also for the Barber family during the transition of new caretakers for the property they are renting. The current caretakers will be moving out by the end of December.
– Pray for all those holiday travelers during the next couple weeks that they may arrive safely at their destinations.