An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but two people can stand back-to-back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together – it is very hard to break (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Last night I was given one of the nicest Christmas presents I have ever received. It was from a missionary. It is a picture. Inside the frame is brown matting with cutouts for three pictures. On the left is a cut-out that takes up the left part of the frame. On the right are two smaller square cut-outs, one on top of the other. Around the inside edge of the frame is glued a thin,narrow, very well made rope. It’s quite attractive.
In the matted, left hand cut-out is a picture of a very thin, bare-foot, weathered African with bowed head. In his hand is some rope that falls and wraps around his feet. In the top right hand smaller, square cut-out are the words in bold print, “Blessed be the tie that binds” (John Stewart). In the bottom right hand smaller cut-out is the verse at the top of this blog, taken from Ecclesiastes 4:12.
The significance of the picture is found in the letter on the back of the picture. This is what is written in that letter:
Kuv ba ter zie.
“Death has no place of its own, but it visits us all.”
Meet your brother, Kuv ba ter zie. His name means, “Death has no place of its own, but it visits us all.” He is a Dagara who lives in Nakar, Burkino Faso. He made the bit of rope that is on your frame. He makes it by running the strands in his mouth to moisten them and then rubbing them between his legs that are about as big around as baseball bats. His inner thighs have calluses where he does this everyday. He is blind so he cannot help the family with their fields and other jobs he would normally be expected to work. So he makes rope and sells it. He doesn’t make much money at all. He sells a bolt of it normally for about 50 cents. The first memory I have of Kub ba ter zie is when he asked me for a ride to his house after one meeting. He got in the truck with me and we started going down the road and then I realized that he is blind. “How am I going to get directions to his house? I’ve never been there before,” I thought to myself. But, amazingly, he asked me if we had hit the big dip in the road yet and we were about to hit it, then after that, he asked me if we had rounded the corner. After we did he said, “Do you see the corn field? At the end of it there is a path to the right that goes to my house. Do you see that?” I said, “Yes,” He said, “That’s my house.” You may notice that he is not wearing any shoes. That is not because he can’t afford any. He uses the bottoms of his feet to feel his way around the village of Nakar. He gets around quite well on his own. I asked him once if he could say something to the folks that support me, what he would say. He said, “Tell them that I was blind, but now I see the light.” He is one of the most enthusiastic and cheerful Christians we have in the Nakar church. Anyway, I just thought you might want to hang this up somewhere to remind you of how big God’s kingdom is, to remind you that you are simply a strand in a strong cord that will hold us all together for eternity, because of how much God has loved us all.
Aaron D. Burk
Perhaps, now you understand why this is one of the nicest gifts I have ever received. I share it with you so that you, too, will appreciate our common bond with Christians everywhere – all because “God so loved the world…”