Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I was invited to his workshop when we lived in his village for 6 weeks. One of my first friends during a very lonely time. We laughed and chatted in the workshop. I remember like it was yesterday, the twinkles in his eyes…his upraised eyebrows and deep laughs at my zany-ness. Refreshment for my weary, isolated soul. Oh, did we laugh!

A small, simple structure with a wood stove. Sitting on a little hill thirty feet from a winding river. But as we met in that workshop, Your gracious hand lovingly knit hearts together and transformed a plain wooden shack into a sacred place.

Memories flood my heart as I write about my friend this morning, and a song begins playing in my mind…Holy ground, we’re standing on holy ground. For the Lord is present and where He is is holy. The workshop wasn’t holy in and of itself. It was holy because when I went there to visit my friend, You were always there, too.

Isn’t it funny that the God who created us with a need for people always gives us the people we need? One of the few quotes I've committed to memory immediately after reading. Probably because it is so true.

That lonely summer in a small fishing village, I was longing for a girl friend and lo’ and behold, You sent me a male ivory carver with grandchildren running around. And You grew our friendship not over tea in a warm kitchen somewhere (the expected and hoped for), but in a simple shed (the unexpected and perfect spot).

Love born in an ordinary, unadorned place. But that’s how You do things, isn’t it? You make me smile.

Thank you for giving me one of the very best friends I’ll ever have. I love You.

Thank you, Lord for the workshop, and for the man who spent many hours creating beautiful ivory carvings within it’s walls. My heart overflows with gratefulness this morning knowing that fire only destroyed the building and not the man who made the building so special to me.

We travel to the last frontier exactly one month from today. I am thinking about friends in the village and looking forward, God willing, to our yearly reunion. "Workshop" was originally posted on my former blog on 16 April.

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