It’s interesting the thoughts you have at the end of the day; all the ideas and recollections of the past hours from sunrise to set, all the contemplations of the soon-coming morning and future ambitions of dreams yet-to-be fulfilled. Lately, I’ve spent more time with these thoughts outside in the courtyard of our guesthouse thanks to our new puppy, Piper. This sweet little half-German shepherd has yet to develop a bladder adequate for me to get a full night of sleep, but because of this I’ve found myself out under the stars with my thoughts and our night guard.
Depending on the time of night we may exchange our Wolof greetings, which begin in Arabic with “Peace to you” and culminates in the question of whether one has peace to which the proper reply is “Peace only.” At other times, he is bent low at his prayer mat, seeking to please a distant Sovereign who is eternally other. And then, on occasion, as I steal quietly down the stairs, I find him sleeping.
In the stillness of the night the words of Qoheleth, the writer of Ecclesiastes, whispers “He has put eternity in the heart of man,” (3.11); and depending on your perspective that thought of looking with finite eyes on eternity is either immensely joyous or absolutely terrifying!
Made in the image of God we have the ability to look into the past, into the spent days of our own lives and the lives of others. I think of a dear brother from Eritrea we walked with while living in Northeastern Africa, who had spent several years in prison for the capital sin of following Jesus. No promise of temporary freedom could steal away the eternity in his heart of being a redeemed and transforming child of God.
Made in the image of God we have the capacity to reflect on the current state of this sinful and broken world and see how desperately humanity is in need of a Savior. We watch as wicked men horrified by the eternity in their hearts, scramble for a thread of redemption from a vengeful deity, seeking to place the balance of their sins on the severed necks of our brothers and sisters (of whom this world is not worthy; Heb. 11.38).
Made in the image of God, and redeemed through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, we have just enough imagination to envision a foretaste of the glory divine of His eternal presence.
As the Eritrean theologian Tewoldemedhin Habtu wrote, “the only possible way to know eternity is through a personal relationship with the eternal God.” At the end of the day as a son or daughter of God, saved by the grace of God through Jesus the Messiah, we know with all assurance that we have forever to worship Him, to adore Him, to pour out our love for Him. At the end of the day, does someone near you, a night guard, a coworker, a loved one, have that same assurance?
Thank you for letting us be your personal link from the local church to the unreached Wolof-speaking peoples of Senegal.