(This post originally appeared in charismanews.com | Image from charismanews.com)
By Dr. Alex McFarland
Let’s Be Clear: We Do Not Deserve God’s Hand of Blessing
A fellow pastor and I were racing to the airport to pick up some guests coming to our city. Our churches were co-hosting a conference and some of the inbound passengers were to be speakers at our event. Our guests were flying in from Ethiopia, and this would be their very first visit to America.
It wasn’t hard to spot the group we were to pick up. Amidst the rush of people getting off the plane, mostly Anglos, like myself, there slowly walked several men with the darkest skin pigment I had ever seen. They all were dressed in similar army-fatigue-green clothes of nondescript design. Coming down the airport corridor, their gait was slow, every step measured. The men were looking around in all directions—awed by the sights, sounds, wall-sized ads and airport shopping kiosks: Their first moments in noisy, neon America.
No mistaking it, these were our Ethiopian guests. What struck me most about their appearance was that all were so very, very thin. And I don’t just mean “skinny” compared to today’s near-universal American corpulence. The men appeared to be border-line malnourished. Their arms looked like lengths of shiny black broomsticks strung together. Bony elbows moved like loose hinges, swinging freely as the men ambled toward us. But their gaunt faces carried broad smiles as we all met for the first time, embracing, praying concisely, then hurrying to our van.