Church conferences bring out messages of all kinds. There are those that are prepared, and those that are not. There are those that are emotional, and those that are not. This week, a white-haired, gentle pastor shared a story that left us rolling in the aisles, but that made his point beautifully at the same time.
The pastor was speaking about how Christians are held to a higher standard (rightly so) in this society. “Eyes are on us, and we need to be aware.” He also wanted to touch the hypocrisy that happens as people watch Christians and hold them to higher standards…not seeing their own faults at all.
In every society there are taboos. Haiti has its own set of taboos. Here, you don’t whistle around adults. You don’t eat in front of people, like in the street. You don’t look at people who sitting somewhere eating. You don’t go shirtless in public. You can bathe in front of people with only skimpy wet underwear, but you don’t disrobe completely to take a bath unless you are in your own yard.
So, the pastor spoke of having led a service for a church not in his hometown. After church, a lady of the church gave him some bread and coconut candy…a typical snack. He was on his way home on foot, and came to a creek. There, he noticed both a man and a lady bathing without any clothes. That is a serious taboo. When they looked up and saw the pastor crossing the creek chewing on his bread and coconut candy, he heard them say : “Well look at that! A pastor eating in the street!”
The world can be naked in public and still be taken aback by bread in the mouth of a Christian. Here’s hoping that you are not the person in the stream…fully exposed and taking shots at people who are serving the Creator.
Missionary in Haiti.