Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quote of the Day:  “The lion sleeps tonight.” ― old Swahili saying

Since lions traditionally hunt at night, the idea that the lion is sleeping is supposed to make you feel safe.  I have been camping in the Serengeti and heard lions roaring at night--and did NOT feel safe.  You can hear a lion roar for about five miles and it's hard to tell if it's far away or close at hand.  I believed it was far away and in the morning as we went on our early morning game drive we discovered a whole pride of lions not a hundred yards from our camp site.  Happily, lions never come into town here.  We've had elephants, wart hogs, baboons, and frequently get hyenas, but never lions.  Bunda, which is a Sukuma word meaning "little lion," used to have hundreds of lions around back in the '50s, but not now--too many people.  Still, we hear mothers telling their children that the lion is sleeping this night, so it's safe to go to sleep.  We have had church members from the other side of the hills be dragged off and killed by old lions as the members slept in their cassava fields trying to keep the elephants away.  As modern as we feel here in Bunda, we are not very far away from the way things were years ago.  We still need to hear, as the children do, that the lion is sleeping tonight.  We need the comfort that comes from the words of a mother to her child that the world is safe this night.  This is the comfort that Christ brings as He reminds us that we are only temporary residents of this world.  As we approach Holy Week, we are reminded that every time an angel met a human in the Gospels, the first words were always, "Be not afraid."  We may be surrounded by lions, but they are sleeping tonight.  God takes care of all His children.

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