As our vehicles neared the village of Ukpom Abak you could hear the drums beating in the distance. The rhythm and flow of the music seemed to match the characteristics of the earth and sky. As we drew closer traditional dancers lined the streets and filled the drab, dark sand with vibrant color and movement.
My journey to Africa reminded me that God created us to interact with his creation, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Some cultures seem to understand that concept of dominion better than others.
The last two weeks illustrated to me the differences in cultures, but also gave me a deeper appreciation of my African brothers and sisters. Each morning, long before sunrise I could hear the soft echo of Christian hymns in the distance as our Christian family met for “morning prayers.” Their hymns of praise were accompanied by nature’s song. The chirping of crickets, the sweet chorus of birds singing as the earth awoke from her slumber.
I don’t know a better way to describe what I heard and saw – it was man interacting with the rhythms of the earth. I don’t mean for this to be some metaphysical incantation – it was simply the beauty of God’s creation stepping in harmony with the glorious bride of Christ.
Last Sunday morning was my first morning home. I woke up to the sound of the alarm beeping from my cell phone and contemporary music blaring from my clock radio. Rather than synchronizing with the rhythm of nature I interrupted it.
Sometimes we return home telling the worst of what we see on foreign soil. We talk about the poverty, sickness and despair. What I will always remember is making the effort to climb out of bed early one morning and join my brothers and sisters in morning prayers. As I returned to my home the sun was rising over that house of worship and all seemed right in the world.