Life Inside the Walls

Adventure report: I learned a secret to sleeping in hot climates from a pastor friend who recently went to Mali. Before bed you take a shower or soak in the pool wearing light clothes (I used a t-shirt and swimming suit). Then you go to bed wet. You wake up dry and your body temperature stays low all night. Since we had electricity most of the night I also had a fan blowing on me. I plan to repeat my experiment tonight.

Some of you can see from the pictures I have posted on Facebook that this walled compound is a very nice oasis in this city. The food is great. The students are very motivated and hungry to learn. The owner, manager, employees and other guests are very gracious. The facility is very old, but very clean. It’s very much like living in a walled garden with palm trees, and a wide variety of tropical plants. Then I go out to one of the roofs or porches that overlook the neighborhood. The streets are full of garbage. Stray dogs roam freely. You see UN trucks full of armed soldiers passing by at regular intervals.

But the outside looks so interesting. I find myself wanting to get outside these walls, but my guardians say no. I am not sure why I am so attracted to the streets. I actually have my running shoes along and have wondered if I would get lost or hit by a car if I went running. I guess it’s just curiosity. From very early in the morning until late at night the streets are crawling with interesting people and a wide assortment of vehicles. Vendors have tables set up directly outside our walls, but Jim and my Haitian friends won’t let me go. Don’t worry, Mom and Sarah. I’m not going to make a run for it.

This takes my mind to what I was teaching the men. It’s just like the sons of Adam to have everything they need inside God’s boundaries and then to think there is something better on the outside. It goes all the way back to the lie of the serpent in Eden (another garden of delight). Any time we try to run outside the boundaries we have made a foolish trade. The lie is that we can find satisfaction outside God’s boundaries. Instead we become slaves of our desire for more satisfaction (I think the Rolling Stones admitted that in a song). Inside you find joy, peace and contentment. Outside you find guilt, consequences and an unquenchable desire for more satisfaction.

You may read my blog as someone still a little skeptical about Christianity. I admit I believe the creation “myth” and the story of Adam and Eve to be an accurate record of history. Jesus believed this and that’s good enough for me. So I ask you who have spent so much time “outside the walls”: Did you find your satisfaction yet? I know the way back inside. Read more of this blog or ask me if you know you’re in trouble outside the walls.

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