Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Easily Identified

The other day as we were driving through town, we came across several Maasai men who were walking together on the street. They come from the tribe that is primarily located in southwestern Kenya into Tanzania. I would have taken a picture to post for you to see them, but they require fresh meat in exchange for a picture, and I haven’t killed a cow, or goat, or anything for that matter, in quite some time (ever), so I had no meat to offer. So, said picture could not be taken.

They are a beautiful people though. I wish that you could see them. Maybe try googling them to check out a picture, without fresh kill to offer. They are identified by their characteristic Maasai clothing, which is typically a bright red and blue checkered cloth wrapped around them, with brightly colored bead around their necks. Their earlobes are typically pierced, with large, LARGE holes left in their lobes so that they hang low. (Do your ears hang low? do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Oh…sorry) They are typically shepherds or herdsmen, so I usually see them with a large wooden walking stick.

They are characterized with loyalty and honesty. Everyone that I have talked to about the Maasai, simply say, “Ah, good men. You can trust a Maasai.” They are indeed warriors of old, and one can see that they are proud of their heritage, but they are known by their integrity, among each other, and outside their tribe as well (Never-mind the whole blood-drinking habit that they have. That is better saved for another discussion). They stand out wherever they are(not just because they drink blood), as they cling to their identity as a tribe. It is easy to pick a Maasai out of a group; it is easy to know who they are. They cling to who they are, regardless of where they are, staying true to the nature and the legacy that has been created for them.

This has impressed me greatly, and every time I see one, I am left wondering, What would this world be like if we as Christ followers had such a reputation? What if we were that easy to pick out of a crowd, easily identified by how we clothe ourselves, and the aroma that we leave behind as we move from place to place.

Colossians 3:12-17 has powerful words that speaks to this:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it al in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
These words contain such exhortation and challenge at the same time. As pleasant as the words might sound coming off the page, it is a different thing to actually live them out. To bear with each other in all things, to forgive all grievances, these are challenging things. The Apostle Paul says it this way, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong and you do this to your brothers (1 Corinthians 6:7-8).”

How are you known? What characterizes you? What clothing are you putting on in the morning? Is it compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? Only by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit may this be possible in all situations. Ask Him today to make it so in your life. Let us come together as one body, living in peace, that our Father would be glorified and known.

We leave in the morning for Nairobi and then on Friday evening we will be on a plane for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Please pray for our travels. Please pray also for my health, as I am feeling quite under the weather. It’s not fun to travel sick, but by God’s grace, He is sufficient for me. I am believing in Him for a quick healing.

Grace and peace to you all.


  1. Just beautiful! i found you through Beth moore's blog! I have friends (Eddy and Amanda Simmons) who recently returned from Kenya, they were there with the IMB to reach the Samburu people. What beautiful people! (the samburu and the simmons, too!) I am praying fro you and your family as you seek to reach the lost Massai for Jesus. May you not grow weary in good doing!!

  2. oh, and I can't believe what you said...about putting on compassion, kindness, humility, kindness...it is the very thing I was prayng about this morning! God is good!

    I will pray you would be well as you travel!

  3. Beautiful words Shauna! Thank you for sharing this Word, and for giving us a beautiful visual through the story of the Maasai men.

    I hope you are feeling better already and that your trip is safe and all goes well.

    April :0)

  4. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this. I adore you blog it is just great:)

  5. Hey ladies!
    Thanks so much for your comments. It blesses me greatly to know that you are encouraged by it. It's also good to know that there are folks stopping by. Blessings to you all. Thank you also for your prayers for my health. I am feeling much better today, with only a little lingering "ick" remaining. Grace and Peace.


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