Vipers and Rat holes

I was reading in Isaiah this morning when the boy came to mind.

I don’t remember his name but I do remember the day they brought him to our house in the middle of a work day afternoon in Ghana.

He was about 9 or 10. When they removed the cloth covering his arm I saw that it was nearly swollen double and covered with pus-filled cavities. Whatever caused it had not happened yesterday. The family wanted money to take him to the local clinic

I highly doubted that our local clinic could handle it, so shortly after they had left I sent one of the translation team to the clinic after them. Sure enough, the child had been returned to a relative’s home with no action taken.  We packed him up,  took him to the local hospital, and paid his expenses. They, amazingly enough, pulled him through.

He was sent back still needing daily dressings and we offered to pay the cost of his food and the dressings if the family (who came from an outlying village) arranged for him to stay with relatives and he went down to the clinic daily to have his wounds re-bandaged.

When healed he came with his father to say good-bye.  I was rather taken aback when the man said, ” Thank-you for what you have done for my son. Now, what are you going to do for me?”   Somehow I had considered the two synonymous.

And how had the boy arrived at such a state?  He was hunting bush rat, stuck his hand down a likely-looking hole and encountered a snake, probably an irritated Gabon viper on a similar mission,  instead.

God’s promise in Isaiah is  that when the Messiah comes

“The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

A day to anticipate.

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