I am currently reading “Evidence Not Seen”, a true story, written by Darlene Deibler Rose, that chronicles her and her friends missionary work in New Guinea during World War II.
While I do look forward to giving you a book review sometime in the… uh… coming year… I wanted to share with you now one of the remarkable “mini” stories found in the beginning chapters.
Darlene and her husband, Russell, were separated for several months as he fought his way through the jungle to find a safe route to the unreached tribes living in the wilderness of New Guinea When he finally returned the skin on his feet was sloughing off due to Jungle Rot. The treatment required Darlene to “take tweezers and tear off every layer until you reach the raw, throbbing flesh…” So every morning Darlene sat by her husband tending to his feet.
One morning a fellow missionary, Dr. Jaffray, walked into their bedroom, saw Darlene tearing the dead tissue off Russell’s feet. Being a man quite after my own queasiness he promptly turned and walked out. He skipped lunch and spent the rest of the day in his own living quarters.
It wasn’t until four in the afternoon that Dr. Jaffray and Darlene saw each other again. The doctor handed Darlene an article he had just written for their missionary magazine, The Pioneer.
This morning I looked at the bleeding feet of a missionary, saw his wife tending them, saw the blood and pus running from them and thought to myself, “What a nauseating sight that is!” But, as I walked from the room, The Lord kept saying to me, “Oh, but to Me they are beautiful feet!”
Then I remembered – “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings” – good tidings to men and women like those in New Guinea who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Someday it will all be over. Someday the tired, bleeding feet of the missionaries will for the last time cross those broken-bottle limestone mountains. Someday for the last time they will go down into one of those newly discovered valleys. Someday for the last time they will speak the message of redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord. Someday that last one will turn to Jesus. Then the clouds will part asunder and our Savior will be there.”
Let this be a beautiful reminder to pray for our dear missionaries and to pray for ourselves – that we might not forget to bring the Good News to those around us, no matter how bloody our feet might get.
And isn’t there another pair of bloodied feet that brought us Good News?
But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5