Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weddings in the Gulf

Bedu weddings are a sight to behold.  I am still overwhelmed that we had the opportunity to experience that.  An air conditioned tent full of women and children, the married women with their brightest dresses and their masks, and the wedding party (unmarried) letting it all hang out.  Loud music, dancing, uncovered heads and body parts and the like.  Food and drink everywhere, and everyone partaking...camel and rice for the main course.  Absolutely nothing religious about it.  Just a huge party and then the poor groom has to come in to get his bride in front of all of these women.  Locked in a honeymoon room for five days with the door opened only to give the couple food, the couple then emerges "married".  Strange customs these Muslim people have. 

The Muslim religion is like the Bedu wedding, an outward show of nothing inside.  In Islam, if you pray, fast, give, pray, do Hagg, pray, help others, pray, etc., etc., etc., then you are ok with God.  What is in a Muslims heart doesn't seem to have anything to do with the well being of their soul.  In Christianity, the opposite seems to be true.  What is on the inside is what counts, you must "believe" in Jesus, "trust" in his grace, "love" God and others.  What you do is unimportant, it's your "faith" that determines your destiny. 

The Holy Book says "faith without works is dead".  We need to strike a bargain with the Muslims.  We'll trade some of our faith in Christ for some of their good works.  How will anyone know you "believe" if you don't do something out of the ordinary? How will they know you "trust" if you never step out and take a chance?  How will they know you "love" if you never do anything to show them?

In the last few days, we have been considering the fact that since we returned from the Gulf, we haven't done anything of value to God.  We want to show friends how to make a difference, but we are not making a difference ourselves.  We began to try to think of non-believers we know that we could show God's love to, decided we might ought to pray about who we should love on, and then realized that one of our friends from the Gulf who lives nearby texted us today practically begging to see us and talk about Jesus.  What were we thinking?  We don't need to pray about who to love, God has made that perfectly clear.  He is just waiting for us to do what he told us to do.  We are so stupid sometimes.

Well, bits of advice if you are ever invited to a Bedu wedding...don't take photos...wear pants under your dress; you'll be sitting on the floor...try the camel; it's good...wear shoes that are easy to pick out of a crowd; there will be hundreds of them at the door of the tent...don't plan to get home early; Bedu love to party...relax; chances are good that you will live to tell about your experience.

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