13.11.17 | News, A Day to Remember

Sent by an Angel?

During his visit at the Johann Ludwig Schneller School in Lebanon, Uwe Gräbe had a wondrous encounter. In a village not far from the school somebody waited for him
View from the Chouf Mountains

At the end of the Christian-Druse village an old woman awaited Uwe Gräbe. (Foto: EMS/Gräbe)

"Al-hamdullilah, thank God, finally you are here"!

I looked around. Did she really mean me? But there was no one else and the old woman who stood in front of me bowed down by age left no doubt: "Come on, I have waited for you"! While talking to me she swung a pair of scissors dangerously close to my stomach.

On a Saturday morning off of work in Lebanon I took a stroll from the Schneller School down the street, walked through the Christian-Druse village and climbed the hillside of the Chouf Mountains until I left the village behind me and only dispersed farms lay in between the hauntingly beautiful landscape. The golden October sun was still shining strongly and sweating I walk ahead. Until this old woman stood before me.

"What a tall man you are. Wonderful! Now, come on now, will you!"
"Ila wheen?", I asked irritated. "Where?" Again the pair of scissors came dangerously close. "I have waited for you for a long time and prayed that you will come eventually. Yalla, now come on. An angel has sent you, tall man!" Of course, I could hardly raise an objection to that answer.

While the old hunched woman walked in front of me holding her scissors up high triumphantly I followed hesitantly her lead. In the courtyard of her lonely house we stopped in front of a big rose bush. Most of the roses were withered. There was only one last rose right at the top of the bush which started to unfold. The old woman thrust the pair of scissors into my hands: "I would love to have that rose. Please, tall man cut this rose for me!" I had to stretch myself and thorns pricked my hands. But finally I managed to cut the rose. "Thank you, tall man." With the rose in her hands the woman gave me a toothless smile. "God's angel has sent you and you did well."

Thoughtfully, I started my way back. Should God really act like that? Has His angel sent me on this way because an old, lonely woman prayed for this? Here, I found myself at the end of my theological wisdom. How I wished I had a small piece of this big and natural belief of this woman in a small, Lebanese village.

Uwe Gräbe