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  • Susan Brown

Lizard Lessons

It started with the lizard.  I stepped on it.  It was a traumatic experience — undoubtedly more so for him than for me.  He didn’t recover from it.  I had barely removed the lizard innards from my shoe when I discovered the ants. A scout evidently sent back word to the troops. “Stupid American woman put eggshells in the trash can.  Come and get it!”  They all came and brought their families.  Outside with the trash can and my shoe soon had ant innards embedded in the sole along with lizard.

After checking the covers carefully (the lizard had been perilously close to our mattress on the floor) we got into bed and slept peacefully, only to waken to no electricity to our refrigerator.  We discovered, to our dismay, that the new electrical box was linked to the light.  When we turned off the light, the power to the refrigerator and the charging laptops went off, too.

Then we discovered the water was off.   Before it went off, the leak under the bathroom sink worsened and my toiletry box had a pool of water on top.  Also, the new shower leaks.

It was at this point that I realized I had a choice.  I could be Mary Slessor, who rolled with the punches and cheerfully adapted to her primitive life in Africa.  Or I could be Dorothy Carey, wife of pioneer missionary to India, William Carey.  Mary was used by God to change an entire country of cannibals, preventing tribal wars as well as bringing them the Gospel.  Dorothy Carey went crazy.  She was a terrible testimony and a dragging weight to her husband for her entire life.

I want to be Mary.  I ALWAYS want to be Mary.  Whether here in Thailand or back in the comfortable US, I want to always shrug off the little irritations and take the big ones to God.  Mary was a blessing to many people — and she was happy and fulfilled.  Dorothy was as much a curse to herself as she was to others.

If I start grumbling, please, someone remind me that contentment is a choice and I have the option of being happy or miserable.  And I hope my lizard lesson will be an encouragement and reminder to you, too.

These trials definitely fall in the category of “little.”  Well, maybe not to the lizard.  But every one of those things have a bright side.

  1.  Experience! I now know not to put anything an ant might enjoy into the trashcan.

  2.  I haven’t been to the store yet, so the refrigerator didn’t have much in it. The loss is minimal.

  3.  Happily, I had invested in a good plastic box for my toiletries, and the water stayed on the lid.  I had almost decided to use a shoebox — which would have been disastrous.  No loss there.

  4. Plumbing and electrical problems can happen anywhere.  We will get these sorted out.

And we have wonderful news about the Internet. We will be getting WiFi here at the mission within the next two weeks. God is good!

Blessings from Thailand,

Susan (Determined to be Mary!)

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