LOVE IN AFRICA – lesson from a spider

Love in Africa 1Life in parts of Africa had little value in the late 1800s especially if one was a woman or a slave.  Human sacrifices and cannibalism were common.  If a family had too many children, the unwanted child would be left in the bushes to die. If twins were born, they and their mother would be murdered.

Mary Slessor (1848-1915) was a Scottish missionary to Nigeria. Her determined work and strong personality earned her acceptance by the locals and she became trusted as “The White Queen” in the Calabar area of Nigeria.

Love in Africa 2People were moved to tears as, on furlough, she told of a chief’s death when, according to their custom, 25 of his household were beheaded. At the death of another chief, 60 people were killed and eaten.  Mary was accompanied by four of the children she had saved and she told how she had rescued hundreds of baby twins and other babies who had been thrown in the forest to die of hunger or to be eaten by ants or leopards.

Love in Africa 3Mary ventured into areas where no white person had been. She was warned she would be killed but she went and she became a fearless peace-maker between different groups, often standing ground firmly between them and defying them.  Chiefs built her schoolrooms and she became an honoured person

Mary fought bouts of tropical diseases but worked long hours.  At times, with sometimes dozens of babies at a time, she found it difficult to get sleep.

Then she remembered that naturalist S L Bastian had told of a spider that builds its web/nest in the branch of a tree or bush and hatches its babies in that delicate enclosure. If the nest is disturbed, the babies rush out in fright. At once, the mother is alerted to their potential danger because each has a silken strand attached to it and the threads are joined to the body of the mother. When the babies scurry off, the mother feels the line tug and within a split second they are pulled back to the nest.

Mary’s babies didn’t flee but she tied a cord to each of the babies’ little hammocks and from her bed, she could pull the cords to rock the hammocks as each baby needed soothing.  The babies were comforted and Mary was able to get greatly needed sleep and rest.

The prophet Hosea tells us that WE are linked to God with cords of love –
cords that cannot be broken. 

When we stray He pulls us back to Himself.
Hosea 11:4 
I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love

When we fear, He gently rocks us and gives us peace
John 14:27 
My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled or afraid.

He has given to us the gift of everlasting life. 
John 10:28 
I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish

He has guaranteed His everlasting presence  
Hebrews 13:5 
God Himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’

He loves us with an everlasting love
Jeremiah 31:3
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you

He holds us in His everlasting arms
Deut 33:27
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

He shows us His everlasting kindness
Isaiah 54:8
With everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you

He is to us an everlasting Light
Isaiah 60:19
The Lord will be to you an everlasting light

God binds us to Himself with cords of love.

Should not we who have received so much from Him show His love to the unlovely, as Mary Slessor did to the murderous people of Calabar?

Should not we who have received so much from Him bind ourselves together with cords of love?

Is there any excuse for an unloving spirit?

John 13:35
By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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10 Responses to LOVE IN AFRICA – lesson from a spider

  1. Rob Barkman says:

    Angela, I have heard of Mary Slessor but I never knew the details of her life story. So thankful you shared it with us. What a blessing to read of this young woman’s sacrificial service for her Lord. May we all seek to give our all in our service to HIm! Lord bless you Angela.

    • Mary Slessor was an amazing woman. She was known to walk between two warring tribes and literally stop them from fighting.
      We have no excuse for not taking God at His Word and doing whatever He calls us to do. He supplies all we need.
      May we be faithful to His calling.

  2. Beautiful reminder of being a helper for the Lord.

  3. Anna Popescu says:

    Cloudwatcher, this is a wonderful story and a great way to illustrate how we are to love one another.


    • Thanks Anna. Isn’t it wonderful that His children, so far apart, who have never met, can love another as brothers and sisters in the Lord? May we extend His love, mercy and grace to ALL we meet.

  4. ptl2010 says:

    I am reminded of the song “O love that will not let me go”

    What love? All that we have is from Him. We are compelled by that love to love.

    Angela, how often we must remind each other of the need to give love even to the unlovely.
    Thank God for you and all in His family.

    • All blood-bought, adopted children of the living God should join in the bands of His love, extending His love to all in His family, caring for one another, encouraging one another, upholding one another in prayer.

      We who have been showered with the abundance of God’s love should show His love, mercy and grace to all we meet, loving them with His love, and drawing them to Him.

  5. Pure Glory says:

    God’s love never lets us go. It pursues us with relentlessly and draws us to him. 🙂

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