It started with Janet and my first visit to the Farm. As Mr. Dave began the tour of Hand in Hand Farm, he showed us the outhouse. I have included a picture of it in this letter so you can visualize what I’m talking about. Mr. Dave explained the importance of standing a ways away when it is occupied, even from the gate that surrounds it. Why? To provide privacy for the person using it. This is a simple act of respect for the individual. You can see in the picture that this is so highly valued at the Farm that he has even surrounded the outhouse with high fencing to enforce this rule. What could have prompted such a thing?
Well, at one time Dave was giving an especially cute little girl and her mother a tour of the Farm. When they came to the outhouse, this little girl asked where the cameras and cameramen go. You see, this little girl’s mother was profiting from the sale of photos of her little girl. An unthinkable thought for us.
As Tomo reflected on this, his mind drifted to Moses and the Burning Bush,
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb,the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. (Ex. 3:1-9, NIV).
Moses and the Burning Bush became rhema to Tomo as God spoke to his spirit the significance of God’s holiness, respect, and distance. A whole new perspective on God’s holiness came to the forefront of his thinking through the fenced in outhouse.
We must enter into the presence of our God with respect and holiness. In the same way, we must approach our fellow man with respect and holiness—respectful of each individual, allowing a certain distance. You see, God is giving your dad heart knowledge of the well-known head knowledge that the spirit of God resides in each one of us and it is our duty to honor God within the individual. Of course, we are human and sinful by nature, yet God’s fingerprint resides in each one of us. Honor and respect this in the individual. Good heavens, God so loved the world [that includes you] that He gave His only Son. If almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, was willing to die for you, certainly the least I can do is respect and honor you as a fellow human being, loved beyond measure by God. And, as your mother, blessed beyond measure that the Lord chose to place you in my life until my days on earth are done. Fortunately, I will likely never be asked to die for you. It is my duty to give you respect, honor, and space as I remove my shoes while approaching the holy ground that resides in your being. Respect and holiness revealed at the outhouse. This sheds a whole new light on the verse about God choosing the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (I Cor. 1:27).