God must Cry

Wooden candlestick being crafted on a homemade lathe in Botswana, Africa

I met a man selling African carvings at the Northwood Centre in Edmonton last week. No one was around, so I stopped to chat.

“I’m curious which country these curios are from.”


“I spent my childhood years in South Africa and Botswana.”

“That’s a long way away.”

“Yes, it is. My sister and her family are living in Cameroon, which is closer.”

“Yes! Right around the corner from Ghana.”

“Are you selling these carvings for friends?”

“Yes. I go back to Ghana every year for a visit. When was the last time you were in Africa?”

“I went with my husband and daughter in 2003. We visited Victoria Falls. The day we went there were over 100 vendors trying to sell curios to buy food for their families. It made me very sad, because I knew I couldn’t buy from all of them. It’s a beautiful country, but the politics is ruining it.”

“Politics in Africa is interesting. Everyone has an idea of what should happen. And many people end up very poor, with nothing.”

“They may be poor, but they are generous. They’ll give you the shirt off their back.”

Yes, they will. There are also many greedy people. Like churches. In Ghana every second house is a church.”

“Really? Every second house?”

“Oh yes. People have figured out there’s money to be made if you have a ‘church’ and they invite people in and take their money. They even ‘hang them upside down and shake out the pockets’ to make sure they got it all.”

“God must cry when He sees that happen.”

This conversation has continued to play in my head. And I ask myself, “How do people see me and my faith? Am I living so that they see a true picture of God, or is it all distorted? Do I make God cry?”




  1. So very sad when God’s truth is counterfeited! Did you get any more details about what he meant by “church” in these homes and where the money was coming from?

    • Eleanor,
      I had my son with me and by that point in the conversation, my son was ready to move on. Our conversation ended with the man telling me that god was whoever we made him to be. I’m praying for him and plan to stop by the mall again to see if he’s willing to carry on the conversation.

  2. Interesting conversation, interesting blog post. Appreciate you sharing this….it has me thinking too!

  3. Thanks for letting me know 🙂 May our thoughts bring about positive change in our lives and the lives of others.

  4. sharonespeseth says:

    What a heart-breaking reality check! Both for what is going on in Africa and sometimes we see this in televangelism. Thankfully, not all, but it does happen. We all need to be our authentic selves in Christ. Thanks for posting this blog, Ruth.

  5. Sharon,
    You’re right, it is heart-breaking. It’s no wonder that some people want nothing to do with God when people, who call themselves Christians, act this way. May we be faithful in showing people God’s love in practical ways.

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