In the war-torn Gaza Strip, God is reaching into the strangest of spaces to make Himself known. One lady in Gaza was deeply perplexed to encounter the words of Jesus… in her bathroom!
Her husband had become a believer. Both are professionals from Muslim backgrounds, and while he had taken steps of faith and was receiving discipleship, she was more cautious. She saw her husband’s new faith and was intrigued. She would listen in during the discipleship calls to find out more, but it was not until she was eight months pregnant that she decided to make her own decision about Jesus. Despite what she had been told about her baby being cursed if she left Islam, she took the brave step to follow Jesus just before her son was born. Needless to say, they were both relieved and delighted when their baby boy was born healthy and in one piece, proving the threats empty and void. Jesus is stronger.
Not long after trusting in Jesus, she had a strange dream. She woke her husband in the early hours, and they called Carlos Damianos to ask what it meant. They were both afraid.
She had dreamt she was washing in the bathroom, dipping her jug into the hot water tank (in the absence of running hot water) and pouring it over her hair. Water is a matter of great importance in the Middle East, and particularly in Gaza. As she was showering in this way she noticed that the water was turning into verses from the Bible – the water seemed to be the words of God, falling all over her and washing her. In Islamic culture, God and the bathroom do not go together. The two should never be mixed in any way – was it a bad sign? Should they be worried?
Carlos was amazed and invited them to go with him on a journey through the Bible.
First, he showed them how God’s Spirit is likened to water:
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
Then he showed them how water washes the church:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Lastly Carlos explained that Jesus actually said that He would clean us with His word:
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (John 15:3)
He assured the Samaritan woman at the well:
Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)
God uses the metaphor of life-giving, cleansing water repeatedly in His word. Carlos assured the couple that they need not be afraid, but rather encouraged – God is involved in every detail of our lives, the presentable and unpresentable. The clean and the dirty. He comes to wash, to cleanse, to heal and give life, and He makes this plain in His word over and over again.
God meets us in the strangest places – nowhere is out of bounds for Him! He gave this precious couple a great encouragement to strengthen them in their new-found faith. His word is alive and active in the everyday routines of life in Gaza. Even in the bathroom.
Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash