I bought a ring in Ghana with this symbol on it. I’m into symbols- I like them. I like when things have meaning. Don’t get me wrong- purposeless designs are pretty. But if you have a beautiful design, abstract of course because that’s always right, with a deep heart meaning behind it, you’ve found a gold mine, my friend.
And that’s what this one is to me. We were in the jewelry store across the street from Frankie’s (home of the nickname “Beef Burger”), and behind the hollow wooden door, tacked to the wood paneled wall, was an old discolored poster displaying all the Adinkra symbols and their meanings. As Claire and I read them, we were looking at her bracelet and matching the symbols- don’t think I didn’t laugh out loud when one of them (a triangle on top of a circle) was the symbol of a knife used in executions. We’re expecting some tear-jerker meaning and we get that? TBS commercials would say “very funny”.
Anyways, so we’re standing there, reading this chart, listening to the beautiful accent of the woman that owns the store trying desperately to find everything my mom wants to buy, and this symbol jumps out at me. For an abstract person, it was strange for my eye to be caught by something so very symmetrical.
And this is the meaning:
Biribi wo soro. Nyame biribi wo soro ma embeka mensa.
“God there is something in the heavens, let it reach me.”
A symbol of hope.
It took my breath away. The way God grabs hold of a moment and seals it. Like in a Tupperware almost. It’s that preserved to me. The instant my eyes fell onto this design.
In this “place” God has me, or whatever it is, every sweet ounce of hope He drips onto my parched heart, I appreciate. You know my old overturned table analogy? From Matthew 21? Well, I’ve been surrounded by these tables for a couple of months now. At first, when they turn over, there is pain and hurt as you hear and see them crash to the ground. Then, there is a shock/expectancy of what in the world to do. And you stand there, eyes fixed on Jesus to see what His next move is, because you want to be there for it.
Now, months later, months of looking at all the things I was so certain of, being strewn across the ground, it begins to feel disappointing and somewhat discouraging. I mean, all these tables. All these hopes. Dreams. Plans. Desires. Thoughts. All turned over. And I’m just waiting on Jesus to move. It’s hard to stay focused on Jesus standing in front of me when a glance to the ground reminds me of all that has been spilled around my feet, and how easy it would be to clean up.
So, amidst these images of me and these tables in my head (can you tell that God uses pictures with me all the time?), I see this symbol. This pattern that people for a long time have used- before writing and reading- when symbols and stories shared His heart. The knowledge that God is up there and He sees us- He has things for us and we stand here and say “Let them reach me”.
Here’s sweet Maggie at the jewelry store. And the wonderful lady who searched and searched to find my symbol on a ring. That I proudly wear on my left ring finger- believing that God knows better than me the good things He has in heaven for me. Nothing is guaranteed- what I think is best is not always the case. But I’m still watching, believing Him to show up in power, just like it says in the Bible. Trusting that His power in my life will cause people to worship. Glory to God. He is my hope.
See? Proof in the pudding that I can process events- it just may take me a couple of days.
Sorry Caroline and Shannon. I won’t leave you hanging so long in the future. 🙂