Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Worth More than a Tabui


            Last night I had a very interesting conversation with my host family. Apparently, in Fijan culture, if a gentleman would like to court a girl, he must show that he is indeed interested. He must bring a present to the girl’s family to show that he is serious and can provide for her. I believe that in most cultures, more so in the olden days than present day, some sort of dowry was required in order to marry a girl. There may or may not have been a required pre-dowry payment in order to court a girl. I typically think about a payment including money, land, or even cattle (way back when). However, last night I was pleasantly surprised by the payment method. No, it wasn’t beach-front property or pearls or 500 coconuts, but a tubui! I think my mouth feel open at that point considering what that must look like. Maybe you could imagine it like this:
            Gentleman: (knocks on the door)
            (Father of young lady opens the door)
            Gentleman: Good evening, sir. How are you doing?
             Father: Fine, thank you. And yourself?
            Gentleman: Doing well, thanks.
            Father: So what has brought you to my house this evening?
            Gentleman: Well…um…I…would…um…like…um
            Father: Enough with it lad! Just spit it out!
            Gentleman: (Rather flustered) I would like to marry your daughter.
            Father: Ah! I had been wondering when this day would come. Tell me, son, how can I know that you will do well and respect my daughter? What proof could I have to be reassured of your truly devoted love towards her?
            Gentleman: Sir, the only thing I have to give is this. (Reaches into his satchel and pulls out *shing, sparkle, sparkle* a whale tooth)
            (Daughter is peering out the window. At the sight of the tooth she loses her breath.)
Father: (Gasp) Oh my, boy. It seems that you really have been thinking seriously about this, haven’t you?
Gentleman: Yes, sir. And I will care for your daughter and our children as if I had paid 100 whale teeth for them.
(Daughter, still peering out the window, starts feeling warm tears roll down her cheeks as she sees how highly her secret love values her life.)
Father: Well boy, (pause to hold self together) it appears that you are a fine, young, responsible lad. I would be proud to call you my son-in-law.
(Daughter bursts through the doorway to fall into the arms of her long admired whale tooth winner.)
The End

Now please, hold back your tears as you imagine this Fijan love story. So maybe not that serious. But on a serious note, there is someone who values you immensely; One who was willing to give more than some old plaque catchers for you. This story may sound a little old hash, but the truth is it can be new and fresh everyday. Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon? God would dig 100,000x deeper to find you. What about the moon? If some nice guy says he will bring the moon down to you, you should wait to see what God would do for you. He can create a whole galaxy of moons that are each unique. Why would He do such a thing for you? Simple. God loves you.

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