I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free! Psalm 119:32, NIV1984

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Old Camel Knees

We're studying the letter from James in Bible study right now - teaching it to high school and middle school students - and I'm loving that for so many reasons!  James is one of those people I want to meet when I get to heaven because, I mean . . . seriously . . . imagine the stories he'll tell!  I'm thinking:  find a shady spot by the river, split open a juicy pomegranate, take a seat on a smooth stone, and listen while he tells stories of his growing up years. 

James, half-brother of Jesus.  James, who doubted and rejected Jesus during the days of Jesus' earthly ministry.  James, to whom Jesus came personally, after His resurrection.  James, who became a pillar of the early church.  James, the wise partriarch and respected peacemaker. James, who counseled Paul

This man, I think, could tell some fascinating stories.

But you know what I find most fascinating and inspiring and challenging about this man?  This man was known to his own people as "Old Camel Knees." 

And I have to ask:  Have you ever taken a good look at a camel's knees?

They're not exactly the prettiest things you've ever seen!

They're knobby and rough and calloused.


They look like they've taken a pretty good beating.


But the reference to James as "Old Camel Knees" is one of honor and respect. 

That description of James is the reason I brought home a little olivewood camel the last time I went to Israel.  

I bought it in an olivewood shop in Bethlehem, and it sits on my desk to remind me . . .

James was affectionately referred to as "Old Camel Knees" because he spent so much time on his knees, praying for his people.

Can you imagine?

What would that kind of life look like? 

I don't know.  I know some people that probably live a life that is close to that.  I know I want to live that kind of life.  Or at least . . . I want to want to.

Paul said in Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
I wonder if he learned that from James.

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