I was struck with a mysterious fever while on a poor man's safari in Kenya. I was terrified that I might have contracted malaria or something worse. I spent an entire day on my back trembling uncontrollably in a tiny tent far from any towns or hospitals. It was not the best of times for me. My brain was close to cooking and I wondered if this was going to be the end of me. That night, I left my tent to urinate in the bushes. I felt a little better and the cool night air was a welcome change from the stifling tent. I believed that I was going to be okay and foolishly wandered a few hundred yards from my campsite. At some point during the walk I blacked out and collapsed in the tall grass. I awoke sometime later in the night to discover a Masai warrior standing over me. It was a scary situation. I couldn't tell if he was planning to kill me or ask if I knew the latest World Cup results. Looking up from my submissive position in the grass, the tall man looked extraordinarily fearsome. I still clearly remember how his metal spear tip sparkled in the moonlight. After a long and awkward period of staring at each other and exchanging a few mutually incomprehensible words, I decided that I needed to appear a bit more manly and less of a pushover in case this was going to turn ugly. So I rose to my feet, inflated my chest and tried to look as confident and capable as any sickly, dehydrated and disoriented man can look. The Masai said something. I forced a smile and slowly backed away while still facing him. Fortunately, he let me go without any confrontation and I made it back to my campsite.
The next morning the Masai man came to the camp and spoke with my safari guide. It turns out that he had found my lying there in the bush, easily the most pathetic tourist in all of Africa that night. He said he guarded me for a couple of hours while I slept off my daze because a lion was prowling nearby and he believed I was in serious danger. I was happy to be able to thank him for his kindness.
What an adventure! To think that the Masai guarded you, a total stranger, and obviously a tourist, says a lot about his character. Did you learn his name?
That was the experience of author of 50 Reasons People Give to Believe in a God. I thought it quite beautiful.
The Masai did more for a man than any god ever did.
This account reminded me of similar stories I've heard about God watching over someone. Only it's not a fantasy :)
The Masai will do this. They are a noble people living life like it was over 100 years ago. When I was in Kenya I got to talk to a Masai and examine and heft his spear. I'm sure he would have let me throw it also, but I respected him too much to ask. Besides, I would have made a bad job of it. They are well known for an ability to jump very high. You can see them stand in place and jump this way, just jumping up and down. Rumor has it that to become a man they must kill a lion with their spear. How much of this is followed today I don't know. Their home is a big Kenyan preserve called Masai Mara (it means Masai world) but they can be seen everywhere. They love cattle and their wealth is in how many cattle they have. You might be driving on the highway and suddenly a Masai crosses with all of his cattle. You are expected to stop and there is nothing you can do except stop. I think they are a very noble and proud people. I enjoyed my time in Kenya in 2004 along with everyone I met there including the Masai.
Good story, but no connection with beliefs.
In the book, this account is in the chapter on "I need my god to protect me".
He goes on to write
I did not think about it until much later, but throughout the ordeal of sickness and even when I awoke in the bush in the shadow of that scary spear tip, I never once prayed for a god to help me. Somehow, I found the strength to ride out both the fever and the fear all by myself.
He writes that believers who feel they couldn't get by without their God-belief are stronger than they think they are.