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In this land of handsome comely men, beautiful dark-eyed women, expressive 2017-02-27-05-07-41-1tongues, and head coverings, there are also camels. Certainly not on the city streets of Amman, but definitely on the sand covered hills, keeping company with Bedouins and sheep. And, decidedly at the historic site of Petra.

While known to spit and snort, they also plod patiently and ever so quietly across the sand. More than once I was startled to discover a camel directly behind me as we visited Petra. Those wide, big hooves make no noise. No matter what is placed upon their backs they move effortlessly as directed. Hobbled, they wait quietly for what may next be required.

In the biblical book of Genesis, Abraham loaded ten camels and sent them off with his servant to find a wife for his beloved son, Isaac. The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon accompanied by camels carrying spices, gold and precious stones. Job’s story includes camels. He lost 3,000 head and gained 6,000 head. In the story of the nativity, it is possible the wise men traveled by camels to visit Jesus.

Camels. Unassuming, but important. Quiet, but steady. Unnoticeable, but persevering, patient and obedient. Jordan. A dry and dusty country filled with difficulties, housing Iraqi and Syrian immigrants, home to both Christian and Muslim, it is necessary for our Master’s workers to be as camels. Isn’t it so for all of us, no matter where we may live?

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