Detoxing religion, intoxicating Beauty. A day in Tunis.

by | Oct 4, 2011

The sun is sinking rapidly as tourists stream back to the security of our ship. A tunisian band beats out an arabic sounding tune setting the mood for the camel drivers trying valiantly to entice customers. The dressed up beasts kneel on prayer mats and watch indifferently. They seem to be beseeching Allah to be left alone but their prayers are unanswered, and every few minutes they are pulled to their feet as foreign women scream, laugh and part with their money. As Dorothy said “We are definitely not in Kansas anymore!”

However I need to back track a little, the cruise started with a bang last night as all those who are part of the Religious Detox Cruise gathered in the “Liquid Disco” room. The meeting was billed as a “meet and greet” but quickly turned into a wild Holy Ghost party. Even during introductions people shouted, laughed and manifested the presence of God in various ways as most of the participants got down to the serious business of enjoying God. Praise and worship was lead by Godfrey from England and it was a joyful celebration of the finished work of Christ, without a trace of striving to earn or merit what God has freely given us in Christ. Soon the disco floor resembled many of the dance floors that I frequented as a teenager as drunken saints danced and staggered to the music Godfrey belted out. As for me I just lay on the floor and enjoyed the presence of God. It was only when I tried to stand up that I realized how thick the presence of God in the room was. Up until that moment I had not felt the motion of the ship at all due to the state of the art stabilizers that this ship is equipped with and the flat seas. All of a sudden even though the weather was unchanged and the stabilizers were still functioning it felt like the deck was pitching wildly under my feet. Navigating across the room was a tricky but enjoyable business. If that is a “Meet and greet, then I can’t wait for the main sessions!

Today was low key, I started with 1 km in the pool (I know I’m super impressed too!) and then a couple of hours soaking in my room. Just after lunch we docked in Tunis. My room mate Stewart (A pastor from Johannesburg) and I took a taxi to town, stopping to see the ruins of Carthage along the way. What an experience. In the suburb that we visited the houses are painted blue and white and merchants bustle out from every corner to encourage you sometimes over enthusiastically to buy their wares. I only just escaped from buying a beautiful blue and white hand made bird cage. It was gorgeous but getting it home would have been a nightmare! However I did max out my SD card on my camera.

The day ended with our taxi driver buying us a very welcome cold Tunisian beer. In all Tunis made a surprisingly favorable first impression on me. It is a blend of exotic and spicy beauty. As we steam out into the med again I realize just how kind God is, I am really enjoying being “Detoxed” 🙂

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