This is an Ethiopian gabi – a four-layer item of clothing made out of chiffon.
Josh brought me back one when he traveled to Ethiopia while we were dating. He brought one back for himself as well, and they make the perfect throw blankets for us.
As the gabis are left laying on couches or crammed back into the blanket cabinet, they get wrinkled. Before using a gabi you usually have to figure out what it is all over again due to the four layers. Smooth and unfold. It’s a worthwhile process because of their warmth and sentimental value.
Snuggling up with a gabi takes me back to the land in which they are made and worn. Some of the most beautiful people in the world to me. Flawless features, Amharic dancing off their tongues, one of my college roommates that showed me some of the culture through our time together. But more than that, a people needing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just like those we are passionate about ministering to in East Asia, the peoples our dear missionary friends are ministering to, and those around the corner here in East Texas.
They take me to a specific nation and remind me to pray with the vision of all the culture held within Ethiopia that I’ve been exposed to in mind.
I don’t use them very often because I tend to forget to look in the cabinet and instead run to the blankets in our closet.
Much like my tendency to forget about our gabis, I can forget about the people behind the gabi, a people made in the image of God like me. And then there’s the people I forget about in East Asia. And around the corner. My heart’s concerns can get wrinkled, but it’s a gift like the use of a gabi or a passage of scripture that can get it smoothed and unfolded, reminding me that God is after his glory and the joy of his people being drawn to Him from every tribe, nation, and tongue.
“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” -Psalm 67:3-4
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, who I created for my glory.” -Isaiah 43:6-7
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” -Habakkuk 2:14