Thursday, July 28, 2011

a Mad mood on a winter's day

I am in a contemplative mood prompted by recent events. I think about the value of life and relationships, or the lack of it for some people I have encountered. Maybe it relates to my mom being so ill and thinking about life as a brief moment in expansive time. I think about happiness as well, and about purpose; and meaning. All deep existential thoughts that barely belong in a blog post read by strangers and friends alike. 

But here it is, after my misty stroll on the beach in Cape Town, and reading Afrikaans poetry that always manages to say it better than my best efforts. I think about trust and consequences, friendships, impact and a song called 'Little Wing' by a favorite band The Corrs. I wish I could knit strong wings today for someone I care about - so that she can escape the pain. Days like these I, too, need to ride with the winter wind - eclectic days filled with thought and madness.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a Special Daily Devotion on 27 July 2011

I don't often post spiritual or religiously-inspired posts. Today, I do. It has such truth and meaning for me, and I am grateful to have found it on the website of Joyce Meyer - one of the Christian teachers that I respect for understanding humanity and the teachings of Christ contextually and contemporary:
Like a Child
by Joyce Meyer - posted July 27, 2011
Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].  —Matthew 18:3
Today's verse describes children as trusting, lowly, loving, and forgiving. Just think about how much more we would enjoy our lives and our relationships with God and other people if we would simply operate in these four virtues. Obviously, Jesus thinks these qualities are extremely important because He says we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without them. We cannot enjoy the benefits of God's Kingdom and maintain bad attitudes at the same time.
When I think about hearing God's voice, I see that being like a child is so important because children believe what they are told. Some people say children are gullible, meaning they believe anything, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. But I don't think children are gullible; I think they are trusting. God certainly doesn't want us to be gullible or naive; He wants us to be trusting. Sometimes we are betrayed by people we love and trust and are tempted to then distrust everyone, but we cannot make everyone pay for what one person did to us.
There are people in the world who cannot be trusted, but there are also a lot of good people and we must refuse to live with a spirit of suspicion.
God is completely trustworthy. All human beings, regrettably, cannot be trusted unconditionally, but God can. God wants you to come to Him like a child, trusting Him completely and believing everything He says to you—because He is totally trustworthy.
God's word for you today: 
Don't let one or two bad experiences rule your entire life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Dad had Ties, but was not Tied Down

My dad worked in four rural towns, Jansenville, Humansdorp, Ceres and Herbertdale. He had a collection of ties for every occasion, and it was part and parcel of being a 'dominee' (minister). And so it came that we also gave him ties for almost every birthday. 

It was always a mission with my mom to look for the 'most fitting' ties in Cape Town when we traveled 'stad toe' (into town) from 'die platteland' (rural parts). My dad treasured his ties, and I remember how he had them neatly sorted by color and shape - thin to broad - in his closet in the master bedroom - smelling like Old Spice and leather. Almost the entire tie history behind those doors: if I read about these ties, I recognize almost all of them, from the wider ties with their patterns to the skinny leather ties .... hehehe

I vaguely remember him teaching my brother how to do the perfect knot as I sat on the bed and giggled. All such good memories.

Most of these colorful ties are still hanging neatly in his closet at our beach house, and I could not bring myself to pack them away yet. It is a bit absurd I guess, and it has been almost 5 years since he got so sick and passed on less than a year later. But I did manage to give some away to a staff member working in Khayelitsha a few months ago - and I smiled when he came to a meeting with a matching tie this month. 

Today, I saw his Face Book picture with another one of my dad's favorites. He used to wear it on the pulpit with his black suit custom-made by hand by a kind muslim man in Woodstock. I know my dad would have approved, because he simply was not tied down to earthly things; he just loved his ties while here. Maybe it is time that I give away the other ties as well... We should not be tied down so.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

as woorde goud word... #Afrikaans

Ek skryf nie baie in Afrikaans nie, maar hierdie een kan maar net in die taal gedoen word. Een van die verpleegsters by die versorgingsoord vir my ma het nou net gebel en die foon vir my ma vasgehou (sy kan dit nie meer self hanteer nie). Dit was 'n moeilike dag vol trane vandag.

En haar woorde word soos goud wat ek opvang soos kosbare vloeistof om te bewaar in my hart. Ek skryf dit kripties neer soos sy praat, want ek moet dit berg vir later, wanneer sy stil word. My ma se woorde word daagliks minder. Sy verloor pragtige Afrikaanse woordeskat en eie uitdrukkings soos 'n waterval wat oor 'n afgrond stort en wegsyfer in die sandbanke. 

Maar vandag het sy met my gepraat en ek met haar - oor die son wat skyn in die Kaap en oor kinders aanneem ("jy moet een maar 'aanbied'", stem sy saam). En ek herhinder haar ek sal gou weer kom kuier, en sy is helder om te bevestig "ons sal mekaar weer weer..." (sien) - die laaste woord bly weg, en ek voltooi die sin in my hart. Ons praat oor almal wat sy ken (of geken het) en diep in my hart weet ek eintlik hierdie woorde en name is ook besig is om te verdwyn saam met my eie. Maar ek vertel haar almal is gelukkig en noem haar suster, haar seun en skoondogter - en haar huishulp (en beste vriendin vir baie jare). Sy noem dat Nellie vandag daar was, en ek wonder of dit so is. Sal tog bel en uitvind. Volgende keer ander name, ander mense wat haar woorde soos goud vashou soos ek.

Ek vra haar of almal "happy" is daar, en of hulle mooi kyk na haar (met innige dankbaarheid vir die verpleegster wat die moeite gedoen het om te bel). "Is almal happy?" giggel sy skielik, bly 'n oomblik stil en voeg dan 'n liefdevolle goue frase by net vir my, "aaag, my kind!"... Sy onthou my :)

Moeks, ons sal mekaar "weer weer" ... 

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