There are two pretty intense themes intertwining in my mind this week.
They are not related. Or maybe, on some deeper prophetic level, they are. We’ll see.
Stephen Covey says that, in order to be highly effective, we should start with our circle of influence, and not worry too much about our circle of concern. So, here goes.
Last Sunday, I had friends over for lunch.
Everything was going according to schedule, until 10 minutes before my esteemed guests arrived.
Let me pause, for effect.
To put things in perspective: The day was very much planned. Skip church to prep lunch in the morning (I am not a regular cooker-for-more-than-one-person person, so it takes some prepping), kuier with my peeps over lunch, be at church in the afternoon to sing at two services (which requires a certain degree of not being flapped-out), then dive back into Monday, with the week also pretty much planned and plotted out to the last minute. As is every week … #ADayintheLifeof …
So, when something interrupts the flow, it has the potential to derail a train pretty much on full speed.
Some more perspective: I am a planner. My brain is wired to see, or at least consider, the implications of actions on future actions. I’m also sort of naturally inclined to want to make sure things happen in the sequence that is most effective. Or find the path of least resistance, first in my head, then in the real world. With some trial and error, but with a clear view of how things should play out … It’s just how I roll. It doesn’t imply inflexibility. In fact, it enables flexibility, to a large degree. It basically means I make sure I have all the data I need pre-journey to be able to adjust course when needed mid-journey …
The reason why I have time to be spontaneous, or sit for hours in a coffee shop to blog, is because I plan blank rest / reflect space into my weeks. Don’t count on me for anything on a Saturday morning … just a heads-up …
So, with that in mind.
10 minutes before my guests arrive, I quicky wanted to wash the cutlery dirtied in the preparation process. To save time later …
Enter flipping sharp vegetable knife.
The word that came out of my mouth when said knife showed its true colours on my thumb, was unfortunately not hallelujah.
I intuitively knew that this was not a wound that I could just ignore, and hope that it would sort itsself out. It would bleed all over my kitchen and lounge and bathroom …
I needed to deal with it immediately.
Ran into the bathroom, and grabbed the medicine bag.
Only to discover a MASSIVE rainspider on the side of the bag. I kid you not.
Those who know me would be able to understand the intensity of the full-on assualt I experienced in that moment.
To say I HATE spiders is the understatement of the year.
I HATE spiders on the level of associating them with the demonic realm. No jokes.
So, to bleed profusely and having to deal with a spider on the medicine bag where I needed to find the solution for my wound, felt a bit like a spiritual attack.
I was actually surprised at the logical of the actions that followed. Grabbed a roll of toiletpaper to block the bleeding. Grabbed the can of Doom. Dealt with the spider accordingly. Bandaged the wound to deal with it later.
Rescued the bacon from the stove.
Restored calm to my internal scene as the guests phoned to say that they are at the gate.
Thankfully, said guests were all close friends, so I could download about the trauma immediately 🙂
Had a lovely lunch. Sang from a truthful heart about the goodness of God.
Fast forward to today: The thumb is fine, after being prayed over and given wonder-salve.
The spider entered eternity swiftly. Probably hell …
All’s well that ends well.
But reflecting on the seemingly silly “derailing” moment made me realise something about the pace of life.
Life, in all it’s fantastic fullness, actually leaves us little space to bleed.
And the places where we intuitively run to for healing sometimes have unexpected spiders to fight off. Fears to face. Mental and emotional webs to detangle from.
My thumb is teaching me about my heart.
The death of two parents cuts deep. Being single, still, cuts deep.
Community does help to bring healing. But in community we are sometimes confronted with the fears we hold deep. Fears of rejection. Fears of being taken advantage of. Fears of falling into sin.
God is faithful. We are fragile.
My thumb-wound has pretty much closed up on the outside (restoring my thumb-print … read: identity …), but it still is very tender.
Sort of like my heart. And my identity.
Stop here if that felt intense. It’s about to go up a gear.
The second theme on my mind is the motion set in action to investigate the amendment of Article 25 of the South African Constitution.
There are real fears, and real moral dilemmas to face by all South Africans in this season. Personal and collective decisions to be made. Wounds to heal. A nation to love.
Or a ship to jump.
A Kingdom to seek first.
I simply don’t know if Africa will ever acknowledge that she has a white child too. Even if it is one that she was forced to adopt in generations passed. It does not mean that she is loved less as a mother, from the perspective of the child who does not know any other motherland.
There is no contention to the facts: In South Africa passed, white fathers sinned, and white children benefited. Land was stolen, legitimised by unjust law.
In South Africa present, it feels like payment for the sins of the fathers is demanded from the third and the fourth generation.
I pray that the “turning of the tables” will be guided by a true desire for restorative justice, enabled by wisdom and grace, and not fueled by a destructive thirst for revenge, concealed by passing another racist law.
Revenge and justice sound so similiar in the mouths of politicians.
We all have selfish, and moral, questions.
I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to defend my white priviledge when I ask questions like: Does land ownership also imply investment portfolios with significant shares in property … like pretty much every RA and investment fund option available in South Africa?
Where do we even go to with our questions? Social media is not helpful.
Selfish questions. Practical questions. Real questions.
Can we allow one another the space to freak out about the things we fear (probably fueled largely by ignorance), and also the space to grieve for wounds that were never given proper time to bleed, and heal? Can we hold this tention, and really be a nation that champions unity through diversity?
But I will leave that there for now.
You can draw your own prophetic lines between the two themes for now. I sort of lost the thread …