These last few months, I’ve retreated deep within myself. There’s a struggle there that I have no words for. Perhaps struggle is the wrong word. It’s just a retreat to nowhere in particular. Lots of thinking about….everything….nothing and all in-between. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands 🙂 My humour tends to be cynical and my mood varies from pessimistic to gloominess. Perhaps I should say before any alarm bells go off, that I feel God close to me. There is no despair in my life. Am I making any sense? I think I am in-between seasons and I know I can trust God with what’s coming.
I think some of my gloominess comes from what’s happening in our country. Perhaps I can show you a glimpse of the despair and hope that is part of our everyday lives.
About a week and a half ago we went to NAMPO. It’s an agricultural trade show. It’s a wonder-world for children and adults. Here are some pics.
Laura with one of the biggest tractors.
Hey dad, can we take this one home, please!!
Which lever to pull?
Will this fit in the car? Please dad….oh….mom!!!
They did this all day.
As you can see it is one of those things you just have to do if you have kids.
NAMPO also has this.
It’s a monument dedicated to all the farmers and their families that has been killed since 1994. Basically, it’s a wall of remembrance. The names are put on each wall, according to the province they have been killed in. Over 3000 have been killed we are still counting . They are soft targets. Many have been killed coming back from church on Sundays. Most of them are older than 55 years. The oldest person killed was 95 years old. The youngest…..3 years.
Kwazulu-Natal the province with the most deaths. I sometimes wonder what will the outcry be in countries like Australia, America, France etc. if they lose that many farmers. Here, it is part of life. Sometimes, words fail me…
South Africa is a violent country. We have about 20 000 murders a year. Everybody here have been touched by crime of violence in some way.
It is in times like these where we are tempted to simply give up, give in and surrender. But if there is one thing South Africa has shown me, it is this: “Hope is not far away from darkness and despair.”
South Africa a beautiful country with people that love life. South Africans have a sparkle in their eyes. Where there is despair, hope also shines strong.
This is where Jesus comes in. I’ve always wondered (and still do) how Jesus kept His eyes on His Father with everything that was happening around Him? There were so much injustice around Him. His own people were suppressed by the Romans. Violence was a common language. Social and economic circumstances weren’t looking good and the future outlook was bleak. People were split into factions. Even the religious had a plan on how to get God to come quickly and save them 🙂
Somehow Jesus kept His eyes on His Father, and by doing that, He brought Hope to the world. When economic systems fail us, when violence bares it’s teeth, when our social situation do not improve, we have Hope because He showed us the heart of the Father inside the storm. We(followers of Jesus) have the opportunity to do the same. When we “behold” Jesus, we too can walk into the storm and give hope.