Saturday, 20 February 2016

To Yearn

For a man who always dreams of future potentials I find my heart often bleeds for the past. The simple pleasures of my childhood, the things that represented my existence. Of course there are the people, many of which are shrouded with heartache. Heartache because I love them, cared for them and because of how they treated me - both the good and the bad - and how I treated them, for better or worse.

I don't regret much, if anything, but I do so wish I could go back and run down the ramp at Uanda, one of my childhood homes just one more time, taking as big a jump as possible so as not to land on the blue tongue lizard which made its home underneath. Or to climb and pick mulberries from our mulberry tree. Playing in the old bus that lay just over the fence beyond our backyard. I wish I could be back there to let my Mum and Dad know how much I appreciate all they did for us on a day to day basis. Encouraging me, against all odds to clean my room, do my homework and brush my teeth. My inner stealth thwarted their attempts with ease - but the intent behind their efforts stuck with me.

It was not only my parents who I hold dear in my thoughts of the past but there were many fringe people who had tremendous impact. My dear Aunt died recently and how I miss her. She had such a unique way of making me feel like I was someone special, as though - in some way -  I had a gift that none other had. She always was upbeat, warm, and loving, though as an adult, I now suspect her life was hard and threaded with difficulties that I could only begin to imagine. Yet in some way, she found it in her heart to love me. Did she know God? I am not sure. God's grace is a gift, not earned and that is His prerogative but if I had to say, my dear Aunt is one of those people who deserve a little attention from the Creator for the way in which she conducted her life in spite of difficulties.

It is people like my Aunt, who enabled those small priceless memories, of which I yearn for, to be precious. I love you Auntie - I will miss you and it saddens me to close yet another chapter on my life, which was made possible by you.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Purpose and Mission

This  blog is written for an audience of two - my God and myself. It is not a diary per se but rather the opportunity to write about matters that crowd my mind during my days which are consumed with routine. It is my opportunity to reflect on all God is in the light of all the joys, struggles and perplexities of life. There will be no - or very few pictures as it is not a record of my life but rather a review of the internal, self talk which often gets little time to be adequately synthesized, analyzed and committed to God in a meaningful way. The blog may possibly also lack meaning but it is my (own) limited perspective on meaning.

So where to start off - anywhere - and that anywhere is the whole idea of being a father and a husband. Many decades ago the role of the husband/father was largely one of provision. He was the provider. His role and service to the community was, in many ways a figurative representation of the entire family. The community was valued by its members and families were integral to the community. Hence the father was the 'face' of the family. What the father did and said had direct implications on how the community viewed the family and the extent to which the family 'improved' or contributed to society - serving, in essence, the greater good.

Today - in an individualised world, we see a very different picture. The father and mother often both work to provide for the family. Subsequently both parents also provide the in-house support for children. The families place in the community is diminished as both parents draw wealth from the marketplace - in many cases also working to serve society - but as individuals (married or divorced). The father now has an increased role in the home, providing nurture and care for the children. Perhaps reminiscent of other cultures (non-western) and pre-industrialisation. I think of African and middle eastern men - giving a blessing to their children before they head out for the day. Preparing meals etc.

Both era's were fraught with poor choices made, I believe, by parents which will not be expanded on. Both eras also drew out some good of the nature of a Father. In may ways both of these perspectives of fatherhood shadow my Heavenly father. - my provider, who is personal with me. He listens to me vent and then provides gentle counsel but if necessary rebukes me and points out the offensive ways in me. He provides in every way - not just by our 'daily bread'. Parenting, regardless of location, culture and era is a tough gig. God, however is in every way, a perfect father. He demonstrates the ability to love closely but remains the face of the family in his mission of redeeming all humanity, not just one society. He is the good father in every cultural and generational context.

He is my Father and He loves me. I am His and He takes good care of me. I am his imperfect son seeking to enjoy his perfecton as a father.