Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cleaning the kitchen

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I wanted to cook apricot jam. And I could not find a certain, much needed piece of kitchen equipment. Scratching through cupboards and shelves ended up in me throwing out all the drawers and clearing all the shelves. Much to the disguist of my domestic worker. She knew she had a lot of work on her hands. Work that should have been kept up to date – then this would never have happened.

The findings were terrible. It`s amazing how much dust and dirt can collect in closed cupboard! Bowls that were clean the last time they were used were now dirty and sticky. Disguisting.

It`s the same with our hearts. We go to church and do all the right and noble things. We say the right things. We appear to be on top Christians – so holy.

Until God forces us to take a long hard look at the content of our hearts. Then we realise, we have a long way ahead of us. We are so far removed from portraying Jesus to the world.

In this festive time, ask God to lead you into a thorough cleaning of your heart.

It’s funny season…

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This hectic time of the year got an official name.  Funny season.  I can think of a few reasons why this name is quite suitable.

People that are otherwise quite normal, start acting funny this time of the year.  Tempers are short, stress levels are high and everybody is in desperate need of a break.  But when the break finally arrives, people further exhaust themselves with long hours of shopping in hectic malls.  Funny.

Speaking about the malls.  Christmas is not celebrated by non Christians.  But judging by the variety of people and religions that flock to the shops decorated for Christmas, Christmas is clearly no longer a Christian event.  Funny.

We buy bigger and more expensive gifts than last year.  Somehow small just doesn’t seem fit anymore.  Funny.

We spend all our money on vacation junk that we don’t really need and then suffer right until the end of January.  Funny.

The shopping spree has become so big and addictive that children get locked in a car so that the mother can shop in peace.  Funny.

Or is it?

No, it’s not funny at all.  It’s a big irony.  Funny Season is everything but funny.

We have lost the true spirit of Christmas.  We have lost the real meaning of Christmas.  We have lost the true meaning of giving a gift, regardless of the cost thereof.

Let’s get back to basics.  In this funny season, one thing stands firm above all else.  Jesus is still the light and the way.  He still calls you to come and seek rest at His feet.  Don’t let the rush this time of the year rob you of your peace and the rest you deserve.  Find time to spend in God’s presence.  Find time to allow Him to restore your soul after the long year of 2011.

May you have rest and peace in this funny season!

A baby’s hug

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We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. ‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy.. I see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks,
‘What do we do?’

Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take care of this baby.’

Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’ when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

‘It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are……’
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