Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Day in a Life

I love my life.
And I have very interesting days. Such as today:
It began with a visit to the Women’s Auxiliary. They meet every week... 50-70 of them. Average age of 75. This is a place where old ladies can find friendship and support as they face the frightening prospect of getting older, often alone. Today I wanted to thank them for their wonderful support with the displaced people living in my church hall.

Then I met with the team who are continuing to care for the Zimbabwean people in the hall. We need more blankets, and toothbrushes, and toothpaste, and deodorant, and soap, and one of the refugees’ sugar diabetes is out of control and needs to go to the clinic... and so it goes on. I am grateful to Lynn for her organisational skill.

I left for Cavendish to have coffee with other colleagues facing the same crisis. Which was a moment of respite in the midst of the unrelenting pressure. I have been going since last week, first with our annual Synod, then with preparations for Sunday services, and then just as I was looking forward to a break came the crisis of displaced people – and there is no end in sight. I normally take a Friday off, but the husband of a member of the church has died and wants the funeral on Friday Morning. And it sounds totally lame to say “Sorry for your loss – but not on Friday”

Then off to hospital to visit the sick father of one of my church leaders. I really enjoyed the ride, because it was a hospital right outside of my pastoral jurisdiction. So I got on the bike and had 30 minutes of 120 kmph to clear my head. Outside the hospital a white couple with a baby tried to persuade me to part with some money because “black people have taken all the work”. And having opted out of this one, I got to see a man who is desperately afraid that he might be very ill, but covering his fear with gracious thanks for me coming to see him. I stopped off with his son and daughter in law on my way home – to reassure them of God’s love for them.

Lunch with my three daughters, who are all at home on study leave. I enjoy their company, and their discovering of life as young women. And this is time to catch up.

At 3pm I visited a lady of 91 who has recently lost her husband, and is recovering from a back operation. She does not want to move out of her home to a complex for the aged, and is now worrying that she will not be able to cope on her own. I prayed for her... and will link her with a member of the congregation who is of a similar age and has also recently lost her husband.

Then back to the church to have supper with the Zimbabwean community. I had invited my senior leadership to join me, and we tried to show some love and support for people who have been severely traumatised. I sat next to a young man whose father works for CokeaCola in Zimbabwe, and whose older sister is a student minister in the Methodist Church in Harare. He was a driver in his father’s company, but was sent by the family to South Africa to earn more money so that his sister can complete her studies. And now he lives in my church hall.

After supper I met with my leadership to deal with financial issues. Times are tough – petrol, food and interest rates all combine to reduce the income of our churches. And I do not always know how to keep solvent. I refuse to preach guilt-inducing sermons about money and God’s tithes.

I got a lift home with my colleague David, to find his wife’s vehicle parked outside of the house. She was meant to have fetched their children from my home, where my daughters were caring for them until she finished work. As we got out of the car we saw why she was still there – the front tyre of her car was flat.

And it began to rain.
So David and I changed the tyre in the rain. And when they had left, I sat down with the family, who were finishing the end of a TV programme.
Now to bed.... amazed at the privilege of living such a rich and varied life.


Mev Dominee said...

My friend. thank you for sharing this day in your life.

I miss you and your friendship. Wish I was closer. But then that would have added extra strain on your time.

God bless you.

bugs said...

thank u for making a difference in so many people's lives.