Sunday was a hot and humid Pietermaritzburg day. The kind of day that wakes you to sticky lethargy. Lisa, Jenny and I went to church at Prestbury Methodist, where I had the privilege of leading worship, and being able to appreciate the preaching of Dianne Worringham. She is a gifted minister, and I valued her challenge to discipleship. Her essential thought was this: “A disciple of Jesus can only become a leader if first prepared to be lead by another.”
We then shared a long, lazy lunch at the Duckpond. This restaurant is behind a nursery, under shady trees with – naturally – a duckpond ..... and lots more ducks than we normally encounter. It is run by Riaan, who told us that someone had contacted him just before Christmas and asked if they could drop off some ducks. He was away, and told his manager to expect “some ducks” to be added to the three or four that normally swim in the pond. To his dismay, when he returned he found forty ducks swimming in his pond. I would not be surprised if the Sunday menu is altered shortly!
Back home in the afternoon saw the day getting darker and darker, as storm clouds began building in the sky. The humidity had built to a poihnt where we longed for the storm to break, and restore some cool air. Then the distant thunder was heard approaching over the hills from Durban, with the beginnings of lightening. At four in the afternoon the storm struck Pietermaritzburg. We experienced fierce winds, followed by torrential rain, and rumbles of thunder, laced with lightening. The back yard began rapidly filling with water from our over-flowing gutters, and for 30 minutes it became difficult to hear ourselves speak. Subsequent to this storm we have discovered that many, many trees were felled across the city, accompanied by the destruction of walls, roofs and powerlines.Jenny and I went outside to look at the retreating storm, and were struck by the silence after the storm – punctured by a lone bird tweeting a defiant tune. I can only imagine the terror this bird must have felt during the storm, contrasted by such joyous release expressed in song afterwards. Perhaps this is the essence of life: we have moments of fear.
Let us learn to sing our way through our fears, and so reclaim life after the storm.