Day 13: Bring light! - 19 November 2019

Benescke Janse van Rensburg

There is drought in our country. We all feel it. If you don't have family members suffering on farms, you may have seen some of the photos or videos on social media, television news or in newspapers. Last week, I walked into a pharmacy where a number of wrapped shoe boxes were collected for the Bokse vir Boervroue project. The boxes are sent with the loads of animal feed to encourage women struggling on the farms. In passing, I wondered what affect the boxes will have on the receivers several kilometers away. That night, I read the following entry on social media from a recipient of such a box:

“A 76-year-old man just called me. His words: 'My child, the Lord has not forgotten me. Besides the abundant twenty animal feed, the old lady got a box too. You won't believe me now, it's her birthday! She is 73-years-old today. And my child, it's been four years since our only child went to be with the Lord. Also four years since I gave the old lady anything. We only hugged each other on birthdays. Now let me tell you, our four hands opened that box together. Coffee, cookies, a bottle of wine, shampoo, a bar of soap and my child. . . (I could hear he struggled to speak), the most beautiful, pink pearls. Real pearls!’ He remained silent for a moment and I could hear him cry. Then he said: ‘My child, and there was a tin of condensed milk, two pièces of underwear for me (he says shyly) – the right size – and there were even a bar of soap and cream for the lady helping us in the house. My child, the old lady and I sat down on the kitchen floor as if we were still 20 years old and in love and celebrated her birthday with the cookies and wine. Thank you for the box . . . and especially for my wife's pearls. I'm going to say goodbye to go and feed the sheep.’ When we said goodbye, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. All I could say was: 'Goodbye oom, dance with the old woman tonight. We really love you ... our Karoo Farmers.’”

We  are all aware of heartache and suffering around us - single moms struggling to keep their heads above water, elderly couples whose pension do not carry them through the month, orphans, bread winners who were retrenched. What do we do about the need? In Deuteronomy 15:11 we read: “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward (the) poor and needy in your land.” In Hebrews 13:16 it is written: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” And in Proverbs 19:17 we read: “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

When we open our hearts and reach out to those in need, we become instruments in God's hand. Our time, money, groceries, animal feed, bar of soap or pink pearls may become the answer to someone else's prayers. Let us keep our eyes open to do good and to share with others. This is how we shine God's light into broken lives. God bless.

Father God, thank you for Your infinite love. Please show me where I can be an instrument in Your hands to help those in need. I pray for this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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