If this was a month, it was a month that flew by. I regret not being able to tell you about more of it, but perhaps the fact that we haven’t had much good sleep means I may not have had much worth saying anyway. I trust these things work out as they should.
Tomorrow we fly up to Joburg. The following day, it’s Joburg to London, and after a nine hour layover (and maybe a chance to see the newlyweds!) we’ll be heading from London to RDU and with a two hour drive, we’ll be home.
It seems like the visit back to South Africa has been different from what I expected, but giving it a bit of thought, I am not really sure what I expected. This country is so full of contrasts – unimaginable beauty, jaw-dropping luxury, heart-breaking poverty, frustrating corruption. I see it.
As we drove from Bloemfontein to the game reserve, I saw a man on the side of the road carrying two big red bags. I felt that familiar, sore tug on my heartstrings as we sped past in our rental car, baby sleeping in the car seat behind me, his brother munching a cookie with a smile.
The familiar sights of the N1 passed by outside my window: straw-coloured grasslands stretching on for miles, dotted with green shrubs, brown cows, dusty white sheep. A flock of pied crows flutter into the air, resettling on the road to peck at some long-gone creature once we’ve passed them by. Oddly shaped hills, with bushes scattered about so that they look like the stubble of a man who has missed a couple days’ shave, are in distant view in every direction.
I feel far away, but I also feel home. I find myself instructing the Bear to use words that would only be the right choice in the U.S., then I find myself trying to backtrack to explain “say this here, say that there.”
HH lowered the music to whisper the story of a farmer in Zimbabwe, who was having the land he’d farmed all his days ‘reappropriated’ to someone with the right skin colour. The farmer was gentle and hospitable to the men who came to tell him his farm was being taken away. He instructed the new farmer on everything he needed to know, not knowing what was ahead of him, since he was about to lose everything.
He concluded his letter to the paper by saying he felt it was more important for the men who came to take his land to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ than for him to be angry that his land was being taken away. I started to cry and stared out the window.
This beautiful land. This controversial land. All of creation is groaning together for the revelation of the sons of God, but I feel it here.
I am ready, expectant for what’s ahead of us in North Carolina, but a piece of my heart is and ever shall be right here. Whether I’m in South Africa or back in North Carolina, I carry a constant awareness that all the days of my life I will always be on the way Home.