No, this is not in the sense you would normally think! I am not talking about erotic love this morning…
Let me tell it the long way round. It is my privilege to work out the material our church use in Cell group meetings. One of the important things for me is that church need to be much more than holy words. We need holy deeds. We need to change the world with love. Therefore it is always on my mind to look for opportunities where we can serve our community, and make society and people’s lives much better than before.
After working out 3 weeks worth of material, my eye falls on 9 August 2013- a Friday.
It is a national holiday in South Africa. Maybe I am sounding a little bit too politically correct these days, it is not my intention to talk politics. But I am moved by certain things that I never understood before.
It is Women’s Day on 9 August in South Africa. It goes back to the days of the old South Africa. on 9 August 1956 20 000 women marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of government where the Prime Minister’s office then, and Jacob Zuma’s office today is located. These ladies had children on their backs. They were marching to protest the new pass laws, that required certain people in society to move to designated areas far away from their place of work. They needed passes to enter into other areas.
This law created a situation where a mother had to leave her children in a “township”, and start very early in the morning on unreliable and dangerous public transport, to go to her place of work, carrying a pass that says she may be there. She works a long day, and long after dark returns to her home, hoping that her children would still be ok. All this for a very small pay.
I know, these things started happening before I was born. As I look back on this history, I feel the same guilt as people should feel about making the Jews wear yellow star of Davids in Europe during Herr Hitler’s crazy party. I am sorry that people in my country were treated like that. I am sorry that it took so long for me to realize that. So yes, I support Women’s Day in respect to those brave women who stood up against injustice. They must weep in their hands seeing what their struggle has become- all the corruption and greed nowadays…
They sang a song that day- and I wish I knew all the words- the title is: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! – If you strike a woman, you strike a rock…
It is the women who suffer the most when men play political and power games. It is the women who hold a community together when the men are lazy, drunken bums… It is women who get raped and murdered in this country, mostly by men they know. The women of South Africa have some of the hardest living conditions in the world.
I am glad there is a day to honor the courage of South African women.
My challenge to my church: In that week of Women’s Day, each cell group must identify one woman in need, and go change her life.
We have a big number of widows in our church. Some of them are getting older, and can not see- some would love somebody just to read their Bible to them once in a while. Some of them can not drive anymore, but need groceries and other supplies- just take them to town, or go buy their grocery list. Some need a handyman just to fix something in their home- how do you change a light bulb when you are 85?
We have a lot of single mothers. How would it be if the older ladies could take care of their kid/s for just an hour or two, that they can rest/ do something for themselves for a change? There are a lot of hurting women- being abused, divorced, could someone just be that shoulder to cry on for a change?
There are so many unemployed ladies in our community. We have our programs that helps to give them food. But we can only afford the most basic foodstuff. How would it be to treat one of them with a luxury chocolate, or take them to a restaurant for a meal which they could never afford?
This is my challenge to my church: Make a practical difference in one lady’s life. And pray about it- could you do more? But start with just 1, then we are already becoming a part of the solution.
My colleague has this favorite saying: How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite… How do we change our world? One small deed of love at a time.
This is what I am working on this morning, thought I would share it with you, maybe, just maybe, you can make one woman’s life a little better today as well. Just one small deed of kindness is all it takes…