Many years ago, and my husband still alive, a friend came to visit us, accompanied by his two young children. We were sitting next to the swimming pool under the wide canopy of a white stinkwood tree, and the children insisted on swimming. I was none too keen, it was May and the water already chilly, but their father allowed them to undress and to jump naked into the pool, where they swam and played like two little fish.
But the cold did get to them eventually, and they were very pleased to be hugged into the big towels I had fetched from the house to be rubbed dry. Then they lent, still unclothed, content against their father’s knee in the dappled sunlight under the tree.
As we watched, a wind sprang up, turning into a small whirlwind, a dust devil as it’s called. It spun into the tree and in a moment, stripped it of its yellow autumn leaves and whirled them around the two small bodies, clothing them for one wonderful instant, in a cloth of gold.
I was reminded of that incident when two or three Sundays ago, I attended my usual early morning service. I was ill at ease and lonely, missing my late husband and my children, all of whom live overseas.
And the weather certainly did not improve my mood. Summer is usually late in coming to Cape Town, but it has been particularly so this year, and days of grey with intermittent showers left me with a deep melancholy.
It was still early, and the church was dark and still and cold, and I toyed with the idea of just leaving, driving until I found a restaurant with hot coffee and a fire in the hearth.
As I stood uncertainly in the aisle, the sun broke through the clouds and fell in a wide beam through the rose window of the nave. Suddenly I was standing in a warm, bright light and I felt God’s presence like a cloak about my shoulders : like the children on that long ago day, I was clothed in gold.
Is there a moral to this story? Yes indeed. God’s blessings are all around us – all we need do is to look up and find his loving face.
“Die Via Dolorosa” – ‘n Paasherinneringsdiens
11 years ago