Gifts from Africa

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We were sitting around our campsite on “the farm.”  That is what our friends call their little piece of heaven in South Africa–“our farm.”  I call it a game preserve!  While we were there, we were awakened each morning by the cry of baboon.  We were serenaded to sleep by the song of birds whose names I will never know but whose voice I will never forget.  The entire time was gift!

One evening as we were talking about church, Joy-whose name also describes her spirit-told me about a book she had finished, Heart of Dryness, by James G. Workman.  It is the story of how the bushmen of the Kalahari watched as their water supply was destroyed as means of moving them into the future.  It is a heartbreaking tale!

I have recently started reading it, again chastised that I knew nothing about the recent history of this crime against humanity as the Bushmen saw their water supplies destroyed as a means to move them into the future.  I haven’t finished it, but early on I was struck by a paragraph.

Most uncontrollable external disasters–floods, hurricanes, wars, tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorist attacks–bring out the best in Americans, pull our can-do society together and motivate us to roll up our sleeves in mass collaboration.  Drought splits us apart.  It pits you against your neighbor, and your state against mine.

That is so true!  It is true with physical water, but I wonder how true it is with spiritual water.  How often do we allow our souls to become dry and barren places and then in fear and greed allow our thirst for what really matters to split us apart.  Is there something that these bushmen could teach us about that too?

Might that be the best gift?

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1 Comment

Filed under Life issues

One response to “Gifts from Africa

  1. Christie

    This goes so well with tomorrow’s lesson from the end of Amos. I’m using your quote from the book as well as quoting you. I love this kind of serendipity.

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