Benescke Janse van Rensburg

(ENGLISH BELOW)

’n Paar weke gelede was dit ’n perfekte Lentedag in die Kaap – byna geen wind en nie te warm nie. Om die goeie weer te vier, het ek my kinders geneem om te gaan aarbeie pluk op ’n nabygeleë aarbeiplaas. Dit was ’n wonderlike dag gevul met pret en plesier. Op pad terug huis toe, het ek by ons gunsteling slaghuis gestop. Dit is ’n familiebesigheid met die vriendelikste mense.

Terwyl die pa en sy twee seuns gewoonlik elke dag by die slaghuis is, was hul daardie dag opmerklik afwesig. Ook die vrou agter die toonbank het hartseer gelyk. Op die vraag waar hulle was, het die vrou my in trane vertel dat die seuns se ma reeds vir ’n geruime tyd lank siek is met kanker. Vir my was dit ’n skok. Ek besoek die slaghuis weekliks en nooit het hulle met hul optrede laat deurskemer dat hulle deur seker die moeilikste storm van hul lewens gaan nie. Die ma se situasie het aansienlik verswak en vroeër daardie dag het die pa sy seuns van die hospitaal af gebel om dadelik soontoe te kom. Hulle ma was op haar laaste. Sy het daardie aand gesterf. . .

 

Die kontras van hierdie dag het my diep getref. Vir my was dit ’n dag wat ek weer en weer wou herleef. Vir hulle was dit een wat hul so gou moontlik wil vergeet.

 

Hierdie gebeurtenis het my laat dink. Daagliks is daar mense wat rondom ons ’n geweldige stryd stry. Soms is ons bewus daarvan, ander kere is dit net hul sekondêre reaksies wat ons bewus maak van die pyn wat hul ervaar. Byvoorbeeld, jou ongeduldige, onredelike bestuurder of kollega is dalk besig om ’n stryd te stry met sy of haar eensaamheid of depressie; ’n ongeduldige motoris in die verkeer lê dalk op sy toeter omdat hy nie weet hoe om die pyn en skok van sy vrou se miskraam te hanteer nie; ’n kassier mag dalk aanhoudend foute maak omdat sy nie kan ophou dink aan haar siek kind wat sy by die huis moes los nie. Mense met seer, maar soms seer bloot omdat hulle nie weet hoe om anders uiting te gee aan hul oorweldigende seer nie.

 

In Psalm 34:19 lees ons: “Die Here is naby die gebrokenes, Hy help die moedeloses.” En in Hebreërs 13:16 lees ons: “Moenie nalaat om goed te doen en mededeelsaam te wees nie, want dít is die offers wat vir God aanneemlik is.”

 

God is naby aan ons in gebroke, moedelose situasies – en Hy wil hê dat ons as gelowiges ook sy liefde en genade aan gebrokenes moet bewys in hulle seisoene van seer. Mag ons, in stede daarvan om aanstoot te neem, verwerp te voel of mense kwaai aan te spreek as ons nie hul optrede verstaan nie, ’n slag dieper kyk, empatie ontwikkel en genade bewys. Só plaas ons dalk ’n pleister op ’n seer hart wat op geen ander manier sou genees nie. Sterkte.

 

Vader God, baie dankie dat U genadig is teenoor my as ek deur ’n moeilike tyd gaan. Help my asseblief om ook genadig teenoor ander mense te wees rondom my. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

 

Day 3: Remember, everybody fights their own battle

Benescke Janse van Rensburg

 

A few weeks ago, we had a perfect Spring day in Cape Town – no wind and not too hot. To celebrate this perfect weather, I took my daughters to pick strawberries at a nearby strawberry farm. It was a wonderful day, filled with fun and laughter. On our way home, we quickly stopped at our favorite butchery. It is a family business with the friendliest people.

 

Where the father and his two sons are usually there every day, they were noticeably absent. The woman behind the counter also seemed sad. When I asked her where the owners were, she explained to me in tears that the mother of the boys had been seriously ill with cancer for a while. It shocked me. I visit the butchery weekly and the family remained friendly, even though they were probably going through the worst storm of their lives. The mother’s situation deteriorated considerably and earlier that day, the father phoned his sons from the hospital to come there straight away. Their mother was at her last. She died later that night…

 

The contrast of this day hit me. To me it was a day I wanted to relive over and over. To them, it was a day they probably want to forget as soon as possible.

 

This made me think. Around us, people are fighting battles daily. At times, the only sign we have of it, is their actions. For instance, your impatient, unreasonable manager may be struggling with his or her own loneliness or depression; an impatient motorist blowing his horn in traffic might be struggling with heartache because his wife had a miscarriage that morning or a slow cashier making mistakes might actually be worried about her sick child at home. Hurting people, hurt people – maybe because it seems like the only way to cope with their pain.

 

In Psalm 34:19 we read: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” And in Hebrews 13:16 we read: “…do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

 

God is close to us in broken, desperate situations and He wants us to demonstrating His love and mercy to those struggling around us. May we, instead of immediately taking offence, feeling rejected or angrily straightening out those who have wronged us, rather look deeper and develop empathy and show mercy. Doing this, we might be putting a plaster on that broken heart that will never heal otherwise. God bless.

 

Father God, thank you for Your grace and mercy towards me in broken seasons. Help me to do the same towards those who might be going through a tough time at the moment. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.