Just imagine life without a family ? It must be the poorest thing on earth not to know the love, the joy, the heartaches, the high and low dramas of family life. We are so the richer for it.
Normal family life is the glue that keeps us together, keeps us sane, and on track… and keeps society in check ! God in His wisdom designed the family as an institution for provision, protection, productivity, procreation, and the foundational pillar on which society builds a better world, for the children and following generations to come. The complexity and dynamics of building a normal functioning family is a monumental task, and requires the grace of God to accomplish. How sad that this institution is beginning to crumble and fade because of “The Selfies” – the obesession of Self – self importance, self gratification, self satisfaction, obsession with money, and thoughtless morals. But I do realise that this is the way of the new millenium generation. Normal family life, as imperfect as it can be, does knock “the selfie” out of us, to make room for something a little larger than ourselves where we learn to share and care and create a larger space for others to have their being too.
As I sat on the bench under the Pepper tree, reflecting on the family – and other things, I was happy, and resting before the marriage of my daughter to her friend and long time fiance. The wedding, was to take place at a wedding venue on a small game reserve just outside the city of Pretoria. It was all very very beautiful, with a deck overlooking the dam, with geese, and fringed with buck and other wild life gathering to eat out their troughs as the sun was setting. A wedding flowered arch was set on the deck where the ceremony was to be performed, with peace and tranquility speaking the loudest on that blissful afternoon.
What a beautiful wedding, an occasion where two people became one, where two families briefly connected with joy to witness their union.
What is more special than a family wedding ?
It had been a hurry scurry of events that led up to the wedding, so I was happy to be quietly sitting under the Pepper tree. Pretoria is a lovely city, not flat, but surrounded by distant hills. The Guest house was on a gentle slope, and as I lifted up my eyes to look over the wall I could see the Cross of a nearby Church rise high into the sky, and I knew I had to be very quiet. Then came the intensity of the passion, that seems so prevalent on the high ground. And a prayer began to go out for South Africa, for Pretoria, for leaders of integrity and honour to be raised up, for good governance for our land…. and for rain, plenty of showers of blessings for families, for the city, and for our land.
Under the Pepper tree was a special moment in time for me. I’m sure God was listening too and heard my prayers, quietly spoken on that day under the Pepper tree.