Saturday, 14 February 2015


Love must be sincere.

             Romans 12:9a

Happy Valentines Day!

I have been married over eleven years. I definitely do not have a corner on the romance market, although I have tried; one Valentines Day I blew up a LOT of red balloons with helium and left them floating all over the house for my wife to find when she woke up. Some years we try to go out for a special dinner on this day: once I made reservations at a Greek restaurant, and they packed us in like sardines with about 50 other couples--no elbow room! This year, I let my wife sleep in and picked some fresh roses from the garden; she gave me a dark chocolate bar. (mmm!) Looks like supper will be roasted maize and hot dogs on the braai after a lazy day reading books. I guess we're an Old Married Couple now.

It seems to me that the whole human race relies on love for survival. When we love (cooperate) with each other, we thrive. When we fight, we die off. As a father, I see this with my kids--I want them to get along so badly, as it makes my life easier and also helps them. I'm sure our Father in heaven also sees things this way:
"if only you guys would just get along..."
"It's okay if Billy got more than you, I'll take care of it..."
"You'd be so much happier if you would just forgive your sister..."
"Where is your brother Abel?" (Genesis 4:9)

And now with the recent Globalization of our world--where we no longer have an excuse about not knowing about our neighbours since world news is available at the click of a mouse--the responsibility to love one another gets even greater. Too great sometimes. "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)

Yes, from living in Africa I am even more conscious of the global disparity between rich and poor, when respectful yet downcast people come to the gate very frequently, asking for piece-work, and skinny barefoot kids who should be in school jostle to help me with my groceries when I emerge from the "rich-people" grocery store. I've been working hard at Chodort, trying to help the Carpentry Production department make a decent profit so that Chodort's employees can make a living wage. And when we succeed, what then? The cost of living goes up for everyone else.

Somehow Love has to factor in everything we do.

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