160. Kom ons hou partytjie!

Dit is betekenisvol hoe die konsep van ‘n blye byeenkoms deel van die ou Joodse geskiedenis en godsdiens is. Oor die algemeen was die antieke gemeenskappe meer ondersteunend, as die sosiale opset vandag met so ‘n sterk fokus op privaatheid, persoonlike voorkeur en individuele prioriteit. Oorlewing was ‘n spanpoging. Feeste het dikwels plaasgevind om gebeure en suksesse te vier. Daarom vind ons vandag in die meeste lande publieke vakansiedae om die hoogtepunte van ‘n nasie of kultuurgroep te vier.

Ons vier ook verjaarsdae, gradeplegtighede, skooleindeksamens en aftrede, selfs verwelkomings- en afskeidspartytjies. Christene vier Kersfees, Paas en saam met die sekulêre komponent van die gemeenskap Thanksgiving op die noord-Amerikaanse kontinent. Ek sou graag ‘n groter klem op Pinkster ook sien. So ‘n fees kan in dieselfde afwagting van Handelinge 2 plaasvind. Hoewel daar soms nog Pinksterbidure plaasvind, is dit na my mening so afgeskeep dat ons die krag daarvan verloor. Ander godsdienste het hulle vasdae en feesdae.

Jare gelede het ons gesin by die Here geleer om fees te vier. My man het baie lank in ‘n baie veeleisende omgewing gewerk en op roetine basis gevas. Hy het eintlik net Sondae beskikbaar gehad om bietjie af te sonder en hom oop te stel vir Heilige Gees insig en ‘n studie van die Woord van God. Baie Sondae het ek lekker dinge met die kinders beplan om op te maak daarvoor dat hulle pa vir ‘n paar uur in sy studeerkamer verdwyn.

Een Sondagmiddag laat, na so ‘n paar maande van die roetine, het hy met ‘n groot glimlag en vol vreugde ons kom haal en uitgeneem vir ete. Hy het vertel hoe God vir hom gesê het dat sy vastyd verby is en hy ons moet leer om fees te vier. Hy het ons maaltyd saam ‘n fees ter ere van God se goedheid verklaar. Stadig het die konsep van feesvier in ons gesin ingesypel, wanneer ons uiteet, maar ook meer en meer rondom ons tafel by die huis. Hy het ons tafelgebed verander. Ons moes mekaar in die oë kyk en ons dankbaarheid oor God se genade en goedheid uitspreek. Glad nie meer rympies wat vinnig afgerammel word nie.

Ek was so vol vreugde oor al die veranderinge en het die Here gedank vir ‘n priester in ons huis wat die geestlike pas aangee. Hy het verder twee privaat feesdae per jaar aangekondig waarin ons uitkoms en antwoord op gebed gevier het.

In die laaste gedeelte van Johannes 7 (7:37-53) word die Fees van die Tabernakels, ook bekend as die Loofhuttefees, weer genoem. Dit het in Oktober plaasgevind. Die Fees was van groot historiese belang: die mense het uit hulle huise gegaan en tydelike grashutte gebou om die tyd van Israel in die wildernis te vier. Hulle kon die sterre deur die dakke sien. Al die voorskrifte vir die Fees vind ons in Levitikus 23:40. Volgens Levitikus was die Fees sewe dae. In Jesus se tyd is daar nog ‘n dag bygevoeg.

Die Fees was ook ‘n soort Dankfees vir die oes aangesien dit aan die einde van die landboujaar plaasgevind het. (Exodus 23:16; 34:22) Die Fees het ook baie populêr geword. (1 Konings 8:2) Dit is met die oorvloed van die natuur gevier; alles wat die lewe moontlik en gelukkig gemaak het. Die ideaal was dat die Fees deur almal – arm en ryk, slawe, bediendes en meesters en vreemdes – gevier word.

Daar was ‘n daaglikse seremonie gedurende die Feestyd. Die mense het palmtakke na die altaar geneem. Dan het die priester water uit die kuil van Siloam geneem terwyl die mense die woorde van Jesaja 12:3 herhaal het: Met blydskap sal julle water skep uit die fonteine van redding.

Die water is uitgegiet as ‘n offer aan God terwyl die mense sing. Hulle het die Hallel gesing – Psalms 113-118 met fluite en ‘n koor. Op die laaste dag van die Fees het hulle sewe maal om die altaar geloop om Jerigo te onthou.

Die Fees was ‘n herdenking van die wonderwerke.

Wat doen jy om wonderwerke in jou lewe te vier? Kan ons dalk ‘n partytjie hou om die uitkoms van die Here in ons lewe te vier? Onthou en onthou goed. Moenie dat die vyand jou van jou eie getuienis beroof nie.

Maar sorg dat jy nie dan die Here vergeet wat jou uit Egipte, uit die plek van slawerny, bevry het nie. (Deuteronomium 6:12)

Die water het oor die takke gevloei en die mense herinner aan die lewe-gewende water van Jesus waaroor Hy met die vrou in Samaria by die put van gepraat het. (Johannes 4)

Die Here sal jou altyddeur lei;

selfs in dor streke sal Hy in jou behoeftes voorsien.

Hy sal jou sterk maak.

Jy sal wees soos ‘n tuin met volop water,

soos ‘n fontein waarvan die water nie opdroog nie. (Jesaja 58:11)

Ons kan met oorgawe feesvier omdat ons in Jesus die volle vervulling van al die feeste van Israel het. Hy is die rede vir al sewe feeste.

Die Een wat deur die water van sy doop en die bloed van sy dood na ons toe gekom het, is Jesus Christus; nie net deur die water nie, maar deur die water én die bloed. Die Gees is die getuie daarvan, en die Gees is die waarheid.

Daar is dus drie wat getuig : die Gees en die water en die bloed, en die drie se getuienis stem ooreen. (1 Johannes 5:6-8)

Jesus belowe ‘n reiniging – heeltemal skoon en lewegewend. Net in Sy reiniging is vrede en volheid.

Die simboliek van water kry ons regdeur die Ou Testament. Psalms 105:41, Esegiel 47:1; 47:12. Ook Joël 3:18: A fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord.

 Jesus is die Rots in die woestyn waaruit die waters gevloei het (Exodus 17:6). Dit is waarom dit so belangrik vir Moses was om nie die Rots die tweede maal te slaan nie en die stem van die Here te gehoorsaam. Jesus is een maal geslaan – die Kruis. Nou is dit net nodig om met Hom te praat, dan vloei die strome van saligheid. Die wonder gebeur nie altyd op een manier nie. Dis belangrik om te luister.

Paulus bevestig dit:

…en almal het dieselfde geestelike drank gedrink: hulle het gedrink uit ‘n geestelike rots wat met hulle saamgegaan het. Die rots was Christus. (1 Korintiërs 10:4)

Daar is geen Gees, geen Pinkster sonder die Kruis nie. Voor die Kruis was die Heilige Gees ‘n misterie. Na die opstanding is Hy ‘n persoon wat die opgestane Jesus in ons laat leef. Pinkster het die strome van seën uit die hemel laat vloei.

Wonderwerke is die water op die droogte van die siel. Die Pinkster belewenis bring die wonderwerke in die realm van ons lewe. Met Heilige Gees insig, “sien” ons God se werk.

Sal God dit weer en weer doen? NEE, Hy doen dit voortdurend. My gebed is altyd en sal altyd wees: Here, maak my oë oop om U wonders te sien.

Moenie God beperk tot ons kalendertyd nie. Hy werk altyd.

Die skare het oor Jesus gepraat. (7:40-44) Baie het geglo Hy is die Een wat sou kom; die vervulling van die belofte van die profete. Hulle het gepraat oor Sy geboorteplek. Meeste mense het geweet Hy kom uit Nazaret. Slegs diegene wat bietjie dieper ondersoek ingestel het, het uitgevind dat Hy wel in Bethlehem gebore is, presies soos al die profete gesê het.

Moet nooit navorsing en vrae vermy nie. Jesus het Thomas genooi om sy hande in Sy wonde te steek en in Jesus se teenwoordigheid het al Thomas se twyfel verdwyn (Johannes 20:27). Jesus sal altyd ‘n soekene gemoed antwoord. Hy belowe antwoorde as jy vra (Matteus 7:7).

Die wagte van die priesterhoofde was verstom oor Jesus se leer. Hulle kon hulleself nie so ver bring om Hom te arresteer nie. Om Jesus te hoor praat sal jou lewe verander – vandag net soos toe.

Die leiers was woedend en het hulle eie wagte en Nikodemus beledig toe hulle planne nie slaag nie. Hulle arrogansie, intellektuele snobisme en geestelike hoogmoed het die Fariseërs laat neerkyk op die gewone mense en op die streek van Galilea. Hulle het nooit met die gewone mense gemeng nie, selfs nie in die konteks van die Wet wat hulle so hoog geag het nie.

Wat sê hulle eintlik: As jy enigsins intellektueel of akademies gereken word, sal jy nie deur Jesus beïnvloed word nie. Is dit nie presies die argument uit geleerde kringe vandag nie?

Is die getalle van die skare enige aanduiding van waarheid of waarde? Die skare kon wegdraai, Hom verwerlkom in Jerusalem as koning en kort daarna skreeu vir Sy kruisiging.

Ons kan nie die skare volg nie. Ons kan nie eers die kerk volg nie. Volg ons die mense of die man, Jesus? Sal jy Hom vind in die kerk?

Selfs Nikodemus het Jesus huiwerig verdedig en klem gelê op die reg van die wagte om self te besluit. Die woede en beledigings teen Galilea het hom stilgemaak.

Hoe sal ons Jesus verdedig met sulke woedende opposisie? Slegs in die krag van die Heilige Gees kan ons die trekkrag van die skare weerstaan en die oppervlakkige argumente van populêre opinie ignoreer. Die Heilige Gees sal ons oortuig van sonde, geregtigheid en oordeel. Die Woord en ons eie getuienis is die krag van God se goedheid in ons lewe.

Jesus het aangehou leer. Vroeg in die oggend was Hy terug in die Tempel. Die mense het gekom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

159. Weet dat jy weet – geen twyfel.

Soveel keer het ek al gewonder hoe dit sou wees om in die tyd waarin Jesus op die aarde was, te geleef het. Ek moet my verbeelding gebruik om die werklikheid te bedink. Hoe sou dit wees om die praatjies oor Hom te hoor? Miskien sou ek te bang wees om teen die kerkleiers te wees. Sou ek te bang wees om openlik vir Hom te gaan luister? Die gewone mense van daardie tyd was vasgevang in ‘n harde lewe om ‘n bestaan te maak onder die politieke ystervuis van die Romeine met swaar belasting en die hoë vereistes van die kerkleiers wat absolute gehoorsaamheid verwag het.

Daar was ‘n ou liedjie in ons kerk wat die kinders gesing het: “Ek wens ek was daar”. Ek weet nie altyd nie. Is dit dalk makliker om die luuksheid van historiese terugblik te geniet?

Noodwendig is die volgende vraag: Wat het Jesus verwag? Het Hy verwag dat mense die gemeenskap en kerk verloën en Hom volg self al sou dit hulle lewe kos? Dit is nie eers die kernvraag nie. Wat daarvan as ek Hom ontmoet het en Hy sonder twyfel die antwoord was op alles wat ek nog altyd gehoop het?

Dit is die antwoord wat alle ander reaksies uitwis. Geen mens het ooit uit die teenwoordigheid van Jesus gegaan sonder ‘n daadwerklike besluit oor Hom nie. Net soos vandag, vereis Sy bestaan ‘n antwoord. Neutraliteit is onmoontlik. Wat mens sou beskryf as ignoreer kom neer op weerstand teen die trekkrag van die Heilige Gees. Nou, net soos toe is die rug wat jy draai op die Seun van God, jou lyftaal van verwerping, selfs al dink jy jy maak geen besluit oor Hom nie en verklaar hovaardig dat diegene wat in sprokies wil glo, dan maar hulleself tevrede hou met storietjies van Jesus.

Wat is die waarheid oor Hom? Hoe sal jy weet?

Daar is net een manier. Dit is die bron van waarheid oor al die eeue heen. God is waarheid en Hy is die enigste bron daarvan. Daarom is die enigste manier om waarheid te ken, die Heilige Gees wat die asem van God self is.

Wanneer Hy kom, die Gees van die waarheid, sal Hy julle in die hele waarheid lei. (Johannes 16:13)

God het ons onfeilbare toegang tot die waarheid gegee. Toe Jesus op aarde was het die Heilige Gees in harte gewerk net soos wat Hy vandag ook doen.

In Johannes 7:15-136 beskuldig hulle Hom van ‘n gebrek aan ondderrig. Hoe kon Hy dit waag om Moses aan te haal? Wat het Hy in elk geval van Moses geweet? Hulle wou Hom toets met aardse akademiese vereistes.

Jesus het gesê dat Sy bron is die wysheid van God. God is die enigste bron van wysheid. (12:49; 14:10)

All great productions of the human mind and spirit are given by God. If we glory in being self-taught, if we claim that any discovery we have made is our own unaided work, we are, in the last analysis, glorifying only our own reputation and our own selves. The greatest of men think not of the power of their own mind or hand; they think always of the God who told them what they know and taught them what they can do.  [William Barclay – Daily Study Bible]

Die persoon wat die wil van God bestudeer sal Sy verordeninge verstaan. Dit is nie ‘n teologiese waarheid nie. Dit is ‘n universele waarheid. Ons leer deur te kies en dan te doen. As ons wag om alles te verstaan voor ons tot aksie oorgaan, sal ons nooit begin nie.

In hierdie debat tussen Jesus en die kerkleiers, antwoord Jesus nie die aanklagte van die skare nie. Hy erken hulle bloeddorstigheid en opgesweeptheid. Hy antwoord ook nie die terloopse opmerkings wat aan Hom gemaak word nie.

Die wet bepaal dat die besnydenis op die agste dag moet plaasvind. Veronderstel die agste dag is die Sabbat. Indien die Sabbatsreëls met besnydenis “gebreek” kan word, kan Hy sekerlik dit “breek ” met genesing?

Jesus argumenteer omdat Hy graag mense wil laat dink en dieper sien. Hy wil nie hê dat hulle oppervlakkig oordeel nie. (Matteus 21:23-27)

Die skare is verstom oor sy dapper optrede. Hulle het geweet dat vyandskap met die kerkleiers groot moeilikheid kan bring. Dit het sommige oortuig dat Hy wel die Messias is.

Waar kom Hy vandaan? Almal het geweet Hy kom uit Nasaret. Die populêre mening was dat niemand sal weet waarvandaan die Messias kom nie. Almal het geweet Hy moet in Bethlehem gebore word, maar sy grootword moes ‘n misterie bly. Jesus het nie by hulle bygelowe en misterie stories ingepas nie.

Hulle het God in die abnormale gesoek. Hulle kon nie aanvaar dat Hy deel van die alledaagse is nie. God is juis in elke dag se detail. As Hy net in die abnormale en misterieuse sou manifesteer, was die wonder van God as ons Vader in ons alledaagse lewe, verlore. Hy is nooit afwesig nie.

Jesus het geantwoord met twee stellings: Hulle weet waar Hy vandaan kom, maar Hy kom ook van God. Hulle ken God nie, maar Hy ken God.

Dit was eintlik ‘n vreeslike belediging om kinders van God te vertel dat hulle nie hulle God ken nie. Daarmee saam het Hy aanspraak gemaak op baie unieke kennis van God wat uit Sy unieke verhouding met God voortspruit.

Jesus se “oortreding” het al hoe groter geword. Nie alleen was Hy ‘n verbreker van die wet nie, Hy was ‘n ketter. Hy het gepraat soos geen mens ooit toegelaat is om te praat nie.

Tog het sommige uit die skare wel geglo. Hulle het Sy wonderwerke gesien en Sy gesag erken. Dit het die leiers nog kwater gemaak. Hulle het soldate gestuur om Hom gevange te neem. Hy het gesê hulle sal Hom nie vind nie. Jesus was ten volle in beheer van Sy bediening. Sy kruisdood was op die hemelse kalender afgemerk. Dit sou nie ‘n oomblik voor die bepaalde tyd gebeur nie.

Die mense het met aardse perspektief gekyk, wanneer Hy van hemelse dinge soos die opstanding en hemelvaart gepraat het. Hulle het gedink Hy sal weggaan saam met die Jode van die Diaspora of by die Grieke gaan wegkruip.

Kon daar ‘n dag aanbreek waar ‘n mens Hom sou soek en Hom nie vind nie? Hy het belowe om Hom te laat vind. Elkeen wat Hom soek met ‘n opregte hart, sal Hom vind. (Jesaja 55:6; Matteus 7:7)

By die graf het die engel gesê: Hy is nie hier nie. Dit was die enigste tyd in die geskiedenis van die mensdom waar daardie woorde gegeld het en dit was goeie nuus. God is oral en alom beskikbaar vir die hart wat uitroep. Moet nooit jou hart se twyfel glo dat Hy jou gebed ignoreer nie.

Toe Jesus opvaar na die hemel, moes hulle wag vir die Heilige Gees (Handelinge 1) om die missie van Sy bediening voort te sit. Die Heilige Gees het verdeel en op elkeen gaan rus, net soos vandag.

Deur Sy Gees, God se asem, is Hy in en om ons. Hy sal ons in alle waarheid lei. Dit is hoe ons weet dat ons weet.

 

So in die verbygaan…woorde van lewe.

Liewe Bodemklipvriende,

Ek wil graag iets heel persoonlik met julle deel.

Ons gaan volgende week voort met ons studie van Johannes.

Ons is in die middel van die heel belangrikste naweek op die Christenkalender. Vir baie jare vra ek die Here om my oor Paastyd iets nuuts van die Kruis te leer. Hierdie jaar so ver was nie altyd maklik nie en soveel dinge het gebeur wat ek nie kon voorsien nie; baie seën, baie genade maar ook hartseer.

Vir verskeie redes was ek hierdie jaar sover meer uit as tuis.

Een van die dinge wat gebeur het was die heengaan van my sussie op 11 Februarie 2018. Sy is baie ouer as ek. Ek is die jongste van vier kinders. Ons het baie jare gelede ‘n broer verloor in ‘n fratsongeluk. Dikwels as ek en sy en ons oudste broer bymekaargekom het, was ons gesprekke soos ‘n getuienisdiens waarin ons die goedheid van God in ons lewe gevier het.

Ek wil graag die fyn besonderhede van haar siekte en verswakking met julle deel as ‘n getuienis van God se perfekte tydsberekening en Sy hand in ons lewe vir bewaring en seën.

Ek was nog altyd vas oortuig dat ‘n getuienis, naas die Bybel as geskrewe woord van God, die kragtigste woorde op aarde is.

My sus het kanker geveg en gewen toe sy net 35 jaar oud was. Met radikale sjirurgie het sy kankervry geleef tot haar dood. In die verloop van verlede jaar het ons gemerk dat sy al hoe stadiger beweeg. Sy het probeer om haar aktiwiteite op te skerp en het meer en meer gestap. Tog het sy baie moeg geword.

Een dag teen die einde van September 2017 het sy Fourways Mall toe gegaan en haar kruideniersinkopies daar gaan doen. Sy het eers ‘n rukkie in die Mall rondgestap en was oppad na haar kar in die ondergrondse parkeerterrein, toe alles swart word.

Die volgende deel van die storie word vertel deur die twee mense wat in ons familie engele genoem word. Dit is die wonderbare, onverklaarbare gedetailleerde Hand van God wat ingryp en help wanneer ons dit die nodigste het. Haar lewe is met vier maande verleng waarin sy ‘n wonderlike tyd saam met haar kinders en familie oor Kersfees en Nuwejaar kon deurbring.

Ek plaas dit soos dit aan my geskryf is. Die eerste een is die storie van haar man en die tweede is sy vrou self wat skryf. Hy skryf die brief aan my twee nefies, haar seuns.

I am writing this letter to record something that can be passed on to your children and your children’s children.

This is not a mystical story of fantasy but an account of how God works in our lives, and if you doubt there is a God then try and analyze the possibility of this account being coincidence. Your mother and my wife were players in God’s plan that you all would have the time over Xmas to get together as a family almost like there was unfinished things God wanted answered.

 I am a Scot and was brought up leaning slightly to the right as a “Presbyterian” with both my feet planted firmly on the ground and definitely not belonging to the group who analyze our daily living looking for miracles, and God’s signs, so it is only fitting that I should write this account.

 Starting at the beginning, and looking at the events leading up to my wife and your mother getting together, has to be looked at in detail to begin to understand the exquisite timing and finite detail that was in place.

 I am not a lover of modern technology and my fancy I-phone was giving trouble. I had to revert to shouting as no one could hear me. My wife insisted I get it seen to, and as there was a I-phone shop in the Mall, off I went. The Mall is a real mess and the underground parking is badly lit and very, very confusing and I ended up parking miles away from the shops which did nothing to alleviate my already short fuse. I patiently stood in a queue like a lost sheep. When I eventually got to the front of the queue, I was told that I needed to make an appointment.

Needless to say this did not end well and I stomped out telling everyone who was prepared to listen that I was moving my loyalty to Samsung.

 It took me over an hour to find my car and by that time I was a wreck.

Where are we going with this screed – well, have patience and all will be revealed.

The next afternoon my wife insisted that I go back and get my phone repaired. I was not prepared to admit that going back to that hell hole was bordering on me going insane and I asked her to please come with me. We have a mature relationship and I was told in no uncertain manner that she had better things to do than hold my hand in the underground car park.

In the next few moments the power drops out at the house. My wife is interrupted in her work and I haven’t left. We stay in a fancy estate and seldom have power problems but on this occasion we had two in quick succession and after the second one it didn’t come back on.

Once again I ask in a pleading voice for her to consider my plight and come with me to which she concedes providing I behave myself.

Normally a trip to the Mall is solid traffic and takes up to 50 minutes, but on this day and at this time there was no traffic and we flew there. We had stuff to deliver to our daughter, which I wanted to deliver first but my wife insisted we go the Mall. To try and make her understand why I was gone the whole afternoon the day before I wanted to show her exactly where I went in to the underground car park and just how confusing it is.

As I went down the ramp your mother was pushing her shopping trolley along in front of me and as I looked she fell. Of all the people in the Mall to be in the right place at the right time my wife is by far the person you want as she takes over and has a God given talent for knowing what to do in a stressful situation.

Both of us were concerned about security as these circumstances lend themselves to unscrupulous criminals taking advantage. My wife had started CPR, which she is very proficient at, and I was trying to get help from the centre. After 10 minutes plus and no life signs I told my wife that I thought it was over and nothing could be done. Still she persevered and one of the highlights of my life was to see your mother come back to life, flicker her eyes and the colour come back into her cheeks.

No words can express when you are in the presence of God and the crowd gasps at the miracle we were witnessing. Time stood still for me as I looked in wonder as my wife and your mum started to talk. When you read of the miracles that Jesus performed it doesn’t quite sink in but on this day it really sunk in and all of us felt the presence of God.

To finish this account of one of the most beautiful things that I have been privy to see, I feel it was a privilege and honour. I know that whatever the reason for the extension of her life for a few months, it was God’s desire that she spend the time with you.

She now is by God’s side.

Finally try and work out the odds leading up to our meeting your mum at that exact time with all the background. You cannot rationalize it and let the doubting Thomas’s try and fathom it out.

We thank you for inviting us to the funeral and I could not but help thinking that this was a joyous occasion and that she would have agreed whole heartedly with the gathering of the family with fond memories.

What a pleasure it was to be a small part in God’s plan.

 

The following is his wife’s account of the same event.

 

God has a PLAN!

Sometimes God uses us in really amazing ways.  I was used by God just recently.  And trust me, I was worse than Jonah.  I ran and ran.  God won the battle with me and this is the story.

It was a Monday last year in late September.  My husband has an I-phone and every day I marvel that a person more unsuitable to this type of technology was persuaded to think he could master this device.  Shows how branding and advertising really pay off!

To get to the story.  His phone was giving him a really hard time.  I suspected a software upgrade was required.  Anyway the whole of the Monday he yelled into his phone.  I suffered this throughout the day.  Eventually, I said ” Sweetie, please go into town and get it fixed.” If you know anything about our nearest Mall, it is a nightmare. The road from our house to the mall is around 24 kilometers of which six kilometers were under construction for the past two years.

So off he went.  After about two hours I got a frantic phone call.  (He had used my car).  “What is your car registration number?”  I gave it to him.  “I have lost the car” he said.  “The parking is chaos and under construction and I have been walking around for the last hour and I can’t find it”

Now there are six brand new parking levels, none of which are marked or signposted and no entrances are yet marked.  It is still under construction.

“Call the security guards and they can help you,” I suggested.  Around 7 pm that night he arrived home. He was in a truly foul mood.  And, you guessed it, the phone was still not working.  That is a story for another day.

Tuesday he yelled into the phone.  Actually he couldn’t hear anyone and they could not hear him.  Wednesday was unbearable.  He yelled and yelled.

On Thursday morning I woke up to no electricity.  This is a very rare occurrence where we live.  I was not in the best of moods as I had listened to yelling for three days solidly and now I could not do my work.  This was really the last straw.  I did all the tasks that did not require any electricity.  (Walk the dogs, make breakfast on a gas stove, make beds, dust, mop etc.).

By 9am the electricity was back on and I could get onto my computer and work. I also had curtains to finish for my daughter who was expecting her first child.   So I worked solidly with my husband yelling around the house.

We have lived here for five years and we have never had two power failures in one day.   It just does not happen.  I had finished my work on my computer and I was just settling down to do my work on my sewing machine.  My husband appeared behind me.  “Please come with me to town”, he said.

“I need to sew and finish these curtains,” I said.  Just as I said it the power went out again.

“Well,” said my darling husband.  “Now, will you please go with me”.  “All right,” I reluctantly agreed.

We loaded washing into the car that I had done during the week for my other daughter whose husband had an accident and broke his neck a few years ago.  She and her husband are always so cheery that I love to help them in these small ways.

The ride to the Mall would always be around 50 minutes to one hour because of the road works.  We flew to the Mall in under 20 minutes.  As we turned into the road for the Mall, my husband asked;  “Shall we drop off the washing first”.  “No,” I said.  “Go straight to the Mall and we can drop off the washing afterwards”.

We turned into the Mall and he went to the same entrance where he had parked on the Monday. In the far distance, I saw a lady pushing a trolley.  She was walking extremely slowly.  I admired the beautiful way she held herself and she was beautifully dressed.  Then my attention was drawn back to assist in looking for a parking bay.

“The lady has fallen,”  yelled my husband.  I looked forward and she had indeed fallen straight backwards and was lying immobile on the road.  Two security guards rushed up, grabbed her by her arms and started dragging her along the road.  I jumped out of the car and raced up to them.  “Leave her,”  I yelled.  They put her back down on the road.  When I reached her, she was clearly dead.  Her eyes and mouth were open. Her pallor was dreadful.  She was a deathly grey colour.

My husband, who had pulled the car alongside got out and looked down as she lay there. “She is gone,” he said.

I knelt down and felt for a pulse. Nothing.  I put my ear on her face to feel for breath. Nothing.  I don’t know what made me do it.  I pulled her head back gently, pinched her nose and gave her a deep breath.  I then started pressing down on her chest doing compressions.  I was counting.  At about 20 compressions, I breathed again.  Still nothing.  I carried on. By this time a crowd had gathered around.  They were all watching.

I saw one man in the crowd filming me as I came up to give her another breath.  “Stop him,”  I asked my husband.  He walked over and spoke to the man.

Another man sidled in on his haunches.  “Give me her jewelry and I will look after it,”  he said.  “Sir,” I said.  “If you can’t help me, go away”.

I gave her CPR for about 15 minutes.  She was completely unresponsive.  My husband kept telling me that she had gone.  Suddenly a light came on in her eyes and she gave a very gentle little sigh.  “I have her back,”  I said.  I carried on the compressions as her heart was still very fluttery.  I was then asking about the paramedics.  Nothing.  I could hear sirens but they were a long way away.

A little lady came along to me and said: ” I am the hairdresser from the shop above, can I help.” I asked her to look for the lady’s cell phone in her handbag which was next to me.  “Take it up outside” as there was no signal in the parkade.  “Look for any number that she dials a lot and call it.”  Ask for her details.  My husband was nowhere to be seen and I presumed that he had gone out to get a signal to call the paramedics.

I continued with the compressions.  When I felt her heartbeat settle down, I turned her into the recovery position.  I had been talking to her all the time.  I continued talking to her but she was unresponsive for about another 10 minutes.  I remember saying things like “don’t worry sweetheart, you are going to be all right”.   I had kept talking.  Now with her eyes closed I saw the tears on her cheeks.  She whispered:

“Where am I, am I at the airport?”

” No” I replied,  “you are in a parking lot.”

“In Canada” she asked.

“No” I replied ” In the Mall.  What is your name?”  I asked her.

She gave me her name.  She opened her eyes and stared into mine.  I continued talking to her softly telling her the ambulance was on its way.  I could hear sirens blaring.

By this time my husband was back and I asked him to get me something out of the car to put under her head, which was at a very strange angle to the ground.  He got me some of my daughter’s washing.

Then finally the paramedics and ambulance arrived.  I immediately got up and told them that she had had no vital signs for approximately 15 minutes and that I had continued CPR for the entire time.  I told them that she had collapsed about 45 minutes before. They nodded and took over.  They put her on a defibrillator and oxygen.  My husband and I moved off and went to our car.  We waited and watched from a distance.

A young woman who had been watching the whole thing came over and grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. “I have never seen anything like that.  Are you professionally trained?” she asked.  “No,” I said and did not elaborate.  “You saved her life.  It is a miracle.” She stood there with her arms around me crying.  I really felt small.

God was the only way that she survived this.  Yes I knew what to do, but if God did not have a plan for her life, I could not have saved her.

The paramedics were busy with her for a long time.  In the meantime her cousin who had been called by the hairdresser arrived.  Such a really lovely person.  I asked her where they were going to take her.

My husband and I left and went upstairs and got a cup of coffee.  I was emotional, filthy from the parkade and I was doubtful that she would make it.  So very sad.  I phoned the hospital the next day and asked if she had survived.  Yes, was the answer.  I asked if I could visit her and they told me she was in ICU but that I was welcome.

I went to visit her in the hospital that day.  When I walked in she said to the doctors and nurses.  “This is my Angel I was telling you about.  She saved my life.”

Now I really felt small.  ” No, I said, I am flesh and blood and worse than Jonah and the whale. I did not want to go to town, but God even put the lights out to make me go and be at your side.”

We both smiled.  “You are my angel” she insisted.

Tragically she passed away four months after the incident.  However, she did spend wonderful quality time with her family who all flew in and spent Christmas with her.

I visited her a number of times in hospital where she underwent major heart surgery.  She was a truly beautiful soul and I will always think of her with love in my heart.

 

Liewe lesers,

Is dit nie ‘n pragtige storie van uitkoms en voorsiening nie?

Aan my kant het die Here my geseën met tyd saam met my sus. Ons koop altyd ons vliegkaartjies op uitverkopings en reis in die “goedkoop” seisoene. So het die Here bepaal waar ek sou wees. Ek kon by haar wees deur haar groot operasie na die gebeure hierbo beskryf en het in Januarie tydens ‘n langer besoek haar dikwels gesien. Toe ek terugvlieg was ek baie bekommerd oor haar verswakte toestand. Minder as 12 ure terug by my huis in Kanada het ek die hartverskeurende nuus gekry.

Met al die trane het ek genade en die vrede wat alle verstand te bowe gaan ervaar. Ons God regeer.

 

Daardie dag moet julle sing van die goeie wingerd;

Ek, die Here, sorg daarvoor: Ek lei dit gereeld nat, dag en nag staan Ek wag daarby sodat niemand dit kan beskadig nie.

 

(Jesaja 27:2,3)