A GOOD HEART FOR CHOOSING A BLIND LIFE PARTNER?

Yesterday, I was heavily offended and ticked off by a comment left on one of my husband’s facebook posts about me where he just expressed his love for me and how thankful he is that we are hapily married. The comment basically comes down to the statement that my husband has a good heart because he married a blind woman.

It was not the first time someone said this to him. Recently while he was visiting a sight at work, he was told the same thing.

I guess that day just wasn’t a day to say something like that to him, because he replied, asking the guy who said that how he could arrive at such a prejudiced conclusion. He then explained that marrying a blind person can’t and doesn’t define how “good” or “bad” your heart is, because there are some sighted folks who take blind partners for reasons that have nothing to do with love, care, and the desire to be with their mate for the rest of life. To them, picking a blind life partner is for selfish gain, such as the desire to be praised by people for having a good heart or being a good person, or even because they think it gives them an opportunity which they won’t have when married to someone with sight: it allows them to keep cheating while being married.

To some sick men, it’s about satisfying their need for power and their unquenchable desire to control someone else. I know many blind people will probably hate me for saying this, but it simply can’t be denied that those who are like that may see an opportunity for taking sole control of someone’s life, for example, by first luring that blind person into a relationship with him, and then isolating her from the rest of the world in ways that wouldn’t be possible for him if he had a sighted partner. One of the ways in which he can do this is to systematically make her dependant on him for transportation. Once she’s in a relationship with him, he is in a position to control where and when she goes. He can hide or take away her phone so that she can’t call a cab, having the peace of mind that she would never be able to obtain a driver’s lisence and so get away from him.

Conduct such as the examples I give above doesn’t exactly sound like someone marrying a blind person because he/she has a good heart, does it? I don’t think so. Moreover, I don’t understand how people can judge the goodness of others just by looking at the disability of the partners they choose. It doesn’t make sense to me!

Or wait! maybe it says something — not about the person whose heart is being judged or his/her partner, but about yourself. Doesn’t that indicate that you merely judge people from what you see on the outside without having all the facts together? Could it be possible that people’s disabilities make you decide whether or not you want to associate with them?

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‘n KYKIE DEUR DIE BRIL VAN ONS VADER

Vandag wil ek graag ‘n paar gedagtes deel waaraan ek veral gister baie gedink het na aanleiding van ‘n WhatsApp boodskap wat reeds Saterdag gestuur is, maar wat ek eers gister gelees het. Die persoon wat dit oorspronklik gestuur het, het lesers gemaan om asseblief nie gehoor te gee aan die beroep wat op Suid-Afrikaners gedoen was om op Maandag, 30 Oktober swart te dra ter gedagtenis aan die boere wat sedert 1994 vermoor is nie. Dit sou volgens daardie persoon perfek in die duiwel se plan val omdat hierdie tydperk op ‘n okkultiese feestyd val.

Hierdie is nie ‘n produk van ‘n reeds-gevormde opinie wat ek gehad het direk nadat ek die boodskap gelees het nie, maar het ontstaan uit dinge wat ek persoonlike ervarings wat aanleiding gegee het tot die gedagtes wat by my opgekom het. Op hulle beurt het die gedage my aan sekere Skrifgedeetes my herinner wat ek dan ook gaan naslaan het om seker te maak van my feite voordat ek sommer net blindelings gevolgtrekkings maak.

Ek dink dat ons Hemelse Vader in ‘n sekere sin mense sien soos wat fisies gestremde (of blinde) mense na hulle kyk. Op universiteit het ek geleer dat ‘n mens nooit ‘n stelling moet maak as jy dit nie kan bewys nie, so kom ek vertel jou hoe ek daarby uitgekom het deur vir jou die vraag te vra wat uiteindelik gemaak het dat ek hierdie artikel skryf: wat was die heel eerste gedagte wat by jou opgekom het toe jy gitter iemand gesien het met swart klere aan? Wat dink jy as jy vandag op 31 Oktober iemand in swart geklee sien? Watter indruk skep dit by jou? Vertel dit vir jou iets omtrent die persoon se geloofsoortuigings of gebrek aan kennis, of selfs hul politieke oortuigings? Het jy gister ‘n gevoel van patriotisme beleef omdat daardie persoon daardeur sy/haar meegevoel, protes of hartseer oor die slagoffers van die miljuisende plaasmoorde sedert 1994 betoon? Het dit jou laat glo dat daardie persoon “‘n regsgesinde, wit Afrikaner” is of net heeltemal onkundig oor geestelike dinge is? Dalk was jy eerder teleurgesteld, hartseer, of self bekommerd omdat jy daarvan oortuig is dat diegene wat wel gister swart aangetrek het vir daardie rede, onwetend in die duiwel se plan ingeloop het omdat dit op ‘n okkultiese feesdag val?

My eerlike antwoord? Ek het nie gister of vandag iemand gesien wat swart aangehad het nie, alhoewel ek weet van een persoon wat dit gister gedoen het om uitdrukking te gee aan sy gevoelens oor die slagoffers van plaasmoorde. Ek het niemand met swart gesien nie, want ek kan nie … My hele lewe lank was my fisiese sig nie wat dit moet wees nie.

Daarom weet ek eerstehands dat blindes nie mense oordeel op grond van dit wat sigbaar is vir die blote oog nie, soos byvoorbeeld die kleur van die klere wat hulle aanhet of die styl waarvolgens hulle aangetrek is. Die rede hiervoor is vanselfsprekend: hulle fisiese gebrek aan sig laat dit nie toe nie. Al wat hulle kan waarneem, is mense se stemtoon wanneer hulle praat, woorde en dade, maar hulle kan nie sien hoe mense fisies lyk nie.

Mense met sig kan die dade sien en die woorde hoor wat uitgevoer of geuiter word, maar in werklikheid kan die mens nie, slegs met behulp daarvan, tot ‘n korrekte beslissing kom oor die goedheid of boosheid daarvan nie omdat hulle ten dele ken.

Daar is dus dade wat goed lyk vir mense omdat hulle slegs dit kan waarneem wat hulle fisies kan sien, terwyl Abba Vader sommige van daardie “goeie” dade skerp veroordeel en verag omdat hy, anders as die mensdom, ten volle ken en Alwetend is.

Anders as blindes sien ons Vader alles raak. Die Bybel leer ons keer op keer dat Hy elkeen se hart en gedagtes deurgrond en ken. Hy is heeltemal vertroud met jou fisiese en emosionele behoeftes, voorkoms, en kondisie. Hy weet van alle aktiwiteite, aanwinste, en verliese. Hy het elke haar wat jy in jou hele lewe verloor of bygekry het, gesien uitkom of uitval.

Jou denke, doen en late, en die motiewe agter elke klein of groot woordjie of daad, is vir Hom geen geheim nie. Ons kan mense bluf, maar ons sal ver tweede kom as ons Hom probeer bluf!

Vat nou maar die storie oor die offerandes van die arm weduwee en die Fariseers as voorbeeld. Die weduwee het net twee muntstukkies as offerande gebring terwyl die Skrifgeleerdes baie geld gebring het.

Op die oog af het dit gelyk asof die Skrifgeleerdes hulle deel doen en die weduwee nie haar kant bring nie. Jesus se dissipels en ander wat teenwoordig was het die waarde van die offerandes van die arm weduwee en die Fariseers gemeet en beoordeel volgens dit wat hulle met die blote oog kon sien en tot die verkeerde gevolgtrekkings gekom: Die Skrifgeleerdes en Fariseers beroof God nie omdat hulle hul tiendes getrou betaal. Hulle is die tipiese blymoedige gewers wanneer dit by offerandes kom. Dit is waarom dit so goed met hulle gaan en GGod hulle so ryklik seen.

Aan die ander kant gee die weduwee net twee muntstukkies. Sy betaal nie haar tiendes nie en is ook nie ‘n blymoedige gewer nie. Dit moet die rede vir haar armoede wees! Sy het haar armoede oor haarself gebring.

Jesus het egter ALLE ooglopende en nie-ooglopende faktore in ag geneem voordat Hy Sy behoorlik ingeligte inset oor die ware stand van sake gelewer het. Hy het geweet dat die weduwee arm was en in haar armoede alles gegee het wat sy gehad het terwyl die Skrifgeleerdes maar net ‘n bietjie van die baie gegee het wat hulle gehad het.

So ook het Jesus op ‘n keer, toe Hy besig was om met Sy dissippels en die skare te praat oor die dinge wat die Fariseers gedoen het wat Hom dwars in die krop gesteek het (Matt. 23), beklemtoon dat dit nie die goud van die tempel of die offergawes op die altaar is wat die grootste is nie, maar wel die tempel en die altaar wat daardie dinge heilig. Hy het die Fariseers as “blinde gidse” uitgemaak omdat hulle die Here se volk anders geleer het (Matt. 23:16-22). Nadat Hy Sy punt daaroor gemaak het, leer Hy ons dat die een wat by die hemel sweer, by God se troon sweer en by die Een wat daarop sit (vers 23).

Ek is daarvan oortuig dat die beginsel wat Paulus vir ons in Romeine 14 neerle, te doen het met die feit dat uiterlike voorkoms nie altyd dit wat in die hart aangaan reflekteer nie. Die indruk wat die mens kry deur na goeie dade, mooi woorde, en die manier waarop mense aantrek te kyk om vir hom/haarself te bewluit of daardie persoon ‘n goeie of slegte ding doen of ‘n kind van die Here is of nie, is dus nie altyd reg en waar nie.

‘n Kind van God mag nou wel mense BINNE die liggaam van Christus beoordeel op grond van seksuele of ander sondige gedrag waarvan jy weet omdat ‘n bietjie suurdeeg die hele ongesuurde brood sal bederf (sien 1 Kor. 5:1-8), maar Paulus vermaan die kerk in Romeine hoofstuk 14 om nie op mekaar neer te sien of te veroordeel op grond van onbenullighede soos dit wat ons eet of drink, die heiliging van dae en tye, of enige ander kwessie wat niks te doen het met God se koningkryk nie.

Die klem van die handel en wandel van iemand wat deur die Heilige Gees gelei word, is nie veronderstel om te val op uiterlike voorkoms opsigself nie, maar moet val op ‘n lewensstyl wat nie iemand anders wat in Christus is, laat struikel en God se werk sal vernietig ter wille van onder andere voedsel of die gedenk/heiliging van dae en weiering om dit te doen nie. God is Gees; dus val die klem van die aanbidding van en in die geestelike op geestelike dinge soos gerigtigheid, vrede, en vreugde in die Heilige gees. Ons moet dus daardie dinge najaag wat lei tot vrede en dit wat mekaar sal opbou.

As enige iemand wat in Christus is, iemand anders wat ook in Christus is, laat struikel net om ‘n punt te bewys deur dit wat ons eet of drink, of die dae wat ons heilig of nie heilig nie, wandel ons nie in liefde nie. Die wat ‘n dag gedenk of heilig, doen dit vir God en nie vir ander nie. Diegene wat weier om ‘n sekere dag te gedenk of heilig, doen dit ook vir God se onthalwe en nie vir die mens nie.

Ons lewe en sterwe tot Hom. Daarom sal elkeen van ons aan Hom verantwoording doen.

Hierdie beginsel is vir ons slegte en goeie nuus. Die slegte nuus is dat, as ‘n mens iemand op grond van sulke dinge beoordeel, jy jouself in ‘n plek of posisie stel wat jou nie toekom nie en met dinge bemoei wat nie jou besigheid is nie. Die goeie nuus, wat opmaak vir die slegte nuus, is dat, as ons aan Hom behoort, bly ons Syne, Ongeag mense se opinies en gevolgtrekkings of watter dae mense heilig of nie heilig nie, of wat hulle eet of drink of weier om te eet of drink.

As ons hierdie beginsel op die praktyk toepas, beteken dit dat, as iemand wat swart klere aantrek iemand anders wat weier om dit te doen, veroordeel, speel daardie persoon God. As iemand wat weier om swart klere aan te trek ander mense oordeel omdat hulle dit wel doen, speel so ‘n persoon ook God.

As die Heilige Gees in jou woon, behoort jy aan Hom, ongeag watter datum dit gister was, vandag is, of die volgende dag sal wees. Jy bly Sy kind, al het jy gister of vandag swart, wit, rooi, grys, bont, of watter kleur klere aangetrek op ‘n okkultiese feesdag.

As iemand dus werklik die hulp van die lewende God soek en om daardie rede gister of vandag swart aangetrek het, heilig hy/sy mos nie die dag aan Satan nie. God weet wat waar is. Jesus is die waarheid. Die Gees van Waarheid, wat groter is as hy wat in die wereld is, woon in die wat in Hom is en Hom aangeneem het, en dus die mag het om Sy kinders genoem te word.

Dit bring my terug na my stelling dat die Here en blindes tot ‘n mindere mate iets met mekaar in gemeen het as dit kom by die beoordeling en evaluering van mense. Vir blindes het die indruk wat hulle van mense het, absolutt niks te make met hul fisiese voorkoms nie. Vir ons Hemelse Vader het jou verhouding met Hom en die manier waarop Hy oor jou dink en na jou kyk, ook hoegenaamd niks te doen met jou uiterlike voorkoms nie.

Alhoewel daar ‘n aansienlike groot verskil is tussen die rede waarom Gode en blindes onderskeidelik nie op die uiterlike ingestel is nie, is die rede daarvoor steeds gekoppel aan hul onderskeie kondisies. Dit is die blindheid van blindes wat hulle in staat stel om nie op die sigbare staat te maak wanneer hulle mense beoordeel of evalueer nie. Dit is juis God se geestelike aard wat Hom in staat stel om VERBY dit wat sigbaar is, te kyk.

Omdat ek blind is maak dit nie vir my saak watter kleur mense op watter dag dra nie. Dit is die rede daarvoor wat tel en uiteindelik van geestelike waarde is.

Gesien vanuit hierdie perspektief (of deur hierdie bril), dink ek regtig dat die kleur en kondisie van jou geestelike klere baie meer vir God saakmaak as jou fisiese klere. Solank jou geestelike klere nie swart is nie, is dit nie vir Hom ‘n probleem as jy gedurende ‘n okkultiese feesgety in swart geklee is nie.

THE DUMMEST, RUDEST QUESTION TO ASK A MARRIED BLIND PERSON

I understand that today’s article is a very sensitive issue for a variety of reasons.

There are those who don’t want to talk about it openly, because they think this subject is a taboo issue.

Then there are those who really want to know if and how blind people do this at all, but they won’t ask this question directly to a blind person or some person who has a blind spouse and/or partner.

The reason for them wanting to know more about this subject can probably be attributed to the fact that, for some weird reason, they believe that blind people just don’t do that, unless a sighted person is involved.

There are also those blind people who consider it a crime if you as a blind person do as much as daring to express negative feelings such as annoyance, disgust, or any other emotions which the very pretentious members of the Blind Community deem socially unacceptable if they are expressed or entertained by blind people when faced with this question, because how dare you feel this way if you claim to be a good blind person?

Whatever the reason for considering it a delicate matter, I feel that it’s necessary to call a spade a spade and to educate those who are ignrant once and for all on the answer to what I consider to be the dumbest question and/or assumption sighted people can think to ask and/or make about blind people.

I’ll start by quoting a facebook post of mine which I have posted to two closed groups for the blind and/or visually impaired:

“Hi everyone

“Has someone ever asked you a question, and then you think, oh gosh! Can people really ask such a question boldly without considering what a stupid question this is?

“It’s not that I’m being unfair to sighted people, right? It’s just that I don’t understand how some (not all) people think that you need sight for literally everything, and I really mean EVERYTHING!

“Fortunately for them and for me, no one ever dared to asked me such questions to my face. I don’t know if people are too scared to approach me to ask questions like the ones I’ll post in my first comment to this particular post. Chances are good that it is because it’s very hard for me to hide my true feelings even if I try very hard not to show them, but anyway, if you’ve experienced something like this, I’d like to hear from you. What was the question, and how would/did you react and/or respond to it?”
October 15, 2014

Part of my comment to this post was the first one and reads:

“One … question was addressed to my husband, and I think that my absence from that incident was a very good thing, because I have absolutely no idea how I would’ve responded if I heard it. I don’t know if I would’ve laughed myself to pieces or if I’d be annoyed by it.

“Anyway, my husband was asked by one of his colleagues how we procreate. Now, I can understand how people can wonder about how a blind person would be able to raise children and to be a good parent, but I really don’t understand how people can think that you need sight to procreate or to have sexual pleasure 3 Full stop”

I used the term “procreate” for the sake of not being crude, but what I actually wanted to say in the place of “procreate” was “have sex”.

There were members of both these groups who responded to this post. However, I am not prepared to reveal the true identity of the authors of the responses quoted below, but I will provide you with some of the responses I got.

Pete (not his real name): “I was thinking about the whole procreate question, then I remembered something I heard on the news that is interesting. It sseems that when extended power outages occur, such as from the result of severe storms, curiously 9 months later a spike in births usually follow. Apparently, sighted people can do it in the dark, and yet they wonder how blind people can do it in the dark? …”

Maria (not her real name): “Once my niece said that blind people can’t have sex because they can’t see what they were doing, and I told her that you don’t need a well lit up room to do that. Believe me, us blind people know what we are doing! We manage quite nicely. Then I asked if she and her boyfriend take a flashlight with them to bed … and she said no. Then I told, her, “Well, then you guys must do it in broad daylight …” She said, “No, only at night sometimes.” … I told her, “Well then you must have a flashlight, because how do you guys know what you are doing in the dark?” after that she just kept quiet …”

Sally (not her real name): “It’s not like you’re being unfair to sighted people 3 Full stop Some sighted people just need to stop asking such stupid questions 3 Exclamation mark … Oh and 3 Full stop Don’t people usually turn the lights off when having sex anyway? I never understood why people think you need to see to have sex 3 Full stop Stupid 3 Full stop”

Delia (not her real name): “It’s called rude! One way to respond is to ask, why do you ask?”

Jone (not her real name): “Someone on a different site said that they were asked how do blind people make love. She had a great comeback about how we have to go to school periodically to keep up with current techniques etc until she couldn’t keep a straight face anymore.”

So, I hope these responses make it clear that:

Blind people can and do make love as do sighted people; and
You don’t need lights to make love, because for the greater part, one uses your sense of touch to perform this activity!

It is important to add, however, that asking how a blind woman knows if she started her period is not a stupid question. I can understand why it’s difficult for a sighted person not to know when it’s just a vaginal discharge or when it’s the real thing. I’d be disgusted if I’m asked this by a man though! Also, this particular question is not one I will answer online either as one cannot be too sure about the gender of the person addressing the question to you.

Now, let me account for expressly daring to state that this is the dumbest question a sighted person can ask a blind person for the sake of those members of the blind and vision impaired community who are uptight and who see my annoyance with this question in particular as a terrible crime of blasphemy against the holy Blind and Vision Impaired Community.

First of all, I think that Delia adequately summed up the reason for the contention that this is a stupid question to ask blind people in one single word: rude! Asking a blind person or his/her sex partner (sighted or blind) how they make love is rude, because rude questions are stupid questions too: by asking it, you’re being foolish for not considering the other person’s feelings and privacy! So watch your mouth! Besides, you have no right to do that even if you are curious. It’s none of your business anyway, unless you’re interested in dating or marrying a blind person (which rarely happens).

Secondly, a question is stupid if the logical explanation to it is right in front of you! I mean, how can people assume that blind people can’t or don’t have and/or enjoy sex if they are acquainted with a blind person who gave birth to children? Was she conceived by means of an act of rape or immaculate conception? Do they themselves make love with the lights on?

So maybe, expecting from people to think before they speak is not asking too much?

What It Really Means to Love and Care

Yesterday, I have seen once again how true it is that actions speak louder than words. A Facebook account which I have deactivated in May 2016 has been hacked.

I won’t deny that it was a nuisance to me to sort things out. For starters, I couldn’t log into that account. Facebook didn’t even prompt that I used the wrong username or password to log in. I was just given the option to create a new account!

Reporting that profile by myself was another issue on its own. For some reason, after tapping the report button, Facebook wouldn’t give me any instructions to follow to have the matter reported. I was simply shown the profile again.

But the beauty of it all was that there were people who didn’t unfriend me on that old, supposedly deactivated, account, and who have done absolutely everything in their power to bring to my attention that they suspect that my old account has been hacked. Some of them posted on the timeline of the profle I’ve been using ever since I deactivated the other account up until now. Some sent me a message on WhatsApp. Some called me to make sure I know about this.

Not only was this proof that there are people who know what I would and would not post; it also proved to me that there are people who care about me!

People can tell you that they love and care about you, but statements mean nothing if not substantiated by proof. The proof of people’s love and care for one another is to be found in their actions toward one another.

Many will tell you that they love and care about you, but as soon as you press on their button, they’re too busy and they’d often react by shouting at you or criticising you for not having done this or that to solve the problem with which you’re asking their help. They would only assist if they can gain something from it, including financial benefits or a better social status.

On the other hand, those who truly love and care rarely tell it to you verbally. I don’t recall any time when one of these people who helped me with this problem yesterday actually told or tried to assure me that they love and care about me. Instead, you find out how much they love and care by what they do. They come to help you without you having to tell them that you need their help, because they seem to just know when their help is needed. They don’t help you because you’re a charity case to them, or because they’ll get something out of it, such as a higher opinion of people about them. They do it because you realy matter to them and they want to help you.

They are the ones who are never too busy to hear you out. They are the ones who don’t judge plainly from what they can see on the outside.

Such are They are those who really love and care about you as a person, and if you haven’t managed to find a friend like that, keep looking. There may only be a few of them, yes, but they are there …

Thank you Lord for bringing such sincere, loving, caring, and helpful people into my life. Please help me to be a friend like that to others? Help me to influence, by means of the life I lead, those who only help for personal gain to change their ways and repent of their lack of compassion?

BEAUTY AND THE POOP

I bet all of you who are reading this have heard of the fary-tale Beauty and the Beast. It is featured in so many books and films that there’s more than one variation available.
But today I want to tell you a story which you haven’t heard, because very few people are as crazy as I am to post about a gross and nasty subject such as stinky poop!
Once upon a time lived a woman. Not only was she extraordinarily beautiful; she was very rich too, having the right man, the perfect home, the perfect job, and the perfect wardrobe. For purposes of this story, I shall call her Beauty.
But there was one problem: Beauty had some fertility issues, so she couldn’t have kids of her own.
Her inability to bear children affected her so badly that she cried about it every single day of her life.
She prayed about it. She went to doctors to check if there’s any solutions to her problem, but to no avail.
Then, years later, she started waking up every morning, and the bathroom would be the first place she’d go to, because she felt sick.
She also noticed that her period just wouldn’t come anymore, and as time passed by, her belly grew bigger.
So, she went to her doctor, not expecting to hear good news, because she is infertile, remember?
She was not at all prepared for the news: they’ve done some bloodwork on her, and miraculously, it was found that she was pregnant with the baby she longed for so much.
To the surprise of the doctor and her own, she had a very smooth pregnancy. In fact, she could even give natural birth and breastfeed without any problems! How unbelievable!
But, after the baby was born to her, Beauty discovered that she doesn’t like getting her hands dirty with poop, so she appointed a nanny to do that for her so she won’t have to put up with something so yucky!
One night, while the nanny was helping the cook out of the kindness of her heart, she burned herself with water. Beauty was left  having to take care of the business she tried so hard to avoid.
As she was changing her baby’s nappy, it dawned on her that having to do this  gross job was part of being a mommy, and she  realized that having to work with her baby’s poop wasn’t that bad at all.
The moral of the story: it doesn’t matter what ministry or job you’d like to go into, there’s always going to be nasty stuff you’ll have to deal with. Pastors have to deal with the effects of death on families, and sometimes, they even have to witness bad endings …
Engineers who like to work outside and who hate paperwork sometimes have to do some pen-pushing when they have to draw up plans.
The list goes on and on, but the point remains that you’re going to have to deal with stuff you don’t like to deal with.
Now, I don’t know the thoughts that may comfort you in this regard, because not all of us have the same beliefs, but for me, my comfort lies in the thought that I will never be given something which I  won’t be able to manage, because I believe that my Creator won’t put stuffin one’s life which one wouldn’t be able to handle. So, I’ll hang in there, and I suggest you do the same. You … can … do … it!!!

RIGHT THERE …

The other day, our electric kettle packed up, and because it costs more to have the element repaired or replaced than to buy a new electric kettle, we decided to purchase a new one.
Satisfied with our purchase, we left the grocery store and went home. We couldn’t wait to use our new electric kettle for the first time, so we were very excited to get home.
The first thing Des did as soon as he was in the kitchen was to open up the box which contained the kettle. But after opening it and packing ot the kettle, he found no plug for it. This infuriated him of course, because if we didn’t have the plug for it, it would be of no use to us as it can obviously not work without the plug. This also meant that we had to drive all the way back to the store to hold the staff accountable for the condition in which the item purchased was delivered to us.
It wasn’t the fact that we had to go back to the store in itself that bothered Des so much. To him, it was more about the time he’d have to waste, because he needed time to do some work which he brought home from the office and which needed to be completed before the next day.
When we got to the store, I stayed in the car, because it was near the end of the day, and I really didn’t feel like witnessing a fight, even if it was for a just cause. I don’t know if someone else can identify with this, but sometimes, I simply don’t feel like witnessing or taking part in any confrontations. This is quite contrary to the sort of personality type that’s being described as feisty, i think … But anyway, sometimes I’d rather take a backseat andleave others who have the strength to fight to do the fighting (despite having been described as confrontational in the past).
So he told the staff and the security that he got the kettle without the plug, upon which they informed him that the plug was inside the ketle. They also told him that he is not the first client to return to them with such a complaint, but that they unfortunately had to place the plugs inside the new kettles, because some people steal it out of the box and then they leave the kettle behind.
When we got home, we immediately had coffee made with boiled water from our new kettle. as we were waiting for the water to boil, we noticed that the light the kettle gives when it is switched on is blue. It’s the first time we own and saw a kettle that shines a blue light, and all of us think it’s pretty cool that the colour is blue for a change instead of the usual colours red or yellow.
The blue light makes Des and our son think of police vehicle lights, while it somehow reminds me of the blue star featured in Narnia III.
Des was still angry, but not at the staff this time. No, he was mad at himself, because he wasted time going to the store while the plug has been there all along and right in front of him … I comforted him though, reminding him that did so because he didn’t know where to look for it.
But don’t all of us do something like that some time in our life? I’m not necessarily talking about not looking in all the right places for physical stuff only; I’m talking about looking for answers to questions we have as well.
We all know that we can find many answers to questions we may have on Google, and we also know that not all questions can be googled, such as why life is so blooming unfair sometimes, or why some people just love to knowingly cause hurt and affliction to others, and so on and so forth.
Sometimes, the answer to a particular question or a particular something we’re looking for is right in front of us. The only thing standing between us and the answer or thing we want and discovering its good characteristics for which we didn’t necessarily bargain is our ignorance: we don’t know where (or sometimes even how) to look for it. Sometimes, all we have to do to save ourselves the trouble of looking for it in a place far away is to look right in front of us …  Many times, the answer is just … right there …

EVEN THE DEMONS TREMBLE

I have so many ideas as to the next blog entry I’d like to post. I have so many things to talk about. Yet, it’s as if I can’t bring myself to write them down, not because I’m lazy, but because I’m overwhelmed by the urge to share with you a post which I’ve written some moons ago when I still blogged with thoughts.com. I had to let go blogging there, because for some reason, I couldn’t get into my site …

Since I blogged there by first saving my entries as Word documents and then pasting the content into the edit field for the body text of the entry, I still have the content with me today. However, I had to make some amendments to the original to provide for the lapse in time, but here’s what I wrote and what I’d like to share from that time today.

The following story was sent to me in Afrikaans via Whatsapp years ago, and because it made me think of certain passages in Scripture which, in turn, caused me to read other Bible passages with the same theme, I just cannot help sharing it!

Once upon a timelived a Christian old lady who was so poor that she had to rely on the community for donations of food, clothes, and other groceries. The local Christian radio station knew about her circumstances and would regularly ask churches and others who were into charity for donations. It so happened that a devoted atheist heard about it and decided to trick the old lady. He called the radio station, asked them for her residential address, and requested his secretary to purchase some groceries and food and then to deliver it to the old lady with the following instruction:- “If the old lady enquires about the identity of the donor, tell her that it was sent to her by the devil.” Arriving at the old lady’s residence, the secretary could tell from its appearance that its inhabitant was severely poor, so she wasn’t surprised when the donation was received with great joy and gratitude. However, she was surprised when the old lady started to pack all the groceries away without enquiring about the identity of the donor.

After a few moments, the atheist’s secretary asked the old lady if she was curious to hear who sent her all these groceries, to which the old lady responded (wisely and calmly):- “No, child, that doesn’t matter, because even the devil obeys God’s orders just because God has spoken.”

Having read this story, I remembered something in the Bible about the devils fearing and trembling, and I also remembered that it was somewhere in the book of James, but I wasn’t sure of the context of this verse. So I typed in “James 1” and read this book until I found what I was looking for:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

The apostle James wrote this in the context of faith without works, making the point that it doesn’t help to confess with your tongue that you believe in God when your deeds don’t show it, so it means nothing if your brother or sister is hungry or needy, and you say, “God bless you” without even attempting to do something about his/her situation.

This verse, in turn, reminded me of Something Jesus said to the seventy people whom he sent to minister to the Jews in His name after their return when they reported to Him that the devils are subject to them when they did something in His name:

“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:18-20)

Now, the reader has to understand one thing very clearly, which is that, if the story about the poor lady and the atheist is true, then neither the atheist nor his secretary in the story as told above is the devil, ok?It should not be our aim to make those who are in the world and who refuse to believe in Christ the object of our struggles with their arguments and the things they say and do to us in the name of liberation, freedom or reason. God loves the world (John 3:16), and not only did Jesus atone on the cross for the sins of those who believe in him, but also for the sins of the whole world! However, Satan is described as the Prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and Paul wrote that it is this way with the minds of those people because the god of this world has blinded their minds (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

It is for this reason that we are told in at least two New Testament passages that the war of Christians are not against people, neither are their weapons of warfare the same as the weapons of the world.

“For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world), we do not war after the flesh (wage war as the world does). For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (or the weapons of the world), but mighty through God (or they have divine power) to the pulling down of (or demolish) strong holds; Casting down imaginations (arguments or reasonings) and every high thing (or pretention) that exalteth itself (sets itself up) against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of (make it obedient to) Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

The following points are made very clear by the apostle Paul as we read this passage concerning the weapons of Christians:

1. People who are in Christ do not wage war in the same manner as those who are in the world, or else our warfare is carnal (fleshly) and cannot please God.
2. The weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal or typically human and/or secular, but are mighty or powerful only through God.
3. We have to use our spiritual weapons to demolish strong holds.
4. Our weapons have to cast down any argument or pretention which seems to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. An example of such an argument or pretencion can be found in Isaiah 14:13-14 where Satan’s attitude towards God while he was in heaven is addressed.
5. We have to imprison every thought, in other words, subject each thought in such a way that it is obedient to Christ.

Elsewhere, Paul wrote:

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)

Here, Paul makes it very clear that we do not wrestle against people, but against things that can’t be seen or observed in the physical realm.

It’s hard to do so, especially if the things said and done to you make you feel the painful sting that often accompanies mockery and rejection, but at least, the following can and does serve as comfort:

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” (John 15:18-21)

In conclusion, I’d like to add that, if the atheists secretary asked the old lady in our story if she would have accepted a donation of groceries if she knew that the devil was the donor, then she could have responded that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

Wow! So it is indeed true that even the devil has to submit to God! I also find it hilarious that God can use people with ill intentions to accomplish His will, even if they mean to do evil!