Thursday, June 15, 2006
My mother gave birth to me on June 16, 1976. I deliberately do not say that I was born on June 16th. My mother gave birth. I was born at about 2pm that afternoon. It was not an easy birth.
Whenever my mom tells the story she recalls her anxiety at hearing the news of the events that were taking place a couple of kilometres away. She always shares what went through her mind that afternoon: "How can I bring a child into this world?"
Our second child will be born in November, God-willing (perhaps a little of my Calvinist history peeping through). I wonder whether the question has changed? I don't know if there are parents who do not ask this question.
But then I am reminded that I was not the only child born that day. In fact there were many children who died that day, accomplishing what many people can't in a lifetime. Life is more than being born and passively receiving whatever the world has to dish out.
Living is about engaging with our world, its people and the different influences that go around. Doing so with the assurance that God travels with us creates faith, and faith in turn creates hope. Having faith and hope, we are naturally directed to the road of love.
My mom is glad that I was born that day. I am glad that she is glad that I was born that day. My prayer today is for our children, especially when they are forced at ever-younger ages to engage with- and challenge a world which at best, scares most parents.
God bless Africa
Guard her children
Guide her leaders
Give her peace.