God’s Thoughts to Me
The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against His anointed One.
“Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
(Psalm 2:1-3, NLT)
Two Humble Men
My country is in mourning. Thursday evening at 21:50, Tata Madiba has gone to be with His Lord! Tata, we are going to miss you! Now you know true freedom!
I wrote this post at the time when the South African Reserve Bank introduced our new set of banknotes nearly a year ago to honor this great man of boundless integrity.
I offer this post as a tribute to Madiba who lived humility, love, forgiveness and servanthood for he was a leader who always descended to the level of the person he served. He was a leader who washed the feet of his country:
This week our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa, was blessed by the South African Reserve Bank with a new set of banknotes.
On the one side it bears the renowned image of President Nelson Mandela and the other side, South Africa’s famous Big Five: the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and the buffalo.
My husband had the privilege of visiting Madiba twice at his modest home in the small Transkei village, Qunu, on provincial government meetings.
Tata Madiba’s Qunu Residence
He was overwhelmed by this gentle man who was truly larger than life. Mr Mandela was a humble man who taught South Africa the blessedness of forgiveness and he lived the truth of considering others as more important than himself.
Being the chief of his Xhosa clan, the villagers visited him often to ask him to settle disputes amongst them as was their custom.
To show their gratitude and respect, these humble, poor folk would bless him with a chicken or a goat. He received their gifts with heartfelt thankfulness.
Traditional Xhosa Women Dancing
On a state visit to England, Madiba was the guest of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, at Buckingham Palace where he surprised the palace household staff by making his own bed in the mornings.
When told that there was enough palace staff to do these menial tasks, he replied that it was an old Robben Island habit he had not been able to unlearn yet.
Madiba was one of only two people that did not address the Queen as “Her Majesty”, but called her by her first name and got away with it! The other one, her husband, of course!
I was always impressed by how this famous and great statesman always preferred to write with and sign documents with the cheapest pen we have in South Africa, a Bic pen.
A Jewish boy once personally delivered an invitation to Mr Mandela at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to attend his Bar-Mitzvah.
Although Madiba did not know this young man from a bar of soap, he graciously accepted and attended the celebrations.
During his term as the President of our country, he once queried a higher amount of money on his pay slip.When told it was his annual salary increase, he told his staff that he did not need more money for he lacked nothing.
That increase birthed the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. I am delighted that this fund is currently building the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital.
One of his prison wardens during his imprisonment on Robben Island once told the story of how they all went together to church on Sundays for there was only this one small chapel on the island. They kneeled together and prayed together.
After his release, they stayed friends. Years later, when the warden passed away, Madiba personally went to Cape Town to attend the funeral and console the widow.
Men of his stature and integrity are few and far between and very hard to find amongst politicians and Heads-of-State. His love for his country and all South Africans went way beyond any racial issues.
It saddens me to see the once beautiful dream South Africans had for a new South Africa now lying scattered amongst the reality of political unrest, violent crime and strikes, vandalism, murder, rape, domestic violence and drug abuse.
I hope that the Mandela family hid this sad state of affairs from Madiba as far as possible while he was an old and frail man. Yet, his lion heart could never be contained through old age.
G.K. Chesterton, an English writer, once remarked,”Once abolish the God and the government becomes god.” Wise words, for man was never created with the ability to govern himself or function independently from our Pappa.
Man was created as a finite spiritual being who derives his spiritual nature either from our Lord Jesus or the prince of the world; that greedy power-hungry destroyer of humanity.
He is the father of all systems and structures where power is abused, whether it be political, economical, social or religious.
He deceives the power-hungry humanity into accepting a couterfeit security, for most people do not truly know that their Pappa loves them passionately.
Yet, Madiba was a man who was locked-up in prison for nearly a third of his life on earth. He came out and showed forgiveness in stark contrast with most of the power-hungry leaders of our continent.
What saddens me even more is the hurt and sorrow humans cause their Heavenly Father by paying allegiance to the father of all lies.
Madiba and Francois Pienaar in 1997 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup
Not only do they destroy themselves, but also the beautiful creation He prepared as a gift for the crown of His creation, man! We are mostly ignorant of our folly.
Yet, He still became human just like us, He humbled Himself and paid the price for our freedom from our slavery to that cruel slave master.
In following in his Master’s footsteps, Nelson Mandela, reflected this true Picture of humility.
Madiba as Prisoner on Robben Island
I wish we could, like the Mandela family, hide man’s foul revolt from our Pappa to save Him all that anguish, heartache and sorrow!
Much love and sweet blessings xx
This is an edited repost.