In spite of it being a public holiday in South Africa on Monday (Human Rights Day – is it an international one, I wonder?) I had been catching up with emails and pottering around my computer all morning. Beginning to feel hungry I decided it would be a good idea to start lunch so I could eat at roughly lunch time, rather than procrastinating as is my habit and having lunch at 3 pm or later. So I went into to the kitchen, found my cutting board and an onion and turned to choose a knife.
The phone rang. Now I don’t know about you and your mobile/cell phone, but mine, unless I have it in my hand or am stationery in one place for more than 30 minutes, always seems to find its way to the other end of the house, and is often buried under papers. I don’t have a big house, but it always seems to be full of corners when my phone is ringing somewhere else.
This time I managed to find it before the caller rang off.
“What are you doing?” my friend asked.
“I’m just about to get lunch.”
“Well. don’t. A couple of us are going out for a bite to eat. Come and join us. Walk round in 10 minutes and we’ll go together.”
The matter was not debatable. Even a toasted sandwich made by someone else was preferable to what I had lined up for my prospective thrown-together meal.
It must have been the quickest change in history. I even managed to find a smear of lipstick – not a thing I wear often these days as it is hidden behind a mask mostly. So I was ready in time and enjoyed the wander through the village, greeting a couple of people on the way.
Our lift arrived and we set off, driving along the lagoon and then leaving the coastal road to climb up, up, up through the holiday homes built on the hillside. This was the hill I had conquered, facing my fears, and then sat for 10 minutes in the carpark as I shook with excess adrenaline. It’s much easier to be driven up it. (One day I must face it again so I know I really can manage it.)
Right on the very top is a magnificent home. It has been turned into a restaurant now and it was not possible to see the view from the carpark. But walking through the house to the terrace on the view side, we paused and gasped for breath.
Spread out below us was the lagoon – aquamarine on this gorgeous, sunny day. The islands were busy, we could see tiny cars and people on the roads. The town lay glistening in the sun, and beyond, because we were so high ourselves and the day was clear we could see four layers of the mountain range that ran inland along the coast. Turning the other way, the sea was a deep royal blue. A small boat tossed on the waves, making me grateful I was where I was and not where they were.
Before we even sat at our table I found myself praising God. I was reminded once again that only the God who loves us could create such beauty. Only the God who loves us would give me the friends I was with, in spite of lockdown and the uniqueness of the year we have just lived.
I drank it in – the beauty, the colours, the friendship, the love of God. And I worshipped Him.