One of the themes behind my blog’s inception was being content to “Live Home Free” – both on a temporal level as I accept my current transient lifestyle and on a spiritual level as l continually move towards embracing the truth that “this world is not our home”.
For the last 3 weeks I have been hooking up with Lisa-John Baker’s Five Minute Fridays. It wasn’t what I planned to do but her words have inspired me. It has put me “out there” and that scares me; it also has me writing every week and enjoying it. Today’s word is a timely one for me – HOME. Not only because it ties back to one of the reasons I started blogging but because this Friday I am writing while visiting the city of my birth: Johannesburg.
From outside the country and places across the ocean there are many who wonder if I am crazy to return to a country who hasn’t been getting very good press recently and whose statistics of crime, violence and xenophobia support that view. From people within her own borders, this trip is the first in a long time that I have not encountered normal South African optimism. So in many different ways this trip has been clouded by layers of negativity.
The city skyline, far from beautiful or favoured in the country, evokes in me a deep response of affection. There are friendships and relationships here that shaped my life. Much of the fabric of my story was woven in this place and so I come back eager to feel and remember.
This city is a vibrant one, full of colliding African cultures; businesses and people always pushing to be seen as “world class”; with progress and promise alongside poverty and hopelessness; here the depressing is humorous and the ordinary courageous. This is not a city where people live small… it’s life on the edge …exciting and exhausting at the same time. The smell of a Highveld early morning, the dust laden sky, the faces, the languages and accents all comfortingly familiar.
It is not only the physical that confronts me here me but also my spiritual Life. This is where my eternal Life began. In this city, I took my first small steps of faith and had my first experience of community/ family within the church. Here in Gauteng, I developed the courage to stand for what I believed in: my faith against my non-Christian family and for justice against the then apartheid regime.
The memories run deep as does the nostalgia of the physical…In coming back, I am reminded again of the complexity and the roots of who I am!