I haven’t written for a while. Mostly, just too busy. But in fact big things are on the agenda for me.
This last ten days, I have been on leave. With my wife Merilyn and our daughter Felicity, I went to Fiji and had a fabulous time.
Flik went there two years ago with Habitat for Humanity, to build a house in a small village. It was really great to go there and see the house. We did not actually go into the village, as this would be culturally inappropriate. But from the road we could see the house, now fully occupied as a family’s home.
That same day, it began to rain.
The rain was really quite unseasonal, and it rained for most of that
day and the next. But being so warm, it really didn’t stop us doing
Then, in a wonderful parable of hope, this happened.
At the end of that day, when we had not seen the sun all day (and we were there for the sun!!), this wonderful sunset was given to us:
It was a wonderful reminder that even though we may not see the sun, all the day, it is still there.
Our hope is grounded on a reality we often cannot see. Maybe we do not sense God’s presence for a long time. Maybe everything seems dull, or even worse—just plain dark and gloomy.
But God is there.
And as I sat and reflected upon this sunset, I had a deep sense of being graced, gifted and cared for.
This is the reality of our life.
Next day, the promise of the evening was indeed fulfilled.
In Fiji, the people are generally poor. They work for very low wages.
But they are happy people: they laugh a lot, and they are always really
welcoming. ‘Bula!’ they say, whenever you approach them. This means
much more than ‘Hello’; it means ‘Welcome’.
They seem genuinely happy to share their place with those of us who
just go there for the sun and the relaxed atmosphere.
This is their
gift to us.
Many of them, also, are people of faith. The church continues to be strong among the village people, and Christian leaders are able to make a very positive contribution to the society. There is much division between the people groups, and a movement for reconciliation following earlier political divisions is a sign of hope. After the clouds, comes a sunset, and maybe for this lovely nation a new day of peace and growth.
More about Fiji, including going to church there, later.