Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bag of white sugar

Recently, as I walked to the local Spar supermarket, in Vredehoek, Cape Town, up from Ludlow road, where God had given me a three bed roomed apartment to reside temporarily[1], I was not sure if I had enough credit on my credit card facility[2] to purchase sugar.

As I approached The Sidewalk Café restaurant, I noticed a man sharpening knives outside their premises, at the back of his bakkie or truck, on which everything had been conveniently assembled for him to ply his trade.

Sidewalk Cafe, Vredehoek, Cape Town.
Apartment (upper) at 32 Ludlow Road,
Vredehoek, Cape Town.

It got my interest as my own paring knife had its tip seriously damaged by someone, whilst living in George, having used its tip for some ill advised purpose.  I did not know how to fix the problem and then remembered an old Afrikaner remedy.  Attempting to work off the badly twisted point, I slid both sides of the knife against a cement slab, trying to straighten and evenly level off the edges, as best I could.  Ahead of me I observed a craftsman at work, someone who truly knew what he was doing, otherwise his services would not have been used by such an establishment.  I sneaked up on him and jokingly stuck my finger in his side.  He did not hear me coming but, despite my actions, was not startled.

Bevan Pope,[3] the owner of Cutting Edge, the mobile knife sharpening operation, turned out to be a blood redeemed son of the living God, and we soon stood talking about God and His kingdom as he plied his trade on the “sidewalk” or at the back of his truck parked next to it (whilst at the same time answering all my questions on the process of sharpening knives.)

He then suddenly stuck his hand in his pocket and, to my surprise, handed me R30.00, the tithe on the work he was performing, he said.  When he arrived at the restaurant the person authorizing the sharpening of knives was out, and he did not think he would get any work from them this time.  But a prayer and a phone call (from someone working in the restaurant to someone in authority) resulted in him having to tend to all their kitchen knives.  He was being blessed and he wanted, in turn, to bless me.

After an interesting time together, I eventually left and walked into the Spar, purchasing a 2.5 gram bag of Huletts white sugar for R 27.95.  (This particular Spar is a neighborhood establishment and therefore (rightly or wrongly) considerably more expensive, in just about all the items they stock, than a more conventional supermarket only a few kilometers away.  (Biblically this is unjustifiable, but then a lost world couldn’t care less about what is just.  It honors an idol, called greed, behind which a demonic entity lurks.[4]

A few days prior, as I was beginning to run out of sugar, a believer (who came for breakfast with another believer), noticing my dwindling supply of sugar, suggested that I should purchase a “small bag.”  In the light of the aforesaid, I venture to suggest this man’s logic portrayed his comprehension and approach to the God whom he professes to know and serve, rather than what God had in mind.

As it turned out, I learnt  a day or so later, I had just enough credit on my card to buy two cups of coffee when two of us went to go see a brother-in-the-Lord earning his living selling paintings at St Georges Square, at the Cape Town city center.

This brother, I’ve noticed, often offered to buy coffee but never does.  In this instance, after alerted the waitress with whom he wanted to place an order, he promptly got up and disappeared.  When she arrived I ordered two coffees—and paid for them, and when I checked afterwards I noticed I had completely depleted all my recourses.  Thankfully, I had just enough “cash” left to pay for the coffees.

How often do we not treat our heavenly Father as if He is a pauper and act accordingly in our conduct towards others?

The sugar incident yet again sharply reminded me how faithful, merciful and gracious the God I serve truly is, knowing one’s every need,[5] small or great—and meeting it in His own time and way.  If He can meticulously supply something as insignificant as sugar for our timely enjoyment—how much more not everything else needed to accomplish the work pre-ordained in Him, big or small—if only we truly trust Him completely and wait upon His solution and timing!

In the light of the clear revelation of Scripture, how differently all of us still act towards Him.

We are never dependant on others.  Likewise, we can never base our trust in Him on the Scriptural interpretation/comprehension, or lack thereof, of others.  We are solely reliant on Him, the owner of everything on the face of the earth.[6]

Bless His wonderful Name!

[1] For which I only have to pay the water and electricity bill.
[2] The only “cash” available to me.
[3] His father lives in and serves God in a coloured community and I soon gathered that this Godly man, more than any other professing Christians, has left an indelible mark on his own son. (This unfortunately cannot be said of many Christians.)
[4] “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry,” (Col 3.5) with “They served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons …” (Ps 106.36, see also Le 17.7)
[5] Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt 6.31-33, emphasis mine)
[6] The earth [is] the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. (Ps 24.1)

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