Yebo Nkosi Yethu

As September emerged from the frigid wastes of Winter that is only now retreating to its cave, you may think that the advent of Spring is welcome.


And it is. But as happens from time to time, I accidentally expose myself to too much local news, and when this happens, I enter a malaise that can barely be described by words.


The negative news reports hammer home like blows from a mad pugilist. Barely has one punch to the face been felt, when several are delivered to the solar plexus. They build one upon the other.


This is the reason why I read news from abroad. It’s remote and serves as political entertainment.


The 2016 election in the U.S., the 2020 race, the Brexit chronicles. None of these directly affect me, are entertaining and are easily available..


An image occurs to me: the story of the little Dutch Boy who put his finger into the dike to stay a disaster.


I’ve never read the story (a story within a story: ‘Hans Brinker’) but that’s okay because the author Mary Mapes Dodge wrote the tale about Holland without having set foot in the Netherlands.


The imagery of me inadvertently reading local news is like the Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike trying to stem an ocean of negativity trying to breech the levy. The levy is my survival mechanism built on the principle of FOFO: fear of finding out.


Too much exposure to local news and I don’t have enough fingers to plug the holes.


On Sunday 1 September, early in the morning, I was alone in prayer, holes leaking all over the place and I found myself in Psalm 27:


I need to seek His face instead of seeking the news.


I catch a glimpse, a hint, a ghost in the light of local news that I will yet see His goodness in the land of the living. It’s not Biblical, but my mind forms a word-association with a city in Rhode Island called ‘Providence’.


Providence: under the providing care of God.

Spring is here, for real

I have to look to Him. Later that morning in church, we happen to sing the song ‘More than conquerors’:


“When waters rise

I lift my eyes up to your throne”.


My relationship with my own country is complicated.


I listen to Chris Tomlin’s ‘How Great is Our God (world edition)’ and the Zulu in the song gives me goose-flesh: Yebo Nkosi Yethu (Yes, Our Lord).


I listen to ‘Nkosi Sikeleli iAfrika’ and I feel nothing. Perhaps it’s the perception of the ruling party’s assumption that God has a wallet with His party membership card as the most prized possession, that He can be defined by politics, or even more heretically, by a political party.


My relationship with my own country is complicated.


My relationship with my God is simple.


There are holes in the dike.


Waters are rising.


I lift my eyes on a Sunday morning in September.


I lift my eyes up to Him.


I see merely a glimpse of what His providence may unfold for me in this land.


I wait for Him.

2 thoughts on “Yebo Nkosi Yethu”

  1. Sean, you have put into words what may can’t. I am so grateful that God is the one in control and not man! He already knows the outcome.

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