The Lord is my Shepherd

Mark 6:34

When Jesus went ashore, he saw a large crowd and he felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

I could relate. I’d been a Christian a dozen years or so and now living in UK. I was employed by a Care Agency back in Cape Town and journeying by train to the north to meet them for training.

London transport was terrifying. I had no idea there’d be so many stairs up and down all over the place. All my worldly goods were in the one suitcase I was lugging about in that rabbit warren.

People warned me to stand at the bus stop to board, otherwise they wouldn’t stop. There were so many buses shunting along I was confused. And busy London – they’re impatient. I waited obediently and waved to my bus pulling away – he hollered $%”£*?% vile language calling me a lazy something and pulled off.  I was far sighted so wasn’t wearing my specs, I asked the time at the train ticket office, he yelled ‘avnt yer gotta watch?!

Wow the land of hope and glory – where were those from ‘Songs of Praise’ I’d seen on the telly – ‘twas more like ‘The Weakest Link’ – where ripping people apart with words flowed naturally.

No wonder my ex was – well like he was – if that’s all he learnt growing up. Poor kid.

The train ride though, was definitely England’s green and pleasant land. I loved it, and the fields with animals and ducks and swans on lakes – it was magical. I smiled when I saw horses with funny blankets on, and wondered if my horse Nevada, would have liked a blanket – nah – he would’ve yanked it right off and stomped all over it, such a naughty boy. I’m sure he thought he was a puppy – followed me everywhere. Right into our stable doored kitchen one day – stable doors are horsey doors after all. Funny how the mind travels. Another lifetime.

Horse, Pony, Australian Pony, Animal, Mammal

I loved my granny, she died when I was ten years old so I felt sure I’d be fine with caring for the elderly in their own homes. I had great respect for older folk and was looking forward to learning from them and finding out about my new adopted country.

We were told in training that all clients are different and some may enjoy companionship, whilst others, well, just do your job and stay out of sight. Most people were polite and courteous but definitely suspicious. It’s only natural I thought, having strangers in the house, besides, the silver and all that. Quite a scary undertaking especially when their health was failing. Heart-breaking actually.

The most important lesson I learned was understanding how black people felt in South Africa.

Living in – did mean being available – obviously. I didn’t mind. I wanted to make life easier and peaceful. But there was one who called for hot chocolate at 3am every night/morning. And most mornings it was still there – cold. I was often shouted at and treated like a slave, until one night I cried to the Lord for answers. I heard a clear voice in my mind – “How long are you going to put up with it?”

That was a good lesson for me. I had to stop being a doormat. I was in a new country and I was afraid.  And my server nature led easily to abuse. When I told her the next morning to stop barking at me because I was there to help her, she treated me kindly thereafter.

Most of the Carer’s were from abroad, the agency said the Brits wouldn’t do it. But the one I handed over to, after me that morning, was British, and on my way home on the train, she phoned me begging me to come back as she refused to tolerate her. It helped me understand that it wasn’t me.

I scrubbed and cleaned to make sure my clients were hygienically safe as well. One very wealthy fussy lady was so impressed with my cleanliness she reduced the days her cleaner came! I had a lot to learn.

Quite a few arranged big meals and had guests round or afternoon teas and expected me to cook and wait on them.  Even carry garden furniture around and lift wheel chairs into car boots. Some even begrudged my food which was part of the package. 

I really did learn part of what it felt like to be treated like a slave like the blacks in South Africa.  

I prayed for forgiveness all over again, and prayed often that all whites, in South Africa especially, would come to know Jesus as their Lord, so that they could understand the bible, no one can understand the bible without the indwelling of the Holy Spirt. It is Spiritually discerned. Then they would learn that all people are the same. The colour of one’s skin does not make a person any less or lower in life.

All people are born with sinful, blackened hearts, we desperately need Jesus to make us pure and white as snow in our hearts, by being born of His Spirit and to live righteously for Gods glory.

So, it’s not the colour of our skin but the colour or our hearts, that the world sees, in the way we treat others.  

The Golden Rule – Jesus said in Matthew 7:12. In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.

Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

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