When visiting one of the rural districts surrounding Zvishavane in the south of Zimbabwe 3 months ago, we were struck by the resilience of those who lived on the parched plots with little easy access to water, healthcare and education for their children. We were exploring a program run by the Zimbabwe churches with whom we partner that assists grandparents caring for grandchildren orphaned mostly by AIDS. Material help with seeds, chickens, goats, consumables and education fees are provided, along with pastoral support.
When one gogo (grandmother) was asked what else she needed, she replied, “The ability to keep praising God!” Her family had been particularly harshly ravaged by illness, failed crops and sheer misfortune. In her wisdom, she perceived a capacity to be positively oriented to the world through her faith to be a true gift.
On the fourth day of Christmas may our gift be that given by this woman – the understanding of a need for a capacity to praise God for his persistent involvement in our lives, not in ways that are always discernable to us, but emphatically underlined by God’s “riding with us” in Jesus of Nazareth and all who follow his path. Use Psalm 148 for practice!