I haven’t written in a long time because I’ve been speechless…
Okay, frustrated… FINE - I’ve been pouting.
The Ladd Family was eager to take another faith leap outside of our comfort zones when we moved to Cape Town with a call to plant and pastor a new church. Although the city is more westernized than anywhere we’ve lived in South Africa before, I have spent the past few months feeling hopelessly out of my element.
We are surrounded by entirely different cultures and lifestyles than we’ve experienced before, so we are always learning! To keep us laughing and grounded, we spend dinnertime celebrating our identity and the unique makeup of our family. Lifa says Mom and Dad add “d’s” to everything (water: wah-dder, not watt-ter). I say South Africans make the word “prayer” one syllable, and it’s impossible for me to reproduce that monosyllabic sound. Lifa’s friends cannot believe how he says “eggs and bacon”, so they ask him to say it over and over again. (No, he cannot remember how eggs and bacon ever came up in the first place. I asked.)
Multicultural, multilingual, multicolored can be fun! Imagine heaven!
But it’s the conversations that don’t happen at the safety of our dinner table that have left me stormy on the inside. It’s my 9-year old son’s rip-off-the-bandaid exposure to the world that has turned my words into personal, impassioned prayers instead of positive Instagram posts.
I got mad at Cape Town when Lifa started to lose himself in this big city.
I’ve been quietly going to battle in my heart, mind and home.
We are not a family to be tossed to and fro with every gust of the infamous Cape Town wind. We are here to plant a church in one of the world’s most attractive and influential cities. It is a city more resistant to the Church than any other I’ve seen, but we were made to impact Cape Town for Jesus.
That means mama’s gotta stop being cranky and find a way to plant some roots!
We’ve been given eyes to see a lot of what’s happening in this city in the past few months.
We hear stories of upper-class suicides as we walk through our neighborhood with Buddhas perched decoratively in windows. We watch the devastating effects of wealthy secrets, drugs and sexual pandemonium in a part of the city we feel especially called to.
My son comes home from school asking if he can be friends with kids who love Allah because all but three kids in his class are Muslim. (Of course you can!) I’ve Google translate Arabic words to be able to respond to messages from the moms in Lifa’s class, and pulled fearful, confused Christian boys out of the mosque when a school field trip took an inappropriate turn. I had never even noticed the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan until we had to confront Lifa for not eating his lunch at school during the fasting.
I believe God has been giving us His eyes to see this new city He’s called us to.
And I think God has heart-storms too.
I think God hates to watch 9-year old boys be over-exposed, confused and fearful as much as he hates to see 39-year old fathers lead their family in that same way. I think He also cringes and cries while he watches marriages crumble behind sparkling veneers. I believe He’s also angry at the idols that perch in windows, flash on social media, or fill up glass after glass.
I bet He also wants to sweep His children away into the wilderness to say “REMEMBER ME! REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! REMEMBER HOW I MADE YOU,” like we recently did with Lifa on the coldest, greatest camping trip of all times.
It’s because He loves so much He’s willing to let it hurt.
He so loved that He sent His only Son, unprotected from the elements, to immerse Himself in the middle of the big, bad, broken world.
That Son looked at Table Mountain and knew the brokenness that would surround it. He did not shudder like I sometimes shudder when I look at Table Mountain.
He said, “Cape Town, Come.”
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters… Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.”
I’m finally ready to speak and to confess I need to see this city differently. He looks at me and says, “Yes. Now you can go.”
“You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills before you shall break into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
|You should DEFINITELY follow my handsome husband on Instagram: chrisleeladd|
HE TAKES PHOTOS LIKE THIS!