It is Sunday morning and my mother is singing hymn 233 from the Moravian hymn book and nothing can distract her focus. I watch her make breakfast and it is as if she is not there, her voice rises to the ceiling and the kitchen echoes her angelic praise. There is a peace and acceptance accompanying her harmony, causing the entire house to worship this God she is singing to. It is almost as if she woke up wearing a cloak of strength and it will never be too heavy for her.
I am 5 years old. My grandmother’s eyes are red. It has been a week and I still cannot figure out why the sheep have returned without uTatomkhulu again.
Do sheep still recognise their Shepard even after he has become a man? Does his voice still sound familiar to their ears? How do they erase the secrets he has shared only in their presence as a young boy?
How heavy must the cloak of strength be to walk all the way to the back of the mountain in this Village?
Today I woke up before the sheep could start singing their morning song in the kraal, I wonder if they know that their Shepard has slept an eternal sleep today.
We are gathered in the living room to pray. I am told to start a song. My mind goes blank and I try to locate my mother in the room, her eyes are glued to the hissing candle at the back. I cannot embody the kind of joy that lived in her voice that day in the kitchen. My mind begins to list a number of hymns I could sing but none of them embody that same selflessness. It has been 30minutes since I have been thinking about the perfect song but everyone has already said Amen.
Do children accept the names they are given by their parents at birth or is there a moment in their lives when it all makes sense that they could not be called anything else?
What truths and prophecies are engraved in our names? Do hymns possess the same kind of peace and acceptance that we have for our names?
Another 30 minutes has passed and I am down to 3 songs to choose from for the next time I have to start the song for prayer.
My heart is still fixated on that day in the kitchen with my mother. I cannot find the hymn for that kind of awesome wonder. My mouth wants to sing “hallelujah, hallelujah”. It is not prayer time yet but I cannot stop humming and nothing can distract me.
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