On Friday night I received something priceless – a gift so affecting and moving – something that no amount of money can ever buy.
Unexpectedly, the doorbell rang at around 5-ish. I was surprised when my care assistant said that it was my friend, Jabu Mhlongo. He never visits unannounced. Huh?
I could see that he was not alone. Oh my God, I hope I have some lipstick on.
He smiled at me warmly from the doorway, raising his hand – half-waving-a-hello, half-gesturing-a-don’t-panic. And then he stepped back as he allowed some smartly dressed strangers into my house. There were many – um, more than twenty other people filed into my little lounge.
I sat wide-eyed. Mouth-open. Astonished. What the…
They smiled shyly but, confidently. Nobody said a word. There was a definite inexplicable energy pulsating through the room. It was a-sort-of-anticipation or nervous-excitement. I don’t know. But, I could feel it. Something’s gonna happen here…
My care assistants stood by protectively.
Before Jabu could step back inside to explain, the group broke into song. There was no music accompaniment – just heavenly voices harmonizing – creating the sweetest sound you can ever imagine. Absolutely divine.
I was overcome by emotion.
The song was mournful, soulful and just so beautiful. Although I couldn’t understand all the Zulu words, I knew they were praising God. Jesu…Jesu.
I could hardly breathe. My eyes filled with tears. My soul shook with intensity. It was totally overwhelming.
It was like they were literally reaching out, holding my heart, picking up my spirit and touching my soul.
At that moment, I think, I could feel His presence. For the first time. Ever. He was there. In my lounge. And it felt like He was touching me with His bare hands. Really? Oh my God.
Then they sang again. This time in English. Oh my God!
I sat there, gob-smacked.
Jabu pushed his way forward through all the bodies to tell me that he has brought me a gift – The Faith Sharers Choir to sing for me.
The choir has been together since they were kids in 1977. Most of the members come from KwaZulu Natal.
They sang. They prayed. They spoke. They shared. They laughed. Then, they sang again. And again. And again.
Their commitment to God, their love for one another, their joy for life, their genuine compassion for others and their need to make a real difference to this world is obvious in their bright eyes, sweet smiles and open hearts. Their faith is huge, and unfaltering. It puts me to shame.
For an hour, they serenaded – and entertained me. They made me feel like the most important woman on the planet. I don’t think the Queen could have demanded better.
It was the most rousing, stirring, goosebump stuff I have ever experienced. I have never felt more alive – or special – in my entire life.
Dear God. If you are there. Thank you.