The month of love has come to an end, but I’m hoping that this is not the end of your ‘love story.’ 🙂 Whether you were accosted with flowers on Valentine’s day or merely received a text message, I hope you were still able to recognize and experience love in its many shapes and forms.
Romantic love is good, and desirable – but there are other kinds of love that must also be celebrated. Like the love of family, the love of friends and the ever true love of our Heavenly father.
The few days before Valentine’s day, I got a taste of these ‘other’ kinds of love, and I look back on that experience with such gratitude for the lessons I walked away with.
Here’s my ‘Love story’ 😉
That Sunday afternoon, my sister and I were running some errands downtown, when we made a quick stop at one of the local stores to check out some hair products. I parked directly in front of the store, secured the car and we went in. The transaction took no more than 5 minutes but when we came back out, to my shock and horror, the car had been broken into and I’d been robbed! The car door was open and my handbag, which I’d secured in the back under the seat prior to our arrival, was gone. Now, I know you’re going to say, ‘Dumb move. Why leave your handbag in the car?’ In my defense, I will say 1. The car windows are tinted 2.the bag was hidden behind the seat 3.it was a quick stop, the streets were deserted and 4.I guess it was also just one of those days…. 🙁
Fortunately, my phone and money were on me, so the only items of value in there other than my make up, were my ID’s and Bank cards. But still, after the initial shock had worn off, my heart truly sank.
The feeling of confusion, of violation, of helplessness (all in one) washed over me as we proceeded to our next stop in finishing off our tasks for the day; driving along mostly in bewildered silence.
Eventually, I dropped my sister off at home, and as I sat in the car for a few minutes before driving off, she came over to the driver’s side and gave me a much needed hug.
That was love 🙂
The next morning, I got myself ready for the arduous task of replacing my ID’s and such. If you’ve ever been to the government departments responsible for issuing Driver’s licences/National Registration Cards, and are familiar with the chaos that is there, then you’d know I was dreading what lay ahead. I went to the Police station to pick up the police reports required to get my documents replaced and it turned out that the person tasked with preparing and signing these had not come in for work. With the limited time on my hands and having to return to work, I could see my day, and potentially week, getting derailed. Feeling frustrated, I went to the entrance of the station to think of what my next step would be, and if I should come back and start this process over on a different day, when lo and behold, a familiar face stopped in front of me. A friend of mine dealing with a traffic issue of his own stopped to say Hi. After the pleasantries, he asked me what I was doing there and I narrated my ordeal. He offered to help, and walked with me to a nearby business center where I was able to obtain an affidavit, make some fresh copies, and he returned with me to the police station. There was another officer that he knew could take this up and have the documents signed without issue. All this was done in a few minutes.
That too was love 🙂
After parting ways with my friend, I got in the car so I could head back to work. It was around lunch time and traffic was beginning to build up. I’d already spent 30 minutes in traffic at this point, so I was going nowhere, fast. With my documents on the passenger seat, my mind turned to the queues at RTSA and how long it would take for me to finally obtain a replacement Driver’s licence. Weeks, or months, perhaps? 🙁 I also thought about the second long queue I would have to be in for my National registration card. I thought about all the things that would get affected as a result of me not having Identity cards. And I was not happy.
Then I thought about how nice it would be if my documents just randomly turned up somewhere… To be honest, I actually voiced out those words to God, albeit in a whisper. But then my mind wouldn’t let the hope in my heart grow, when I realized that the odds of that happening in a city of about 2 million people were not in my favor. I sighed again in resigned despair and drove on.
A few minutes later, still in traffic, my phone rang. It was a colleague from work telling me to call the police on such and such a number, as they were trying to reach me. I quickly called that number and an officer from Chibolya police post, in one of our notoriously dangerous slums, answered. He asked me to identify myself which I did, and proceeded to tell me that my documents had been found. Somebody had apparently left them at the entrance of that police station and placed my colleague’s business card on top of the other documents. And that’s how they called her and were able to trace me. I swallowed hard. And I can safely say there have been very few times in my life when I have been both shocked and elated at the same time. This was one of them.
After getting the directions to the police station and thanking the officer profusely, I hung up the phone. It sunk in…and the tears started to flow. Was I happy that my stuff had been found? – Yes. But what I was even more aware of was that a miracle had just happened. With those odds, it could only be God.
I was humbled at the thought that He was mindful of me, and of my situation. And how that even when I didn’t have enough faith to voice my deepest desires, in His mercy and goodness He still brought them to fruition. And how even when a bad situation is the product of our own mistakes and dumb decisions, He is still able to restore.
That my friends, is true love 🙂
After that, I went over to the Police station to collect my ID card and Driver’s licence, and I’m more than thankful that I was spared all the hassles of getting new ones. And yes, even in that there was love.
So, whether the flowers came or not, or whether there was a response to your message or not, or if the ‘season of love’ didn’t pan out the way you had hoped, realize that you are still truly and deeply loved. Recognize that love in the hug of your child, in that phone call from your friend and in finding the sun already shining, and waiting for you when you woke up in the morning.
It is in realizing that without effort, there is breath in our lungs and a peace in our hearts. Even when we don’t have all that we want, we almost always have all that we need.
If you have a ‘significant other’ – love them and celebrate that love. If you don’t, you are still loved. And in both situations, embrace the love of the one whose love for you is most significant. Our heavenly father…who makes all things beautiful in its time.
He loves you!
For the sake of my friends on other continents :
** RTSA – Road Transport and Safety Agency
**NRC – National Registration Card