Death and happiness
Feeling it in your own life is different. Statistics and news headlines are distant. You think you know something of the emotions when you read the reports and know the latest developments relating vaccines and medical journals. You speak freely about things that are under control and that you are strong enough...
However, if death comes like a thief at night and robs you of a friend or family member, another reality creeps in, deep under your skin. It finds corners of your heart that you never knew existed.
The hysterical fear of the officer from the Ukraine is tangible. It is not about news reports read or new statistics he researched. It is about the growing number of friends and family members that succumbed to the virus, victims of the virus that steals lives.
Now he wants Danie to explain about death. He wants to know about finding joy in this life. Death and joy. He searches urgently for a way out of the desert of sadness, hopelessness and fear.
As we do nowadays, he instinctively typed in his fears in the Google search space, hoping to find sensible answers. The result was more fear, more hopelessness, a way deeper into the desert ...
Danie can offer an alternative. It is an opportunity to talk about redemption and life hereafter. It is an opportunity to talk about happiness in a very disturbed world. The man is astonished to see the Bible in Russian that Danie takes from his bag. They page through. Search together. Pray together. These are things that Google cannot do. For the man from the Ukraine, there is comfort in the conversation. He finds a moment of peace.
For him, it is only the beginning of the road. Danie’s visit is not a quick cure to find sunshine and rainbows. It is creating an awareness of what life in God could be. It is a new possibility. It is the possibility of happiness, even in the darkest of moments.
Danie is almost back at his car when the officer catches up with him. Is it possible, he wonders, to have more Bibles for his friends aboard? Perhaps Danie has a few more?