I am falling in love again, not with a man but with a town! Lusaka, my present home. When, years ago, I first arrived I was shocked realizing that African towns could be quite modernized. Still, Lusaka was still a bit primitive in comparison with South Africa’s or Zimbabwe’s capitals.
Lusaka was developed in her own way. She had adopted western elements. Concurrently, it was clearly and obviously an African town inhabited by Africans plus people from any known nation on earth. It was here that I first tasted Chinese, Mongolian, Indian or Arabic food! I came across any kind of faith freely practised in a country which was otherwise declared a Christian country by her president in 90’s.
As time passed by, this town started changing in many ways: traffic is present since cheap second hand – in great condition – Japanese cars arrived; today, any good desired is available and accessed in all those new built shopping malls; glazed buildings pop around our beautifully maintained roundabouts; economy is blooming, placing Zambia in the 24th position on the List of countries by real GDP growth rate when U.S.A is 127th or U.K. 175th! What a paradox! Nothing is as it really looks like, eh!
As years passed by I felt that Lusaka was not the town I knew. Even so, I said to myself: “develop your property and sell. Then go out of this town; go where true Zambia is”.
Today, I am surprised for one more time! As I started integrating into the city again, my feelings changed. It seems that I am falling in love with this town, all over again.
I discovered that many of the neighbourhoods and commercial centres are still there. I keep discovering new places created as the town expands.
I love seeing all those truly old indigenous trees keep growing along the paved roads. It is as being in the thick African bush and yet driving through tarmacked roads. The old houses still standing in most of the areas around the town while new neighbourhoods appear lavishing with modern houses surrounded by beautiful gardens creating a sense of African taste. Ah, one of the most amazing and strange things in this multi nation and multi taste place are the flowers, the huge gardens, the swimming pools and luxury of the middle class. A luxury that in my country of origin applies to the truly rich citizens. But not here! Mid class is a happy place environed and segregated by poor people. Poverty is, however, a status of relevancy. A poor person might be very rich within his community and even missing nothing when a mid class man might be poor within his own or feel so.
Lusaka is not a common town. I look forward to unearth, explore and observe new gems, enjoy the creative part of this place. I know that I need to be tolerant with the unattractive component. A place can be as a human being: we love the whole creature.
And this is exactly the point of this article: loving the whole creature! It is a point that us, Christians, at first to understand and then learn to practice. We cannot choose what part of life or which characteristics of a human we will love and which not!
We love the whole creature. We might do not agree, we do not need to accept the inappropriate portions but love concerning, we love the whole package.
Loving God is loving Him in whole as the Alfa and the Omega into our life. We are not to choose which part of Him is convenient or understood and keep it into our heart. We love Him as He is and there is no democracy at that level. It is black or white. There are much that we might not understand, comprehend or accept easily, however, we love Him with all of that, yet believing that when we meet face to face He will explain the incomprehensible and mysterious. We see and understand in part as the Bible tells us:
1 Corinthians 13v12
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Loving our neighbour is a love in whole. Our neighbour is the whole; it is the whole earth and humanity. We do not choose. Obviously, we will not meet or acquaint the whole earth’s population but still, we keep loving by acting on what is for humanity’s benefit. The whole life is a recycling bin! What we put in, reflects on us and our life, yet, reflects on what we contribute upon earth as a chain connects each one of us. Somehow, somewhere, somewhat, it will reflect while we might have any clue.
We harvest what we planted; what comes around goes around. Mostly, how we want to be treated, we ought to treat (see older post “Do to others” ).
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Each action we take is to be based on love without expecting returns. I know, it is hard but that’s how it is. We have an obligation to practice it, trying the best and see where it goes. I do not mean to allow manipulation and abuse into our lives! We always draw the barriers as Jesus did when He had to.
When we desire to be loved, we hope that we are loved as a whole, with our good and bad. That’s the path to love. At the end of the day, it is love that all look in life. The path to love, is the path to life and living.
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