The Other Six Days: Lucy Wileman’s Story

Part of our Mission as a Church is to Equip every member of Harbour City for ministry in all of life. In this series of Blogs, we will share the stories of ordinary people in our Church who are following Jesus and seeking to live out their faith in every part of life. We hope their stories inspire you to do the same.

“If all I know of harvest is that it’s worth my patience, then if you’re not done working, God I’m not done waiting…
If all I know of seasons, is that you take your time – you could’ve saved us in a second, instead you sent a child.”

When Grant asked me to write a piece on what it’s like for me to follow Jesus in Durban today a barrage of thoughts ran through my mind – how would I manage to get them down on paper without keeping you here all day? To spare you the time (and your sanity), I decided to focus on something that’s been working on my heart and mind quite consistently these past few days.

I began this post with lyrics from “Seasons”, a recent release from Hillsong because these few lines have moved me in deep and significant ways over the past few weeks. And the odd thing is I’m not quite sure why.

Yes, we all experience seasons (often seasons of waiting) and there’s a case for the argument that I’m in one right now. But when I am moved by these words it doesn’t feel quite so personal. Rather, it feels like these words are an attempt to cut through the common questions of our community, like they have collective resonance.

It’s easy to argue that following Jesus in Durban today is complex and confusing. In between the blatantly visible socio-economic, cultural and environmental disparities amongst the 3.5 million or so of us who call this city home, Jesus can seem aloof and unmoved by our separate yet sometimes overlapping realities.

As a communicator within a public health organisation it’s my job to be constantly connected to what’s happening in our city, our country and our world. International events that could have an impact on foreign aid, medical miracles, tragic mistakes, viral hashtags, Facebook shaming and stories of deep, deep suffering – these are the narratives that fill my days. The victim of a constant onslaught of information, I often feel overwhelmed. With so much fear, hurt and malice in our communities, are my feeble efforts at following Christ having any impact? What does it mean to live for Jesus in a broken world? What does it look like to continue with the hard slog, reaching outwards to meet those facing poverty – whether it be economic or spiritual? Especially when it all seems to be unraveling at the seams and everywhere I look the qualities we know as the fruits of the Spirit seem long forgotten.

These lyrics remind me that He sees value in the long haul. He takes His time so that I might be refined. If He’s not done working in my community then I need to continue to strengthen myself in Him and wait. And wait joyfully, fully expectant that – in His timing – I will see Spring. If God chose to redeem humanity over 32 years, initially through a baby with many ‘unproductive’ years ahead of him, maybe perfect timing is his modus operandi?
I’m reminded of Acts 17. 26-17:
“… he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us”.

He has put immense thought into the trajectory of my life. He appointed this particular time in history as the time in which I’d best bring glory to His name. My prayer is that I would recognize it as such – as the opportune time to witness His goodness and love. He orchestrates all things (though often beyond our understanding) so that we would respond by seeking Him, by reaching out when we have nowhere else to reach. And when we need him this is where we find him – within arms reach, steady and strong.

I pray that I’d respond to the world around me, the times I live in, with a reliance on Him – needing Him to comfort me and trusting Him to make sense of it all. May I not squander any opportunity to notice His hand in life’s events, or His lessons in difficult times.