Hear my Prayer for South Africa

You called them by their names, even though they meant nothing under the blood sodden flag of their homeland. Age made no difference when their blood trickled into the soil of the country we promised to lift up to You. The country we were born in, the nation we belong in and fought for is no longer the country we were taught or raised in. The laws You handed down for us to abide by turned us into strangers in the land we once loved in. With each name that is carried away by the wind, into the sky and past the stars, to the lights that reflect Heaven, we don’t know how to keep You above the flag of evil when their numbers outweigh ours so profoundly. We ask only that You still remain at our side.

Our history tells us that when we charged, the enemy fell. When we defended our country, and fought to bend the knee to only You, our rivals died. As young as our South Africa once was, as tired as our country men and women were, we fearlessly defended our culture, birthright, and Christianity. We did so in faith because You were by our side. Victory was always ours when we raised our nation to You.

The British had their day. The Zulu tried to have their way. Today, the enemy that is formed from collective tribes and are taking us like thieves in the night, will soon be judged and cast off our sacred territory. We know that. We have always known how it ends. They don’t pray like we do. Believe like we do. Love like we do. They don’t honor, obey, or bend their knee to only You, rather, they command our bended knee in service and worship to them. Like demons faking halos, they torture and kill while presenting the world with a validation of suppression instead of repression, and acceptable retribution.

Those who have escaped to a place far beyond the sky without guns in their hands, will know that You have always been on their side. Like all wars, ours came slowly, but like before, it will be over promptly. Some might never understand the brutal and coldblooded attacks on us, but because we know that You practice fairness and justice remains Yours, we have learned to accept it. Acceptance with dignity, because when we stop asking how many must still die, and we stop counting the dead without forgetting their names, You will once again march us to victory.

We’ve always had to fight an enemy we didn’t make. We’ve always had to defend our territory against those ready to claim our lands as their own. We’ve always been fighting something even though we didn’t quite know why, and through the centuries, those waging wars against us, we’ve forgiven. Friendships were forged despite the thousands that are buried beneath our feet. A new flag was raised more than once, new alliances formed, and rivals became friends, because that’s what You ask of us, and that’s what we do. Now, as we learn to identify our modern enemies coming back to end ancient feuds, we know that another war will come and although it’s a brand-new clash, the reasons have never changed. Once again, we will show that we don’t attack, but defend our own and don’t fear the end. Each of us are the descendants of survivors of war and once again, we won’t run or hide, but courageously accept our battle, even though we’d rather encourage love, peace and prosperity, because that God, keeps You on our side.

With the weapons we don’t have, we know it won’t be a fair combat and that we might not get far. But like before, the greatest defense will always be Your army, Your grace and Your mercy as long as You are still on our side. So many dark hours have come. None have really gone. We think about the destruction and hatred from dusk until dawn, sunrise to sunset. So many of us lost, and to the world, their names will never be known. So many taken up through the lights in the sky paying for an undeserved betrayal and unprovoked hatred. The promise of defeating us, walking away from a conquest of torture as a prize. It must be that their hearts died a long time ago. You say that there is always a way back to You and Your light, and to lead those who hate us with love and integrity. But how can we offer ourselves like that when we are so loathed by instruments of evil and extensions of demons? The only value to their existence is ridding us of ours. We don’t understand God, but we know that soon, the truth and Your wrath will bring them to their knees when You destroy all that is not of You. All that demolishes that which is Yours.

As the next one is carried away far beyond the sky, we’ll once again be left disillusioned, trapped in hell, confused, with no words to utter even though they fill our hearts and minds. We’ll again fall to the ground, and on bended knee know that You will remain forever on our side, and we’ll once again battle through a confrontation, and do so knowing that into the sky and past the stars, beyond the lights that reflect Heaven, we have won the war.

With love,

Alice VL

The Cemetery No-One Talks About

Picture by Lita Fourie

If you meet a South African Farmer, a Boer, or an Afrikaner, you wouldn’t know that a White Cross Monument was erected bearing thousands of white crosses, each holding the name of a cold-blooded, ruthless, and targeted murder. You wouldn’t know the stories they keep, or the brutality each cross raised represents. Most of all, you wouldn’t know how it grows each day, or how many stories will still be kept hidden behind those names. You wouldn’t know much heartache, fear, and sadism they represent, because this tribe no longer relies on justice, impartiality, or protection from a country whose flag is drenched in the blood of these men and women. They no longer mourn over the blood spilt on these lands, instead, they cover the spillage with soil, shake it off with barely any time to grieve, pick up the pieces, plaster a smile on their faces, pull their family together and pray to survive another day. Another sunrise, and another sunset. They no longer cry out for help because there is none. They no longer tell their stories because no-one wants to hear them. They know that the world is at the mercy of the media, the wealthy and the powerful, and they don’t fit into a narrative that guarantees the eradication of their values, morals, and beliefs.

You wouldn’t know about the White Cross Monument, the cemetery no-one talks about, because the same government presiding over these farmers, are secret enforcers of these murders. We all know. Every South African citizen knows, but it remains a perfect denial. The White Cross Monument is a wound, a reminder to the puppet-masters that farmers must be suppressed and stifled. It is the story of unwarranted retaliation and unjustified revenge against the Boer and Afrikaner for land that was stolen, the slaves taken and murdered, and the annihilation of black tribes across the country. The problem with this narrative is, it isn’t real. It is a propagandized lie conjured up to incite hatred against a Christian, and culturally distinct community. It is a ploy to capture, torture and murder one of the smallest nations in the world, because of the color of their skin, and because of their cultural differences.

No matter what you believe, or who you listen to, these murders cannot be disputed. The racial discrimination against this tribe cannot be ignored or invalidated. The anti-white employment laws cannot be contested. The absence of recognizing this reality has led to an unnerving, yet comfortable delusion for all who wish to remain uninvolved.

Each white cross holds a name of a father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, son, or grandparent. Each name bears witness to a gruesome, horrific killing that came in and destroyed a family who was simply trying to survive. Each body bag carried out of a home, a place that was supposed to be safe, tells a story of a torturous night that had played out for hours before God mercifully reached down, nursed their brokenness, and freed them from their nightmare. A grandmother who was raped over and over again, just so that a grandfather or a son could watch as pure evil attempted to conquer what belonged to God. A mother listening to the cries of her children being burnt, boiled, or strangled, who had to watch her attackers finish her off, leaving her only moments away from death. A father and grandfather kept alive, but crippled to prevent them from defending their families, just so that they could endure the scenes of torment in their homes.

War is ugly and its everywhere, but war is swift. The killings are quick. The enemy goes down swiftly. The war waged against the Boer and Afrikaner nations are cruel, prolonged, and evil. These deaths follow hours of sadistic torment, hatred, cruelty, and barbarism. Cruelty that is intentional and enacted by emotionally indifferent beings. A tribe of attackers with role models such as, but not limited to Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, and Robert Mugabe. Power structures and methods of control is applied through violence and fear, and results in an environment overcome with stress when these men and women, fathers and mothers are unable to provide for, or protect their children. These killings have become rituals to a tribe that performs sacrificial rituals to ancestral spirits, relies on genitalia of white children for their voodoo and potions. When it’s all over, when the voices have become silent and the bodies lay lifeless at their feet, the attackers have one final act of desecration. To urinate on already maimed bodies and find pleasure in the brutality inflicted upon them only moments before.

These crosses are testament to an immorality that for no other reason other than the color of their skin, and cultural differences, ended lives in a way too horrific to grasp. There are often no words to describe the violence inflicted upon babies or the aged. It almost seems like an exaggeration when we are looked at in disbelief. We question the repugnance at times when we hear our distorted and sorrow-filled voices describe the horrific scenes that a family had to endure before they were able to let out a final breath. But it’s when we talk about law enforcement, or the military equipped with military-grade weapons that are implicated in these attacks, that we understand the doubt in someone else’s eyes. It’s when we begin whispering that political parties with a number of seats in parliament are the orchestrators of these murders, that we know others question our integrity. When our president publicly displays contempt for our nation that we realize our punishment for crimes we haven’t committed isn’t over yet. When cabinet ministers openly threaten or condemn us for their failures, we know that through their hostility, they approve of these murders, making way for lawlessness and a hunger for our blood.

This is the price a God-fearing nation is paying for a world that turns away and settles on an illusion it’s comfortable with. A world where some believe it to be retribution for the propaganda of stolen land and oppression. A world that’s okay with raping, murdering, and using any weapon possible, from power tools to automatic rifles, to snuff out these lives. A world quick to condemn wars between conflicting countries, even though the lives lost are far less than the casualties between tribes in South Africa.

How is anyone okay with that?

It Was Later Than I Thought

Time trailing off was somewhere on the other side of an undetermined horizon, unseen and yet to be reached. There were still many steps to take and thousands of miles to go. I thought you’d reach your last stop many moons from now, thinking there was such a vast distance still to travel, and a few turns to take. I never really thought about the steps that were inevitably moving you forward, or how quickly the miles added up behind you as you kept on walking, and as you stood still. Even though you didn’t move as swiftly somedays, and no matter how much you would slow down on other days, you were still moving forward. Time was still happening. You couldn’t fight it or defeat it, cheat it, or deny it. It didn’t speed up or slow down. You couldn’t conquer it, ignore it, or deny it. I wasn’t counting the miles behind you or estimating the distance ahead of you. I wasn’t keeping a schedule, it wasn’t necessary. There was time. There was supposed to be more minutes, hours, and days. We still had years to count down, plans were made and trips to take. I didn’t know that it was later than I thought.

I watched you growing tired, but I didn’t want to see it. I heard you try and tell me, but I didn’t want to hear it. Others were telling me that you weren’t the same as I remembered, but my mind wouldn’t let me consider it. Maybe so, I thought, but you had time. I saw the sparkle in your eyes grow hazier each time I looked into them. Your smile wasn’t as broad as before, and your voice became quieter. I attributed your silence to the fact that you were listening rather than wanting to be heard. Your eyes smiled more but you laughed less. I couldn’t make sense of it, so I ignored it. There was time. I tried to identify the change in your tone, and your need for less. You gazed intensely into my eyes, as though you wanted to say something crucial, but didn’t know how to. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to hear it. You kept our last call longer and your messages came more frequently. You seemed to have so much more time, and we had so many plans, but I didn’t know that it was later than I thought.

When you reached that unchartered horizon, I felt cheated. Conned. Tricked. Time exposed itself as cruel and heartless. A liar. It had deceived me and offered me no warning. You had more time. There was supposed to be more. I wasn’t keeping track of your calendar, but even if I did, it still didn’t fit in to the schedule my heart had drawn up. It just couldn’t be right. I went back and forth, stopped, and started again. Over and over, I tried to count the steps you took. It suddenly felt as though they were far too big and far too quick. Time didn’t add up and when I tried to match it with the steps you took, I was appalled to discover that it was so much later than I thought.

Perhaps, time held me hostage, or I took the enemy and tried to cage it. Was it because I still had so much to do with you that I kept us frozen in time? I didn’t see the horizon approaching, and when the sky turned dark, I looked back and noticed how the light had started dimming behind you long before. I thought that perhaps you found another route, a short-cut to the border between here and there, because it was just too short, or you had walked way too fast. I couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t see the horizon approaching. I couldn’t calculate the steps you still needed to take, or the time you would still have, but I do know now that it was later than I thought.

Retracing your steps, I want to shout out to you to stop. “Stop walking so fast!” Stop allowing time to push you forward. Stop. Just stop. But when I look back, I can see for the first time how often you stumbled. How torn you were between passing through the passage of time, or letting it pass you by. You have known for a while that your calendar was almost full and right on schedule. Time was perfectly set according to your timeline here, and the beginning of your timeline over there. I don’t want to change it. I don’t want to set myself up for a bitter warfare with time, because I can’t win. Because, as hard as I would fight, plead, and beg, time wants to happen. Time will happen. It doesn’t adapt to broken hearts or bucket lists. It doesn’t show mercy. As messy as time is; as unfair as it seems, and as ugly as it can be, I don’t want to fix it. Time has always been on God’s schedule, the Master of all calendars and timelines. Time can’t be fixed because it isn’t broken. Time takes God’s diary and carries out itineraries drawn up by Him. Its service is to God alone. Not for my broken heart or tears. Not for my silence or anger.

So, instead of trying to wrestle and negotiate with time, I am doing my best to try and catch up to it. Perhaps, if I can persuade my heart to match His schedule, I wouldn’t walk around in disbelief, angry at time, or miss you so much. If I could be perfectly aligned with time, then maybe I won’t hear you call my name in the wind, or stare motionlessly at your photograph, before running my fingers across your forehead, and lightly touching your cheek. Perhaps then I could smile at the eyes staring back at me instead of hunting for answers in them. I keep looking out for that cheeky wink and tight-lipped smile that says, “I’ve got this,” but the truth is, you did have this even when I couldn’t see. Maybe, I would stop reading and re-reading your messages, hoping to find a clue or identify a tone that would give me just an ounce of closure. Perhaps when my questions are answered, I might even be able to stop the tears from reaching my eyes and landing on my cheeks. Maybe then the hole inside of me that wasn’t there before wouldn’t feel so enormous and sore. I might even be able to start breathing normally again, instead of holding my breath because it manifests in an intense, physical hurt. I want to expel the anguish by holding my breath forever, but it happens instinctively. Unconsciously. Spontaneously. It doesn’t let me just stop. Time hasn’t yet received my itinerary. I don’t want my calendar filled just yet, I just want the messiness and agony of grief to lessen. If I could just get myself perfectly set with time, I know that I can once again find the light I keep reaching for.

I don’t ever want it to be later than I thought again.