Beginning next year, we’ll be raising him in East Africa — the prospect of which has been on our minds for a while.
When you think about who you want to be as a family, you think about the sorts of things you’ll say to one another. There are particular stories you’ll want to tell and particular songs you’ll want to sing.
A song that’s become significant for us is the 1970s gospel song, ‘Because He Lives’. Here’s the chorus:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives
It’s a pretty emotional sort of song. The singer is vulnerable and in need; pain and death are real and awful; fear is not far away.
These might seem like strange sentiments in today’s Australia, which is pretty much the most secure and comfortable society on the planet. The illusion of control is deeply ingrained for us.
Of course, these lyrics hit home elsewhere in the world — as you might recall from our series on African traditional religion. And, as we consider life outside the confines of Australia, the following verse resonates with us:
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He lives
Even here in Australia, we’re never in control of our lives as much as we imagine — this song’s lyrics are for life in general, not just people who are moving to Africa — but the prospect of moving overseas certainly helps in unseating the illusion of control.
May this be a story woven into our family: the victorious life of Jesus in which our days and futures are wrapped up.
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.