The Storm Inside The Drawer
I have been carrying around several spiritual gems over the years similar to the one I am writing about below. At first I did not want to share them with the world for various reasons, one of which, was that I did not want to project myself as any kind of expert or authority on these spiritual matters, I was wrong, as this is my page and I have no right to withhold any of this from anyone that wants to know. A reader has the choice to read or not to...
What Is A Miracle?
In 1996 I was working for a huge fruit canning company by the name of Koo Langeberg, which is situated in a tiny hamlet in the Bree-river valley called Ashton, in the heartland of the Cape peach and apricot farming district. It was a hot summer's day when I was to experience a remarkable spiritual event, that would remain with me for ever...
I ran a cleaning company called Micro Chem Cleaning. Our job was to spring into action the moment that the bell rang for the permanent staff to take their tea or lunch breaks. In the space of that thirty minutes to an hour, maximum, my staff of 150 and I, would get stuck in, cleaning every conveyor belt, floor and utensil, removing the sugary fruit residue that rapidly accumulates during a shift
. One needs to remove every last drop of it, since it rapidly starts turning black which is a clear indication of decomposition setting in. If even the contents of one single can is contaminated this way, an entire shipment can get sent back, and the contract lost. At the height of the picking season, the factory is in full production, day and night. My staff and I took our breaks during the 5 hours of production. This program runs for about 3 to 4 months of the entire year, when suddenly the last batch of fruit is processed and the machines go silent, turning the little town into an overnight ghost town until the next season.
Langeberg had a firmly established local, and a huge export market of thousands of tons of canned and dried fruit per season destined to all corners of the globe, utilizing the brands "Outspan", "All Gold" and "Safari". Their hygiene standards are among the highest in the world, judging by the many international awards that they had achieved.
Langeberg had decided to out source some of their services like transportation and factory cleaning. I was awarded the seasonal contract and had some huge boots to step into, so my staff and I went at the work with a vengeance, so much so, I'm pleased to add, that The factory manager, a Mr. Wimpie Steenkamp, had remarked to my staff and I that he had not seen his company so clean in 30 years, he upped our quoted contract price by 30%, needless to say, we were over the moon about this and if anything, we worked even harder.
The Bell Rang With Thunder and Lightning!
One of my supervisors, Ryan, had not been sharing this joy and was extremely pessimistic about everything. He did usually complete the jobs successfully but was constantly unhappy and kept to himself most of the time. One day on our drive home to a neighboring town called Robertson, he finally came out with it, he resented how the rest of my staff and I would take turns at starting the shifts with a group prayer. Attendance, had been entirely voluntary and I noticed that he was hanging around outside the Change rooms when ever we were praying.
he suddenly remarked that we were stupid and that there was no such thing as a God. I merely ignored this, so he repeated it saying that whether It would cost him his job or not, he had had as much as he was going to take, with regards to the group prayer thing He also reminded me that He had never signed up for prayers. Although I was extremely shocked at his reaction, wondering what it was, that had prompted this remark and what had caused him so much pain in his life, for him to detest praying so much. I was quick to assure him that there was no chance of him being fired, let alone, for disagreeing with our praying.
I told him that I respected his opinions and feelings and that there was nothing wrong with his standard of work either. I decided to drop the subject right there unless he wanted to discuss it further. I had another passenger, Allan, who had quietly been sitting there, minding his business when this man decided to level an accusation at him, saying;" what about you? I see you standing there with the praying bunch, are you as nuts as them?
Through respect or for what ever reason, Allan, cleared his throat an spoke, saying; " you know Ryan, I've been watching you ever since we started working at the factory, and it bothered me that a person can be so permanently unhappy, always keeping to one side, never joining our team activities. Never a hint of a smile, ever, then I thought, that you have obviously been seriously disappointed by life, so I have started praying that God would touch you and show you His amazing love.
At this point, he answered, that he has more faith in fairies, and as everyone knew, they don't even exist. I felt like changing the sombre mood a bit and argued by saying; " sure they exist", since my young son would tell him, that the fairies are the ones whose job it was to paint the grass and leaves in the spring and again in the fall.
He just would not let up, and said all he had wanted was a tiny little miracle that time, but nothing happened and now it all doesn't matter anymore.
At that moment I had a sudden overpowering thought and asked him,"Ryan", I asked, "just what will it take to convince you that God hears us?" I was stunned at the nerve of me asking him a question like that, when suddenly, another thought flashed through my brain, compelling me to ask him; " what if I tell you that it will rain today?, Impossible he said, we all know that this is the dry season and besides, you need clouds to make rain and there isn't a single cloud in sight for fifty miles around. I felt like running away at the preposterous question I threw at him.
I wanted to drop the subject entirely, since it was absolutely true about the absence of even the tiniest cloud for miles around. "If I were to tell you, that there will be a serious down pour emanating from the "Laaitjie", I said, (This is a canyon shaped like a clothes drawer), high up in the mountain behind Robertson. All he said was; "now I am convinced that you are completely off your rocker".
Still I persisted by saying; "Not only will it rain hard, with thunder and lightning, it is going to start raining at exactly 16h00 at precisely the moment of the first chime of the church bell in town. will you then believe?
Maybe It Was A Big Coincidence?
Now, thinking back about that amazing summer's day so many years ago, I am again humbled by God's amazing glory and love for a single soul. At exactly 16h00, as the bell chimed, there was a sudden blinding flash of sheet lightning across the dark sky, I looked to the Laaitjie and there it was, the darkest of dark clouds brooding there with almost with an ethereal look.
There was no mistaking it, it was raining for sure, harder than any down pour I had seen in that town before. My neighbor who was standing on his verandah, looking at the spectacle remarked that in all of his 75 years, he had never seen rain coming from the Laatjie. I remembered to take out my video camera to charge the battery before lying down for a nap. The moment the clock chimed, I jumped up, picked up the camera, and started recording all of the above details.
As for Ryan's response, he was a changed man I believe, although he never publicly mentioned it, he did thank me and also joined our prayer group at work. Eventually he moved away to another town and we lost contact. As this was never only about Ryan, I know that all three of us were witness to a spectacular display of God's love, and awesome power that day. Whether God heard my prayers and reciprocated, or even if He had made me privy to what he was going to do that day at 16h00 anyhow, or even if all of this was just a BIG FAT coincidence, was of no consequence, I needed to be a part of the experience, a bit like when one of Jesus's, Disciples, while at the sermon on the Mount, remarked to the Lord, that the crowds would not be able to understand his teachings at that moment. He replied that He was aware of it, and that He wasn't talking to the crowd, but that he was in fact talking to them, the disciples. It has given me great joy to have shared this with the like minded readers of my articles fellow believers.