Tag Archive: romance


The last thing that I mentioned was that I had completed my degree after 5 arduous and astoundingly special years at University. I was off on an adventure, with the first stop being an outreach to the LIV-village orphanage in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa where I was privileged enough to logistically head up the musical worship aspect of the outreach…

Though I have many thoughts on this time I thought it would be more poignant and critical to fulfil my promise and extrapolate on what my plans were and are now, for the next phase of my path finding journey. So have a look around for the post after or before this one where you can read the stories of LIV village and its people. Right now though:

See, about 4 months ago the very guy who now inscribes his thoughts on your internet met a girl. This guy and this girl had liked each other for a long, long time, however providence and fate conspired such that this guy and girl only got together at the end of their degrees. Two months before each setting off in prospectively opposite directions. The guy, off to who knows where and the girl off to show and produce hope, love and meaning to the downtrodden and poverty stricken of the rural Transkei, South Africa.

As vagabond doctrine condensed and took on shape and further significance in the mind of the guy; a plan, a sacrifice, a solution and an adventure began to find clarity, with a first step being in the form of a roadtrip down to said rural Transkei, South Africa.

The girl and guy therefore travelled down to the LIV village together in the landrover defender that would come to be called Livingston, named after the missionary explorer, with the intent to backpack their way down the Eastern coast of South Africa, so as to eventually reach the Hospital where the girl would work for the rest of 2012.

I (the guy) was embarking on this journey for at least 3 reasons:

1)      Support the girl in her move toward her calling among the poor and uncared for.

2)      Finally complete a goal that was set 4 years prior and take a roadtrip along the coast of South Africa

3)      Attempt to discover God’s calling on my life. Discover where He is leading me. To determine if there was an opportunity near to the girl where I could be a missionary and continue to be close to her (who he was gradually beginning to realise he couldn’t do without for very long, such were his feelings for her)

4)      Begin the process of adapting and discovering the merits and truths of this idea of living as a christ following vagabond, as a free agent of the lord, a traveller and a real seeker of truths and all that is really important in this world.

The journey began as the other LIV village volunteers left in their bus early on the 16th of December, on their way back to Pretoria and their holidays and lives back home. The girl and guy packed up the landrover and with a rumble of the engine and the clatter of camping gear in the back set off on their adventure.

The extent of the couple’s planning covered about two pages of my moleskin notebook and a hastily scrawled A4 itinerary; we were going to wing it. Not necessarily by design, but that’s how things worked out, and we felt freed by the open possibilities presented to us through minimal planning.

We travelled from backpackers to backpackers, realising that for R100 per night one could spend the night in some of the most beautiful places in South Africa. On a whim we took the 4×4 route through the mountains of the Transkei, traversing some of the most beautiful scenery and scary off-roads I’ve ever seen.

Livingston carefully carrying us for days on end across the mountains and valleys, small Xhosa huts dotting the landscape, children running alongside us and friendly villagers giving us directions whenever our GPS failed.

At one point we found ourselves at the entrance to a game reserve we never intended to reach. The friendly guards  at the entrance explained to us through broken English where we lost our way and so we turned around and began heading back, we were intrigued however by a little dirt (off)road (very off road!) leading up a little hill onto a grassy slope. So we decided to see what was at the top. Livingston carefully climbed up and then, as we edged up the hill, a sudden and unexpected view I will never forget came into view…

The coast stretched out before us, hundreds of meters below us the waves broke upon kilometres of beach, reaching out to sea again on another cliff and then retreating back inland to meet more sheer cliff face and lush forest greenery.

After many more such experiences we eventually reached Madwaleni Hospital where the girl was to work. This hospital is 60km of mostly dirt roads to the nearest little town. Rural in its deepest form.

After a night here the majority of our journey was over and we began to head back to Pretoria, via a much more direct and tarred route.

There are many more stories to tell, for now I’ll leave it here though because this post has grown quite large.

The next instalment will follow, and will be available for when you find yourself with a few minutes of free time on the webternet.

What comes next?

The next couple articles you’ll read here are:

1)      How I have officially become a full time missionary and the mission I’ll be involved in till June.

2)      How I will be travelling to the East to do more missionary work there, including my plans for taking a Muay Thai fight in Lat-Krabang, Bangkok, Thailand.

3)      The stories that unfolded out of the LIV village adventure

4)      The rest of the roadtrip story.

5)      Lots of photography.

6)      I may even upload some music I’ve been working on.

Peace.

Jack Figure (aka Jeremy)

Advertisements

This is an article I wrote in January of 2009, I got a lot of positive responses and rereading it lately, I have found that I still believe most of what I wrote (though some ideas are less clear now and others clearer, and I have changed much since I wrote it). Consider this the first entry into my book of vagabond doctrine, in the chapter called romance:

January 5, 2009

This note is dedicated to all those dear people who have found a person to whom they can dedicate the energy of the rest of their lives to help perfect before the throne of God.

This author has to admit that this subject first took shape in his mind while browsing facebook status’. A look at the status’ of a few friends never fails to find me at least one sentence such as “so-and-so is totally obsessed with So-and-so and wishes he/she was here” or “I couldn’t be happier, there is nothing better than being with So-and-so right now”.

I am quite the lover-boy myself, I fall in love almost too often. I am a seeker of beauty and so when romance can be applied with sensitivity and grace and quiet adoration is given a moment to overwhelm any distraction – I am content. However I am also a seeker of truth and so when I entertain thoughts like these or view outcries of emotion as in these statuses, the truth strikes my fluttering heart like a red hot poker simultaneously. Survival mode kicks in and I know instantly that there is something dreadfully wrong with this sort of unbridled adoration…

It would be untruthful of me to be in the pretence of not being affected by this high affinity for companionship. I believe without much doubt that this longing is extremely common among young adults today. However they wouldn’t be wrong to be longing in this way. I think that to some degree; It is this period of a person’s life that God so designed in the hope of securing beautiful families with the purpose of ensuring a lasting covenant of faithful belief and following of Himself. Ultimately, God wants us to raise our children as stewards of His children. He hopes and waits for the time when our children will become His, through the adoption justified by Jesus.

So I realise the terrifying intension of companionship.

In a world so obsessed with God (one can see this obsession if one’s eyes are opened to see), so aimed toward the glorification of an “immaculate Messiah who wants your whole life and expects you to give it”, can one hardly be surprised when it is suggested that this extreme focus on God and His covenant of grace applies to companionship too? Surely one can realise that we are truly supposed to be a God consumed people. A people that were created for that purpose and will not be satisfied until that purpose is fully lived.

I have a friend who studies people. In fact I study people myself, the easiest subject of my recreational studies being myself. People are complex creations created as vessels and filled so far beyond biology with emotion, feeling, thought; filled with so much humanity that this humanity explodes out of them into literary expressions of emotion in poetry and prose, often into song and melody, lyrics and compositions, brush-strokes and sketches, in such moments of inspiration even drawn out silences become infused with passion so thick it can warm the skin like a thick winter coat.

God had all of this in mind when He designed His system of companionship. His system of perfect union of man and woman, husband and wife. God knows his favourite creation intimately. As a carpenter knows every groove in the great table he’s been carving away for months so much more does God know His great object of unselfish love. He knows it from when it was only a thought in His mind, a glorious picture that would cost so much to bring into existence that only He could fathom it, He knows the extent to which He was willing to sacrifice in deciding to make it a reality, and he knows the glory it shall express in the end of the end. When all things come to completion and the picture becomes fully expressed for all who formed a part of it to see.

We find that young adulthood is the time most saturated with emotion and passion. I believe that God intended no coincidence when He planned for such desperate emotion to occupy the same time frame as this far spread longing for companionship. Our Lord is utterly sovereign and in His world and His people that are so foundationally, intrinsically (but deniably) Christocentric, nothing can be ascribed to chance and no experience can be assigned to chaotic evolution. Our greatest passion and most prominent longing can become intertwined if only we will allow it it’s proper timing. Long before He formed us in the womb, our Father in Heaven decided on the path that our lives should take to most glorify Himself through fulfilling the purpose He designed us with. If we trust Him as is natural when we recognise Him for who He is, we must present ourselves as subject to His ways and regulations in everything. Especially companionship in this time of our lives.

Slow down. We must pace ourselves. Let us bring to God the glory that we long too, as He deserves.

He will glorify Himself with power and majesty as any great King is able to do but to take up our cross in submissive reverence for His statutes will enable Him to bring glory to us in chorus. His glory is His focus and our happy companionship could not be more glorious in that it pictures that very image from the mind of God before creation: the image of Jesus and the Church, that image of unselfish sacrifice in the hope of an unbreakable covenant. The companionship in the mind of God contains more beauty then what minds less then God’s can grasp yet in His design of humanity: emotion, feeling, thought, passion – in this design He allows us rather to experience it.

Hear me lovers: God is whom you glorify in your companionship. And your companionship is what God beautifies so as to sanctify you in more Godly glory. Never forget what your purpose is in companionship and strive for that grace, love, humility and sanctity that accompanies any such image of Jesus and the Church. Great responsibility rests on those whom He has chosen to place into companionship. Only people truly committed into the changing process of boy to man, girl to woman can bring glory to God in the way that He has ordained and called companionship. So seek, oh you seeker of love with all your soul for the God who will make you able to bring Glory to His name, and to His covenant through your companionship.

Greetings to the saints. I hope to find companionship in this glorious image of Jesus’ covenant with the church soon. Till then, in pain of sanctification I present my prayers for them already on this road to God my Redeemer.

%d bloggers like this: