Chirping birds more harmonious than orchestra in the land of 'milk and honey'

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
The writer says her mother is disappointed with her resistance to embrace her religion, and fears she won't see heaven. / 123RF
The writer says her mother is disappointed with her resistance to embrace her religion, and fears she won't see heaven. / 123RF

Every time I call Mother on a Sunday morning and she whispers: "Soooooontwen ..." in an attempt to please me by not entirely ignoring my calls while of course defying church rules to switch off phones in the house of God, I know I'm not eager to spend eternity with her and her starched white collar crew.

I lie in bed naked, enjoy breakfast and dry wine, and some good literature on most Sundays.

It is my sacred time for enjoying birds chirping, marvelling at the beauty of nature through my window and rebooting in a quiet space.

But not even sacramental wine can make me spend one of only two days we get off a week congregating with folks who are high on spirituality, and listening to readings and preaching.

Mother's Bible is riddled with page folds, pen strikes, notes and question marks - something like what I would do to all of Shakespeare's works after a brain sore lesson with Mrs Ford.

She has an appropriate verse for every occasion and life-changing event.

I swear if she were to object to a simple concept like "brows of fleek", she would find something in that book that justifies her feeling.

I understand her disappointment with my resistance to embrace her religion and path. It speaks to her parenting and role as my guide and pillar in life.

And, most importantly, her fear that I will not see heaven and enjoy eternal life.

Honestly, the land of 'milk and honey' has no allure to me. I am a simple being, but I am fussy about my diet.

The combination sounds like an awful meal anyway.

I foresee diarrhoea.

Thus I have often wondered if there could perhaps be a negotiation stage regarding living conditions and all other provisions before we commit to spending an eternity there.

Because, honestly, as a previously disadvantaged individual, I can work with the promise of being taken up to a "good and spacious land" but I have reservations about the music policy too.

Every time I picture the joyous afterlife I think of church hymns and know I do not want to have to learn those even after death! I still don't know the second verse to Dwala elangifela, my favourite, and it's okay.

I am not trying to spend an eternity singing. I have heard plenty of headache-inducing praise songs that seem to make every devout African child believe they are fluent in Spanish and Mandarin - before falling to the floor.

I can't! Worse, Mother's church crew ring the life out of a bell when they sing about ascending to heaven.

I imagine up there they'll be joined by other bands, with louder instruments, and form a choir to praise in unison? No thank you.

I have worked too hard to get off antidepressants to want to torture myself with a multilingual multinational choir of multitudes, who are really pressed for number two because ... milk and honey!

It also seems like my personal space will be gravely compromised.

The Son Himself reported that His Father's house has many rooms. That just frightens me. I have seen Glebelands Hostel!

Having aspired to privacy, exclusive dwellings and title deeds, I would not fare well in that kind of setup.

A communal arrangement would be a killjoy.

I foresee protests - because most of us have already spent our lifetime trying to get out of crowded townships, get land and live where we don't need to greet our neighbours.

Anyway, I moved out of home at the age of 17 right after high school.

I am not sure I can ever be able to follow someone else's house rules again.

I have read some of the things God has done when His people angered Him, and my mother did whip my ass once.

I honestly do not think I want to die, wake up and go to live with those two forever!

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