Tandeka and the Tiger

I can be pretty grouchy at times! Those who have worked and lived with me know this too well. If I get tired or anxious, its like I acquire a special short fuse from which I operate from; I tend to take things very seriously! I remember my friend Dave saying to me once, ”Claire, when you are stressed you’re not very friendly.” He’s a good mate. There are a number of people like him who I love working with, people like Tone and Joy who have spent a lot of time over the last two decades simply laughing with me when I find myself in a grouchy place!

Whilst I was in South Africa recently I worked and lived with four others pretty closely – Steffi, Patrick, Sandile and Brandon. It wasn’t long before they met ‘grouchy me’ and within two or three weeks I had acquired the nick name ‘Tiger’. Whenever ‘grouchy me’ made an appearance, one of the boys would make a comment about the Tiger, with a little smile and within moments we would usually all be laughing. It is such a relief for me to be with people who can gently call me out of my grouchiness and tame the ‘Tiger’ when she starts showing her teeth and claws.

Two or three weeks later Patrick and Sandile announced that they had a Zulu name for me. I was a little nervous, wondering which one of my many flaws would be highlighted. ‘Tandeka’ they said, ‘it means Loved One’. Imagine that!

Whenever I am able to sense the heart of Father God, I know that he calls me ‘Beloved’, that is the name by which I am known.


I thank God for the people he has placed in my life who have been able to see past the Tiger, to the real me and have stuck around long enough to remind me that she is real and worth knowing.

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