Looking For An Excuse

A petite woman walked by me at Oxygen Life Church, a scarf on her head framing her pretty features and a little blonde girl skipping alongside her. I took a double take, she looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place her for a moment. Then it hit me, it was Nina Anthony, Nina who lives in Cape Town, the mom of two, married to Andre who is currently being treated for a serious acute illness. Her pretty scarf was covering her hairless head, a side effect of the treatment she had been receiving. What on earth was Nina doing here, in Port Elizabeth? The answer…she and her family had travelled down from Cape Town to support Andrew Selley for the weekend’s Four12 outreach- in this context she was “just” a saint here to serve.

When the kids care request for the gathering came up I thought surely Nina would be exempt I mean her being here was a testimony enough, right? No. Not for Nina, as I arrived for my own turn to serve there stood Nina waiting for her own volunteering time to begin.

Nina, Anthony and their two daughters in a family photo from 2014 (pre diagnosis)

Nina, Anthony and their two daughters in a family photo from 2014 (pre diagnosis)

The following day as we stood in worship I hung a bit further back- it was pretty crowded and rowdy up front. Hanging back to worship a bit more comfortably seemed understandable, as I opened my eyes mid-song to find the next verse of words, I spotted a scarf bobbing along, front and center, there stood Nina worshipping amidst the crowd of people.

My heart squeezed to full capacity within me. Every bit of me challenged. Excuses are so easy to make. “Lord not this outreach, not this opportunity to volunteer, not this worship session…because…*insert a million excuses*. Nina had the perfect excuse, her husband and two little girls, the perfect excuse…but they chose to push past it.

Compelled by love and a desire to be ones who say “Lord, send me…”. What’s stopping you? What is your (our) excuse? Oh Lord that we would be those who say, along with Nina, ‘here I am Lord, no excuses, send me…’.

Check out Four12 Outreaches for opportunities for you to a part of a God adventure like Nina was…


Juliet, also known as Jewels, is a member of the Four12 admin team. An 80’s baby she grew up in Cape Town as a ‘PK’ (pastor’s kid), the youngest of four children. Most days you’ll find her out running, hanging out with her family, enjoying a good cup of coffee or getting her thoughts on ‘paper’ blogging.

Share this Post


Back to top