Grace and Peace to you
The last few weeks have allowed for some extra reading. I have been reading around the topic of racism and I will be sharing more about this in the next few weeks. One of the books I read was: What if there were no whites in South Africa? by Ferial Haffajee. I found it an informative read and I would certainly recommend it to better understand where we are as a nation.
What I would like to mention about Haffajee’s book is not so much the valuable information that she shares (I will save that for another time) but rather the way she went about writing her book. I found her approach to be full of humility, grace and courage.
She starts off by stating, “I feel freedom. Breathe it. Speak it. Enjoy it. I know it only because I know its opposite. Apartheid, in all its social, political and economic dimensions, imprisoned me.” As a result she begins by not agreeing with or understanding the “simmering resentment about a perceived white cultural and financial domination that has replaced formal apartheid”. She writes, “When I preach my gospel of change, of black accomplishment and of the good and healthy fruits of freedom, it is as if I am the anti-Christ. It is as if I have journeyed to a place where nothing has changed, where an oppressive minority controls thought and destiny. A place where black people labour under a system of white supremacy. Do I live in a different world? Am I crazy?”
What I value so much about Haffajee’s approach is that she doesn’t set about defending her position as much as she seeks to understand the position of those who she either does not agree with or fully understand. She holds round table discussion groups with people who have totally different opinions to her. She listens and asks tons of questions. Her questions are asked with the hope of increased understanding and not to make a point. Her exploration is genuine. Her curiosity is real. In her approach we witness mature humanity as she reveals to us how we should all deal with difficult differences that exist between us.
Our task is to ask. Rather than argue in order to win. In this way we are guaranteed to grow as human beings … as we seek to become an anti-racist people.
Our Covenant Service will be held on Sunday 31 January.
Please reflect on the words of this great prayer.
Covenant Prayer Preparation
I am no longer my own but yours, O God.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blesse?d God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
And the covenant now made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.