2019 11 27 Podcast of today’s interview with John Maytham of CapeTalk 567.
By now you would have heard the tragic news that on Sunday four young people from the refugee community staying in and around the church drowned in the sea (Sea Point area). As of now only three bodies have been recovered from the ocean. The one funeral is taking place today from the Mosque and the others we are trying to arrange for Thursday from the church.
The level of trauma this has caused is beyond description – especially for the families and group of young people (15-20 year olds) who witnessed the drowning. I ask you to hold them in your hearts.
In these times that make each of us feel so helpless – we pray and sing our faith – as we have done since the news. We hug and we hold and we give each other space.
The temptation is always to find someone to blame and when it is not obvious who to blame we may be tempted to lump it onto God – saying things like: “It must be God’s will”. The sentiment behind these words is well meaning, but it paints a false picture of God. If they were true, then God is more cruel than kind! And we should have nothing to do with such a god. From a Christian perspective we believe that God is Christ-like. This means that if we cannot imagine Jesus doing something – then it does not apply to God. Jesus is our God-template. Jesus – the lover of all – would never drown anyone – therefore we can say with confidence that neither would God. Jesus does not cause suffering and neither does God. Rather, Jesus suffers with us and so does God.
In meeting with the leaders of the refugees today they have undertaken to vacate the church next week – between Tuesday and Thursday. This has come directly from the leaders and not via the media. (We engage each other directly and not through the media.) Let us hope that they are able to find a way forward within the time frame they have stated for the reasons that I have shared with you over the past 4 weeks.