A Prayer for the White Christian 

  May white Christians no longer be able to sleep comfortably at night while they are not concerned about justice. May white Christians become less concerned about their safety and more concerned about justice for the poor. Justice, beyond charity. May they no longer be comfortable to go on overseas family vacations without being grossly disturbed by such comfort in a country of such discomfort for many. May it no longer be seen as a brave missionary’s job to do justice but every Christian’s response to God. Yes, may you weep at the sight of poverty and may you become desperate for it to no longer persist in your watch. May you spend yourself pursuing justice. May God teach you to do justice. May the ones who have spent themselves on the cause of justice go on holiday for a change and take a little break, while more people stand. Yes, sponsor people like Linda Martindale to go on a well deserved break for a change after years and years of slaving away for this country.

(The prayer was made on Facebook and it has since caused a furious stir. Perhaps it should have been called “the debated prayer. A day later, I received a private message from someone who is not one of my Facebook friends. And it became one of the most beautiful stories about what can happen. )

  

I can’t stop weeping and wailing and it is BECAUSE of ONE white Christian’s response to my status prayer. I can’t stop weeping, not because she was horrible or racist like one particular woman in my status. I can’t stop weeping because she responded prophetically. And I am UNDONE by God’s touch. And all she did was send a private text. But it was no ordinary text. It was loaded with God’s acknowledgement of justice, loaded with God’s power, Love, understanding and care. This is the power that only lies with the Christian who will see, hear and perceive and understand what is going on. This is what I am stirring. Just one Christian who will hear God, press in. One who loves justice. There is healing that will only ever take place when the white Christian does only what a white Christian can do in This country. Racial pain can become racial healing because of a few. What if we had churches who were able to extend themselves in this manner? What would happen in this country would be more profound than any miracle anyone has ever talked about in 1994. Thank you Lord that for the defensive millions there is one you have raised up, which means that you will heal this land. There is one whose heart will break for the lives and hearts that are broken historic injustice. 

I know there’s more than one before you tell me there are 500 who care 🙂 


Bless ❤️your messenger Lord! And raise up more! 👣

And I am thankful that I am at the Warehouse, a safe space where I can weep for days if needed. Bless the Warehouse Christians Lord! Thank you also for the ones who pray and for the black brothers and sisters who didn’t leave me deserted when I speak the truth about what concerns us. This is heavy business and we will overcome✊🏽! God with us!

  

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Christian witness 

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde 

Jesus must be talked about, it can provoke hostility. 

“Injustice that is hidden will remain tolerable, injustice that is exposed will become intolerable.”

I see Hope Rising 

 (Column first published on the Daily Dispatch 27 October 2015)
 
We are living in the most energising and hopeful times of our history. Justice and hope for the poor has never felt more at hand than now, at least in my life time.

If we were to compare the past week with 1976, history records no white students who used their privilege to stand with poor black students. In 1976 they did not form a white human shield around black students in order to protect them from police brutality as the heartbreaking and powerful images on social networks displayed this past week during the #FeesMustFall student protest. There is of course nothing positive about how easy it is for police to mistreat black people. Police brutality or violent protests are inexcusable, but there is a strange and powerful kind of unity that is emerging out of, and dare I say, aided by our divisive past.

The white students who are part of this #FeesMustFall movement have not joined the movement because they are poor. UCT vice-chancellor Max Price’s son for example was also among those taken to the police station by the police during protests. These white students are protesting because their parents did nothing or too little to prevent the devastating effects of racist systems that continue to impoverish the black majority. One of the white students who was arrested during the protests is called Markus Trengove, he wrote: “I benefited from the injustice of apartheid…the right reaction is to admit that there is enormous injustice, but my privilege has put me in a good position to remedy it. This is my privilege. This is my duty.” Another white student writes: “I think my mother is a racist.”

Can you not see a new brand of heroism emerging in our nation?

Last month South Africans from all walks of life united against corruption and marched on the 30 September. Numsa marched two weeks ago on the day that the Johannesburg M1 Grayston temporary pedestrian bridge collapsed. The following morning on SABC Morning Live, one of the workers reported that had they not joined the march, they would have been working on the bridge at the precise point where it collapsed. Their last minute decision to attend the march resulted in what made the difference between living or dying.

 

If the bridge were a parable about the state of our nation today, I would say that the Mandela and Tutu era of reconciliation was like a temporary bridge. Reconciliation without justice is unsustainable. We must act before it collapses. South Africans must come to the party as we have seen advantaged students and disadvantaged students zealously fighting for the same cause that will eradicate racism and inequality. Wearing a Springbok jersey is no longer enough to unite South Africans; to the contrary, #SpringboksMustFall was one of the popular twitter hashtags before the match against the All Blacks. The old methods of national unity are superficial and are failing to move us forward.

We are also living in dangerous times; among other issues, Eastern Cape and Western Cape student protests were often alarming because of reported violent elements. It is for this reason that we must disrupt our business as usual and act together with wisdom and urgency. The poor are no longer patient, the young are even less patient, after all, this so called freedom is as old as they are. Outside Luthuli House, former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini addressed the students questioning the label they carry as Born-frees: “Comrades, if you are free, you are free from what? Are you free from poverty?” The students shouted back in unison: “No!”

 

If you cannot feel hope and courage rising, you cannot be living in this country, not after #FeesMustFall which has enjoyed global support and attention. It continues.

  

 

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