Monday, April 20, 2015
The recent incidents of Xenophobia in South Africa have again been a dark blemish on our land. Thankfully, as I write, political leaders are rallying around the country calling for an end to the violence, and promoting a welcoming embrace of foreigners residing in the country. Last week I wrote about living in the contradictions of life, looking for ways to make a difference where I am, rather than go down a spiral of cynicism and negativity about the things I cannot change, in both personal and socio/political ways! I had such an opportunity on the weekend. I was in the mountains on an initiation experience with a group of young adults, one of whom was an orphan refugee from Ghana who is seeking asylum in South Africa. I have been helping him find his way this last couple of months. Naturally he is anxious about the xenophobia, and has been asking me about it. On the weekend the local young adults took him in among them, welcoming him and accepting him as one of them. It was heartwarming and hope giving to see this play out. The power to transform life in us and around us is never far from us. Opportunities to make a difference abound in our everyday ordinary lives. If such opportunities are not there right before us, where are they? I have a choice. I can feel and speak good or bad about the ills of the world around me, and in me. Or I can act in a way that transforms me, and the world around me. I may not be able to solve the problem of Xenophobia, but I can welcome and embrace young Henry from Ghana. I hope that helps transform him and give him hope. For sure I know that touching his life transforms me! It draws me out of my comfortable world and awakens compassion and spirit in me. It feels like my spirit is alive and awakened, and God’s sprit is filling with me love, hope and power.