My Drug of Choice

A saying has been doing the rounds on Facebook (I am not quite sure who originally coined the phrase), but it goes something like, “When you are accustomed to privilege equality feels like oppression.” In my case, I have to confess, it actually is worse. More like, “When you are accustomed to privilege, minor inconvenience feels like oppression.” Allow me to explain. The photo below is the substance of our geyser this week:

IMG_7214

Yes, you are looking at an urn… Long story short, our apartment’s 50 year old geyser needs to be replaced and the landlords have been delaying the process for reasons of their own, but have been kind enough to lend us the urn so that we can heat up water for bathing in the morning (you know, since Durban is freezing this time of the year…;-) So every time I step over the buckets and extension chords into our bathroom, I have the inclination to feel frustrated and upset with the presence of the urn and the inconvenience it represents, but at the same time I am completely aware of the fact that even having a bath, a bathroom, something to heat the water with…or even simply having access to water by turning a tap inside our apartment, is a privilege that millions of people in our country have never experienced in their lives.

In a dialogue I attended two weeks ago, a question was raised, “What is the biggest struggle for white people in this country?” I did not get an opportunity to answer this on the day, but I knew almost immediately what I felt a big struggle is for me. As a privileged person living in this country, one of my biggest struggles is fighting against the inclination towards comfort, convenience and ease. I am not trying to demonise all kinds of comfort. We all need a sense of comfort*. But this is a struggle for me, because I know that comfort numbs. Convenience and ease anaesthetise my desire to take part in or witness pain, discomfort or mess. Comfort keeps me safe in my ignorance and indifference about what is happening “out there” in the world. Comfort is my escapism…Comfort is my drug of choice.

I so often find myself defaulting to comfort rather than venturing out into the messy world to face the challenging and confrontational presence of evil, corruption and oppressive and systems and structures. If I give up on the struggle against needing to feel comfortable all the time, it means I give up all too easily on experiencing pain in solidarity with those who are in pain, weeping with those who are weeping, listening to those who are being ignored. Comfort tells me I can love others from a distance by simply thinking good thoughts about them. If I always settle for what is most comfortable, most convenient and most enjoyable, I know I am removing myself from what it means to be most deeply and truly human – loving others generously with my fullest presence, by paying attention and listening, by touching, by sitting alongside and weeping.

Stepping away from comfort requires courage. As Brene Brown says, “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.” So my prayer today is for small and big steps of courage,

  • May I have the courage today not to walk past and look the other way, but to make eye contact and greet the woman who sits and begs in Pixley kaSeme Road as I carry my full shopping bag past her;
  • May I have the courage to tell the man who whistles at women and calls them names that we are women, not objects and that he can call us “sisi”, “ma” or “missus” if he would like to get our attention;
  • May I have the courage to stop, listen, touch and pray with the man who has been walking the streets of Durban with crutches for more than a decade and have forgotten what it is like to have a home;
  • May I have the courage to be with, pay attention and listen to those who I least want to hear from, those who irritate or frustrate me, have world views and opinions that differ radically from mine; may I have the courage to keep on showing up and keep on listening;
  • May I have the courage to live from a place of conviction and not just act and speak from a place of fear and guilt;
  • May I have the courage not to be satisfied with the comforts of charity and good deeds, but keep on partnering with God in bringing true justice to our world.

Amen.

*It would be a worthwhile exercise to consider what the proper place of comfort is in our lives: Were we made for comfort? Where should we find comfort? Can comfort ignite, energise and recreate?

Advertisements

The Wheels of Injustice

Unknown

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Albert Schweitzer said that the wheel of history needed to come to a halt in order to usher in the Kingdom of God, but refused to turn, so Jesus threw Himself upon it, then as He was crushed by it, it does turn; and therein lies His victory.

The question is what are we willing to do in partnership with God to make the wheels of injustice stop?

Suspending the “But..!”

It has happened to most of us. Especially lately with all the political turmoil happening in our country. Someone starts talking about something that makes you feel really uneasy. You feel your heart beating faster and your blood may even start boiling a little. It may in fact really push your buttons. At this stage in the conversation you have stopped listening, because all you can think about is what you are going to say in response and how you are going to defend yourself or your stance…and most often you do not even allow the person to finish their sentence, before you interject with “But..!”

“But we have worked to be where we are now!”
“But I had nothing to do with it!”
“But they..!”
But..!
But..!
But..!

One thing I have learned over the last year or so, and especially in the last few months is that something incredible happens on the occasions where I am able to suspend the “But..!”. Where I have been able to listen without defending, justifying or convincing. Where I have been able to listen without interjecting or trying to proof my point.

On the other side of suspending the “But..!” lies the potential to understand something about someone we would have never guessed to be true, discover points of view different from our own and the chance to have our eyes opened to realities that we never even knew existed. My deepest moments of repentance and growth happened on the other side of suspending the “But..!

I am not saying that you should stop holding to your own beliefs. I am not saying that you should compromise on who you are. I am not saying that you should not engage in robust arguments and challenging conversations. I am not saying that you should agree with everything you hear. I am suggesting that we try and understand the things we hear… I am saying that we should sometimes practice the discipline of suspending the “But…!” and rather take a deep breath and listen…

(If you are feeling particularly inspired by this post, as a primer for practising this discipline, I challenge you to take a deep breath and watch this…and suspend the “But..!” for once: http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-06-11-watch-julius-malema-at-the-gathering-2016/#.V2eITjZCI9c)

Youth Day 2016: What has changed?

nn_04_lh_mandela_131207

Today is 16 June 2016. It is not a mere public holiday. Or the start of a long weekend. It is Youth Day. And it is #40yearslater. What has changed? An oppressive system that fails those who are least powerful in society still seems at the order of the day. Most of us who live comfortable lives have forgotten about the events of June 16, 1976. It is easy to feel that we don’t need to remember and remain ignorant to the fact that our very comfort is built on what the youth was fighting against as pointed out so powerfully on the Izwe Lethu blog recently (I encourage you to read this provocative post). It is #40yearslater and so much has gone wrong… So much of what was paid for with such a high price has been forgotten, corrupted and repressed. So what has changed?

This week as people and organisations have been preparing for Youth Day, images and clips from the movie “Sarafina!” have been doing the rounds again on social media and the news. The plot (for those of you who still may not know this) centres on the Soweto Uprising in 1976. I can remember seeing advertisements and news reports regarding Sarafiona, the musical, in the 80’s and the movie in the early 90’s. Without knowing a single detail about the history, the music or the prolific and legendary Mbongeni Ngema at the time, I can remember that the images and the name simply provoked negative feelings from me as a child. I confess with tears in my eyes, I was ignorant and had no idea of the deep seated racism running through my veins as an Afrikaner child. That was 30 years ago.

Today, however, I can say that I have come to a place of realising my ignorance and growing frustrated with living a life of privileged comfort. I am still privileged however, but I am repenting of my ignorance. I can say that I have read the history, I have listened to the songs, I have cried for those who lost their lives, their children, their brother and sisters. I have cried for our country and continue crying our in prayer for our country. I am a recovering racist. I actively work towards a more just society by the way I live and who I chose to have relationships with. I still make many mistakes, but there is a slow dismantling of my own inclination to discriminate and stereotype others. It is an everyday struggle to face up to those demons. God is working in my heart and my life. I have decided not to let comfort and ignorance define my life anymore. I have decided to be the change that South Africa needs. I have decided to take the hand of God and partner with Him in making His dream come true for South Africa.

So, June 16 1976. #40yearslater… What has changed? It seems that so much is still unchanged in our society. But I am changing. I have changed. It is not much, but that is the only place I can start. Aluta Continua.

Not on my terms: Language and Names

I think one of the most important things that we as Afrikaans or English speaking South Africans can do to work towards reconciliation in this country is to learn to speak an(other) African language. In KZN the obvious choice is isiZulu. We have been doing a basic conversational class through The Siyakhuluma Project on Wednesday evenings. The Siyakhuluma Project aims to bridge both the language and cultural divide amongst people living in KZN. The cultural information shared by our lecturer has really opened my eyes to many things that I have been ignorant of in the past.

Speaking English to an isiZulu speaking person, not only means that you are speaking to them on your terms of vocabulary and grammar, but in choosing to speak English we actually impose our cultural ways of thinking upon the other person without having the faintest idea that we are doing so. Language never is just mere words. It comes with culture and “being”.

One of the most striking ways this point can be demonstrated is in the names we call people by. I will share a few very very basic things I have learned that I thought may be helpful for some – even though you may know this already (and to my isiZulu speaking friends, please correct me if I’m wrong, this is my understanding of it all and I am trying my best to bridge a few divides here!)

As I understand it now, in Zulu culture calling someone by their surname is deeply respectful. Apparently the word for “name” in isiZulu is the same as just “word” (igama – you literally ask “What is the word that is yours?” when you say “Ungubani igama lakho?”) – your name is just a word added to you, but your surname (“isibongo”) is the name you feel praised by. It acknowledges you as a representative of your family (And I’m sure you can connect this with the idea of “ubuntu” which means that we are actually only truly a person through others. I find this incredibly beautiful. You can apparently even thank a person by saying their surname instead of “Thank you” – it is that praiseworthy). So, for instance, if you want to respect someone (say she is an older person in your neighbourhood) and her name is Thokazani Mhlanga, it would be hugely respectful of you to call her MaMlanga rather than Thokozani. (Apparently you usually use the name of the family a woman has been born into – her maiden name in other words)

If you want to call someone by their “word”, I urge you to insist on calling them by their “real name” and not some name they have had to take because it is “easier.” Our lecturer told us the story of how she was given a Latin name in order for her to be christened and accepted into the local Catholic school. She never even knew the meaning of that name and most people in her family could not pronounce the name! I keep on thinking what a dehumanising experience it must have been. Naming someone on our terms like that eats away at their identity and ultimately their humanity. Calling someone by names they prefer or love acknowledges them and is respectful. Amazing that something as simple as a name (or a surname) can play a role in restoring a person’s humanity.

My husband had to learn the names of his new colleagues when we first moved here 9 years ago – Prathna, Prishnee, Prasha, Praksha, to name but a few – which was about as foreign to him – an Afrikaans speaking Free State boytjie – as can be. He managed just fine, so really there is no reason why we can’t also manage Andile, Nobuhle and Sthembisile.

Not on my terms: Dining Room Tables

 

Moving to the city has been and continues to be a huge eye opener to us. Never before have I been so confronted with my own privilege, stereotypical thinking, racism and feelings of superiority. Slowly I am awakened to the fact that as a white privileged person in South Africa doing things on my terms has mostly been the status quo. Living in the city has revealed how comfortable I have become to do things on my terms.

One of the interesting perspectives arising from our move to a smaller space in the city, was how little we missed the extra two thirds of our “stuff” that we lived with when we were living in a three bedroomed simplex in the suburbs. It is amazing how we feel we “need” certain things that we actually can live without pretty easily. Even now, living with one third of our possessions feels very luxurious in comparison with many of the people living around us.

One thing that I have been missing though is our dining room table. I loved our dining room table. To me it was a symbol of hospitality, connecting and engaging with others, generosity and sharing meals in ways that would make the love and good news of God tangible. So the only material thing I have longed for was our large dining room table…

This may all sound very noble to some of you, but in a dialogue session a while ago as I was listening to thoughtful challenging experiences being shared, I was reminded of the fact that having a meal around a dining room table is European or Western concept, not an African one. It hit me right between the eyes, here I was wanting to engage with people who are truly African around a dining room table – a Western concept. Here I was desiring to learn from others, but without even thinking about it, in doing so, once again, on trying to do it on my terms…

I know there will be some of you that will object, “Eating around a dining room table is practical” and so it may be. Especially if you eat with a knife and a fork, but not necessarily when you eat by using your hands or a spoon. I can hear some of you say, “Eating with a knife and fork is more civilised than eating with your hands or a spoon” – that may ring true to some…but only by Western standards. Western standards are not the only terms or the highest standards to which our own humanity or our dignity or civilisation can be measured.

And some of you might even say, “But Jesus had meals with people around a table!”…strangely I wondered about that too… So, I actually checked the use of table in the New Testament. If you do a word search for table in the New Testament you might find about 39 occurrences, but if you go and look carefully at those verses, you will see that in almost every single instance, the words “at the table” have been added in. I do not know Greek at all so I am certainly not qualified to make a call, but I would not be surprised if the translators (Western/European translators that is) translated the stories on their own terms…Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

92630e00b1437e70430659639d70b05c.jpg

Not on my terms

13336056_10154187491417930_1287719182534885325_nWith the rise of “I” (individualism) in the world, we have become very accustomed to doing things our own way. No wonder “My Way” is the song most frequently played at British funeral services. Even in South Africa we feel entitled to doing things our own way. It is especially those of us who find ourselves in privileged positions that have become very comfortable with doing things on our own terms.

We speak to people on our own terms
We eat with people on our own terms
We read the Bible on our own terms
We help others on our own terms
We consume on our terms
Just to mention a few…

Doing things on “our own terms” may not sound like such a bad thing to you. Of course, I’m hearing some of you object, “We live in a dog-eat-dog world! What do you expect?!” My concern is just that the world (and here I mean both people of the world and the rest of creation) simply cannot cope with all of us doing things on our own terms.

In the next couple of days I would like to share a few honest stories from my own life – in the first place a way of confessing my own ignorance, secondly in the hope that it would help you become aware of the ways in which we so easily make assumptions about what it right, what is best and what is helpful on our own terms rather than taking a walk to the “other side” of our point of view, sitting down with someone and listening in an attempt to understand and not judge. And thirdly I hope to consider a way forward – if not on our terms, then on whose terms?

Would love for you to stay tuned and engage with the stories and share your thoughts and experiences…

Letter to the Church in South Africa (myself included) on Ascension Day 2016

ascension-day.jpg

**Disclaimer: I usually write posts I feel could benefit all South Africans – an even those abroad. Today I write specifically for the church in South Africa. It is unlike my previous posts. It is not well structured or well articulated. It is not thoughtfully inclusive or well polished. There will be typo’s I’m sure. It is not theologically sophisticated. I am merely presenting to you voices that I think we need to heed on this very day.**

I get the feeling that we are not really listening to the real questions that are being asked by this country. I see the big challenges we face as South Africans and I feel like I seldom know how we as a church are partnering with God to bring real solutions and redemption and liberty and restoration and reconciliation and keep our spiritual default settings from kicking in all the time.

I see so many posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter going forwards and backwards. We outdo each other in our wise, prophetic and intelligent utterances. I see many many words and very little transformative action.

We choose the pain we want to acknowledge and remain indifferent and inattentive to everything else.

Today is Ascension Day. Most of us didn’t even notice. But since it is Ascension Day, I think it is wise to take stock again of some voices that have been crying out over the years as they considered the Ascension of Jesus (I realise that there are many other voices and perhaps many other that could have been more representative – these are the ones, that came to mind when I started writing this today).

For some theological foundation, a non-South African New Testament scholar that I respect:

Luke 24: 46-51 (King Jesus Translation – NT Wright)

“This is what is written,’ he said. ‘The Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and in his name repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, must be announced to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are the witnesses for all this. Now, look: I’m sending upon you what my Father has promised. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’ Then he took them out as far as Bethany, and lifted up his hands and blessed them. As he was blessing them, he was separated from them and carried into heaven.”

Of this NT Wright said in his commentary, Luke for Everyone (first published in 2001),

“‘Repentance’ and ‘forgiveness of sins’ are not, therefore, simply a matter for the individual, though they certainly are that. At the heart of being a Christian is the personal turning away from sin, and celebrating God’s forgiveness, which is after all at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer itself. But these two words go much wider as well. They are the agenda which can change the world. Today’s world is full of disputes, large and small, only a few of which get into the newspapers. Nations, ethnic groups, political factions, tribes and economic alliances struggle for supremacy. Each can tell stories of the atrocities committed by their opponents. Each one claims that they therefore have the right to the moral high ground, and must be allowed redress, revenge, satisfaction. But, as anyone who has studied the complicated history of the Middle East, Rwanda or Northern Ireland will know, it is simply impossible to give an account of the conflict in which one side is responsible for all the evil and the other side is a completely innocent victim. The only way forward is the one we all find the hardest at every level: repentance and forgiveness. The resolute application of the gospel, under the Lordship of the risen Jesus, is the only way forward towards the creation of new hope and possibilities. The extraordinary work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, under the leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, showed the way in the last years of the twentieth century. He offers a wonderful example: who will follow?”

Moving to our local context, David Bosch, prophetic South African missiologist, wrote in 1991 (a year before his tragic death) about the Ascension,

“The ascension is, preeminently, the symbol of the enthronement of the crucified and risen Christ – he now reigns as King. And it is from this perspective of the present reign of Christ that we look back to the cross and the empty tomb and forward to the consummation of everything. Christian faith is marked by an inaugurated eschatology. This is true not only of the church -as if the church is the present embodiment of Christ – but also of society, of history, which is the arena of God’s activity. Salvation history is not opposed to profane history, not grace to nature. Therefore, to opt out of civil society and set up little Christian islands is to subscribe to a truncated and disjunctive understanding of God’s workings…Christ’s order of life already forcefully progresses throughout the world. Mission from this perspective means that it should be natural for Christians to be committed to justice and peace in the social realm. God’s reign is real…we will not inaugurate it, but we can help make it more visible, more tangible. Within this unjust world we are called to be a community of those committed to the values of God’s reign, concern ourselves with the victims of society and proclaim God’s judgment on those who continue to worship the gods of power and self-love. In the words of section IV.3 of the Melbourne conference, “The proclamation of God’s reign is the announcement of a new order which challenges those powers and structures that have become demonic in a world corrupted by sin against God.”

(Please may I ask you to refrain from reading David Bosch’s words in a spiritual sense only…)

Next up, Alexander Venter, 2004,

“My assumption at that point was simple and clear: If we reconcile with God – are born again – the rest will take care of itself. Just win people to Jesus, then SA, and the world, will get sorted out! We are reconciled and find each other in Christ, so what is all the political fuss about?…Many still believe that to be true…We need to have a workable theology, and ethic or a model of social reconciliation and change for the common good or societal inequalities and conflicts will overrun us. This application of the gospel, of reconciliation to our social realities is a profound spiritual responsibility for all Christians and churches. It is as demanding and urgent as one-on-one reconciliation – we do not have a choice. We must diligently pursue both personal and group reconciliation for the common good, for Jesus’ sake.”

Lastly, Rev Frank Chikane (1988),

“To be a Christian means to engage in the struggle for justice against injustice…Any view of Christian life without engaging in struggle cannot be compatible with the work of the Lord on the cross. Our mission as Christians is to engage in acts of salvation for the world in the name of Him who died for it. We are called to proclaim the good news of salvation to the world.”

Church (and here I include myself)! Our South Africa is broken and in desperate need of healing – yes individual healing (and I think the church is doing this), but also healing on societal level. This is the work of the church. Can you not see the direction in which we are heading? We need to take action! We cannot wait for government to bring healing and restoration. This is our mandate. Are we addressing this from our pulpits? Are we helping our people to discern? Are we equipping the saints for works of justice, reconciliation and restoration? What is the Gospel we believe and live!?

Invisible Geography

“May my mind come alive today

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.”

John O’Donohue

In the month of April have seen snapshots of the invisible, the inconceivable and the unimaginable become visible, tangible and real. Our Heavenly Father certainly deals generously in making the impossible possible.

A friend gulping down a big slice of pie. Two weeks before this was almost unimaginable as he had not been eating, except for a few bits of bread. Aggressive chemotherapy had robbed him of his appetite. But there he was eating the pie with such delight and finishing every last crumb on the plate.

A friend holding her new born baby. A year ago she was not sure if she will ever fall pregnant and have a child of her own. But there she was breastfeeding her precious, perfect baby girl.

A friend arriving at her surprise bridal shower. A few years ago she had broken free from a destructive relationship but never thought that she would ever find a person to share her life with again. But there she was being showered with gifts and preparing herself to be a bride, a wife anew.

A group of 25 diverse individuals sitting in a room talking openly, respectfully, honestly about the “hot topics” of the day in South Africa. Who would have thought it would be possible for us to be so vulnerable? But there we were, listening to each other speak about white privilege, land, power, fear and the pain of the past without becoming defensive, sharing the same desire for true reconciliation in our country.

In these snapshots, I have seen “dead shells of yesterdays” shattered. I have seen the invisible become tangible in front of my very eyes. Hope restored in my heart. God glorified. 

Two things seem almost unimaginable to me today: A South Africa truly restored and reconciled, and secondly, a truly South African church, authentically African, authentically Christ-following, deeply reconciled to God and each other. This is our “invisible geography”, our “new frontiers”. We desperately need to break free from the dead shells of yesterday. We need change. We need to take the risk of being disturbed.

And I pray (with John O’Donohue), “Father, give us the courage to waste our hearts on fear no more!”

Responding Justly.

soros_access_to_justice_flipped.jpgSince I published my previous post in which I wrote about being faced with my own privilege and prejudices on a daily basis, I have had so many people ask me, “What should we do about this?” or “Which organisation can we donate money to?” How do we respond in the face of our own privilege?

For a long time my response was one of guilt. Guilt that I have been given so much and others have so little. Guilt that I have unduly benefitted from a system that have taken so much away from others. I spent a long time dealing with that guilt which still pops its head out every now and again. But guilt, as my friend, Christie, said in response to the previous post, is not a productive emotion. In order to rid ourselves of the guilt, our response is very often to donate money to a charity, give away (second hand?) items of clothing, drop a couple of coins in the beggar’s hands or give the car guard R10 instead of R5. Whilst there is not necessarily anything wrong with each of these things, it is what is at the heart of this giving that concerns me. Giving from a place of guilt, rather than a place of compassion, is not the answer. Random acts of kindness, even though we can never underestimate the fact that it can make a significant difference in someone’s life in that moment is not the answer. Besides, privilege in this country is about more than just having more money than others…

I cannot remember who I heard this from, but someone once told me that the true meaning of justice is “right relationship”. Justice is not simply defined by some kind of abstract system involving economics. Justice is not simply “outreach projects” by rich people into poor communities. In a meeting last week, someone made the statement that making the poor our “Christmas Day project” is an insult to them. It is incredibly patronising. It does not set relationships right. Justice means doing things in a way that will set relationships right.* Yes, “outreaches” and “hand-outs” may bring relief, but does it rectify the power dynamics of the relationship between the privileged and the poor? Or does it sustains them? Those who have privilege still remain the “saviours” and the poor still remain victims needing to be “saved” which only serves to perpetuate the privilege in the minds of everyone involved. 

Shane Claiborne says,

I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.

It is so much easier for those of us who are in privileged positions to give our money or time to a cause or a project than it is to sit down and have a conversation with a poor person. It is easier to donate money to a feeding scheme than it is to visit a poor family and share a meal with them. It is much easier to give the car guard R10, than to take 5 minutes and ask her something about her life.

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, made the following statement,

While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary

The path to this world in which charity has become unnecessary**, a just society, certainly has economic implications for those of us who are privileged. But perhaps it starts with us sitting down and getting to know the people around us who are in positions of less privilege. In that space, from building those relationships, we come to a place of understanding – understanding our own privilege, understanding the depth and complexity of privilege and it’s impact on this country, as well as understanding the real needs of those who find themselves positions of less (which in fact may be surprisingly different from what we would assume them to be).

So when you are confronted with your own privilege this week (and I hope you will be), rather than merely flicking a coin into a hand, make eye contact and greet the person. Rather than merely dropping a few items of tinned food in the charity trolley at the shop, visit a poor person’s home and share a meal with them.

Here are a few other suggestions that might help:

  • Do you have a domestic worker? Or a gardener? Have you been to their home for a visit?
  • Instead of having lunch with your colleagues, have lunch with the cleaner at your work place this week.
  • Instead of giving the security guard in your road or your complex left overs from supper, go outside and have supper with him or her.
  •  Sit down with someone in a position of less privilege and ask them about their childhood. (What was their home environment like? Did they have a relationship with their father? Who helped them with their homework? Did they have access to computers (or the internet) growing up? How many people had cars in their family and how did they get to school in the mornings?)

 

*I believe that the way to right relationship is not paved with feeling sorry for the other person or judging them or making judgment calls on their behalf, but through deep reconciliation with each other and our identity as image bearers of God – being able to see Jesus in the other person and treating the other person accordingly. Would we treat Jesus in a patronising manner…?

**Sounds like heaven doesn’t it?