Please pray with me if you’re a praying person, and remember to live through love.
Today I pray for the country my heart still calls home, despite my long leave of absence.
Today I pray for that country, despite knowing that there are even more horrifying things going on elsewhere. I pray for those things too, dear Lord, but today my heart is aching for my land.
As I read the news, dear Lord, I see a lot of darkness there. I see how, 21 years after 1994, things are not going well at all. I see poverty, violence, corruption, illness, suffering… and cruelty beyond imagination. I know, not all is bad and there are still many things that are good, beautiful and true down there. Today I am praying about the darkness and the pain, about the fear and the raging hatred.
Lord, the situation is complex in that country where society still hasn’t managed to fulfil it’s own dream of a Rainbow Nation in which we could all be free, side by side. I sometimes wonder if people remember that dream from way back when… and sometimes even I start to wonder if it’s just a fantasy. Are we humans even capable of doing that?
I pray for the country where every time the national anthem sounds, the plea also sounds for God to bless Africa, though sometimes ‘God save Africa’ still seems as appropriate as ever. I pray for the country which seems to be burning in the shadows sometimes, because I know how it can glow in the light.
Lord, people are scared and threatened and seemingly more polarised. I am not sure what to make of certain us vs them groups, everyone seems to have their own truth. In the end, the polarisation seems like a bunch of time bombs to me.
One of them seems to have gone off with frustrated and angry South-Africans attacking and even murdering foreigners simply because they are foreigners. I pray for the suffering families, the wounded. I too am a foreigner, Lord, trying to make a life in another country. I know about the poverty too, Lord, but I fail to see how this is an answer. It is just so dark. I don’ t know where this will end, Lord, with the rest of Africa responding to the violence against foreigners in South-Africa.
The other thing that concerns me very much is the underlying internal polarisation. Right wing here and there, something happens and statues fall… and I’m not sure for what. It’s a symptom of darkness, Lord, I think. I don’t know what all this means, but I can no longer close my eyes to it. This is all on top of everyday crimes, horrors and suffering in that beloved country, Lord. I cry for it.
Lord, heal my broken country. Let love shine through, let the light win over the darkness. Let it be a wonderful place for all in it, a safe haven. Be with those who are dealing with the current events directly, give them strength to get through. Teach South-Africans to love and forgive. Heal the millions of broken lives.
Lord, in the end, if all is in Your will.