This video is from an advertising campaign put out by a South African Bank. I think its really inspiring to hear our young people speak out against some of the problems we are facing in our country, and call people to action. (The ANC didn’t like it, which you can read about here). One of the issues facing South African youth today is a lack of hope. Many have been “born free” (post-apartheid), and yet there is still so much unemployment, violence and corruption, many feel the government has failed our country.
I’ve been thinking about the foundation for our hope, lately. I just watched the movie version of the musical Les Miserables (yes, it only came out in SA a few weeks ago), and that musical always makes me cry. I don’t cry because the music is so amazing (which it is). I don’t cry when in the movie children are shot and killed fighting for their freedom, or when innocent people are forced into prostitution because they don’t have another way to make any money. I always cry at the very last song, because that is the song which I believe sums up the movie’s message: In this present darkness, we can fight against the sadness and misery around us with small acts of grace towards each other.
Like the protagonist, Jean Valjean, we can consistently look out for the poor, the widow, the orphan around us, and simply and quietly dispense grace wherever we go. The reason why is found in the words of the last song. Unlike the political revolutionaries in the movie, who “beat their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears” (Joel 3:10) in order to bring freedom, Jean Valjean was willing to risk his life performing small acts of grace, because his life had been transformed by grace, and he knew a day was coming when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:3).
The words of the final song say: “And remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person Is to see the face of God. Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night? It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light. For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies, even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord. They will walk behind the ploughshare; they will put away the sword. The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward.”
Sometimes life is frustrating. I want to see immediate changes to the suffering and brokenness around me. But my hope of heaven, where one day everything will finally be made right, is what gives the daily encouragement to keep fighting for change here on earth.
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. (Colossians 3:4-5)
- For Anna Johanson, our newest short-termer from Denmark, who is starting to teach art classes in Sweetwaters schools this week!
- For the 44 APU students who will be visiting on Tuesday to learn about iThemba.
- That I will be able to continue to get rest as I recover from my sickness.