There is a sense in the air that a great loss has occurred in the world. Nelson Mandela lived well though not always treated well. He served others regardless of his station in life. He lived more than most could ever dare to attempt. With his death goes the real time role model of what is possible in the human spirit in ways that will never again be duplicated. Even still…his legacy is large and unmistakable. He indeed changed not only the course of South Africa but of the world.
Three years ago we went to Pretoria, Mamelode and made a quick trip to Johannesburg to the Apartheid Museum. Today is not the day to recall that trip but it is to recall that Mandela was integral to the very contents of this museum. In particular, there is a section with quotes. Each section of quotes was color coded. For each color coded section there were color coded sticks to make a sculpture from the quotes which resonated with you. Long before my daughter could read, we walked through this museum with her. She chose her color and then her quote. The picture above captures that small moment where we attempted to expose her at a very early age and to have a visual to share for years to come as we teach her of the world. We talked of the horrors and the triumphs that took place there. We talk of the horrors and triumphs in our world today. We talk and pray for those who are hurt and struggling. We talk about how to work for peace and justice in our world and on her playground. We talk of Christ who set this as a task before us.
Today we remember Mandela. We talk of the great man he was and the the great legacy he left knowing we may never fight injustice as broadly or deeply as he did…but that we and she certainly will not if we do not continue to remember and share this story and many more that also reflect God’s call for peace and justice.