So tbV and myself are looking for a house.
Our criteria are loosely: something in Cape Town, preferably a slightly lower economy area [so Bishopscourt and Constantia, you need not apply] and where all the people don’t look like us [as in white, mainly].
And we would love a house with some space that would allow us to do hospitality well.
ENGAGING IN A MEAL OVER A COMMENT BLOCK
One of the things we were hoping and asked God for before we returned home to South Africa was to be able to host real, deep, significant, mindset-transforming conversations and it has been amazing to see how much this has happened already, without even really trying or giving it much effort.
But we do want to be more intentional in terms of creating spaces around meal tables, where we break bread together and talk about things like money and economic systems, like race and reconciliation, like God and church and relationships, like human trafficking and more.
Not simply for the purpose of having good conversations. With the idea that at some time talk moves on into action.
We have found that Facebook pages and comment sections in blogs are not the best place to have in-depth conversations. Especially when someone is approaching a topic from a very different perspective. Online communication doesn’t lend itself well to expressing tone and so something said with a completely neutral tone can be read aggressively and things tend to escalate quickly.
So if you have a strongly different opinion to us, we are saying, “Come and share a meal with us. Let’s be face to face in an environment of good food and pleasant atmosphere and let’s see if we can wrestle with some of these important things face to face, where tone is a lot easier to read.
“Why do I have to give up my hard earned money to spend on those people who are poor and lazy and are just wanting to leech off of me?” – Come and have a meal with us.
“What do you mean you’re not part of a local church congregation?” – Come and have a meal with us.
“Why do you keep on going on about this ‘White Privilege’ nonsense?” – Come and have a meal with us.
If you’re thinking this sounds a little dangerous or potentially awkward then absolutely. But life is too short to live safely and the world too messed up to leave things the way they are.
And if you’re worried that sitting talking about potentially world-transforming issues is a complete waste of time, cos, “What good is it going to achieve?” Well, a lot of the questions we are grappling with seem to be things that a lot of people have not been thinking or considering to much depth. And so maybe it needs to start small. With a mind shift. Or possibly a strengthening of the things you already believe and a challenging of those things we think.
A conversation over a meal can never by the end point. We get that. But for a lot of us, it might be the much needed next step.
As a follower of Jesus, it is interesting to note how many significant happenings in His life involved meals or celebrations – turning water into wine, the fish braai on the beach when He appears to His disciples after His death, the first communion, foot washing, being accused of hanging out with prostitutes and drunkards, tea with Zacchaeus, the meal on the road to Emmaus…
We believe that hosting meals where hopefully these life-giving and shaping conversations might take place is something we would love to be part of our regular day to day living and we hope that many of you will be a part of it.
But first up, we could use a house…