This morning i went to hang out and church with the friendly people at Common Ground Wynberg.
i have visited them a bunch of times since coming back from americaland because they have a vibe i really enjoy: very diverse congregation, black pastor [who i really like], some people i know and a whole bunch i don’t, and usually just an exciting lifeness happening with children movement and French translations and people who move as they sing, and there is just a lot of stuff there i really enjoy.
i was sitting waiting for the service to begin and i looked around and was just stunned by the beauty around me. Not the hugest amount of white people, a lot of African folks who are clearly from other more Northern parts of Africa and a bit of a mixed bunch of everyone else: a mesmerisingly messy mosaic made up of people who love Jesus and want to follow Him well together.
And i thought to myself, ‘I want to get to know these people. i want to hear their stories. i want to know how they ended up in South Africa. And i want to know what it has been like for them as the horrification of xenophobia has raised its ugly head in various parts of the country once more.
i imagine, if they had all been white people, that i would not have cared as much. Not because [like some of my favourite commentors on the blog would have us believe] i hate white people, because i really don’t. But because if i was in a church congregation of white people, then i would imagine the stories would be largely similar – in theme, or context, or content or general vibe at least. And while that’s okay, i guess, it’s not very interesting to me.
And so in that moment, for a moment, while i waited for ‘church to start’ i celebrated the church that was already going on. i drank in the diversity and thanked God for the hope of what this country can become. i didn’t understand racism just a little bit more than normal.
What a travesty to continue to live life surrounded by people who all look like us and largely think and live and celebrate and entertain and eat and church like us. i’m excited about some of the creative ways Val and i are embracing to ensure that our circles, in this regard, are getting gradually bigger…
[i didn’t get a chance to properly meet anyone cos they made an announcement that someone had left their car lights on and i strongly suspected it was me, but i was trapped in the middle of my row and hoped the battery would survive one service, so i left immediately afterwards… turns out it wasn’t me, but i will be back, and next time i hope to get to hear one or more of those stories]