I have been struck by the word “displacement” in my evening prayer time tonight. On Friday night last week, we had with us about six Zim refugees, a black man from Soshenguve whom I’m coming to know more and more, a few Afrikaaners, a Canadian and some Americans all sharing a meal and worshiping together. It was such a beautiful tapestry of the kingdom of God, yet only until after tonight have I seen a glimmer of the larger picture being painted here.
Each of the people groups described above have experienced some form of displacement in their histories. South Africa is full of displacement. The Afrikaaners were displaced by the English, then displaced the non-whites during apartheid, now find themselves again displaced in a post-apartheid world. The refugees are obviously displaced, and the blacks, to some extent, are still living under the results of such a long reign of legalized racism. So what is it that we’re learning?
Displacement isn’t always safe. It’s hard to be displaced from the familiar. It becomes especially difficult when your safety and the safety of your family is at stake. What I am beginning to learn about displacement is so huge, this blog can only scratch at the surface: without the other, I am nothing (ubuntu).
Friday night, during our worship gathering, a bunch of displaced folks found home together under the banner of our savior. In an evening filled with food, prayer, worship… we found the need for one another to richly inform our lives of our need for one another. Reconciliation is forming as we strip down our agendas and come to the unifier… our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… the only hope of reconciliation in South Africa, in our world, and in our souls.