Monthly Archives: May 2013

Colour

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During our writing workshops this week at the Amahoro Africa Gathering in Kampala, we were given the task of writing prompted by the word ‘table’ and then choosing one word from that piece to write further. This is what I came up with.

TABLE

As I come to this Amahoro table, a place of discussion and conversation, am I really welcome here? People smile and greet me warmly and yet at different times there are things spoken about colonialism with a negativity of damage caused, arrogance flaunted, of lines drawn in ignorance and presumption. There’s conversations of greed in the West and the lack of willingness to share. Do I represent all that to them?

I see all this, I can see it in history and yet here I sit in my own skin, feeling a little ashamed, wishing I was a little darker. Wishing my skin colour didn’t associate myself with so much injustice.

But is there something positive I can bring? Even something positive my colour can bring to this table?

I love this continent and feel more at home in South Africa than in the nation of my birth, a truth about me that a first glance wouldn’t tell you – people only get to know that when they get to know me well. Luckily this is a space where that can happen.

COLOUR

Colour. Bright colours: a rainbow striped umbrella used as a sun shade, a red tomato, green trees, blue skies, painted houses, patterned clothes. Where colour is an indication of life, of joy, of fun, of child-like exuberance.

And yet colour in South Africa seems almost a dirty word. Something that should be about beautiful diversity has become boundary lines of difference, of fear, of pride, of separation, of anger. Lines drawn and scratched in deep with injustice.

As I sit in my own skin, my own colour, I find myself sitting on one side of a deep line and wishing the lines were dissolved.

I wonder how it can happen. Maybe it starts with real relationship, real friendship, knowing individuals until you see the inside of them more than the outside.

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Amohoro Africa

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I am at a gathering In Kampala, Uganda called Amahoro, which means peace, wholeness, shalom in the language of Rwanda. The gathering happens in a different African country each year. It’s a meeting place for people from many different African nations and from other parts of the world, people who want to have a conversation about theology in the context of Africa.

Every meal time, and walking between sessions I meet so many people who are passionate about making a difference in their own nations, each doing inspiring things: training leaders among the youth of D R Congo; providing a safe home, family and education for young women coming out of prostitution in Uganda; creating a beautiful place of hope and love and inspiration for children with HIV in Uganda; training pastors for church planting in Rwanda; running an influencial business and employing many in Kenya… the stories flow on and on. I hope to share over time in my blog, a little picture of some of the organisations and ministries that I have visited and heard about in this time. Every meal time I rush to sit with people I haven’t met yet and further inspiring stories tumble out. What a privilege to be here. I wonder where some of these emerging friendships and connections will lead. God only knows.

Something valuable deep inside

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showing people their own worth

Absolutely love this.

I feel so deeply that showing others that they have something inside them that is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of trust and that is sacred is something that is so powerful and frees people to be themselves and experience life more fully.

I feel it’s been part of the privilege of the journey I’ve walked with some of my friends who live on the streets near my home. I wrote about that here. As they have been shown their value by people loving them, listening to them, trusting them, some of them seem to have changed and seem to love and respect themselves and those around them more. What an honor to have the opportunity to show another person their own worth.

For you, a blessing

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I’m re-posting this from Elora Nicole, because I thought it was beautiful.

Stop for a second.

Breathe in deep. Close your eyes. Open them again.
See the beauty in the every day.

Know that the Creator lives and moves and breathes within you.
So those dreams? Risk them.
Those words? Write them.
Those hopes? Believe them.

Sink deep into His embrace.
Know He’s on your side
fighting
dreaming
pursuing
loving

And in these moments, these every day moments, may you see glimpses of the Divine
shimmering against the mundane
wiping out to worry, crashing against those brick walls

Embrace those waves of freedom, child.
leaving words and hope in their wake.

Always look for the beauty,
the trail of magic dust left behind from the Spirit’s touch
Breathe this in daily –
hourly

drawing strength from particles bubbling up like effervescent promises.