Sunday, October 24, 2010

a story of robust faith...

This morning I listened to Auntie Pienah,from Riverlea, sharing her story. She's originally from Buysdorp and came to Johannesburg in 1949. She emphasised the fact that she is a Buysdorper, in murg en been. She came to Joburg to work. This she also emphasised.

She shared her struggle to find work, eventually in a factory and she shared her ongoing struggles with racism. Yet, she found support with a friend and she remained part of the church. It was fascinating to note that she indicated she never was the talkative type in the church, nor was she the activist type. She considered herself a quiet member...yet she remained faithful and her faith sustained the kind of challenges she faced in the real world.

Her story is articulating a kind of faith that is taking place on the road, in the migration towards the spaces where we are able to sustain life. It's a robust faith in the midst of or better, against a vicious social system. It was a patient, prayerfilled journey, but its one where she are conscious of the fact that God was faithfull to her and that God answered her prayers. I was

Another thing I was thinking of is the fact that perhaps her struggle against colonialism and a brutal system is perhaps not the material that make the newspapers as perhaps she never participated in a march or never threw a stone. She was never in the prison, but she is the embodiment of a struggle tradition, but more so a faith that inspires. She inspires me, she teach me critical lessons of faith that sustains. This is a faith that lives in the stories of people like Auntie Pienah. Its not in the headlines, nor in the glossy books. Yet its a robust living faith, if only we are willing to listen.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finding our compass....

Listening to community members in Riverlea, the last few weeks afforded me the prescious opportunity to reflect on what is important. Perhaps the better question is 'who' is important. I will not be able to answer the question for now, because this really a ongoing mindset, that should guide all our activism as well as our intellectual engagement.
Often we get lost in the woods. We wander off to interesting pathways and sounds. This might be because some important person refered to this or that special detour. We would argue that we want to see it for ourselves and engage the person on the 'important' question whether it is really of value. Soon we become entangled in a secondary enterprise-now the issue is to engage these important people... and so we forget the reason for the journey in the first place. We are lost.
In these situations it remain critical to take a look at our compass again. It is critical that we listen again to answer the question, why am I on this journey and where am I going. For the last few weeks its been the people in Riverlea community that saved my soul. We are here for each other, we are here to regain and share our common be sisters and brothers to each other. Our engagements, even Gods interventions in our lives, remain focused on finding each other, loving each other and this, is a journey of picking up the impulses of the image of God. This is our compass, this is what directs our being here.