We wanted to write a blog post about the suffering we see in the lives of those we get to walk with here in Pretoria. Chandra and I chatted about our thoughts, and I took some notes. I sat down to do some research and attempt to write. I didn't get very far. I wrote down my prayer, and I'm sharing it with you.
I feel out of place--no, presumptuous--to write about anyone's suffering in this beautiful nation.
I haven't experienced this exclusion. I haven't known systemic ostracism and intentional societal marginalisation. I haven't watched loved ones die simply because the resources to care for them were kept from us, even though they are so close by.
So, I'm trying to study on what exactly is a "theology of suffering" so that I can write something with some sort of academic or at least devotional integrity, and I'm distracted by this tenderness.
I can't place it. But it seems as if it's Your tenderness I'm feeling. That You see this suffering. That every marginalised human being's experience, all over this sin-ravaged planet, is not lost on You. You see every violent act in every home. You see every child starving, five miles from a restaurant throwing out uneaten food from the $20 plates of the privileged. And it matters to You.
So, I'm trying to write, but I'm broken. My little article might be seen by about a few dozen people.
Maybe it will inspire them. But what will it change for Xolisa? Or Sephiwe*?
No practical gift or act of service could make it right. We can't fix this.
But we can be present.
I'm so captured by the fact that You see. Thank You that we can at least be present, for at least a few. In our presence, Father, please be present. You're the one who really sees. You're the one we all need.
* these names have been changed
Mike & Chandra Noviskie,
missionaries to South Africa
CCF Missions is a ministry of Christian City Fellowship.