He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Father Forgive Us!
You have shown us, but we have not seen! The eyes of our hearts are blinded – blinded by the darkness of our on pride, prejudice and perversities. Our vision is blurred by the clouds of selfishness and self-seeking satisfaction.
What you have shown us is good – for our own good, for the good of our neighbours for the good of Your Name! But, forgive us – we know better.
We know what’s best for our future, masters of our own destiny, even though we are oblivious to what the next five minutes hold.
Our neighbours- their lives don’t affect us – their perplexities, pain and passions don’t affect our families or ourselves, even though our struggles are synonymous –
- when sad, we all shed a tear,
- when broken, we all bleed;
- when we die, we all decompose…
What is your requirement of us Lord? Surely, nothing onerous, burdensome, too demanding. Mere mortals we are…weakling…at least those shortcomings surface when it comes to doing what you ask of us…all other times, invincible, indestructible better describes us.
Forgive us Lord, we have not.
Our black brothers are beaten…but we are silent.
Our coloured sisters are raped, ravaged and murdered…we turn a blind eye.
The minorities, mistreated – we are mute.
We are for justice, but only when its comfortable; we’ll speak up for the voiceless, but only as a majority, en-mass, never alone. We’ll go with the flow but never upstream – cannot risk my popularity among our peers. We know its wrong, Lord; but You’ll understand…
We comply! We love mercy – mercy shown to us, our families, our ethnic group. Mercy is so sweet to the palate, so tantalising to the taste-buds, when we, ourselves are the recipients thereof. We confess it loses some of its savour when we are called to serve it to another, especially another who according to us, does not deserve it. Alas! Is that not the very definition of grace and mercy. Lavishing it upon those perceived to be unworthy of it? Those that are in no position whatsoever to reciprocate any good deed towards us. Of course it is! Our Christian theological framework informs, enlightens and confirms this definition of mercy. Despite our knowledge, however – we still prefer to receive it than to offer it…Lord, forgive us!
Father, forgive us! Herein lies the fundamental and foundational premise on which all our other weaknesses rest. We are unable to be humble! We are proud!
We are proud but unhealthily so.
Proud not of what you have accomplished through us, but proud solely of our accomplishments devoid of you.
Proud not of our heritage, our cultural identity, our ethnicity for the purposes of cherishing these gifts from you; instead proud to the point of supremely wielding them over the cultural identity of others -
they are lesser, we are more;
they have no right to, we are entitled to;
they must know their place, at the receiving end of our condescending conversation; our abhorring and arrogant actions; our hateful, threatening thinking.
What do you require of us, Lord?
Alas, we have failed and stand guilty on all three counts!
Only You can turn our hands; our hearts; our heads –
our hands away from self-defence toward justice for others;
our hearts away from self-gratification toward mercy for others;
our heads out of the clouds of pride and prejudice, toward humility and acceptance of others.
Father forgive us! God help us!