July 9, 2012 — the forty-third day since Pentecost

A high school young woman from South Africa shares her anguish and her commitment. Paired with her words is a prayer of a much older woman, also from South Africa, sharing her prayer for wisdom, which is an expression of her wisdom. The essence of Pentecost is that mutuality … the Spirit poured out on all — the visions of youth, the dreams of elders …

Life in My Country

Walking down the street of my country
I observed so much
Lovers, friends, children having fun
I could see they were happy

As I turned around the corner
My grin faded
I took a giant step back
I felt traumatised

He was raping a five-year old child
She screamed for help but no one helped
I turned around
Only to turn to a gun pointed at me
He commanded all I had or see no tomorrow

I gave him all
My cell was gone,
I couldn’t call 911
I felt helpless

Crime is our everyday meal
People have no respect for others
Most are miserable and in pain
What had South Africa become

Self discipline is gone
Violence is a way to make money
We are no longer safe
We don’t recognizes those in pain

We care only about me, myself and I
No one is trustworthy
Unity and peace is no more
We do the opposite of what we are supposed to do

But my goal is to change South Africa
Slowly over time
And bring life back into my country.

Naledi Luthuli Inanda Seminary (High School)Durban, South Africa

Prayer for Wisdom

Lord, we pray,
“Give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things that should be changed,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I also pray,
Give me compassion to help when help is needed,
kindness to stand back when help is not wanted,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me openness to share something of my journey if helpful,
humility to keep quiet if I’m only boasting,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me gentleness to ask concerned questions,
reticence to probe intrudingly,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me willingness to organize and advise freely,
patience to not interfere,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me courage to be honest in my response if that is called for,
Sensitivity to refrain from honesty if that would be more compassionate,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

Isobel de Gruchy, South Africa

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2 Responses to July 9, 2012 — the forty-third day since Pentecost

  1. dabar96 says:

    These two – the passionate teenager and the compassionate elder – are the two I pray will work together in my spirit and life every day.

    • Maren says:

      They do not in fact know each other — though I know each of them, but they are so generous with their spirits that we can all be taught and blessed. Thank you for your comment.

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