Yesterday I read;
I bought this book from my favourite second hand bookstore. They said that it came from a lady’s estate who had thousands of books. What a gift to posterity! I was able to purchase it for $2.99. and gladly paid.
I had read it with interest in fits and starts as I usually have books of assorted kinds going at once. Books are a comfort and joy and food for my many jumbled thoughts and concerns. It is joyful whenever I find a book written by someone who has love in his heart as Alan Paton demonstrates with Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful. This book covers the 1952-58 time period beginning in what they call, “The Defiance Campaign” in which they pushed back against some of the apartheid laws such as separate use of public places, places of worship, transportation, and land occupancy laws.
Many things I’ve read in the book have reminded me of the injustices in our own country’s dealings with our neighbors in our own country as well as the world. The fears of the Afrikaners made them do horrid things through apartheid and of course they committed even worse atrocities against the black and brown peoples with whom they unevenly shared that beautiful land.
To simplify I will say that their justifications for their separate existence laws from the native South Africans and the other brown skinned peoples like the Indians whom they imported into the country for labor to build railroads were made out of arrogance, greed, and Darwinian type genetic racial inequality theories, but mostly FEAR of their superior numbers. The Christians in South Africa of all colors were sifted through the age of White Rule. There where were many Whites who responded to the commands of Jesus Christ to treat their Black and Brown brothers with kindness, many as in this book were ostracized for it.
This book was written in 1981, before the abolition of official Apartheid. Looking backward we can see many things have improved, yet much is still to be done. I think much has to be done in our country too. God cannot be pleased with Christians supporting suppressions of freedoms out of fear when He told us that we are to fear none but God himself. We have a long way to go. In verse 34 Jesus gives a new commandment.
I meditated upon the act of Jesus washing feet all night long, I dreamed in wonder about it. This morning I got my Bible out to get the unadulterated Word.
Verse 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Do they know? Do we love?