In April we celebrated Easter, where we moved from the sober reality of Christ’s death on Good Friday to the joy of his resurrection on Sunday. But for many of us, it might feel as if the world is stuck on the Friday, the day of death. We feel trapped in a proverbial Groundhog Day that keeps repeating itself and every morning as we wake up we have to face the exact same things again.
In our country we seem to lurch from one crisis to another as we mark the anniversary of the violence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) during a time when the province is under water and seeing a very different wave of deaths (and families and friends grieve lost loved ones once again!).
The world continues to burn from an ecological perspective (shouting at us that if we don’t do things differently, we won’t be around to do things at all) as well as a political one as Russia invades Ukraine – and while that may be the conflict receiving all of the attention, we are reminded of Palestine and Israel, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and more…
How do we rise up with hope? Where do we look to for that hope? Why is this day-that-seems-to-be-stuck-on-repeat known as “good”?
Well, using KZN as an example, against the backdrop of the multiple tragedies the province is facing, we also celebrate the memory of a Heartlines Bridge Experience where 30 people from a number of different communities that were involved in the violence met for two days. A Black person who had never in their life sat down with an Indian person got to look them in the eye as they shared a glimpse into their story. An Indian person who had never had an opportunity to hear a Black person speak of some of their pain and challenges growing up, got to do the same. And bonds started to emerge, a bridge between warring communities started being built from both sides. One of those communities is called Phoenix and the well-known mythical tale reminds us that for the Phoenix to emerge, there first have to be ashes.
For there to be an Easter Sunday, there has to first be a Good Friday and maybe it is only Good because of what will come, now what has passed.
While we are surrounded with stories of death and destruction and hopelessness, if we look around us, carefully enough, we start to see different stories emerging. A few weekends ago a group of strangers met in Cape Town to host a #BoeberUnderTheBridge impromptu meal for those who don’t have fixed homes. A friend recounts the story of their process of an adoption that has just come through. Business partners team up with principals at low-resourced schools to see what might come out of the collaborations. As I always like to say, “The ants outnumber the crickets!”
We have seen that we cannot wait for government to bring the change. It starts with us and with our communities. Heartlines is in the process of rolling out our latest programme, Fathers Matter, around the country, which is an exciting way of inviting men in particular to do their part well. But all of us can link hands with our neighbours as we rise up with hope together.
Friday may be here – and feel like it’s on repeat, bleak and oppressive – but Sunday IS coming. And each of us has a part to play in seeing the resurrection of our land and people take place.
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