October 31 2016.
A world turned Upside down
I have been in Africa for 11 days. We have visited many different sites,travelled through large cities,walked through slums and met people from many different tribes and cultures. In a sea of black faces our little group of white pilgrims stands out.
Despite our minority status here I have never experienced any prejudice, mistrust or fear in the eyes or actions of the people. They have much to be out angry about. The majority of people live under extremely oppressive conditions including abject poverty, extreme heat and few possibilities for change. The Social conditions are ripe for anger, resentment, scapegoating and fear of people who are different, especially people who live in the developed world.
Yet we have not experienced any negative reactions. Since our arrival we have been heartily welcomed with friendly smiles and hospitality. This is dramatically different from the experiences of people of color in the USA who are subjected to racial profiling, scapegoating and mistreatment of every kind. The horrendous sin of slavery is like a millstone which holds Americans back from celebrating diversity, rejoicing in our differences and seeing each other as sisters and brothers with the same hopes and dreams. The joyful faces and trusting spirits of the African children remind us that it does not have to be this way.
Prayer for the day. Lord help me to see in each person I meet today what you see- your beloved daughter or son. Give me the gift of sight to see your face in others especially those who are different from me. Amen.