Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Freedom of South Africa ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Freedom of South Africa ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize and retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church in South Africa, addressed a wonderfully diverse audience overflowing the Fisk University Memorial Chapel in Nashville on January 14. It was only six years ago, in April 1994, that voters of all races elected the first non- white president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. The abolition of the oppressive apartheid system was accomplished without a wrenching bloodbath, as occurred in the American Civil War, or a victor's retribution, as took place in Afghanistan.

Archbishop Tutu summarized the past decade this way: "Most fairly sober-minded people, there's no doubt about it, thought, 'That country is going down the tubes' - waiting apprehensively for the bloodbath to happen.... Many of the right-wing elements had stashed all over the country caches of arms.... We were in a real pickle, and then the world watched in amazement, almost in awe" as the election of April 1994 took place. "Here was a veritable miracle unveiling before their eyes," he added. And then Tutu proceeded to thank the audience, with a generous inclusivity. "That could never have happened without the love and support and prayers and commitment of many, many around the world, such as yourselves!"

If one ever doubted the transforming effect of prayer on situations a world away, those doubts dissolved into dust as he repeated over and over again the vital importance of the prayers and love of individuals around the world in freeing South Africans. The audience choked back tears as this humble man embraced them with his eyes and softly said, "I'm speaking on behalf of millions of South Africans when I say, 'Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.' "

Your prayer matters. It reaches the heart and strengthens the weak, regardless of distance, for God is there. The power of good, the supremacy of the Holy Spirit, does break down the pride of prejudice. God is universal, and the power of divine Love does reign supreme on earth. As the collective human consciousness shifts away from apathy to love, from fear to faith, from human power to divine might, we see God's government made manifest in increasing freedom and justice. …

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