Suffering Hurts, but it also Creates

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We are fully human.

This week in an angry racist move, a young man, lost his life on the Seaview Road.
His name was Mpulelelo Apleni.
More than that, a mother, Rebecca lost her son.

He was in his prime.
Healthy and alive.
His crime?
He was not one of the 8% of the worlds population that can afford a car.
This man was walking and he got ploughed down by a car… on purpose.
Now what do we say to that?
What to we say to his mother?
Do we say, “God knows best”?
Our humanness flops about on the floor like a dying fish, helpless and gasping when we consider this act.
This act of murder.
So brutal.
There are no glib words to gloss over this.
So, what then is our hope?
What is Rebecca’s hope?

It was Rob Bell who spoke of what pain and suffering brings to man.
“We plot.
We plan.
We assume things are going to go a certain way.
And when they don’t, we find ourselves in a new place – a place we haven’t been before, a place we never would have imagined on our own.
It is the difficult and the unexpected, and maybe even the tragic, that opens us up and frees us to see things in new ways.
Many of the most significant moments in our lives come not because it all went right, but because it all fell apart.”

Pain ours and others has a way of making us more honest.
We need to feel the anger that comes with this.
We must ask the question ‘why’?
It is ok to say “I don’t get it!”
There’s an ache, an ache that tells us – that this is NOT how it’s supposed to be.
Speak it out.
There has been a disruption in our society, a suffering.
This is a suffering that belongs to each one of us, not just to his mother.
It is a suffering that belongs to our city.
It is a suffering that belongs to our humanity, wherever we might be living.

Suffering unites, it transcends race, it crosses the barriers of our prejudices.
Do you wear a cross around your neck?
Maybe the cross is Gods way of saying “I know how you feel, my son too died.”

Rebecca has experienced the death of her son
PE, our warm little city, has had it’s box smashed again.
What can you do about it?
What are your prejudices?
What lies deep within your soul that you need to change?
What is your pain?
How can we free Rebecca up to see things in a new way?
What hope can we bring?
Can we creatively make something good come from this anguished situation?
Is that even possible?

Rebecca and her family needs more than our thoughts and prayers.
She needs a physical outpouring of our hope for both her and her family’s lives.

Our city needs it…

Kingfishers doors are open for you to do so.

This is Tania Ahlfeldt hoping that our prejudices, whatever they may be will be kicked out.
Praying that today you will write a note, send a food parcel, creatively express your grief.
Reach out PE, there is family that needs you.

Contact me on 082 586 7431
Contact Kingfisher FM on 041-3655785

Port Elizabeth, or PE for short is a beautiful coastal city in South Africa. It has a population of 960 000 people. Port Elizabeth is considered to be a safe place for families to raise their children.

Photo: D Sharon Pruitt

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17 responses to this post.

  1. I can identify with what is written here.

    I was physically attacked here in Istanbul last Friday,
    Hit and kicked in the face by a stranger with such hate and anger in his eyes.
    It has changed my life in more ways that i am yet to realise.

    We have anger inside,
    We are all one at the end.
    We as a society needs serious healing on so many ways.

    May this terrible thing transform into something so beautiful and may
    It’s rays of positive vibrations wake us up.

    We do nt undersand this at once,
    But everything happens for a reason.

    God bless Rebecca and her family through this traumatic time&pain.

    Reply

    • Thanks for this truth Christiaan.
      You did not deserve that, you are a man of peace I know.

      Think of this: “It is the difficult and the unexpected, and maybe even the tragic, that opens us up and frees us to see things in new ways.”

      Ponder on opening up to the pain and allowing GRACE in.
      Life is messy. God doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty helping us out.

      Go well, I see your pain.
      All my love
      Tania

      Reply

  2. and yet, in these circumstances, helping with a bag of potatoes or a few frozen chickens seem empty, too late, disappointing …

    Reply

  3. We can be more than a bag of potatoes as we search our hearts.
    For instance:
    We can put a stop to all the racist innuendos that constantly crop up in conversations around us.
    This is about looking at ourselves and changing.
    When we do that society charges.
    Enough hatred Humans!
    Rebecca needs food, money and words of encouragement.
    We can trust God to put unique Ideas in us.

    Reply

  4. Posted by ronell on May 16, 2012 at 12:34 am

    this is too upsetting for me, a total stranger, to contemplate, so i cannot even come close to imagining what Rebecca must be experiencing . i agree with theunis that a food parcel or some money almost seems like a ridiculous gesture, but there is the reality of having to arrange and pay for a funeral…

    Reply

    • I’m not saying don’t help with the practical stuff – off course we must. If nothing else we must do this, we must be at the funeral, we must see the tears, we must embrace the loss as our loss. We must, as you say Tania, contemplate & speak up, even if our hearts are already different, then we must open the sluice & let it flow, flood even, not accepting one instance of prejudiced behavior, not white on black or black on white or green on purple or old on young or man on woman, or young on old … or healthy on infirm or disabled …

      We need to address this, not for a moment, but allow this incident to shake a city, a people, shake us awake, shake us into being what we hope to be …

      Reply

    • You said it.
      It would be ludicrous for this family to sit in debt after this act.
      T
      X

      Reply

  5. Posted by Melanie NUade on May 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

    tania, this story is so upsetting. i have no words. i can just pray that God will have mercy on the human race. i would like to help rebecca financially. how do i go about doing that?

    Reply

  6. Posted by alanahlfeldt on May 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

    What a senseless act of violence. This is the antithesis, the abhorrent opposite of a random act of beauty and a senseless act of kindness. This week our city tastes the foulness of sin and man’s dark side, it is a tragedy. I feel sick to my stomach. Thank you KingfisherFM and those involved for trying to bring light and kindness to an otherwise dark and desperate situation. Love conquers all, but it’s difficult and slow.

    Reply

  7. Posted by alanahlfeldt on May 16, 2012 at 2:07 am

    The need is so great that we forget the reality on the ground. Their need exists in so many ways that almost anything will be welcome. The pain however, the pain is excruciating I imagine.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Adele on May 17, 2012 at 2:22 am

    This story is absolutely heartbreaking. The more I think of it the more upset I get. To me this is more than an act of racism. For someone to murder another being like this has to do with much more then race. It is the state of that mans heart and spirit that is the most upsetting to me. I will never believe that God and His spirit that is in his people will and can ever be capable of such insanity. There is a nation of God’s people out there and Rebecca needs to experience and see that. She needs to know and feel that God cannot and will never associate Himself to what happend to her, that she should loose her son in such an insane way. The chaotic world we live in does not represent God and His people. Therefore, Theuns, I believe that giving “food” WILL make a difference. It is not so the food but what it represents. It represents to her that God’s Spirit and people is her comfort in this insanity. Giving her hope that her son is with his Creator the best place he will ever be. God has made a covenant with us, as there is day and as there is night, He WILL COME AGAIN. And this insanity will end. Until then we as His people are His representitives. And it is crucial that Rebecca experience this physically!

    Reply

    • Thank you Adele, I see your heart in this matter. As we raise our children it is important that we place in them a message of reconciliation. It is imperative that we role model respect for our fellow man. Your words are heard and tangibly felt.
      Tania

      Reply

  9. A few months ago I wrote my first post about racism. (http://lifewithblondie.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/backwards-thinking/) I think I naively believed our world had grown past senseless prejudices. Then I took in 4 biracial children, and I quickly learned that we aren’t as forward thinking as we pretend to be! It’s ridiculous. Thank you for sharing, I hope it makes a difference to at least one person in the way they choose to treat others.

    Reply

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