Monday, 28 April 2008


This morning we marked the world day of prayer for Zimbabwe and heard a powerful meditation by Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda the general secretary of the World YWCA - it was both personal, speaking of family members in Zimbabwe who could no longer find enough money to bury their dead, and political, speaking of the hopes, long wait and violence surrounding the recent elections. She spoke from the heart and I can't post a text as yet but I do hope to post an MP3 with her words in coming days.
Later in the service we were invited to write down words of hope and encouragement for the people of Zimbabwe and I wrote in French and English the word "résister - resist". Its the word that Marie Durand is supposed to have engraved into the stone at the top of the Tour de Constance in Aigues Mortes. She was imprisoned for 38 years and did not recant her beliefs.
As I wrote down "resist" I felt both determined and disheartened.
Determined thinking that Nelson Mandela also spent 27 years imprisoned yet managed to resist, maintain his integrity and be released on his own terms.
Disheartened reflecting on the patience, perseverance and sheer staying power working for long term political solutions really implies. Do we really have a stomach for that - in a world where the globalised values of fast, instant and easy are so much more palatable and less demanding to swallow.
We laid our fragile words of hope and encouragement down at the Zimbabwean cross in the entrance hall - at Christ's feet, in the hope of resurrection, of a transformed life-giving future.