Sacred Spaces 355– At the ATM

Sacred Spaces 355– At the ATM
6 November 2012

(Disclaimer: I may differentiate between different races in this post.  But hear me out, I am not a racist.  This is just me thinking out aloud.)

The other day, while I was waiting to draw some money at the ATM, I noticed how there were about 5 adults before me (middle aged black African) who were each being assisted by the white lady who works for the bank.

As they approached the machine she gladly helped them through the process of drawing money or checking their balances.

This stirred some thoughts in me.  When I grew up, my father took me to the ATM with him and “showed me the ropes” (so to speak), thus as I grew older, I have never seen an AYM as an intimidating thing.  I know the gist of how it works.

This got me thinking about these 5 adults before me.  Probably growing up in the apartheid South Africa where black Africans were shunned upon.  (Still such a shame thinking about that); they were never taught as teens how to use an ATM.  (Among other everyday life skills)

Maybe God is calling me to a “ministry” to help teach simple life skills to others?

I then thought of all the hurdles I would have to “get over” to start up something like this.
(Maybe I am making mountains out of mole hills.)

The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is the language barrier.  I cannot speak isiZulu.  (I even sucked at Afrikaans in school.)
I could always have a translator.

Then I got to think of my black friends and acquaintances that have made it “big” in the cities of Joburg, Cape Town, Durban and other places.  They speak English so well, yet I am certain they can still speak their mother tongue very well too.  (I may be assuming here.)

(This is not an attack!)  With them being able to speak isiZulu and other African languages very well; have they not seen the help needed from the people of their culture and language?
(And please, no hate mail.  I am just thinking out aloud.)

They should invest in teaching simple life skills to others.

I know it’s not an excuse, I wish I was a good student and could pick up languages.
I could do lots of ministry in my own country in the language of the people who need help.
Then again, maybe I am limiting my God?
And the brain He has given me?
Or am I allowing hurdles to get in the way, instead of focussing on a very real practical trust I can have in God.
Maybe a ministry / service of this type would require a team and dependence of others; which in itself is a good way of doing things.

So I stand at this ATM, waiting my turn.
Asking God to stir things in my heart and I pray that we as Christian people; would be practical in our service to the world around us.

If this convicts you in some way, I am glad.
Yet hear me out, I mention merely one thing that we could help others with.
As a “white African” there is a lot I can do to help my fellow country citizen, either from my own culture or the other cultures in this land of diversity I found myself in.

The thing is, for everyone who reads this: we’re called to action!
What are you doing?  And will you keep challenging me too?

Are you seriously just sitting on clouds?
Thankfully not!
Practical Jesus
May we follow in your footsteps
Being your hands and feet to the world
Around us


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