To Hold What We Have

Who knows how we shall fashion such a land? For we fear not only the loss of our possessions, but the loss of our superiority and the loss of our whiteness. Some say it is true that crime is bad, but would this not be worse? Is it not better to hold what we have, and to pay the price of it with fear? And others say, can such fear be endured? For is it not this fear that drives men to ponder these things at all?

Cry, the Beloved Country p. 110

In pre-apartheid South Africa, fear drove decisions that would lead to apartheid. But isn’t that way with us all? We fear losing what power we have—over employees or children or citizens or neighbors. So we react with fear and fear clouds our thinking. Thus we double down on ill-conceived plans and programs and laws and dogma, and we retreat into our caves and behind our walls and fail to enjoy the possibility that we might learn something from other image bearers, might have the ability to cause a community to flourish by giving instead of retreating in fear (and if you’re just thinking that the other side needs to hear this, then you need it as well). 

But we won’t be generous if we think it is ours to lose. We won’t be generous when we worship power and the status-quo and position. We won’t be generous when nostalgia for a sifted memory is our god. 

Can we not as Christians reject fear and have an imagination that sees flourishing for everyone as not just possible but desirable?

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