Compassion

[Jarvis] after such deep hurt, had shown such deep compassion.

And because [Jarvis] spoke with compassion, the old man wept … .

Cry, the Beloved Country pp. 304, 307

Normally one thinks of “following in his father’s footsteps.” Here Jarvis is following in his son’s footsteps—a reality that would not have happened without his son’s death. But that death allowed him to see the reality of the world he lived in—and he saw the injustice. So he acted. 

But he acted not like Kumalo’s brother, who sought a larger stage, who sought power, who sought revenge. No, Jarvis acted in his own sphere of influence and sought flourishing. “He did,” as an old mentor of mine was found of saying, “what he could, with what he had, where he was.” And it made a difference both in the reality of bringing physical, tangible flourishing to individuals and families and communities, but also in bringing hope. 

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