Our journey to South Africa was a formative one in many ways and I’m still attempting to process all we experienced.
I suppose the most immediately arresting feature of Cape Town is her natural beauty.
Surrounded by mountains, flanked by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Cape Town has long been hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We happened to be there during a particularly windy period; thus, clouds were constantly whisking over the tops of the mountains surrounding the City Bowl. We’d heard of the wonder of Table Mountain, but seeing the clouds rolling off like a giant table cloth was simply spellbinding. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place of such natural beauty.
And yet, I leave South Africa with an even greater appreciation for the beautiful spirit of her citizens. We met the most hospitable, friendly, warm people on this trip. After a 66-hour trek filled with weather delays, airline incompetence, misplaced luggage, and 2 all-night flights, we arrived in Cape Town weary and haggard, in need of a shower and a nap. But we were met with precisely what we needed most: encouragement and love from family members we’d not even yet met. Every moment of our 6 day stay in Cape Town was filled with brotherly love and warmth. We already miss the dear brothers and sisters there.
During one of our times of worship, Noel, a brother at Eastridge in Cape Town, led us in a time of corporate prayer. He made a statement that has stayed with me for the past week: “Lord, we thank you for your church, the theatre of thy grace.” This phrase has been igniting my imagination for the past week. What a mighty declaration of God’s mission! We are players in the Grand Drama; our script is mercy and our dance is joy. And the church is the theatre where this is played out, to God’s great glory. For what else is there, but grace? Every movement, every breath, every thought…all the outworking of His grace in our lives. And this too: the relationships in our lives that sustain us and carry us, these are His gracious provisions as well. All we are and ever will be is but for His grace.
All is gift
And gratitude among beggars
From the fount flowing, the fruit of our lips
Yet quiet still the hallowed halls, the haggard sojourn
Forgotten and dusty
Until grace unbidden dawns
Gift of God
I write today with a heart brimming full of thanks for this grace: new brothers and sisters in Christ halfway around the world. And I write with a renewed passion to see the church as theatre of God’s grace.
Our script is mercy.