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The Musing of a Car-Guard | Looking Inside

Welcome to The Musings of a Car-Guard! I am reminded of a Bible verse that tells us that “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5.
The ‘desert’ (look at the introductory post) has provided me with the time and occasion for self-reflection and introspection.
I am grateful for that! I have learned some good lessons in the ‘desert’. One of them was taught to me by a taxi driver.
Yes, you heard me, a taxi driver.

My opinion of taxi drivers whom I don’t know personally is that they are arrogant, insensitive, prone to violence, often limited in education, and rude. I am sure you will come up with more adjectives to describe taxi drivers.
The taxi driver, a black man, pulls into the desert parking lot. Parks his taxi and goes on his errand.
After a little while, he arrives. He pulls out of his parking spot.
As he approaches me he does the most unexpected thing.
Yep, you guessed it. With respect, and by extension of his arm, he gives me some money.
Here I’m thinking to myself (lighting quick), “This taxi driver is actually giving me money.”
Honestly, my jaw dropped.
I said to him, “I didn’t expect this. I’m surprised.”
“I didn’t know taxi drivers gave car-guards money.”, I continued.
His lips parted revealing a smile and as he did so he said, “Not all of us are the same.”
That was the most humbling moment for me.
His word pierced my heart like a hot knife through butter.
I was ashamed of judging him.

I repeat that story over and over again because I am prone to judging people before they have given me cause to.
Ever since that day, I have struck a friendship with many taxi drivers with who I share that story on a regular basis.

The purposes of our heart are deep waters. That day in the desert I was sensitized to cancer in my heart. That cancer is what often leads me to keep certain types of people at a distance from me.
Let’s be honest here.
Most of us have a caste system in our hearts.
I know I did, until someone said, “Not all of us are the same.”

Selvan Govender (Hons.Theol., M.Ed)
Pastor of The Safest Place on Earth
Mountview Secondary School, Room 27
Verulam, Durban, South Africa
Sundays at 9am
http://www.selvangovender.com

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2019 in Social Justice

 

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The Musings of a Car-Guard – Introduction

Even before I begin this new series entitled The Musings of a Car-Guard, please allow me to introduce this series. Through a strange twist of events, I found myself “guarding” cars in a parking lot. The parking lot where I work is literally a desert place. On occasion when there is a strong gust of wind, one may even experience the rushing sand as they take flight, offering a sand-bath to everything in its path. Whether the clouds cry or the sun beats down against this desert place there is no hiding place. This is just to give you an idea that it’s not a mall parking lot. There is no luxury here. I call this the desert.
Let’s get on with the story.
For many months, beginning in mid-2018 I was preoccupied with thoughts on social justice. Being on course to complete my Master of Education degree, my preoccupation focused on social justice in the area of education. Fast forward to mid-2019 and I am in the desert-place. Here, in this desert-place, I am being confronted by thoughts of social justice on a daily basis.

The Musings of a Car-Guard was conceived in this desert-place. Here I have experienced social-injustice at an alarming level. I must confess, that even though I am in full-time pastoral ministry for almost twenty years, I have insulated myself against the presence of social injustice at the atomistic level in our communities.

That is, until now.

I have made a few discoveries in the desert that I hope to reveal to you in the coming days. I am hoping that the revelation of these discoveries will help us to tweak our attitudes toward social injustice and move us onto a trajectory toward social justice. My perspective might differ from yours, and I hope that this difference will lead us into dialogue so that we reach a consensus that will be for the benefit of other human beings.
The posts may vary in length and they will certainly vary in subject matter, but the goal in every musing will be to sensitize us to the value of human beings around us.
Perhaps for far too long, we have had blinders on that have prevented us from seeing those beside us and my hope is that through The Musings of a Car-Guard you might regain your peripheral vision.

Selvan Govender (Hons.Theol., M.Ed)
Pastor of The Safest Place on Earth
Mountview Secondary School, Room 60
Sundays at 9am
ddgovender@gmail.com

 

 

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Family First

Text: John 13:34-35, Acts 2:46; 34:32-37

What would the repercussions be if you loved other children more than you loved your own? What would your children say of you? Would they consider you a hypocrite? What if you bought or gave things freely to other people, while those in your own home went hungry or were suffering? What would your family think of you? Would they consider you to be a good steward over them? What would be the eventual outcome of those, in your own house, whom you are neglecting?

In his book, “The Mark of a Christian”. Francis Schaeffer makes a big deal of John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I agree with Schaeffer’s conclusion that, having love for one another is certainly a distinguishing mark of the Church.

This message might create some controversy because of what I am about to say, but I hope it moves us to a place of balance in our practice as Christians, both as advocates of justification by faith and as agents of justice.

No doubt, a reading of the above bible passages, a reading of James and many other places in scripture, you will discover a clear correlation between justification by faith and being agents of justice. In other words, when God saves you, he saves you to do good works which he has prepared in advance for us to do.

Here’s where I might start to add tension to our thought. Let’s look at those texts.

1. We must be agents of justice, first in the household of God

This was how the early church practiced justice. Whenever the members of the house had a need, those who were in a position to help, helped. We are quick to be agents of justice to those outside the church while those inside are suffering. In the twenty first century this might win the downtrodden to church but a few years down the line they are treated the same way. Bringing an end to injustice must start in the household of God. If we brought injustice to an end in God’s house, we will be strengthening God’s children to reach out more effectively and with greater efficiency.

2. People are attracted to the house when they see injustice in God’s house dying

Acts tells us that thousands were added to their numbers. God’s house is a haven of hope. People are attracted to the cross when they see saved people loving each other unconditionaly. The problem today is, the church wins the poor through its benevolent acts only to bring them within its walls to neglect them. The church must continue to finish the work of justice that it began. When injustice prevails in the church, it is a travesty of the greatest proportions.

I am not advocating that we stop mercy and compassion ministries to those outside the church, instead, I am saying let’s spend some time and resources to bring healing and justice to those already in the household. You never know how the church might become an attraction if you do.

I look forward to any dialogue this perspective would surface.

 

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