Friday, December 6, 2013
Thank God for Using the complex Mandela
Nelson Mandela died yesterday at the age of 95.
The usual outpouring of praise for an impacting leader like Mandela has been ongoing for the last 24 hours and will undoubtedly continue for several weeks. I find it fascinating to see the high praise in eulogy for Mandela, especially coming from people under 30. These younger folks can't honestly know that much about him, right?
Heartfelt condolences to the people of South Africa for losing such a extraordinary figure and key player in that country's move to a more just society. But honestly, reading the posts that attribute incredible attributes to him make me wonder how much people really know of the actual man. He was most active in enacting transformation when I was in high school and the ten years that followed, so I have read quite a bit by him and about him. Let's just say, on the chief dimension he is known for, he is a symbol of something that was monumental and clearly a principal person to be appreciated for many incredible actions affecting human rights. However, like every person who has ever lived, except One, he was not one dimensional and deeply flawed. As is the case for all of us, time will test all his works and put them on display.
Nevertheless, at Mandela's passing, it is appropriate to give thanks for God's use of him in relieving the oppression of so many.