Desmond Tutu on Faith in Times of Trial
A few years ago, I had the great blessing of being able to work with Archbishop Desmond Tutu for a day. He was retired at the time, and was serving as a chaplain for a semester at sea cruise. I was serving as a transitional deacon at the Anglican Cathedral in Hong Kong and working days at the Consulate General of the U.S. I was slated to give a China briefing to the students on the ship as it visited Hong Kong. But just before it docked, news came that a terrible mass shooting had occurred at Virginia Tech, the home school of 2/3 of the students on the ship. They were in trauma. Archbishop Tutu greeted me as I came aboard, and when he learned I was ordained, asked me to assist him in grief counseling and spiritual direction with the students. So I took the day off from my Consulate job, and instead assisted him for several hours. A China briefing was just not appropriate in the situation.
Tutu served in a divided, strife-torn, country, and learned how to keep faith in trial. Here are a few quotes to help build us during this hard, stressful week.
“But God only can smile because only God can know what is coming next. “If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. “Without forgiveness, there is no future. “Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you've closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart. “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. “God’s love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one region. “For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, it is the Godhead, diversity in unity and the three-in-oneness of God, which we and all creation reflect.