Before he could be elected president, Nelson Mandela had to be freed. Or perhaps I should say, before he could be elected president, Nelson Mandela’s body had to be freed. His body may have been imprisoned, his spirit and his soul never were.
Twenty-nine years ago today, Nelson Mandela’s long walk involved physical steps from Victor-Verster Prison. That walk had begun years before when he committed himself to working for justice and peace. That walk continued through years spent in captivity. That walk continued outside of prison in leadership of his party and his country and all the people of South Africa. That walk continues in those who are inspired by his example of grace and nonviolence and forgiveness and vision and inclusion and who work for peace and justice in Soweto and Gaza and Manila and Louisville and Barranquilla and Yei and all around God’s world.
Thank you Nelson! May we – may I – keep on walking.
The photo was taken by one of my South African friends who returned to participate in the 1994 election.