Farewell, Mr. Mandela,
We never met. I never laid eyes on you in person.
But I saw and heard you on television. I read words about you. And I read your words.
steadfast pursuit of justice
enduring commitment to the people – all the people – of South Africa
understanding of the possibilities opened by forgiveness
willingness to look beyond what is to what could be
touched and awed and inspired me
and countless others.
I give thanks for you,
for your life, and
for your work.
I give thanks that,
though half a world lay between us
we shared life on this
little brown, green, blue rock.
I pray for your family
for you friends and colleagues
for the people of South Africa
for weavers of dreams
and workers for justice
who grieve at your death.
May we know comfort as we mourn.
May we have strength to join you in the struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity for all God’s children.
May we experience your presence accompanying us in that struggle.
Farewell, Mr. Mandela, farewell.