Fault Lines

Seismologists are those who study the quakes that occur in the earth — earthquakes. There are many reasons for the occurrence of earthquakes, but one of them is movement along a fault line — or crack underneath the earth’s surface.

Seismologists work to predict earthquakes by tracing the activity of seismic waves or pings of energy that vibrate out as the plates begin to shift along a fault line or crack in the rocky ground beneath us. Throughout the course of human history, prophets have served in this same capacity for the people of God. The voices of the prophets name for us the places in our life together where there are cracks.
2015-08-09-Womens-Day-ProtestersOn August 9, 1956, 20,000 women marched in opposition to the pass laws in South Africa. The pass laws were an internal passport system limiting the movement of black Africans.  As the women marched, they held in their hands over 100,000 signatures opposing this law that was one of the evils of the apartheid system that was the fault line of the day — the crack that was killing true community. As the women protested, they sang a song and the words translated to, “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.” This phrase now represents the courage and strength of women in South Africa. Today and tomorrow, South Africans will honour all women as we celebrate National Women’s Day.

There are fault lines beneath us in our life together still today. What might the women of 1956 and the prophets of old have to say to the reality that 1 in 3 women worldwide will suffer some sort of violence in their lifetime and that more than 57% of the women in South Africa who are murdered are murdered by a loved one?  What might they have to say about the racial violence in my own country?

The women of 1956 demonstrated with their march the need for us to gather around the places where there areLydia Women's Day March cracks in our life together as children of God. Injustices need to be named and work must be done to make right the fault lines that shift beneath our feet.  This afternoon I found myself in a sea of women marching the streets of Cape Town naming the injustices of the day.  As I looked around me, I found myself encouraged by the strength of the women as they marched together.  I found hope rising as I listened to the young people singing songs calling out for change.  God convicted me once again of the ways in which God’s people can indeed sing a new song together that transcends our divides! For real change to occur, we must actually reach across the divides in this world and find ourselves bridging those seismic gaps–not just with our words, but in the way we choose to live our lives!

Question for reflection: Take some time to name the fault lines or cracks in the world where injustice exists. What might you do to stand and name these injustices like the women of 1956?  How might your life change because of what is stirring inside of you?

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With you on the journey,


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