My prayers for Nelson Mandela, his family, and the South African nation are changing. My mind knows that to hold onto Mandela with prayers for healing needs to shift to praying for a peaceful transition. My heart feels the painful anticipatory grief.
Simultaneously we are invited to hold hope and grief. While celebrating a global prophet alive in our midst, I feel the sadness that his wisdom will not always be available for us to glean in person.
When I visited the prison cell on Robben Island where Mandela lived for almost twenty years, I tried to imagine the depth of his faith. I wondered if he sometimes knelt down on his straw mat or cement floor and what his prayers sounded like in that tiny cell. He must embody extraordinary trust in God’s goodness.
May God’s abiding spirit be experienced by Mandela now.