Douglas took me to see Invictus, a South African movie tonight. I realised half way through that the sides of my face were wet, I had my head tilted back and had been aching to death for my people, crying for the country I have not seen in nearly 16 years, my home. (I have loved New Zealand and now Australia and love these people too, but I think Kaapstad will always be home to me. ) As I left South Africa I prayed, " Lord let me never forget the mothers and children who hurt in this land." I have never forgotten them. And to see the heartaches again is enough to make me weep.
It is a brilliant movie in terms of giving you a feel for the country and what it has been through, a feel for who Mr Mandela is and what he did for the country. ( yes, he was a terrorist, and if you debate it, even America had him on their terrorist list until fairly recently, but he learnt to be gracious and kind and taught our land to forgive in a gentle sort of way. He certainly has dignity and poise and despite his suffering and hardship came through doing his best for all his countrymen. The movie may not be the best in terms of acting but I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Be warned ahead of time, they do unexpectedly use the f word once and the s word a few times, which was unnecessary and very disappointing, but no violence. Mandela also flirts with someone which seems to me, uncharacteristic.)
The movie is based on a poem that President Mandela (Tata, or father) supposedly loved, by William Ernest Henley, "Invictus", meaning unconquerable. What do you make of it? How is it different or the same as Elizabeth Elliot's quote I posted recently? (It isn't the problems which determine our destiny. It's how we respond.) I think it is trying to say the same sort of thing but from a humanistic point of view. I like the poem, as it gives understanding as to how others live. A question Mr Mandela asked Pienaar, the captain of the 'boks' rugby team is, 'what motivates you?' And the theme plays on through the movie. How good to know the one true living God, and to be motivated by my love for God! I pray He will use me to touch the lives of many people in many ways yet!
Here is the poem:
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
This image is from the following web site, which makes interesting reading: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/3634426/How-Nelson-Mandela-won-the-rugby-World-Cup.html
Something that really struck me tonight was that Mandela was put into jail before I was born and released in the year my oldest daughter was born.