The difficulty some of us have remembering others' names is explained, at least in part, by the fact that when being introduced to someone new, the name we are listening for is our own.
That kind of listening was going on at Cape Town 2010—not so much in introductions as in looking for a face, a voice, a video, a message in which we would hear our name. When that happened, we felt valued and included. When it didn't (as for the lone Native American representative) or not often enough or as often as others (as for nearly everyone else), there were rumblings in the camp.
Writer Margaret Feinberg reflected last week on those rumblings. "Lausanne offered a microcosm of the macro-challenges faced by the church around the world. Throughout the week, almost everyone I encountered felt marginalized in one way or another …. Though I shared some of the frustrations … I finally realized: We all feel marginalized in some way. That's the human condition. Extend grace. Move on."
In fairness to the Lausanne committee, most of the 4,500 delegates were attending their first congress. So we had no way of comparing Lausanne 2010 with 1974, or of gauging the progress this Congress made in increasing diversity within our ranks. From what I have heard, the changes were monumental, but more are needed.
I also agree with Margaret, that we need to move on to the deeper topics touched on all week. Woven throughout the Congress were gut-wrenching stories from delegates of human trafficking, brutal atrocities, and unspeakable injustices. They were stark reminders of our mission's urgency. Remarkably, many stories led to forgiveness and reconciliation—breathtaking examples of the gospel's transforming power. They gave me a whole ...1
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