A few weeks ago I told you of the fellowship evening between Claypot and Diepsloot. I asked the question, ‘the keys to what?’ Today I spent the afternoon with Eddie. Along with some other topics, like Xenophobia, we talked about our experience of the evening. He immediately voiced his disgust about the comment about the keys of prosperity. We had a good conversation about it and affirmed that the journey towards integration will take time and will have a lot of bumps on the road. He then told me the story of one of the ladies that joined us that evening.
When they got home she approached Eddie and told him how shocked she was to be invited to get some coffee. How can she drink from white people’s cups? She told Eddie that she couldn’t do it. After she saw Eddie and the others making coffee and drinking she mustered the courage to follow. She got up and made herself a cup.
Eddie told me that this lady experienced this as one of the most liberating moments of her life. She told Eddie that she just wanted to stay for the rest of the evening!
During Apartheid blacks and whites seldom mingled at table. One of the ways in which blacks was reminded of their status was through a separate set of cutlery, usually a tin cup and plate. These tools of segregation were usually stored in a cupboard on the lower level – all of it serving as symbols of oppression. A way to communicate that they weren’t worthy – I think this is a key of the power of the Eucharist. Eating and drinking at the same table, with joint cutlery.