Beyond Imagining: Mandela

Date added: 29/05/2020



Before nineteen eighty six,

theology in the Reformed Church

was mistakenly myth-taken,

double Dutch and in a State.


People on whom God had set his stamp

were stamped upon;

That which God had joined together,

man put asunder.


Then came pressure from the Spirit

through the Word,

through the people,

through the nations.


Abusing the image insults the Original;

That which man had kept

apart, tied

together now by God.


February nineteen ninety:

behold the man,

whose image froze

a generation ago.

Has he changed? Will we know him?

President elect, but for election!

Here they come! Which one is he?

The one with Winnie’s hand

in his left,

saluting the crowd

with the fist of his right.


The image and likeness of the Creator,

oppressed in black, distorted in white;

The image of a captured lawyer,

stamped on T-shirts for the fight;

now the release of a camera shutter,

captures the image of a regal elder -

reproduced in black and white.


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published in Transformation 7.3 July 1990 and also on Spiritual Journeys