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The Holy One Will Ask: Where Are Your Wounds?

In his novel, Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful, Alan Paton tells the story of Robert Mansfield, a white man in South Africa. Mansfield was the headmaster of a white school who took his athletic teams to play hockey against the black schools until the department of education told he could no longer do this.  He resigned in protest.

Shortly thereafter, Emmanuel Nene, a leader in the black community, comes to meet him and says: "I've come to see a man who resigns his job because he doesn't wish to obey an order that will prevent children from playing with one another."

"I resigned because I think it is time to go out and fight everything that separates people from one another. Do I look like a knight in shining armor?"

"Yes, you look like a knight in shining armor, but you are going to get wounded. Do you know that?"

"I expect that may happen."

"Well, you expect correctly. People don't like what you are doing, but I am thinking of joining with you in the battle."

"You're going to wear the shining armor, too."

"Yes, and I'm going to get wounded, too. Not only by the government, but also by my own people as well."

"Are you worried about the wounds?"

"I don't worry about the wounds. When I get up there, which is my intention, the Holy One will say to me, 'Where are your wounds?' and if I say, 'I haven't any,' he will say, 'Was there nothing worth fighting for?' I couldn't answer that question."

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