On this day, October 16, 1984 Bishop Desmond Tutu, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa.” I just love Desmond Tutu. I think there are few who we get to see in our time on earth who have such a huge impact. Desmond Tutu transcends all boundaries to put succinctly the truth of justice. Tutu in speaking about the myth of being neutral in the face of injustice, said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
I have been reminded of this when I hear others say that they really have are neutral when it comes to situations that are clearly putting others into harsh and intolerable situations. It may seem as though some issues are too large for us an individuals to tackle – yet the answer is certainly not neutrality. We really must – especially as the people of God, seek to assist the oppressed.
So on the anniversary of Tutu’s great honour let us all seek to be a people who seek to be side by side with the oppressed. When Jesus stood in solidarity with the weak, the lost and forgotten, it was a witness to all of us who follow his way. Tutu has a great way of reminding us of that call to be present with those on the fringe.