the eighth day

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February 25, 2006

Fighting the enemy...

A Favourite Tony Campolo Story...

When Bill Clinton met Nelson Mandela for the first time, there was an incredible conversation. Bill Clinton asked Nelson Mandela, "When they released you from prison, I got Chelsea up at three in the morning because I wanted have her see this. I knew it was a historic moment and I got her out of bed to see you released from prison.

"As you walked across the courtyard, from the cellblock to the gate of the prison, the television cameras focused in on your face. I have never seen such anger, such animosity, and such hatred. I mean, you usually can't see that so clearly revealed. It was all over you. It was intense hatred, intense resentment. President Mandela, that is not the Nelson Mandela that I know today. Could you explain what was going on?"

Nelson Mandela says, "You're the first one that brought that to my attention. I didn't know that anybody noticed that. But as they released me from the prison block and as I walked across the courtyard to the gate, I thought to myself, 'They've taken everything away from me, my family is destroyed, my cause has been crushed, my friends are dead, anything, anybody, that meant anything to me, they've destroyed it all,' and I hated them with a fiery hatred. And then God spoke to me, and said, 'Nelson, for 27 years, you were their prisoner, but you were always a free man. Don't let them make you into a free man, only to turn you into their prisoner.'"

We have to be careful when we fight the dragon, lest we become the dragon.

Posted by gary at February 25, 2006 09:28 PM


So this means that Bill Clinton really did feel our pain. (seriously).

Posted by: Alessandro Machi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2009 08:01 AM

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