Friday Fun – Tears for Nelson

I’ve written elsewhere my attempt at a tribute for Nelson Mandela, but here’s a lovely true story which I always think of when I hear the great man’s name.

File:Nelson Mandela 1998.JPG

We happened to be driving back from holiday on the day of the Nelson Man­dela 70th Birthday Concert in 1988, so we explained to our two young boys that instead of following our normal practice of taking it in turns to choose tapes to listen to, Mummy and Daddy wanted to listen to the radio all the way, along with an estimated 600 million other people. Of course, they wanted to know what was on, so we explained (rather simplistically) that Nelson Mandela was a man with a brown face who lived in a country where the people with white faces didn’t like people with brown faces, and he had been in prison for twenty-six years, which was ever since Mummy and Daddy were little, and ever since our friend Helena was born.

About half an hour later we stopped in a the town of Lyme Regis for lunch, and had just got out of the car when Steve, aged 6, suddenly began to howl, just as if he’d fallen over or banged his head. He was inconsolable for a few minutes, but when he calmed down we discovered that he hadn’t hurt himself at all, but was crying `because of the man being in prison for twenty-six years’. Something about that situation had touched his little heart, and all four of us sat on the wall of the car park and cried and prayed together for a world where such evil can happen. As adults we would have just enjoyed the music of the concert, but it took a child to melt our hearts and show us something of the grief of God for his world. Nelson Mandela and South Africa stayed on Steve’s prayer agenda for years since.

And now back to the silly stuff:

I’ve got a new job.

What is it?

Traffic Warden.

How’s it going?


I’ve got a new job.

What is it?

Taser operator.

How’s it going?


And your random icebreaker from Steve (for it is he). Continuing our nautical theme (Nelson – see what I did there?):

What would you do with a drunken sailor?

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