Having just finished reading Cheryllyn Dudley’s book, Through My Eyes, I can only say I am stunned and find it hard to use words—a rare occur- rence for me. Three different times a book from Africa has spoken to me so deeply that I wanted the whole world to read it. The first was, Michael Cassidy’s The Passing Summer detailing what had gone on behind the scenes prayerfully before the miraculous elections of 1994. The second was George Kinotie’s book, Help and Hope for Africa, What Christians Can Do. With each of these books I wanted every Christian in the world to understand the importance of their message. I wanted the authors to know that they had so deeply tapped into God’s love of the world that they were seeing a transforming message near to His heart. Cheryllyn’s book is the third. I am changed through reading it. I see God’s ways more clearly. Let me try to say why:
It is a profoundly transparent account of one life, flaws and all. It is writ- ten with such confidence in the purpose of a life, before and after Christ that it cannot help but encourage. Christ is seen in the entire journey. It is a celebration of reality, pain and beauty in the normality of existence. It is so tangible and relateable at times, you have to laugh out loud. At others there is a desire to weep. But never do you want to give up or wal- low in self-pity. You fall in love with the ordinary we all experience. You want her to be your new best friend and she would be if you were near.
Cheryllyn tackles the challenge of weight and body image, high heels and the importance of music, theatre and self-care. She is woman, wife, mother and granny. And she is a MP. God is there with her in all of it.
This is a first-hand, insider primer of modern politics in South Africa.
THROUGH MY EYES
told with such respect and faith for all involved in the process that you cannot see it as hopeless. You see a journey the nation and people are on and you see God and human nature working in that process. It is a tutorial on how governments work, a revelation of the sheer hard labour of it. It is a call for a generation of young South Africans to labour for justice. It shares realistically all the ups and downs.
One of my favourite lessons is on making sure you die on the right hill of issues because politics will offer many hills and issues of opportunity. It is a tutorial on working in the opposition, learning to love and respect your enemy with grace and humility. I have had many Christian leaders say over the years, “It is impossible to work in politics and keep and live your faith.” I have always respectfully disagreed. Cheryllyn reveals how through her journey. She lives her faith and takes it to work every day with grace. Her commitment to do the research on any given issue and then, rather than repeat a pat one-line response, reposition the perspec- tive of the issue so that her point is obvious to everyone and demands thought. And the scope of the issues in being an MP is blinding.
Through My Eyes is a tutorial in pioneering a new nation and govern- ment towards a better justice. Each stage of what that means in reality – both a fruitful and painful learning curve. It is a Pilgrim’s Progress in real time and world. It is hard and it is dangerous and only total dependence on God and His thinking will see us through.
The journey of bringing real faith and a real Jesus in our daily lives and vocational callings is stern stuff. But when you finish the book you may well wonder…“Why would anyone want to live a different way?” And you will want to join the journey. If we Christians knew everything we need to know about God and blessing our nations, the job of dis- cipling them would already be apparent. But who has a nation Jesus would be content to live in? Then what still needs to be learned? What do we still need to understand? We do not have the answers. We know the ONE who does.
From the beginning of God speaking to me about the template of na- tion-building in the Old Testement, He has chosen to release it in South.
Africa. The first lecture, seminar, videoing and books were launched here. That was not an organised effort, it just happened. I have always and still believe God has done this because this nation has a special role to play in discipling nations globally. As the western influence on the whole world decreases, He is raising up new voices for His ways in building nations from the rest of the world. South Africa is part of that plan and Cheryllyn’s book is a call to service. The objective? His ways demonstrated in every nation of the earth as it is in Heaven. So be it.
Thank you Cheryllyn. Well done.
—Landa Cope Founding Dean of the College of Communication for Youth With A Mission’s University of the Nations. Founder and Executive Director of the Template Institute. Author of ‘The Old Testament Template’ and ‘God and Political Justice.’