I said, “He had three wives, so he must have had a lot of charm…”
I refer to Nelson Mandela, whose Memorial Service we had attended that morning. Charm is magnetic, electric. Take bee charmers – it must be all about energy fields and the aura that surrounds powerful men – it’s almost palpable, as if they have been bathed in iridescence. I saw an Internet video taken by the passing NASA Juno spacecraft of the Earth and Moon – the first image ever – and it wasn’t a stationary globe sitting in space, but a spinning orb on a mission with a defined path, too incredible, a fascination most marvelous, mesmeric, a “heavenly waltz” indeed.
So must charm become mesmeric –and if it has purpose, then it must become invincible. Charm with righteous purpose, majestic… but it’s all too easy to fall for the other kind of charm, the empty platitudes and words of wisdom with no depth, no trueness, no clarity – the kind that seeks to emulate what true magnetism achieves, but with the sole purpose of self-aggrandizement.
So, what does it take to be discerning? How do you know when you have found the true Mandiba, the One to follow, and when you have been fooled by the false prophets, the Lucifers of this world? Youthful idealism can be led astray. What of the times when Mandela was an outcast and a rebel? What kind of courage would it have taken to continue to follow him then? It is a reminder of the suffering of Christ. The challenge is to find the courage, once you have found discernment. It takes a lifetime.