This photograph ‘Homeless woman‘, from Helen Cherry’s stunning Blog gazed at me all yesterday through Sunday dinner and warm sheets and bed; through our roof in pre-dawn mist and warm breakfast this morning. I can’t get her out of my hair. Her and the billions of Us, asking, asking, asking Questions in a Silence that’s growing. Growing in isolation.
In a country like mine, India, where 46 million people live under poverty line (2019, correct me if I’m wrong), begging is no unusual event but this Photograph from a London Street (thankyou Helen for your heart stilling Capture) stokes some more soul searching questions:
Global Questions steadily turning us to begging bowls, they’re steeping deeper with Time and lack of Space. Our questions morph into statements:
will there be rice enough for our farmers. Will there be rain. Will there be water. Will there be war, peace. Is there house enough for all. What makes poverty. Who can help the ‘poverty line’. Where does tax money go. Who is that person sitting on cardboard in the street. Is he/ she really a beggar. Why am I suspicious of everyone I don’t fully understand. Do I have a spare wardrobe I can share, a spare coin, a blanket, a meal. Can I be a friend to someone who’s homesick, needs a friend..
seriously, if one of us took note of one other person in genuine need, that’s half of 7 billion looking out for the other half.
How do we figure out genuine need: I’m pretty sure we are smart enough to decipher things like that.
In my corner of the earth, these things are highly shareable :
last year’s text books, story books, clothes/bags/shoes/a little pocket money, yes tricky/ a smile, trickier/ a phone call….😏 a prayer/ …. a shared meal, sheets I can part with, a blanket I don’t need...there’s a person that collects our newspapers and sells it, old books… how many rupees does he get from that? Oh so little, but it makes him happy. Last year this time, the good Lord (only He would/ could), put it on our hearts to cook Sunday lunch for anyone who’d fellowship with us…. I’m not a great cook and we don’t serve a lavish table, but we’ve watched a certain joy tiptoe in at our home. And it’s never left. We’ve received some great new friends, and its turning me into a whole strangely different person. I’ve received hugs and heart; received smiles like we didn’t know were there anymore; received healing and laughter. Received the courage to believe in humanity again. Watched some young lives stand tall, unbreak. Watched myself go from a recluse into a person who looked forward to meeting new faces. Watched new people pray for our sick son. Watched, heard, experienced the love of strangers turn my cold insides into a warmth I have no proper words for.
We live in an Age of Suspicion. It’s gotten so awry it’s real. A certain amount of suspicion is even good, but peer below the layer of fake and Con, and we may find some genuine people whom we can not only bless, but be blessed back by.
We were meant to live in these, these tough insane wildly hurtful times. We have this growing awareness in us, that probably our forefathers could not have had: an awareness of depleting resources and human understanding. We balk at politicians and global warming. We are well-read and clever. We know Theories and Consequences of War. We are efficient, highly informed and intelligent. We are frightened easily, hence careful, paranoid, terse, polite, warned. We feel deeply, so we write and poetise, paint, read, gripe. We who are so well endowed, are the cream of a global society that’s screaming for basics of heart soul, body mind. Not all of this is something Governments can easily provide. We are Social watchmen. We are our own DoorKeepers, and Guide. Who are we, we are Humans like never before. We are Teachers and Givers, Recipients…
but this :
we do not know how to Receive. Go to an Orphanage and receive a child’s hug. An old person’s smile. A Druggie’s tears. Spend 5 minutes / day just watching the street you pass everyday. Be an anonymous Burger donor. Anything. Just do it, Angel. Yes, you. Me. Tough, ofcourse. Aren’t you and I bone tired of being boring people, noses burrowed in our news: prophets of gloom. Watch a new smile spread in a brand new face all because of you. What a kick that is. Receive what you get when you bless another’s need.
A peasant, she who shares the street
with rats and pillows of concrete?
The feral cats from alley beats
lick the food stuck to her feet.
Day and night she hunts for eats,
old clothes disposed become her sheets…..
….stop to greet
a human drenched from summer’s heat
and frozen by the winter’s sleet-
a fate no woman dreamed she’d meet.…
Have a great week 🌻
“The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters.” OSWALD CHAMBERS.