Formerly 'Rambling with a cantankerous old mule"
Okay, seriously, I think I’m out of practice with this whole stream of consciousness thing. I’ve clearly been thinking in pictures for too long because, as I sit here trying to force my brain into a particular direction, all that floods it is images. I’ve been given five minutes to write about the word “still” and still the words elude me! But here goes:
I see those I’ve been around this last week. I see the poor, the homeless, the down-and-out downtown doing all they can just to survive through a chilly Pretoria winter.
I see the old man surrounded by all his worldly possessions, no work and no chance for work either – one false leg, one finger remaining on his right hand after a carpentry accident.
I see the people eating next to the road; others sleeping in the most foul-smelling basement in the Schubart Park flats; those agreeing for me to take photos of them only if I first give them condoms or money; the old man gathering plastic bottles to sell to recycling companies for a few cents; the children playing in the dirt; the car guard waiting to receive his identity documents from Home Affairs so he can go home to Limpopo; shack dwellers cooking on open fires; those high on glue and methylated spirits … and the few care workers trying to care for as many as possible … Still. They carry on. Still. Many smile. Still. Life.
I know where I find my hope – in a God who has never deserted me. (Words that come back to me over and over again as I think about this topic: “Be still and know that I am God.”) But where do they find theirs in their bleak existence? And what can I do? Really? I feel like emptying my wallet into their laps but I know it can’t possibly make enough of a difference. Is there anything I can do that can help restore dignity in their lives? What can or should any of us be doing? It all seems too much, too difficult. But still. I’m sure there is something …
To be continued
(All text in around five minutes. Links and photos most definitely added afterwards… Forgive any grammar or spelling mistakes…)
I’m linking to Five Minute Friday