30.3.12

Waiting on Him.

I have a friend. He comes to my house for dinner every Friday night when my community and I cook up a feed for the neighborhood, and sometimes he comes on Sunday nights when we gather for church. He doesn't have any family around him. He has seen many years pass by, and his hands shake as he lifts them to his face. He sits in on the couch in the hallway, and he smiles as people walk past. He loves Jesus with all his heart. And he has kind blue eyes.
Those eyes twinkle. Quite often, when he comes to eat with us, the twinkle is overshadowed by the alcohol blurring his vision. He doesn't have a job, or a home he can call his own. But the kindness never subsides, remaining between cigarette stains.
I saw him as I was walking home from university today. He was sitting on a seat down the road from my house, waiting until the time comes for us to open up the house and invite everybody in. And my heart broke as I greeted him because I realised...every time I have talked with him, smiled at him, sat with him in the last few months, his eyes have been darker. The lines on his face are deeper. And his smile is tired.

How unjust and cruel it is that we have people living in our neighborhoods that we allow to be worn down. It is so unfair that my friend has lived his life full of stories, yet is left all alone! It brings me to tears to think of how lonely and tiring it is, watching each day go by, sinking in to the evening and the blue. How can we walk alongside our lonely brothers and sisters? We share our loneliness, and our hope and our home. But sometimes, it never seems to be enough. The world seems to be so damaged, so focused on individualism and consumerism, feeding itself until it lies bloated and selfish, closing its eyes against the faithful and hurt. I got a letter from another friend of mine, and in it he talked of capitalism and his thoughts on it. He said, "It is built upon this idea of creating an entity to govern 'choice'. It is the idea that an unrestricted market creates fair outcomes for all, but for me it just screams idolatry."
I agree with him. How is it just that the wealth on Wall Street steals food from the mouths of Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand? How is it that we can justify paying our Prime Minister $411,510 a year, when the woman that cleans his offices has a minimum wage of $13.50 an hour, around $27,000 a year? You can make excuses. You can compare the workload, the social status, the responsibilities and the public interest attached to each job, but in the end, just like the PM, this woman is sure to have a family to feed and bills to pay. Both the PM and this woman have an equal worth. "For the last will be first, and the first will be last."

I get discouraged sometimes. Disillusioned. Every effort seems to be futile. But then there is hope. I think of the Kingdom and her promises, and I see God in the blue eyes of a kind man. There has to be a method to the madness...I have faith in beauty and Love. God lives in each of us, and He is waiting for us to reach inside of ourselves and draw Him out. But it is so hard to hold on to that! Hoping, waiting, wishing, as I kneel under my cross.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord 
More than those who watch for the morning— 
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. 
- Psalm 130 

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