Once upon a while ago, I am certain I saw Grace.
And today, I saw Faith.
I get into Town really early in the mornings, in part to miss the madness that is rush hour traffic in Cape Town but also so that I can do my daily exercise. I walk various routes around our beautiful city and due to the very nature of the time, I get to see allot of the homeless.
Mostly still asleep. Some just barely awake and perhaps wondering why they bothered. Some, like a rather well-known figure along Adderley Street, having a bath in the fountain.
My city could be any city. Homelessness is not unique to Africa. It is not unique to this city. It is everywhere. And it is heartbreaking.
As is the nature of humanity, we desensitize. After a while, you don’t notice the sadness or loss or pain or fear anymore. You don’t hear the voices. Worst of all, you don’t see the person anymore. They are just one more thing in a landscape of things.
That being said – I love my country. I love this place I live. Not because I have to. But because it is me, and I am it. So I try to keep my heart and my mind and my soul open to the beauty. To the hope. To the joy. But also to the faults. To the corrupt. To the bits that are broken. No one thing is ever perfect. And, as with so very many things, sometimes the bits that matter the most are the bits that can’t be seen.
Today was a good walk. I missioned along a route I don’t usually take. Past the taxi’s and the vendors.
Past the station and the folks slowly making their way to work.
Past the doormen and street sweepers.
To the most amazing sight I have seen in a while. Another one of those moments when time stops a bit. Reality becomes thick and amplified and loud.
Many of the homeless get a meal from one of the many shelters or soup kitchens around town. It is usually a styrofoam bowl of maize and a jam sarmie. I have even on occasion seen them munching happily on a bowl of rice.
Today was a happy walk. Singing under my breath to Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. Happily smiling and appreciating the weather. Greeting the folk that crossed my path.
Only to walk past an obviously homeless man with the most magnificent grey and silver beard.
Saying his Grace before tucking into his breakfast.
We may lose our way. We may lose our family, our joy, our jobs. We may lose ourselves.
Never lose your Faith.
Because where there is Faith, there is Hope. And Hope is where God lives. Hope for something better. Hope for peace. Hope for love. Hope for another meal.
Hope for that silver bearded homeless man who still found space in his Soul for Faith.
He will never know how much he Blessed me. I will most likely never see him again. But he showed more Faith and Hope in one moment than many people have in their entire lives.
Sometimes the bits that matter the most really are the bits that can’t be seen.
It is not what you own in this life.
It is how you conduct yourself in this life.
That man, that homeless soul.
He was Beautiful.
He was Gods perfect creation.