Little Sneakers Slung over a Sagging Electrical Line
Yesterday. How will I ever forget? I want to forget, and yet, I don’t. It’s burned on my heart forever, I hope. With my friend, the same one I’ve been writing about here for awhile, we took a walk together through the “neighborhood” and she pointed out the “homes” of our children to me, by name.
The narrow roads were unpaved, just mud and heaps of garbage. The stench of human urine and feces was strong enough to be oppressive. S. explained to me that the dwellings have no plumbing, and no electricity, that the tiny dark rented rooms where our children live are usually so small that not even one little table and chair can fit, and that sometimes up to eleven people live in this windowless cell together. I asked, “What about a kitchen?” “No kitchen”, she replied. “The families don’t prepare their food. When hungry, they walk out and they buy a bottle of soda, or a pack of cheap biscuits, or, look (gesturing down the road), in that spot one can buy a paperful of fried chicken, for only a little bit of money.”
With sadness in her brown eyes she paused a moment, looking into mine. “These children get nothing but junk food.”
She pointed above us, in the intersection of four rutted dirt lanes.
Two pairs of dirty, worn-out canvas shoes hung suspended over the sagging electrical lines.
“You know what that means, right?”
Feeling a little foolish, I replied honestly to my friend, “No. I don’t have any idea. What does that mean?”
“It’s the current signal, meaning that in this place, drugs are sold.”
“Oh. What kind of drugs?”
“Cocaine and yellow glue.”
In my less sanguine moments, in all my moments, really, I don’t believe I have what it takes to be involved in this kind of ministry. Last night I could not sleep. Now, I need to tighten up my spiritual armour, raise high my SHIELD of faith, tighten my HELMET of God’s salvation! I KNOW God has the strength to help me and my sisters and brothers who are working with and on behalf of these 57 children. I KNOW that even though I personally have NO SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL RESOURCES to confront this kind of evil, oppression of women and children, and powerful systemized corruption, this kind of a spiritual BATTLE, God does.
And, we have prayer, together, in the Body of Christ.