Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Good Samaritan

Malawi is a place of contrasts.

In the suburbs, houses have six foot high walls, topped with barbed wire.  Steel gates on the driveway stop unwanted guests entering.  Every once in a while, the gates slide open, spit out a four by four, and quickly close behind it.

Like an airlock.

These fortresses protect a wealth of material possessions, as well as the inhabitants.

From what?

From the rest of the impoverished population.  Those made vulnerable by food shortages, those that can't afford clothes, those that see the inflated lifestyles of the rich and become desperate for a small piece of it.

The inequality is so difficult to digest, that perhaps it is easier to turn a blind eye.

I walked into the town recently.  I saw a woman sitting on the crooked stones, legs at unnatural angles, imploring passers by to help.

I had been given advice not to give money to those asking for it on the street, and had previously seen how difficult things get if you do.  You are quickly overwhelmed by the needy.

I thought about how this woman probably would like to be hugged, to feel human warmth.  I held back though - how could I hold her and then just leave?

I walked by.  Just like everyone else that morning.

The woman would continue to go hungry, continue to be in pain.

Later in the day, I remembered the parable of 'The Good Samaritan'.  When I first heard it as a child, I thought how awful it was for the person to walk past the needy - how I would always help.

When did life become so complicated?

1 comment:

Eva said...

Lovely, my dear.