(If you start reading this, please read this story through to the end (of part 2))
This is a true story about the hurt and the evil in the world we live in but also how in everything God God works for the good of those who love Him. How unimaginably faithful He is to His Word when we are half asleep most of the time. aanyway...
About a week and a half ago, the strangest thing happened and I can safely say the only reason I'm still alive today is because of Jesus.
So here's how it started, on my way home through the winding recesses of the small town where I live. I was with my parents, little brother and cousin who was staying with us for the holidays. We were parked outside of the main barbers, in a strangely "old West" style of building.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a woman about in her 30s as far as my (inexperienced) estimate goes. She was dressed in old, filthy, black rags from head to toe and wasn't wearing any shoes, had matted brown hair and was lying on the pavement of a literary forgotten store. My heart ached but only in that familiar way it does when I feel like I'll eventually just look away, mind my own businesses and pray for her. The uncomfortable feeling in my gut screamed at my defenseless conscience...
But this time something was different.
The longer I sat there, the more I felt my heart ache and my soul yearn to help her. No doubt thinking back on it now that was only the Holy Spirit not my so often half hearted compassion. Anyway eventually I spoke. Just one word about her to my parents at first but I realized that with doing anything new, it only takes you physically starting it, the rest just really isn't scary in comparison.
"Is there anything we can do to help", I remember the words seeming alien to me. Like they came out of someone else's lips.
An awkward silence...
"What did you have in mind" cut the sharp, reality-inducing reply deep into the lofty craggs of my mind. Somehow I expected my parents to have unquestionable experience here... I guess I was on my own.
"Ok don't panic, you still have God, remember what He promised you" I thought to myself. As I tentatively suggested that "we" ..."maybe buy her a loaf of bread". I think I remember something coyly chirped in about how if I plan to help someone I should actually know what it is I want to do for them. My head was reeling.
The money was duly produced from "the wallet" and I had to then proceed to bear instructions from my dad on how to get to the nearest store by one of the service stations. Suddenly everything felt heavier and I felt like everyone was watching to see what I'd do next. The fact that all this came from my family was what shocked me. Everything we talked about most nights at prayers before going to sleep. How we should care for the poor and what not, now all seemed alien to them and I felt like a literal island sitting there in the car so physically close to them. I thanked my dad for the directions, still reeling at how they'd all completely thrown me under the bus because "it was my idea", knowing that I would soon have to leave the safety of the car into the world where I didn't know what would happen.
I briskly stepped out, like some rich businessman with urgent work, looking both ways up and down the road, I swung the door permanently closed, my heart was racing and my mind was struggling to process what had just happened. I walked quickly, quietly minding my own business and reached the shop, even the till worker seemed hostile and I realized just how on edge I was, even writing this brings bad memories. I got the bread and put the phone back in my pocket, my girl cousin's black hoodie on so I could keep a low profile. I walked straight down the alley across the main line of shops and other services, as run down as the country's economy. Straight across the road with probably a glare at the car where my parents had parked to my right.
I approached cautiously and greeted her "masikati(afternoon)" I think. And offered her the bread, all my muscles were tense and I couldn't really move here..
She recoiled and glared at me in disgust "e! e! e! e! baa boi! Tibvirei Pano nechingwa chenyu" basically "hey! hey! dude get away from me, you and your bread". I remember saying something to her before that don't really remember what it was probably" thought you might need some help. Well in any case, she got up quite quickly, gathered herself up and left.
I put the bread down where she'd been sitting, turned around, checked both sides and crossed the road. If my skin was lighter I obviously would've been an angry red. I opened the back door, got in and closed it swiftly then I sat. Probably expecting me to say something, they'd all watched and I sat quietly waiting for my dad to pull out and go home.
"Well done that was a really good thing you did." Something else from my mum about how I shouldn't let it get to me, she has her own problems...we drove home.