Monday, 30 April 2012

The unexplainable

The weekend just gone has been an extra long one, as there was a Bank Holiday on Friday, and there's another one tomorrow! Today is still a working day, and so I've tried to keep busy and productive as I'm feeling guilty about the numerous days we've had off!

On Thursday I accompanied Grace to Cape Town to get her Visas for her travels. We ended up scuttling backwards and forwards between the South African and Mozambique Embassies, looking very harassed (which we were) as we tried to complete the ridiculous requirements of governmental bureaucracy. When we finally returned, we had a quick lunch before heading out to Sports. We drove to one of the farms, which I won't attempt to try and spell, and played some games with the kids who turned up. Some of them are young adults, and it must be very boring for them at times, because although the area in which the live is breathtakingly beautiful, there isn't a lot to do for young people. The sports team are hoping to join the children from the two different farms where the project works into one big group, so that they can mix and also because larger groups work much better.

The Elgin Valley where Grabouw and the surroundings farms are situated

Since it was a public hoiday on Friday, Grace, Heather, Katia and myself drove to Cape Town and visited the Green Market, before walking to a very long street, called (unsurprisingly) Long Street! After our meal, we were walking back down when a lady approached me, and said that she didn't want any money but could I buy her some food. It's not like it is in Britain, where it's easy to be suspicious of people who ask you for money, because here it's much more likely that someone is telling the truth about being very hungry :-(( We went to the shop and she picked up some groceries and thanked me, but as I was coming out, another man approached me, asking me the same thing. He looked just as ragged and desolate as the first lady, but I felt like I couldn't help another person, partly because I was a little suspicious, and partly because I was worried I'd have a whole line of people next. What made it worse was that he had his little girl with him.

I still find it really difficult living in SA, moving between one extreme to another, and feeling like the two are irreconcilable. We do lovely things on the weekend, like eating out and visiting a beautiful winery, but so many will never get this chance, and I feel guilty, not to mention very aware of my own selfishness at times.The injustice in the world rears its ugly head each time we pass the huge township along the N2 as we drive into Cape Town, where people are packed in like sardines in their little patched up houses, trying to hold onto their dignity and their pride. The truth is that injustice is everywhere, I just notice it more here. What's even more startling is that we're part of a human ecosystem which is saturated in it, and so even without realising we play a part in contributing to wealth of the minority and the poverty of thousands.

I know why we let it happen; because our hearts have dark places where selfishness and greed breed exploitation and discrimination. But I don't know why God lets this happen- there's no one, cohesive, encompassing answer to explain and reconcie a loving God with all the pain and hurt...but when I see Jesus, hanging on that cross, the living God manifest in a living body, I know down in my soul that God is in it all, right down to every molecule of the dirt and sweat, the tears and the blood:

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

1 Samuel 2:8

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jess just catching up with your blog. You are sure going through a lot of emotions and having to deal with a new situation everyday. Though I'm not a religous person myself I feel glad that you have God to guide you and to help you at this time and give you strength. The photos are amazing keep them coming. We all love and miss you but keep up the good work Love Auntie Lynda