Tuesday, April 01, 2008

.... the Enemy

Steven is an old Xhosa man who lives on the streets.
He used to live and work as a well respected member of the community. But alcohol has taken its toll on his life. His wrecked body carries the odors of hard drinking and vagrant living. He is without many of his teeth, has rheumy eyes, and a gaunt skeletal frame.

I sat down next to Steven after praying a general prayer for those gathered for the weekly Tuesday morning coffee and bread gathering. “Thank you for the prayer” he said, “it gets me through the week. When I do not come, I am unlucky in the week.” And so we struck up a conversation, and I learned about his family. His daughter is married and living in comfort in Gauteng. His extended family own land in the Eastern Cape. They are all involved in the Methodist Church - which is the brand that I belong to+.

“But Christians are the enemy” he continues. “They do not like drinking, and will not speak to me because I drink. And their pastor has banned me from their church”. And so Steven has abandoned his family and his roots, and lives in Cape Town.

And comes to my church every Tuesday for a prayer.

1 comment:

David Barbour said...

The real church is not on the corner of this or that street but a place somewhere in between. Those obscure moments when humans touch in the light of God... God bless,