Thursday, June 12, 2008


He is two. Big eyes set into a broad forehead, framed with short curly black hair. And for almost two weeks he has burst into tears every time he sees me. I do not pretend to know why. Other than the knowledge that his mother fled a mob of people intent on burning her home down. And he was traumatised by her fear, and the screams of the people, and the sudden insertion into the strange world of a church hall.

His name is Blessing. After a few days of living with us he cheered up, and began to play with a car given to him by Kyle, another two year old from my congregation. Kyle is from the same Nguni ancestry as Blessing, but with parents who did not flee from Zimbabwe.

Over the weekend Blessing managed to get his fingers caught between a closing door and the door jamb. A visit to the clinic across the road put two stitches into the wound and a white bandage around the painful fingers.
So tonight I went to see how he is doing – and for the first time he smiled at me without tears.

Perhaps he is cried out of tears for now.

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