Last week was one of those weeks, and the one before, and the one before. January has taken its toll on me and I am tired. Tired, not in my body but in my heart.
Tired of seeing people hurting, tired of seeing people getting hurt by others, tired of seeing people who are so used to hurt it just seems normal. It’s not…right?
I wanted to share with you one day in the middle of these few weeks to give you an idea of some of the realities I/we are facing here.
It was a Wednesday morning and Patrick and I were at The Warehouse for prayers and the staff meeting. Our boss, Jonathan, is off on sabbatical at the moment. During the prayer time I could feel my phone ring in my pocket, then I got a second buzz to tell me there was a voicemail – I quickly checked to see who it was from, it was Jonathan. Why was Jonathan calling me during prayers? He knows we’ll be in prayers, there must be some kind of problem.
A friend of mine that we’ve been supporting for a long time is hitting an all time low at the moment (the butterfly girlie from https://itisnolongeri.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/picture-this/). Her health isn’t good, and I have ongoing low level anxiety about her wellbeing. When I got this call from Jonathan I knew it was about her, my mind started to race and I thought maybe he was calling to tell me she had given up on life and it was too late…I didn’t know but for those 10 minutes, I couldn’t get rid of that horrible feeling in the pit of my tummy.
Anyway, I eventually got to listen to the message and it was about our butterfly, but just to say that she had been rushed to hospital yesterday and was very ill. Patrick and I headed straight to Manenberg to see what was going on and we found her in bed at home. The sight of her laying there, tiny and hopeless, she was clearly someone who had given up on life. We had a chat and said we’d be back later to hear what she wanted to do. We then spent the next few hours trying to find her options in rehabs or hospices or whoever would take her. We went back to see her in the afternoon and she had decided to go and visit the drug counselling people close by the next day.
Then, just as Patrick and I were about to leave the office to go home, a gun battle erupted outside the office. The shooting went back and forth for longer than I’ve experienced, and frankly, I was pissed off. It was literally the last thing I needed that day.
Why do I tell this story? Because sometimes my days are full of death and violence – I don’t want to glamorise life here, or ask for pity – but simply to let you know that some days it’s really hard. Some days I don’t think I can make it. Thankfully, those days are often balanced out by the days of celebration or laughter…but not that Wednesday, and not the week around it. I later chatted to Jonathan who encouraged me that this is what we do…we’re not here to pump out all the good news stories but to hold people as everything around them falls apart and to love them, and love them, and love them.
But it’s hard.
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together”