for any of you that have been in the "business" of transformation for some time you, i am sure, will remember a day... maybe a moment... or an incident that took the wind out of your sails and left you feeling a bit hopeless. a kid that keeps making the same stupid mistake over and over. an addict that just can't let go. women who don't walk away when they should. the list could go on and on. (at least for me it could :)... life at beth uriel- visit www.bethuriel.co.za for more information- has presented me with quite a "list")
all of these incidences are evidence that the human will is indeed quite strong and unable to be controlled by anyone other than the body in which it dwells. this may be common sense to some-- but is a wall that i bang my head on over and over and over again. needless to say, i wake up with headaches often.
this past december i was reminded that if i dwell on these disappointments too long that my hope takes a hit-- which is the greatest gift i think i have to give people. hope that change is possible. that our past does not dictate our future. that the gifts buried in the rubbish of this city's difficulty can be dug up and displayed with pride. many of the beth uriel family members are examples of such treasure. young men with matric certificates-- the first in their family to graduate. others with jobs and safe places of their own to stay. still others who are early on in their journey but show the desire and discipline required to grow out of brokenness.
in the midst of one of my most recent "hopeless" spells a light went on. very small. again, maybe common sense to some. but enough to shine in the dark corners of my hopeless mind. it occurred to me that if i chose to look at things a bit differently that instead of being without hope (which is of no benefit to anyone) that i would find better company in humility. the difference being that the focus is off myself. i alone am not capable of being responsible for the transformation of individuals or society. i alone can not climb over the walls i keep banging my head on. i alone will drown in the difficult circumstances that lie ahead. however, in the company of other people and in the knowledge that the here and know is only a shadow of eternity, transformation is possible. walls crumble. lives change.
so... leaving hopelessness behind and grabbing on to humility... i say thank you. for those that share in this journey. that speak truth in dark places. that walk with individuals that have been discarded by many. that see lilies and flowers (gerald) where others see mud. thank you.