“Where to, Bongani, where to?”
Bongani is like his foot; wave beaten, rock scarred, gnarled and unlovely to look at. The leg attached to the sand clad foot was stiff and rebellious to his walk. The walking stick did little to fasten his pace. I could tell that the rubbish bins did not produce much breakfast due to the rain.
These observations made me put my car in to heart gear. Then Bongani was sitting next to me, together with empathy and Jesus love. “Where to, Bongani, where to?”
Bongani bought his bread and something else I could not see. I don’t think he used the R20 I gave him. The bush-shops ‘pain killers’ will take that later.
We sat in comparative silence on the way back to Bongani’s bushes. It was his garden I walked in every day. The sand in my car and his feet were the same sand. My bed was warm and dry, his not.
I put my hand on his shoulder. I wanted him to know I was there for him. I wanted to take him to a doctor with his foot and leg. But Bongani has more missing than his teeth. He did not understand. “Jesus loves you, Bongani” I said anyway. He held the little children’s Bible in his hand as he wobbled around trying to get his sandal on the one foot.
Two joggers looked shocked to see my cargo unloading.
These are my bush people. I love them because Jesus loved them first.
I remembered the bleeding woman who touched Jesus’ robe to heal (Matthew 9:19-22). That touch.
Jesus can still be touched. Jesus still touches. Jesus still drives the streets. Jesus wears what you and I wear. Jesus in us. Jesus love you in a way no other person could ever love you.
The pictures: Not Bongani. Two other beach-friendly friends of mine.