Heart Bleeds

bleeding-heart-girl

She strokes her daughter’s hair, as her head lay on her lap. Gently following the curve of her hairline, her fingers caress her young, unblemished hair. As the train rocks her from side to side she gently sings their favourite song. “Mummy loves Divya, yes she does, Mummy loves Divya yes she does….” As her daughter sleeps her mind wanders to happier times. Memories so beautiful. Her daughter playing with her little brother, the dinner time banter, and that time her first tooth fell out and she was so worried she would spend her life toothless! Oh the hours of assurance she needed to calm down about her teeth! Blessed child. She smiles at the memory. Tears stream down her cheek. Silent tears, silent pain.

The train stops. More passengers cram into the grimy carriage. She wakes her daughter and wedges them both against the window, hoping the air will cool their sweaty faces. The journey is long. She wishes it was longer. Her daughter leans her head against the window her hair billowing as the air rushes past her. Her daughter dreams flights of fancy as she gazes listlessly out the window. Hopes and dreams of a little girl. Dancing. Twirling. Giddy laughter. She lets them go, one by one, she offers them to the wind. They are not hers to have.

Slowly the train comes to the end of its tracks. Its engine turns off. The journey has ended.

She lifts her daughter to her feet. She grabs her daughter’s little cloth bag filled with memory trinkets. The little stone she used to put under her brother’s head while he was sleeping just to annoy him, the pressed flower her mother gave her in celebration when she had her first menstrual bleeding last month, the hair band her best friend gave her when she said goodbye. She placed the bag over her daughter’s shoulder, grabbed her soft fragile hand, and lead her outside.

Gripping tightly to her daughter through the bustling crowd she leads her away. With each step her resolve weakens. Her feet become heavy. She can’t look at her daughter, she keeps her eyes ahead, trying to be strong, for her daughter’s sake, for her family’s sake. They walk together in silence. The world around them, the ringing bells, the cars, the shouting, the sounds of India merge into deafening silence as they walk helplessly to their fate. The fate of so many.

Her heart tears, her breath leaves her. They arrive.

Her eyes become vacant. The depth of her pain is death to her soul. She is no more.

She bends her knees to the ground and places her hands on her daughter’s shoulders. She chances a look into the eyes of her daughter. They weave their pain together in their last embrace. Beauty dies.

Without words, she tilts her head to the side, indicating to her daughter to enter through the metal door. She follows her in.

It’s dark.

He shouts “bring her to me”.

The daughter steps toward the man, and turns back to look at her mother, pleading with her with brave silent tears. Her mother looks to the ground.

“$60”.

She tilts her head in sorrowful agreement. He thrusts the money into her hand and shoves her out the door.

She sinks to the ground, vomit rises as she tries to purge herself of her grief. She pounds her chest, she mourns.

Hope dies.

John 13:35 NIV

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Poverty

8 Poverty.png WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION FOR TOO MANY REASONS TO LIST HERE

I have a faeces fascination. Say that 3 times fast.

I don’t know why.

It’s a gift I guess.

So many wonderful memories….

Don’t panic. I’ll show some restraint… but not much.

So, let me tell you about the time I saw diarrhoea flying across the street.

I was strolling along a busy street in Kolkata one hot, and humid day. I was chatting (possibly/probably nagging) away to Paul. As I looked across to speak to Paul, I happened to time my head movement perfectly to see a woman rushing towards the bushes/dead plants on the side of the road not even 2 metres away from me. She was lifting her sari, but didn’t quite make it. She shared the contents of her bowel with the street.

Why? Because Poverty is shit.

Poverty means she doesn’t have a public toilet to visit or basin to cleanse her hands (that doesn’t require any tap turning, I mean, I’m not a savage).

She has no privacy, no dignity, no choice. She doesn’t even get to choose where she takes a dump.

That my friends, is poverty. Say it with me “poverty is shit”.

Do you know what I love?

I love when we sit in our sanitised sanctums on our arrogant wiped clean arses and spew out this vile justification for our lives… “the poor are happy”.

Sorry Mum… arrogant bottoms.

I partly hate it so much because I fell foul to its alluring safety. The belief that yeah, that kid has made a toy out of a piece of old wire and a discarded tomato can, but he is so happy, so content.

I can learn so much from him, because although he has nothing, he is so happy.

WHAT THE? So I decide to envy his serenity? I covet his brief moment of happiness before he possibly dies of an ear infection because his Mum can’t afford antibiotics? Can I really look at him and think, what take away can I have from this to make my life better?

Lord forgive me.

All together now “poverty is shit”.

Bec, you are being a bit gross. No one wants to hear stories about women pooing in the street.

No. We don’t.

But I’m pretty damn sure that woman doesn’t want to be pooing in the street a whole lot more than we don’t want to be reading about it. And if we can’t even abide having that image briefly cast before our eyes, then we have no chance of seeing ourselves.

Because poverty is shit.

And unless we can look poverty in the eyes, see the degradation and loss and pain that poverty causes, if we insist on taming it down, on turning it into palatable pieces, then we will never become the instruments of justice and mercy that God wants us to be.

So next time you’re in the dunny relieving yourself, and in fact from now on, every time you defecate, I want you to think of me. Think of me and say with me “poverty is shit”.

And as we chant our loo time mantra, perhaps we will grow an army of shitting believers who will ask the question.

“What does God want me to do about it?

 

 

 

 

Empowerment

Empowerment  

Today we celebrate women. Its International Women’s Day.

Inspiring Instagram posts.

Parity discussions

Lauding female heroes.

Sisterhood.

I am woman hear me roar.

But what are we roaring?

Picture1

I looks true, cos it’s all current and on trend with the font. Empowered women empower women.

EMPOWER: to give power to someone

I am empowered

I have power.

Not because I earned it, not because I am strong, not because I make my own rules or “honour myself”.  I am empowered because power was given to me.

I can make choices.

I do make choices.

Do I choose to live in fear?

I have the power to make a difference, I was given the power to make a difference. Will I? Or will I cling to my power as a birthright, lavishing myself with the spoils of it.

 “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

-Abraham Lincoln

With power comes responsibility.

Does power equal freedom?

I am free to choose.

Or does my power ensnare me. How can I let it go?

Luke 12:48 (NIV) From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

 

Empowered women empower women.

 

Empowered women choose to free themselves from the bondage of fear.

Empowered women know their value lies in Christ and nothing else.

Empowered women carry the gift, and the burden of empowering their sister.

 

My sister is in the red light area of Kolkata.

The sun beats down on the tin roof above me, my mattress is soiled with the stench of my violations. Each day they come, the men, to take my inner most beauty from me.

It's piercing, and painful. They ravage from a place known only to me, and throw me out with the garbage. I lie awake, trapped in this dark place and I wonder, when will you come? When will I walk out of this place, and into the light? When will I share my beauty with others in freedom? How long must I lie here? Do you hear my cry?  Will you come so that we may walk together into the light we were created for? Do you hear me? Remember me, as you lie down, my brothers and sisters.... Remember me.

Empowered women kneel at the foot or their sisters and wash their feet.

Where is your sister?

You are empowered.

 

I thought of you today

download Hey Kevin, how the bloody hell are ya?

(you remember Kevin? From my choose your own adventure blog)

I thought of you today as we primped and preened

And you were wheeled out into the street with the rats like a pathetic vending machine for loose change

I thought of you today as we drank champagne

And you wondered if someone, anyone would look into your eyes, or if your dismembered limbs would avert their gaze

I thought of you today as we laughed our shrill intoxicated laughs and compared our designer clothes

And you endured another day of your gruelling existence of isolation, loneliness and despair

I thought of you today, as we frittered away millions of dollars in a game, for fun, cos we can

And you knew no comfort, your body wasted away before you, malnourished, mistreated, laying in the stench of your own waste, waiting for the end

I thought of you today as we trotted around like turkeys, gaggling, clinking glasses

Hey Kevin, do you like my fascinator? *giggles*

What’s that Kevin? What’s a fascinator?

Oh, never mind, you wouldn’t understand.

“No. No, I wouldn’t.”