Desert Journeys – 8/3/17

Desert Journeys 6

March 8th 2017

‘I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought.’ Hosea 13:5

Caring for each other is more important than ever in these times of hardship for many. The City is an unforgiving place to be when we are in a drought of empathy. Events, circumstances and people change around us and we can be wrenched from our roots and become like tumbleweed in the desert, strewn to and fro.

Rootlessness is a major problem today. It is at these times that we must care for those who are less fortunate: we must consider how we can push back our negativity when confronted with the effects of poverty, and give back. We have a glut of good things in the City and opportunities where we can share are there even if we are not so flush ourselves. My wife had a bag full of left over sandwiches from a training session. She took them to give to needy/homeless people on the streets rather than see them thrown away. A simple act of seizing the opportunity to give back.

I met a young lady, Ayana, an asylum seeker, who is bright and intelligent. She fled from Ethiopia as her life had become intolerable. At 22 Ayana was split from her home and family and found herself like tumbleweed in London, unhappy and bereft. Ayana was eventually put in contact with and paired with Rose Marie, who offered her a room in her house. This simple act of generosity has given Ayana security and hope. It was fascinating to hear the story of both the women, who each get a lot from the arrangement. Just talking to them I felt there was a great light that shines in the union for both Rose Marie and vulnerable Ayana – the beautiful flower of the desert.

For Ayana the tumbleweed has taken root for now. Hopefully her asylum application will be processed soon, for here is a soul who has so much to contribute to the world, yet who cannot work because of the asylum rules. Maybe soon she will be allowed to plant herself where she would like to be – not strewn like the tumbleweed in the desert – and give back.

‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’ Isaiah 43:19

David Risley


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