Can I paint a picture for you?
Just the other day I caught a glimpse of a sight that is simply perfect to describe life here.
Stefani had just finished a voice lesson with a quadriplegic girl named Jadie. She proceeded to roll Jadie and her wheelchair (which features two flat tires, by the way) down the pothole-laden ramp to the front of the church.
Waiting there was young Aria, who you met in a previous post.
If you’ll remember, Aria is a child from the squatter camp. She is fatherless and waiting on time and disease to render her motherless as well. She is endlessly lovable and endlessly naughty. She is funny and dirty and altogether wonderful. As such, she latches on to one side of the wheelchair and helps (read: hinders) pushing it away from the church.
Then comes Peter, the church drunk. He fits every stereotype that you might assign to the church drunk and we love every bit of him. He is middle-aged, with a mighty mustache. He tries so hard to quit and then tells the whole world how worthless he is when he fails. He is a perfect picture of grace, even if he walks slightly askew and smells of cheap liquor. In our picture, he asks Stef for a bit of money and she smartly counters that he should take a walk with her.
Jadie just lives down the street.
So, down the street they go. And here is the perfect picture…
Aria, 4 years-old and shoeless next to Peter, stumbling, mumbling and generally enjoying the sunshine… Next in line is Stef and Jadie, a 26 year-old American pushing a 15 year-old South African in a 30 year-old wheelchair that’s riding only on the rims.
We are surrounded by brokenness. Young and old, black and white… It is the hallmark of Mayfair Baptist Church. Really, it is the hallmark of all of us, broken and incomplete, needing a little help and a few friends to make the journey – even if it’s just down the street. Of the many things we learn from the vulnerable here: there is beauty in the brokenness of life.