Thursday, 19 May 2011

At the traffic lights ...

At the traffic lights a desperately thin young man is kneeling in a terribly dangerous place in the middle of the road between notional lanes between the cars. He stands up and looks through the open window of my taxi "sometin' to eat man" he says.
I look at him with confused guilty compassion and the taxi driver curses, saddened to see such a young person, 16 at most, headed in a very wrong direction.
I remember the dilated pupils, the threadbare tshirt and the total resignation with which he turned away from me when he realised no cash would be forthcoming.
Only as we pulled away did I realise that kneeling in the middle of the road he was inhaling lighter fluid in some strange addictive ritual linked to danger and perhaps a cry for help. Perhaps exercising his addiction in a public way like this is the only way he can get enough money to scrape by.
As the traffic lights changed we pulled away and I thought about how the Levite and the Priest were on foot, only the Samaritan had transport. In my transport I just drove on by, it was all too easy.
Then I went off to my convocation on peace, peace in the community, peace in the marketplace …
And I know that praying for that distressed young man at the traffic lights is not enough.
I shall however try at least to do that. The Good Samaratian did a great deal more …

Peace on Earth