Day 29. This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene.
Recently there was a terrible fire on Devil’s peak, students had to evacuate their residences,
a restaurant and a valuable library at the university were badly affected by the fire. It took firefighters two days to put it out.
The story came out that a man on the mountain had lit the fire and they arrested him. When the officers got to him, he admitted lighting the fire.
It turns out that this was a man from Tanzania who had come to Cape Town to study at the University of technology and he hadn’t got his study visa, so he lived in a make shift plastic shelter on the slopes of the mountain, living from hand to mouth, just above the residential area.
He was released on bail just recently and as he came out of court with his pro-bono lawyer his eyes welled up with tears. He was not an arsonist, just a man who had no home and he had made a fire to cook his food and keep warm.
Sadly, the fire got out of control and caused a lot of damage, probably something he will have to live with for the rest of his life, but he is not a criminal in my eyes.
It got me to thinking that we should look into the windows of people’s lives and see what is really going on. People are so quick to judge and condemn without actually knowing the bigger picture, and there always is one.
Fire has a way of bringing out an abundance of kindness and generosity in humans.
There was an outpouring of help for those students who were stranded, free meals at restaurants, donations of water, medical supplies and food for the fire fighters.
I am always awestruck by humans and how ready they are to help in times of need.
It gives me a window into the beautiful heart of this city.
I looked through the window of his life
I saw his pain I saw the strife
I felt the need to comfort him
to bring him back from the brink
To offer forgiveness and a safe return
to give him the grace that he deserves…
and I saw the firemen fighting the flames
I felt the horror of
I watched students with tears streaming down,
running for their lives
with smoke all around.
I peered into the vaults of treasured works
I understood the sorrow
the deepest hurt.
the flames spread into a run-away fire,
and in it’s wake
great love transpired.
humans came from everywhere
bringing light and hope to a city’s despair!
Photo by David Harrison..