Monday, May 3, 2010

'Thank-you Jesus'

When you take the trains in Cape Town there are people who sell snacks and drinks in the stations and in the train cars. It’s almost like a chant “Fritos three for 5 rand, 2 rand each”, “Lays, 3 rand each” "Nik Naks, 1 rand each" and so on. There are a lot of people who do this, every day, all day. There are also people who ride the trains, in pairs, walking from car to car singing gospel music. What is striking about these people is that one person is blind and the other person is their guide.

My first experience with this was riding back from Simonstown, our second day in Cape Town. Two women boarded our car and started singing, in harmony, “Thank-you Jesus”. They repeated these words and sang some other lines that have escaped my memory as the moment. Like I said above, one woman was completely blind and the other her guide who held a small cup that you could drop change into.
When they started to sing they were at the opposite end of the car. I watched them walk slowly down towards us. My first thought was this:
Why are they thanking Jesus? When one of the women is completely blind and they spend their days singing and walking from one train car to the next. I couldn’t imagine thanking Jesus for that.
I should mention that at the same time I was amazed by their voices, they were beautiful. As people put change into their cup and they reached the end of our car I was still pondering my first thought, but not with anger or any other emotion I could really put my finger on. I was just wondering. Before the two women slipped through the doors onto the next car, they said “Thank-you, God bless you”

Since then, I have seen these two women a few more times and I suspect I will see them many more times before I leave. Like most other commuters, I will continue to drop change into their cup. Not because I feel guilty that I don’t have to spend my days working so hard, or because I am trying to be the cause of some change in their lives, but because their voices touched my heart and their words are still speaking to my soul.
I have a lot to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully sunny story in my otherwise bleak day:) Thank you!!! Looking forward to reading more of your experiences!!!