My Zuko has a photographic blog.
Here she posts selected pictures from photoshoots, just to share it.
There are architecture photographs. Fashion, Food, Living Spaces.
And then people.
They’re not famous people.
They’re not ‘regular’ or ‘ordinary’ either.
Until recently her photograph of “Lulu‘ was my favorite. She is a little girl loved by our friends. A little girl who has changed everything without even being aware of it. The picture was taken on a Sunday afternoon. We were celebrating her life, the gift she is & the gift she brings to life in us. It was a moment of gratitude. Of remembrance. Of hope.
Yesterday Zuko posted a new picture.
It is Mama Gladys with two girls as they are busy in the vegetable garden.
Mama Gladys comes from royal blood. Her family Kings & Queens & Princess & Princesses, since ancient times, to the people of the Wild African Coast.
She was educated at the best schools.
She had access to the best lifestyle.
But her heart strove for something else.
Her heart went out to children who had no parents.
Who had no home.
She did not ‘start’ Coega Door of Hope as we would say in western concepts.
She reached out to a child who needed a mother.
And to another one.
And another one.
Until her house was so full of lost little children who were found, that she had to register as haven and home.
Today she has thirty children in her home.
Thirty children for whom life would be very very different if she did not see them & embrace them & feed them & love them.
On Zuko’s Blog, with the picture of Mama Gladys, Zuko placed a link to a video explaining a bit more of Mama Gladys’ journey & where her ‘door of hope’ is.
I watched the video (you can watch it here).
I watched it with my children.
And as I walked away from it, I wondered: what is it that we strive for?
What is it that we expend our energy for?
An obscenely big TV & sound system?
Over priced meals at pretensious restaurants?
Expensive holidays at exotic destinations?
As I walked away from this picture & video, I wondered what is it that I strive for?
Why is it that I get up on a Monday morning & spend 50 hours away from my family?
It cannot be for stuff tarnished by rust & eaten by bugs.
What Mama Glady’s spends her time on will exist into eternity.
The thirty children she is now mothering were preceded by thirty others & will be followed by thirty more.
They all have life, because of her.
They know love.
They become adults who are free.
Adults who will marry & have children & influence their little bit of world.
With the love planted in them when all the odds demanded they be destroyed.
What is it we strive for?
What is it we spend so many of our hours on?
For me, it is about coming alongside people like Mama Gladys.
It is about enabling the not so ordinary ones to be who they burn to be.
It is about waking others up.
From that deep materialistic sleep.
I do radio.
I don’t want it to be ‘the best’ or ‘the biggest’ or ‘the wealthiest’.
I want it to be the most influential.
Radio that changes.
Radio which speaks to people’s souls.
Encouraging them to be more.
To be who they were born to be.
To spend their lives on more than stuff.
To spend their lives in relationship with others.
This is what I’ll be doing today.
And the day after that.
And maybe …
Maybe as I do this, somehow, Gladys and many others like her will be strengthened.
As a new people come alive.
A people who live by love and grace and acceptance.
A people who are concerned about people.