One day there was a man.
Some considered him to be a prophet.
Prophets, as far as the holy scriptures go, are most often outcasts.
People living on the edge of society.
With this man it was no different.
He did not own much more than the clothes he wore.
He was mostly mis-understood.
Yet, often crowds were drawn to him.
On one such day, he looked at the puzzled crowd sitting before him, realizing they would be hungry.
And it was late.
And his heart went out to them.
It wasn’t a catastrophe.
This crowd of people would not die of a single night’s hunger.
They would not even fall ill.
One hour without shelter.
One day without water.
One week without food.
That is the rule of thumb in the survivors guide.
Yet, this man’s heart was concerned and he asked those with him to provide food to these people.
This is interesting.
He did not feed these people.
He asked those with him, to feed these people to whom his heart went out.
They went looking for food.
They found two loaves of bread and a few fishes.
The food a little boy brought along.
This must have been an interesting boy.
On his own.
There to hear this man’s ideas.
Armed with a packed lunch.
Enough for two people.
The man took the loaves of bread and the fishes.
And according to the story he fed everyone there.
A miracle some called it.
Perhaps this outcast was more than just another man.
Perhaps he existed to present a different way.
I own much.
In comparison to this man.
Sometimes I relate to his existence on the edge of society.
In thoughts less entertained.
But I am not much like him.
I am more like the boy.
Present for my own interest.
Helpful by accident.
Two weeks ago I offered my own ‘loaf’ to a ‘hungry’ crowd.
All I had with me.
Whatever air-time I had at my disposal on our radio station.
The little time I had left after getting up at four and working till four.
I told you about 43 families in Soweto-on-Sea.
I told anyone who would listen.
Their ordeal for six months.
86 old people.
Their 240 grand-children.
I spoke to their polticial representative.
To the building contractor whose problems spilled into their lives, causing a severe delay in the rectification of their homes and a severe loss and destruction of everything they owned.
I spoke to whoever was willing to speak to me.
A week into the offering of my simple ‘loaf’ the rebuilding of these peoples’ homes began with great fervor.
Today, I saw smiles as more and more rooves are being replaced and these families can slowly start to believe again.
They might just be able to move back into their homes.
Start rebuilding their lives.
Something else happened, while I aflicted whoever would cross my path, with my verbal dioarhea.
Others started offering their own loaves and fishes.
Ronel, R1000 and some furniture.
I did not ask for this.
We did not run a campaign.
They just stepped forward.
Holding out whatever they had with them.
And soon I will take this to the 43 families.
More a show of kindness, than anything else.
‘There are those who have less than us’, says Mbulelo, while we walk from home to home to be overwhelmed with gratitude.
‘We should buy blankets, give warmth. Even if it is just one blanket for the poorest of these families. It will be something which would remind us of this day, when God showed us, there is love in people and his grace always is with us.’
I am astounded.
I am beyond words.
And so we each offer the loaf or half-loaf we have.
And the man who some called a prophet will make it enough.
As he awakens others’ hearts.
And allow words to come to the right ears.
And return hope to a community.