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To cope : Or not to cope?

I popped into a local supermarket to pick up some milk. I like milk, for I prefer to have a glass of milk than a glass of coke. I was making quick glances at the see through freezers of frozen goods, at bargain prices. Close by was a young woman - she enquired if I go to church, I replied, ‘yes’. She continued that she went to church and started to cry. Moving away from one of the busy ‘global take away food’ freezer, I asked her why; she related her story, that she had only a couple of Euros to purchase food for she and her boys. She continued that she was fed up of giving them chips because of the grease factor; she ended her story, by adding, “It’s the black people that are suffering the most”. I told her everyone is suffering, no one escape suffering in whatever form, for example, some lack money, some lack good health – where do you draw the line? I had listened intensively, whilst looking at her, in a way that only one’s experiences of life can make one look at a person – with compassionate concern.

Basically, my further response to her was whatever money you possess it need to be used accordingly to put food on the table. “Why not buy a bag of fresh potatoes, I advised her and then pick up some frozen foodstuffs. She than informed me that a friend of hers had a garden with some produce, I told her, all the better, make good use of the produce in the garden if it is to your availability”. I reminded her that during my days of growing up in a European city, frozen foods were very expensive, so, it is a blessing that now it is rather cheaper. She agreed, thanked me, and smiled, as she picked up two packets of lasagne and made her way to the checkout.

Milk selection made. Paid. Left the store. I always walk home, the bus fares have escalated, but this does not bother me, I walk if I can and time permitting according to my schedule. Full stop. My praise and thanks to God for His gifts of a very prudent and meek grandmother, mother and father.

During my solitary walk home, I remembered what one of Sir Paul Scoon’s grandson said during his tribute to his grandfather, how Sir Paul related stories about some days of having ‘bush tea and bakes’. And the young woman’s comment about black people, and I corrected her, for I know that most black people who have been raised by hardworking traditional families with deep seated principles and Christian beliefs, are survivors of difficult situations, maybe not because some of them can take their place on a vocabulary stage, or on a prestigious establishment stage or financial stage or book in on a luxurious hotel stage, but because, some of them have the experience of bush tea and bakes somewhere down the line, and maybe not stopping there but ensuring that the bush tea and bakes is extended to other community members, especially in rural villages, and who knows maybe, God forbid, further down the line to come for all peoples and nations. The Word of God reminds us that ...things will be taken from nations and given to others. So, the vision for the authentic parental upbringing was to ensure someone in the family/village securely took their place on the vocabulary stage,the prestigious establishment stage, the financial stage,every single stage that was made available by the Lord God Almighty.Amen.

My sheer respect to the nothing short of the delightful and charming, First Lady of the USA, (indeed, a very dear sister in Christ), for because of her initiation of a First Garden, a lot of communities in big cities are reverting back to growing their vegetables. For some, it is solely due to the perpetual extortional prices for some fresh food items. So, communities that once took pride in growing their vegetables, who have to some extent bellowed and bowed down to manufacturers tactics, relating how wonderful it is to have a bowl of fortified flakes for breakfast instead of say, bush tea and bakes - I suppose nearly most of the the manufacturers key employees are booking into the islands ‘luxurious of luxurious hotels’, where this young woman (and others) can only dream about!
I have had the privilege of living and working in many tropical islands, and the first thing I put in my suitcase are an assortment of vegetable seeds, with one incentive only….to share with and enhance the ‘gardening’ community, who at times I have relied on for my daily bread. So back to my question: to cope or not too cope?

Father God, I pray for all those who do not have enough money to meet their needs, touch hearts to help them. But, most of all gracious Lord, help us to tap in on all our talents and gifts, help us to make good use of all the resources, grap opportunities to share and to grow some food items, whereever we live, so that we can share abundantly and become a blessing to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.