I am awed by the unconditional presence of love in this world. We recently accompanied a friend into one of Montego Bay’s rougher ghetto communities. The “gangsta” vibe was obvious. Early on, it was clear that several of the “idlers” hanging out in front of our destination were packing serious heat, if you know what I mean. Ironically, I didn’t feel unsafe. In addition to diplomatic immunity I tend to practice love and light, even in the darkest of places. Thus far, I am blessed.
Surely, love and light prevail in desperation, and poverty? But what about in the presence of the “criminal element”? In the midst of a very busy friday, I watched several people, including one small boy (probably no older than six), line up at a dripping water pipe. As folks took turns filling their buckets and empty plastic bottles, I wondered how far each person would journey home before drinking, washing plates or bathing. Teetering somewhere between guilt and gratitude, I was instantly overwhelmed by the privilege I inherited at birth. I certainly never wanted for food, warmth, electricity, water or a safe and loving home. Let alone the common “must haves” viewed as luxury items by a large percentage of the planet’s population. Residing here in Jamaica, for nearly five years, I’ve experienced living w/out facilities that we (Americans) tend to perceive as the fundamentals of life. It has humbled me. Nonetheless, what shines through, again and again, is LOVE. Jamaica does not fall short in this department.
Sitting in the passenger seat of our beat up 1991, Toyota wagon, watching folks fill and carry away their water vessels, I was humbled yet again. I looked up at the concrete building that created the little alley way where we waited for our friend. On the wall, in the middle of graffiti that spun tales of violence, desperation and tragedy, very clearly spray painted, was the word LOVE. The taggers, gangsters and artists had left it alone. LOVE in the ghetto, too sacred to mar.
Wherever you are, keep your eyes open. Love always shows her face…