This has to be the most bitter Christmas I have experienced in my life. The Christmas/New Year season I’m used to is the one with the songs, laughter and plenty of chicken to eat. This time round, it’s the opposite of that for many of the people I know.
Like the girl who just shared her plans to go into blood money anyway possible for her. I am the last person she’s hoping on. How did she get here? Her dad lost his job sometimes back. Since then, everything turned negative for them. She owes school fees, squats with friends, and lives at the mercy of her friends (or in fact, anyone she sees to lend a hand).
Then, there are 6 other girls who are currently fighting a court case; for almost 2 years. This one is complex. I met 4 of them few days back and the look on their face said it all. It tore me into pieces. Why should they celebrate Christmas? What do they have to celebrate? One battle is the case itself, the other is the lack of money to pay the lawyer.
There is another who has not heard from her mum in over 6 months. Money issues. She owes her school thousands of dollars. The last time I met her, I had only 75 rupees (500 naira or less) with me, then, she requested for some change. I looked at her and gave her that 75 rupees apologizing for not having cash. OMG! The look on her face said it all. When you’ve not held a rupee note for several days, 75 rupees will certainly look like a lot.
For all these and more, I weep daily in my closet.
There are just too many people in this category and it hurts me badly. This is part of what I mean when I say that people are suffering. As others celebrate this season, I doubt if these people will have the nerve to celebrate at all. Yes, I have done my best in talking to them and sharing bitter moments with them but that cannot buy them food or settle their debts.
I was just thinking (and crying) about all these when a friend asked me on WhatsApp about Christmas decorations and the jollies. My response to her was simple, IF I have any rupee right now, I’ll rather send it to them than spend it on a Christmas tree or light; or invite them over, buy food stuffs, cook, and we all share the moment together. Thankfully, my friend donated some money to one of those people I described to her. May God Bless her. If you ever read this, I mean all those prayers I typed on WhatsApp (to save space here).
To me, that is the reason for this season. It’s not Christmas lights, not trees, or shiny papers (I have nothing against them, you know). It’s a caring heart that loves all and cares for all. The whole life of Jesus is symbolic of that. Give. Do good, continually.
If you are one of those who have a little to feast on, and have a little left, I appeal to you to lend a hand this season (and beyond). Please. Find someone in need and help. If you don’t want to think too far about who to give to or how, I have A LOT of people around me right now whose lives probably depend on that gift. Reach out.