The absolute injustice | A late Friday afternoon
by You Have My Word
Absolute: final, complete, all-encompassing.
A late Friday afternoon and it smells musky as I’m seated in my car on my way home from work. I love driving, but I worry when I drive – it’s the one time I don’t have to concentrate on getting from A to B, and it’s then that thoughts pop up like daisies. They just aren’t as pretty.
A late Friday afternoon at month end and I worry whether I’m going to make it home with the petrol left in my car, or not. I worry about the people I need to see this weekend and wonder what they’ll want to do and how much it will cost. I worry about work that I still have to do – will I have enough energy to do it? I worry, worry, worry.
A late Friday afternoon and I’m driving down a busy, main road – full, double lanes moving in opposite directions. I worry if someone will bump or scratch me or ride into me. And then I see it… see him, rather. I see him.
A late Friday afternoon and the burning amber-sunlight catches his dark eyes, illuminating his charcoal skin like embers deserted after the flames have died. He sits contorted in a wheelchair alongside the road at an empty bus stop that would have been full of hustle-bustle, push-shove, rush-clamber just moments earlier.
A late Friday afternoon and this young man – outstretched hand spasmed in crooked form hailing for a taxi to stop for just… one… moment – has been left alone to fend for himself. With his other hand he makes sure he doesn’t roll into the traffic, by gripping the wheel in place. But the hailing hand – persistent in its loose, uncoordinated shaking, flailing – keeps my eye. It looks like he’s shaking his fist in an indignant call for attention.
A late Friday afternoon and an abandoned African man is ashamed and angry and scared and alone and helpless and desperate and disadvantaged and wishing that somebody would give a damn! And I can only shout “Oh God! The injustice of this world! The absolute injustice, God. That I, a little lower than luxury would even be concerned for one moment, when I know you are in control and this man… God… It is not fair! I am guilty and greedy and I bemoan worries that I am sure you have already taken care of.”
A late Friday afternoon and I shudder as I weep, eyes blinded as my tears refract the sunlight, and I drive past. Not a single person stopped and I am broken for him as my car wheels take the corner and I catch one last glimpse of a twisted figure crumpled in a blue, steel wheelchair waiting patiently for a lift home. “Oh God… I’m sorry.”
A late Friday afternoon and I make it home with the petrol I have in my car – perhaps fuelled by rage as I drive those last few miles. I walk – I’m not in a wheelchair – through my front door and sigh as I sit down on my bed. I just got home from work – I have a job and a place to sleep. “I have so much, and I have You, God.”
A late Friday afternoon and I have never felt so small.