Bajan Reporter Contributor ponders; “Is this the best example of Barbados’ ‘Christmas Spirit’?” Damon Corrie disgusted at so-called Worshippers
I enjoyed my time in Church today (but I am by no means a regular attendee), the priest spoke at length about ‘Tolerance‘ and the importance of Christians exhibiting this virtue, visitors were welcomed, persons with up-coming birthdays and anniversaries were acknowledged – songs were even sung for them…it ended on a high note in my mind, until we left the Cathedral.
Conveniently a snow-cone man was plying his trade not far from the entrance so with my two young daughters in hand I got in the queue, it was after I had obtained cones for them and was heading to the car at the west end of the parking lot where my sons were standing – that I heard a familiar booming voice.
I looked around and saw that it was “Eddy,” (name changed for etc.) a well-known beggar in the Bridgetown area, he was approaching everyone waving at them and wishing them a “Merry Christmas” and hoping for a donation, he was dressed except for a lack of shoes, not aggressive, demanding or insulting, just a bit on the loud side – but not ‘intolerably’ so.
I was enjoying a snow-cone myself until I noticed how these ‘Good Christians‘ were turning their backs on him and moving away every time he drew near, not even showing him a smile or a wave; they were behaving as though he was covered in feces or had superhuman halitosis or something.
I pointed out the scene that was being played out before us to my teen-aged sons and told them:
“They do not know Eddy’s sad life story, how he was in the Barbados Defence Force, went to Grenada, saw inhumanity there, had ‘friends‘ turn him onto illegal drugs, returned to Barbados and subsequently lost his mind, he does not hurt anyone, his only ‘crime‘ is to beg people for money, see how all these finely dressed people are treating him, as though he were some vile creature and not a human being also, yet each of them will go home tonight and tell themselves that they are ‘good Christians‘ because they showed up here today, gave to the offering bowl, knelt and prayed publicly a few times and sang a couple hymns.
“Boys, Eddy’s soul is just a prisoner of his physical body and deteriorated mind, but I bet if you could see Eddy’s soul you would be shocked at the beauty of it. How do we know God is not using him to see how we treat one-another when we think no-one is looking.”
I called out to him by name, and Eddy came over, he was not reeking of anything, and he was close enough and talking loudly enough to me that I could tell he did not suffer from Halitosis either, I gave him all the coins we had left, maybe $3/$4, he politely thanked me, and asked me if I knew his mother: “She is dead now – but her birthday is December 24th – she used to clean all those houses near Westbury Cemetery” he said, before wishing me a Merry Christmas if he “did not see me again” and walking out of the Church car park.
Come on people, surely we can treat others less fortunate than ourselves with the same decency we would wish if we had their sad lives to lead.