The power of a name.
Have you ever given thought to just how powerful a name is ?
It is like a mighty fine laser beam that cuts through the most imprenatable of barriers raised to keep out all sorts of intruisions and calls for attention to the here and the now. I saw that power working in a most unlikely and unexpected place the afternoon before Christmas.
I had seen him before. I had driven passed the Post Office often, and he was always there. One day he was talking on the public phone stationed outside the building. Talking, shouting, at an unknown listener, if any, on some matter that I suspect may have been none existant. On another day he was talking out loud to a building across the road. It was a loud lengthy conversation with someone who wasn’t there.
I often pass that way, and one day I stopped to drop off a snack for him.
His friends said he was around the corner, but they would give Mandla the parcel. So I knew his name was Mandla.
Mandla is a young man who I have noticed, mainly because he seems so hopeless, I suspect he has a mental illness. He is a street person who has very little, but the clothes he wears. He is very scruffy tatty and dirty. Most days he sits quietly inside the alcove of the Post Office, just gazing blankly at the wall, totally unaware of the world around him. My heart goes out to him, and to others like him.
So I thought, because its Christmas, I would take him a sweet bun and a cool drink for the day.
I was on my way back from the shops, buying gifts for Christmas. As I approached the Post Office I saw two of his friends eating some pie or other, but Mandla was sitting in the alcove, just staring at the wall in front of him.
He was unaware of me as I went up the few steps toward him. I said “Hallo Mandla, Merry Christmas” He turned to look at me, and smiled -the sweetest smile that transformed his face. I was amazed at how good looking he really is, scruffy but a lovely face, and now, for one brief nano second etched with happiness. I said ” This is for you” as I gave him the parcel, “God bless you” and turned to go down the steps again.
For some reason or other, the tears welled up in me, as I got into my car. I allowed the fat wet tears to run down my cheecks unashamedly, for Mandla, and for others like him. O God I thought, why the curse of poverty and worse still of mental illness, that robs a young man of his dignity and of his life.
I believe Mandla smiled at me because he heard his name. For one brief moment someone had seen him, and called him by his name and he naturally responded with a beaming child-like smile. He had heard the call of his name.
Of all the Christmas presents I have ever received that smile was the best gift ever. No wonder it unleased a flood of tears. I was more blessed than Mandla that afternoon before Christmas.
This post is dedicated to all the unnoticed, unseen and nameless ones, often neglected by our society. Even those who aren’t but think they are !
So smile a smile for someone ! You have a name, you matter, and God sees and loves you for who you are, and where you are at – Smile, and make somebody’s day. Everyday, not just at Christmas time.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL