Last week I watched a homeless community perform a play. A play based upon something I wrote in one of my books.
Seeing something you have crafted and then interpreted by someone else, is always an interesting experience. It’s often like walking into a space that purposely provokes you to see beyond the confines of your own imagination. But this time, there was a difference. The lens I was gifted, by actors who are marginalised, often villianised, led me into a world I regularly choose to ignore.
It is so easy for me to see, but not observe. Choosing to lean into the comfort blanket of ignorance. Safeguarding my senses from the multi-faceted layers of life that play out around me. I have always been aware of those who are homeless and struggling with varied addictions. Occasionally dipping into the ethical deeds of charitable service. Yet often is the case, that placing of my toe into the icy water of injustice, is also complimented by the warmth of my central heated capitalist lifestyle.
And then last week happened. The week I saw their world being creatively interpreted through the limitations of my own imagination. In amongst their painful stories, unjust treatment, minimal support from an eroded welfare system - there was a statement of ‘life’ that refused to be silenced. Standing loud and proud, injustice came face to face with human form. Against the flow of political statements, grand ideas, and charitable deeds, one story took central stage. The true Bethlehem story of what it means to love your neighbour.
I find ignorance such a comforting thing. Until it gets disturbed from the margins: calling it out for what it really is.