Monday, October 6, 2008

Dying Empty, October 2007, Day 8

Self-sacrifice. Humility. Gratitude. Strength. Character. Hope. These are some of the ingredients that make up the heroes of the orphan crisis in South Africa.

Gab’sile Khoza, founder and director of Siyagibisa in Tembisa township, holds court today. She expounds with great pride on the accomplishments of the children in her care. The thief that turned assistant. The shy, hesitant boy who emerges from life in a shack to become a confident and calm young man. Gab’sile Khoza tells us she wants to die empty.

We stop her. What does that mean, to die empty?

To die empty is to take all the wisdom, love, spirit, courage, hope and ability that is planted within us and to give it all away before we die. Gab’sile points to her womb and then fans her fingers out as if spreading seeds upon fertile ground. I want to die empty, she says again.

Tony Gloria, I believe, is living to die empty

With barely enough space in this tiny corner of a four room Soweto house to maneuver from door to closet, we were ushered into Tony Gloria’s little piece of heaven…her bedroom. Her heaven is a mattress on the floor with three pillows and three small stuffed dolls. That bed is shared and treasured by Tony, her daughter and her 15 year old granddaughter. They claim it as their treasure. They count themselves lucky, blessed, fortunate. That bed is all that is left of personal space for them. The other three rooms of that small Soweto house are all given over to the feeding, care and nurture of over 400 children who may not have parents, enough food to eat or much hope for their future. Tony Gloria is happy to plant her seeds of hope. She fans her fingers and lets fall the fertile seeds of her strength, character and hope. Tony Gloria is living to die empty.

Dying empty. A phrase of hope, a manner of living life, a goal, a mantra.

And though it may sound strange, I wish that all of us from Infinite Family might die empty. We thank you for fanning your fingers and letting your seeds of hope fall on fertile ground.


No comments: