A painful truth

Take a ticket.  Stand (masked) in line, on the dotted line, or in the circle two meters away. ‘Would you like a receipt with that?’ the checkout operator asks? And because of climate change and using less resources and waste paper littering the floor I suppose, they expect you to say no.  Would you think twice though? To leave the scrap of paper behind an unheeded list of items and prices, the record of your visit. A glance perhaps is all it is given before walking out of the door as it falls to the floor with your shopping tucked under your arm because you forgot to bring your bag for life. How often do we give this a second thought. Confident in the knowledge that we’ve completed our shopping, paid for it and are on our way home.  Would you expect to be asked to prove you paid for your bread and milk?  And if you protested would you expect to be believed that you had simply ignored or refused or lost the slip of a receipt with the forgotten bags and shopping  tucked carefully under your arm walking away unsuspecting?   Yet for Amanda Khozi Mukwashi the lived experience of a Black woman living in the United Kingdom now, this year, is that she must take and keep her receipt from the checkout operator to prove that she has paid for the goods.  For a week or two this past year we said that Black Lives Matter.  Today 13th September 2020 is Racial Justice Sunday. The painful truth is that still, some lives matter more than others.  Amanda is the head of Christian Aid.  You can hear her interview on the Greenbelt podcast.  She simply asks for dignity for all as Christian Aid works, regardless of description to aid the uprooted, the overlooked and the ignored.  The sad fact is that the face of poverty is most often black or brown, the nations which climate change will affect the most are those inhabited by black or brown people and those who struggle most for recognition as a part of the human race are those who are from black or brown nations. And we try to say but don’t all Lives Matter, equally? Without realising the system is already stacked in our favour. As in Amanda’s experience. Equity is about realising we are not starting from the same position. Forgiveness must come from the heart. Forgiveness is not good enough says Jesus if we go our way and do not forgive those who wrong us as we are forgiven.  If we don’t treat with justice those we encounter as we were treated.  It’s called the golden rule, and is expressed in some way in every religion.  First we need to see clearly, to see that sometimes the tables are placed so that only some can be seated and we need to seek forgiveness not seven times, but seventy times seven for our part in allowing this still.  Gweld y gwir trwy’r gwyll.

Street Art. COVID-19 BLM