Sunday, June 12, 2005

In Memory of Simeon

I ran into Isaac today. He’s a young boy I met six years ago. Isaac still spends his days, as he did back then, hustling on the streets of Monrovia. He told me that Simeon, the blind man he used to lead around to beg for money, recently passed away.

Simeon, I am sitting here wishing I had encouraged you to touch me. To rest your hand on my head and know how tall (or short!) I am. To feel my small face, long braids, and thin arms. To “see” me more accurately in your mind.

What did my voice tell you? Only that I am a Liberian woman with a slight American accent. Only that I was always happy to see you. Could you tell I was also sad to see you wandering the streets asking strangers for money to help you survive? How did you lose your sight, Simeon? Or were you born that way? How did you know when someone gave Isaac a little cash for you? How did you know how much there was at the end of the day? Where did you live? Who helped you get ready in the morning, and who helped put you to bed at night? What were your ideas for what our society could do to help the blind? All these questions I didn’t ask, and now you are gone.

I am sitting here thinking maybe now you can see me, from the other side where all answers are revealed and where all things are possible. But who am I, Simeon, and what are the streets of Monrovia when your eyes can now see your own bright smile, majestic angels, the splendor of Heaven, and the face of God?

No comments: