The streets of Belfast City come alive every night with the many colours of life; vibrant, loud and visible. A world of grey party faces mindlessly pass me by. I watch, but dare not look. Do I know these people walking by? Who are they? Where are they going? They are my stranger, they are not of my world. Eyes speak loud silence to me; pathetic pity, rejection; some give a sterile stare, hiding uncomfortable guilt. My nightmares invade my reality... once again, I feel warm wet saliva on my face... and a blow rains into my fragile frame. I feel dead from the inside out. This is my world, my homeless world This is the world from which I watch you walk by. I look vacantly through my blurred window-eyes from my space, the street, where I cling to life’s sweet addiction. This hard, cold place of nothing is where I lay my head. Can I trust this place? I lay down in fear. Time is motionless in my frozen world. I begin to wonder if anybody cares whether I wake up in the morning or not. And then I wonder if I even care. What do you see when you see me? Do you see me? Somebody... please see me. Beside me, holding ﬁrm in the pavements cleft, I see my flower of hope. My consolation; my companion. To many it is a weed, growing in a place where it should not be, clinging to a crack in life’s walkway. Yet this weed has life, it stands anchored with its head raised in hope, bringing Dignity to my world. It smiles with its yellow sunshine.. it is my ﬂower of hope. It lives, it breaths, it gives me life, it speaks to my soul with sweet fragrance, but it cannot bring me the warm love I need to heal my wounded soul. How did this ﬂower come to be where it should not be? Its seed, once helpless and blown chaotically by the winds of life, fell to this barren place of shelter amidst the merciless trudge of careless feet. Yes, my seed has fallen to share this place too. I slumber; I sleep, hidden from life, from family, from fear and guilt, my place of lonely existence. This is my home; the place where I lay my head and self-nurse my soul. This ﬂower of dignity is the symbol of hope for the homeless. Dignity Belfast is a newly formed, Christian based group that works with a range of organisations to bring practical help, comfort and friendship to the people who sleep on the streets of Belfast. As Christians, we are compelled by love to reach out with acts of kindness, to be a friend, to bring hope and light, helping to restore dignity to people on the streets. Just one hello, just one conversation, just one hug, is sometimes all that is needed to save a life, all that is needed to sow a seed of hope.
flower of hope A5 .indd 1