Once a South Sudanese refugee made me promise, “Please, don’t forget me.” My work at Silent Images is how I keep my promise.
At times I think we all wonder whether anyone is really paying attention to our lives. We all have a natural, deep desire to be known and noticed. And, not for the sake of vanity, but rather for intimacy and the hope that can only come from unconditional love. It’s a beautiful way to be created… even if it makes life challenging.
As I’m fighting (and failing) to keep the flies off my face, I have a refugee pull me aside and say all he wanted was for me to remember him. It’s a little weird to think that in a refugee camp where every foreigner is there to hand out free food or clothes or medical supplies… all this kid wanted from me was to be known.
I honestly don’t know much about this kid. I know he stands in line for daily food rations. I know he doesn’t speak any English. I know he handles flies on his face better than I do and can kick my butt playing tag.
And yet just by me knowing he was there somehow gave him hope.
I hadn’t realized before the power in just paying attention to someone else. It’s not always easy to intentionally notice someone else’s life. It’s a heavy burden to know of the hard world of refugees and hear tragic stories. Yet, that burden lightens as I see their growing joy and hope in my simply being their to listen to their stories… to allow them the opportunity to be known.
So I’m trying, friend, to remember you. And I’m working at Silent Images making documentaries so that neither you, nor others, who are hurting in the world are ever forgotten.
Every day I trying to keep my promise.
I’m here for you,