Little do I know that the road I travelled in 2017 will become the theme for unity in the Christian world this year. Malta.
Photos taken were stored, collecting dust. Now, I am revisiting the pictures I’ve made and reflect on them.
I went to Malta at the time when my life was at a standstill with a broken mind; the depression has whirled its ugly soul. I needed to go where I will be accepted and welcomed. Being with like-minded spiritual people, this is a safe place for me. As my mind is all over the place, I tried to stick with the group for safety reasons. I ventured out on my own during our break period. Solitude is far and few in between with a group of pilgrims. I do tell them, however, where I go.
Man is lonely by birth
Man is only a pilgrim on earth
Born to be king
But that’s only a temporary thing
Only on loan while on earth.
I was neither lonely nor sad. I was devoid of emotions. Rejoice, they say, rejoice, but the joy in my heart was missing even when I was praying or the pilgrims praying for me and one another.
With all my brokenness, I was surprised by the joy of other pilgrims that I can’t help but rejoice with them. They’ve shown me unusual kindness similar to the extraordinary story of St. Paul shipwreck encounter with the peoples of Malta.
Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. (Acts 28 Paul Ashore on Malta)
The Meditarrarien can be treacherous and the sea is unforgiving. I thought of how many lives lost to escape their country, especially Africa, from natural disasters, warfare and poverty. That thought of it does not make me feel any better than them. Surely, theirs is beyond comparison.
I find solace walking around at night. Nobody seems to pay much attention. I can see lovers were walking hand in hand. In the darkness of the steps, I can see two people, maybe whispering sweet nothings. I don’t know. I find this boring except for the cows.
A mosaic of Madonna and Child caught my attention, so I leaned against the stone wall and stared at it for a long time. People walked by and kept on walking. I can count how many people stopped and admire the artwork. I’ve lost count of how many just walked away. As for me, I am a fly on the wall.
I am not particularly fond of taking frontal shots of people’s faces since I don’t like to be photographed and put on a fake smile. This man is the keeper of St. Paul’s church since he was younger. I can see all the smiling lines on his face how he found his calling serving in the church and yet he is not even a priest. He does the most relevant job; to open the door for all those who seek.
One thing that struck a chord to help me restore my equilibrium was a line that I keep repeating to myself: One Life. Live It.
I am still alive living the one precious life given to me.