Two Worlds Collide
by Ray Akridge, Jr.
There are times when we believe that the world in which we live is the only world. And if you are one of those who believe this, your eyes have been wide shut. Allow me now to awaken you from your dream.
I have gazed into the eyes of that other world and realized its existence through the story in which they told.
The privilege came on the night of our Thanksgiving. There had only been pictures and stories of this other world. It was a world that I knew but had never known. The two worlds had finally collided. Within this explosion I found kindness, sincerity, innocence, awareness and love. I had found West Africa and Sierra Leone had found me.
A week of friendship grew as our conversations unfolded realities. Both worlds were missing home for neither one were truly there. Therefore our stories claimed there respective worlds. I remember vividly my fondness for a spiritually non-morbid and even mystical place I had come upon while driving the country roads of Kentucky.
A cemetery that laid upon a hill where sound did not exist. A place serenely beautiful and even awe inspiring among a marble blue sky and crisp temperatures beyond the sensate world. A place of respect and stillness that allowed prayers to live among the resting.
The voice of Sierra Leone speaks of a different cemetery that resonates sounds and acts of the unimaginable. There is not such a place that the resting may rest. The sky is not quite as blue.
Inspiration is not as abundant. And, within the night, there is no stillness or respect. The sanctity of the living does not exist as the final resting places are violated, personal effects stolen and even the eternal garments of ancestors are worn by the unholy before the sun rises.
These acts are atrocities of the soul. They do exist within this other world. I have seen them through the eyes of Sierra Leone.
I have seen this world within the eyes of my dear friend, James Mansaray. And, my world, is of no concern.
Your prayers for sanctity and righteousness as well as your generous donations to Nazareth House Apostolate will only allow these worlds to become one. -RA
The above writing by Ray Akridge, Jr., (from our NHA-Athens, GA chapter) reflects the meeting between he and James and the differences in the lives of those living in Sierra Leone and here in America.