This is Bryce. Most days he sits outside of The Body Shop in Camberwell, selling The Big Issue.
I don't know why Bryce is homeless, but I do know that last year his wife fell and broke her hip. Badly. I know this because he told me when I asked him 'how are you going?' as I bought my regular copy the magazine from him. It was like he just wanted somebody to tell, and I happened to be that somebody.
I don't know why Bryce is homeless, but I do know he is well spoken, unfailingly polite and always keen for a conversation, or even just a brief hello.
I don't know why Bryce is homeless, and neither do I know why our current government seems to think that people who have fallen on hard times, or who have suffered at the hand of bad luck, are the ones responsible for whatever fiscal issues (they imagine) our country has.
I don't know why Bryce is homeless, and I don't really know if my regular purchases of The Big Issue help to keep him afloat. But I hope they do.
I do not share the religious beliefs that many of our politicians claim to hold, but at this time of year if we cannot hold out a hand to help those who have fallen, then when can we do it?
In the midst of the excess and wealth of the season, we need to find a space for those who are not so lucky.
Hope you all have a happy, restful and above all else, peaceful Christmas. Cheers SM