Thursday, October 27, 2011

His Own

The other day I was in the village and someone was screaming during the day. That is the only alarm system available for the village folks. The best thing about these people is their willingness to indulge in such occasions. They all come to either help or just watch depending on the happening. The watching part is the favorite for most.

When I was growing up, I was not spared. Our homestead was a shoot location for a drama series. It’s not once or twice we had villagers coming to spectate as we washed our dirty linen outside our yard. I think I only survived the shame because most of it happened at night and also the following episodes would be shot at a neighbor before it gets back to ours. The funny part is how people behave the next day as if nothing happened. Unless your face still carries the evidence.

There is this one night my folks were fighting and my brother and I were really pissed. Occasionally, I would avoid taking sides because I had discovered I needed both my parents the same way. But this night, I needed to say something. I am actually not the one who started; I am more of a coward, my bro did.

He ferociously tried to tell off our dad, mumbling a few words as his 5 year old mind would allow. Then when he ran out of what to say, the moment fell awkwardly silent. I raised my voice, still hiding among the spectators and yelled at our dad; “hey, just allow me into the house I pick up my stuff I go. I don’t belong here”.

And in that awkwardness our dad answered back laughing, “If you want to leave, go ahead, but first come here and remove the cloths you are wearing, everything you have here is mine”. And the crowd laughed at me hilariously. I was 6 yrs old and I had never felt that helplessly cornered and owned. Clearly there was no way I could detach myself from the circus.

That statement has never left me, more so when I think about our father in heaven. He owns us and everything we have. Yet many a times we want to excuse ourselves from his affairs, especially when we feel inconvenienced and disadvantaged. And unlike our earthly dads, his ownership is bound with such a deep amazing love that we can’t comprehend. Even when things are ugly, when things are tough, when things are not making much sense, he is just but crafting something beautiful out of us.

The call of God on your life may be taxing you. Loving your neighbor may seem an impossible task. Being a peacemaker may not be a thought in your mind. And yet that is your call; to uphold the values of God and to walk in his principles. And I know how now or then we get the feeling that we should back off and give up on God, that we don’t belong.

Or maybe the show is on your yard. Neighbors spectating your struggles and enjoying the drama in your life. But it’s not for you to respond in bitterness, depression, shame or by running away. No. Just know that you belong to him. Everything you are and everything you have is his. And so you have nowhere to go. Stick through the process.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hiding People

One thing I miss about my childhood is the playing part. When I think about it now, I see how creative we would get and how sometimes a game would turn out to be frustrating, especially when you can’t agree on the rules or when other kids outdo your creativity.

 When we were younger we would play hide and seek with my brother and at times it would be boring when we ran out of hiding places. But I remember the first time my brother hid in the cupboard and I could not find him. How did he think of replacing the sack of flour with himself?  The competitive me was very frustrated. How can my younger brother outdo me in hiding? Then the day our friend hid by climb a tree just above where we were counting, and I could not find him yet all the other children could see him. I opted out of the game when finally I announce the imaginary cup ‘trophy’ was his. Ooh, and the days we would start a new game within a old one just to eliminate some kids we don’t like.

Now when I think about life, there seems to be a continuation of the hide and seek game. Listen to teenagers and their folks hiding from each other on Fb, or the tout and the dere checking out for the cops, or guy who is on the phone in town checking out kanju. It’s hide and seek all over. Have you noticed how Kenyans are always way ahead of themselves? Just listen to them on the phone while in the bus. Niko Valley Road and at that time you haven’t reached yaya yet on your way to town. Anyho that the hide and seek game I am talking about. Have you listen to or watched programs like busted or cheaters? It’s just a partner seeking their hiding partner… the game continues.

Then we have those who hide in God. They are known so well because of their consistency in bible study and prayer meetings. They preach, lead worship and they are baptized. And we can’t touch them because they are in God. But wait until you find them, they are just the same old sinner; having no sense of fear of God, but just using God as a cover to do all that they are doing. What happened to being real? I know we are not perfect but don’t project what you are not, just be yourself. A time comes when we run out places to hide, or we get caught, and everything comes shattering down.

There is something I love about real people; the kind who just live their life honestly, with integrity and in truth. From experience, the truth can cause trouble, cause terror, humiliate, hurts or even weigh heavy on you but the truth is, it sets free. When we learn to live an open life, with no hiding, no closet, no skeleton, then we live full lives. But the big question is, where and how do you start? It’s like asking a lady who is used to wearing make up to start living without some.

An open truthful life can be hard to start living, but once you find your rhyme and sync, then you realize it was not as hard as it seemed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maintaining The Evens

I know you have heard about beating all odds, but today I want to talk about maintaining all evens. I have always wondered whether for a story to be a success story there must be odds to beat. I don’t get it.

Look at most of the people we know who are successful. It’s either they were abused, molested, abandoned, rejected, rebellious, divorced among other odds. It’s like a plot to a great story needs to be complicated. And it is these complications that form the odds that need to be beaten for a happy successful ending.

What happens to those who keep it even? Why is it that if a woman is successful and yet she maintained her family all through, she won’t be a great story like one who is equally successful but who could not maintain her marriage. Or why is it a pastor’s child who turns out perfect will not find any recognition like one who turns pathetic?

We live our lives not for recognition but that we may add value to the society. And therefore, we must not be lied to that successful people have very complicated lives. That is just a lie. We are a generation that does not celebrate simplicity, ordinary and normalcy. But there is much beauty in such a life. And there are successful people who have maintained the evens. It’s just that they may not be as recognized as those who beat the odds.

As a friend of mine once tweeted; try faithfulness cheating is too easy, I too would want to challenge us try maintaining the evens beyond beating the odds.

Maintaining the evens is equally challenging as beating the odds.