In the eye of the storm

Being Monday and the start of the week, I find it appropriate to speak about the place of faith in my journey with illness and as well as conclude this story.
Faith is defined as complete trust in something or someone. Religiously, faith is deep conviction and trust in God with or without proof. Its trusting that someone has your back even when its the back thats receiving the biggest beating. People in trouble like debt, sickness, deaths, danger tend to exhibit more faith than the other guys enjoying some good sunshine. You need not look further than our tens of religious t.v stations especially when its miracle time! Unfortunately, when things get really bad, people become desperate and therein lies the danger of manipulation, cult worship and broken hopes.
Faith is personal and no one can adequately judge another on how they believe. I will not impose my faith, its interpretation or practice on anyone. I will tell you of my journey, hopefully it will enrich yours.
I will not sugarcoat the truth, during the six years and counting, I didn’t like God very much. I had seen so much suffering both myself and at family level especially with the deaths, I had asked the question ‘why me’ so many times that now, I had accepted it was me to bear untold pains. One question that never had an answer was ‘where was/is God when it hurts? I had read the Bible and quoted and stood with all the promises therein but things kept going south. To say that I was disappointed with God is an understatement. I felt betrayed.
Now, I know many Christians will cringe in horror at what I have just said. The temperate ones will call me of little faith while the extreme ones will call me selfish and a heretic. Its OK.
Phillip Yancey, a man of great wisdom, ventured into the topic of disappointment with God by attempting to answer three questions that everyone who has been through a bad period like me asks;
1. Is God unfair?
2. Is God silent?
3. Is God hidden?
(UN)FAIRNESS
When they told me at KNH that I had drunk myself to pancreatitis and that further drinking would kill me, I immediately stopped and started medication religiously. However as time progressed and things got worse, I met a few friends who had been warned of alcohol and worse had undergone surgeries due to the damages alcohol had caused but now were back to drinking like fishes and not an iota of pain in them!! Worse, their surgeries had been approved and undertaken within hours of admission yet here I was with files upon files of admissions and no doctor wanted to cut me open!!
how does God distribute favours and pains? Was I meant to serve as an example? Was I paying for my sins and if so, was my constant repentance rejected? Was I paying for the sins of my forefathers and if so, what was the essence of Ezekiel 18?
Phillip writes and i paraphrase, to expect life to be fair because God is fair is to miss the boat by a river because God is not life. You will be disappointed!! I read and searched for answers about God and fairness and i came out disappointed. I read of historical and bibilical titans and figures who got away with a slap on the wrist after committing heinous crimes like David and i also read of people who paid dearly for mistakes that deserved a slap on the wrist. Even today, our society is full of such examples.
Because faith is personal, i leave the question of God’s fairness to individual interpretation.

Is God Hidden
The bible tells us that at some point when Jesus hang on that tree, God hid his face, probably because of the horror he saw. Throughout the six years, i couldnt help but ask, is God hiding his face from my situation. See, there is something about God turning his face towards or away from you. If he turns towards you, your life changes for the better, valleys are filled, hills are brought low, you give fruit in your season, you are called blessed, whatever Saitan has thiefed from you is given back and so on and so forth.
Woe unto you if he turns his face away from you. Life kamatias you chini, problems move into your life with its grandkids and livestock. The devil steals from you so much that he makes you a partner in stealing from others. Basically, your soul becomes so malnourished, that you beg to die.
Unfortunately, most people and specifically Christians will innocently bombard you with verses and quotes and messages of how it’s gonna be OK, of how its darkest before dawn. They mean well but they are not in your shoes and don’t know whether God has hidden his face from your situations.
Sometimes, God will not even hide his face per se, He will just allow satan to play wandindi with your life. Just Ask Job.
One thing that is natural to human beings, is to pass judgements about other people whether they know the full story or not. Job’s friends were no different and we are neither. It calls for a lot of wisdom to restrain yourself from judging but its worth it. Those of us who have been in the rain can tell you, its not fun and it’s not funny. Yes, we may have messed up, we may even have repeated the mess and we might be paying for our sins but your judgements and self righteousness is the last thing we need. Remember you are not immune, remember that the sun shines both on the wicked and the righteous, the strong and the weak.
Truth is, God can turn his face away from us. Why He can or does it, is entirely upto him. If you are going through a tough time or know someone who is, help where you can, pray with them.If your faith can help them, extend it. If not, dont judge them. You never know, maybe God was waiting for your faith to turn His face towards them.

God’s Silence
Did you know that there is a 400 year period between the last book of the Old testament and the First book of the new testament? Now you do. According to Bible scholars, God was silent kabsa. Like he said nothing, no thunder, no lightening, no manna, no prophet, nothing!! During the 400 plus years of slavery in Egypt, all the Israelites heard was the sounds of whips and pain.
God’s silence in life can be disturbing. When prayers go unanswered, you doubt and pray more but with less expectations. when fasts go unaswered, you become thinner and more angrier.
Many times during this period, God has been silent. At times, I toyed with the idea that he had travelled and will answer as soon as he returned. Nothing breaks your heart more than when your cry for help goes unanswered, you resign to your fate. You wait for any outcome. You stop hoping.
Many times, my family and I cried and yelled for help from above. We joined hands and hearts and called but……… In the end, only my mum was left calling. Mimi kwanza, I quit kitambo. I can never tire in saying that MOTHERS ARE SIMPLY THE BEST.
Again, why God would choose to go mute, I don’t know. It defies everything I read and believed from the Bible.
The Lessons
Because am still alive and learning, allow me tell you what i have learned:

That in the end, its only God’s will that shall prevail.
That He does what pleases Him.
That we are all clay in His hands and he finyangas us as He wills, to achieve what He intends.
That whether we live or die, thrive or suffer, laugh or cry, He will remain to be God.
That without doubting, faith can never grow.
That when you can, assist whoever is in need, it’s a seed you are sowing

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Death took our Christmas tree and more

Its been 11 years since a Christmas tree lit up our home and they have been long. Its not that Christmas stopped showing up or that we changed religion, its because my brother died. See,we knew Jesus’ birthday was truly upon us when he would come from the shamba,sweaty and holding a huge cypress branch and a bucket of soil, my sister and i would run to fetch the Christmas lights and would sit to watch as he worked magic. Within no time, our small house would light up and cheer would spread like Ebola.

He loved nature and the outdoors and planted more trees in our farm than the rest of us combined.

Then on 8th Dec, his light and smile and generosity and kindness was snatched away like a phone on Jogoo road. Just like that, he was gone, forever. And with that our christmas tree (and spirit).

In a strange twist, a fruit tree grew right next to his grave, a passion fruit tree and it has given us fruits in its season without fail. He continues to give even beyond the grave.

So this christmas, i will walk to the tree, enjoy its shade and eat its fruit and mourn the death of a man and a season.

 

Our sheep are mourning and teaching too.

Today, one of our sheep, a young first time mother lost her two day old baby. The lamb was a bundle of restlessness and kept the mother on her legs as she attempted to keep up with the wild jumps and the erratic suckling of her newborn. You could hear the sheepy pride in her voice as she bleated when feeding her baby.

I was alerted to where the lifeless body lay by her unending bleating. She stood together with her mother, the lamb’s grandma and her two sisters as they stared at the carcass and the sadness on their faces was almost palpable. The Lamb’s uncle stood at a distance, probably mourning silently as most men do.

Continue reading “Our sheep are mourning and teaching too.”

Swinging Both Ways (Final part)

Its been roughly forty eight hours since I published Swinging Both Ways- with a Ring. Surprisingly on this platform, the reaction has been lukewarm but my inbox has been flooded with mixed messages (and emotions). From those that are outrightly pissed by Kim for being a double faced and selfish pervert who is bound to subject mama Ty to untold pain and misery to those that see it as Kims cross to carry to his death- they say that hornbill’s pain is hornbill’s pain,

Continue reading “Swinging Both Ways (Final part)”