Friday, April 29, 2011

I put her in a box!

I have two sisters. I haven't always had sisters but i found one and got the other a couple of years ago and it feels great. Kyla is my step-sister, she's 7 years old and really really bright. Ngodoo is my foster sister, she's also 7, bright and probably one of the strongest women i've met yet.

Ngodoo's dad died a couple of years ago and things got hard on their family so my mum brought her to live with us and help raise her. I remember the first time i saw her. I was sleeping in the room when my mum tapped me and said "meet my daughter". I looked up at my mum and saw the widest smile ever with a lot of love in her eyes, then i looked down at Ngodoo (barely 4years old then) and saw fear. Before i state my reaction, i have to tell you that my mum always brought home kids from the village, so this was nothing new and i had grown weary of the sweet hellos plus the excitement on my mum's face sort of annoyed me. So i muffled a "welcome, how are you?" then rolled my eyes and went back to bed. My mum must have been so disappointed, she raised me better. And thinking back, i can't believe i was that person. Someone who would see a sad, scared child and ignore her.

Anyway, less than a week after Ngodoo moved in with us i was already quoting her to anyone who cared to listen. She wasn't exactly sweet (she vehemently refused that no one should teach her how to speak English and was quite snubbish) but she was witty and always dropped smart remarks that made the whole house laugh and stare in wonder. I grew to like her and eventually love her. She is my sister and she is always on my mind.

Last weekend, during the Easter break, my mum was going to village for a meeting and asked Ngodoo if she wanted to tag along so she'll spend the day with her mum but she said no so fast it sent stares across the room. I don't know about the others but i immediately thought she felt too 'big' to hang out in the village... I didn't ask her about it though, just let it slide. At about mid day the next day (Easter Sunday), we were all gisting and having a nice time in the sitting room when Ngodoo's mum came in with Sughnen, Ngodoo's younger brother and her countenance changed immediately. She wouldn't smile at her mum and completely ignored her younger brother. We tried to get the other kids to play with him but he was already upset and couldn't be bothered. I got so mad at her and couldn't understand what the hell was going through her mind. Had she gotten to the place where she felt too good, too civilised to hang out with her family? Did we (my mum and I) do this to her? I even 'ordered' her to go be nice to her mum and brother but it didn't help.

About 20mins later, one of my little cousins came and whispered in my ear "Aunty Dosh Dosh, Ngodoo is crying outside" and i practically flew there. All the crazy thoughts disappeared and all that mattered was taking care of whatever was bugging her. She wouldn't talk at first but after some reassurance she said between sobs "I miss my daddy". Oh my goodness! It all came to me. Going to the village and seeing her family upset her that much because they reminded her of her daddy. She still didn't know how to handle the death of her father but lil' miss goody two shoed Dosh labeled her proud and put her in a box. I have never felt so ashamed of myself. Ngodoo is my sister and i'm supposed to love her no matter what but when she needed me the most, i sat on a high horse and juged her to hell.

We do this everyday, to strangers and people we seemingly care about. We see them act a certain way and without bothering to help or considering what may have made them act this way, we judge and condemn them. Shame on us all. Not only does Matthew 7:1 say "Judge not that you may not be judged", we've all lived long enough to realise that we sometimes act on impulse or get so confused/hurt that we forget the appropriate way to behave.

Being a Christian is not just about going to Church and quotiong Bible verses, being a Christian is mostly about walking in love to the glory of God. People say love is over rated but before anything can be tagged over rated, it needs to be over used and proven not to work. We haven't loved enough to have the audacity to say that. And people who have (been) loved even just a little bit know in the depth of their hearts that though love hurts, it heals even more. We are the children of a King and love should be our brand. Love IS our brand.

*1Corinthians 7-8a " Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whose back have you got?

literally, lol

Hey guys, i'm really sorry it's taken me this long to put up another post. The last two  months have been my craziest yet and through all that i didn't feel like i had anything worth reading to put up. Anyhoo, i'm back now and hope that you find atleast 1 sentence in every post that warms your heart and makes you want to do the same for others.

Remember when i told you guys about the trip to Jerusalem (in Toothpaste ) where i fell and broke a tooth? Well, our tour guide on the trip was a really nice, cheerful, old man called Joram - pronounced Yoram-  and our driver was Alex, a young man who didn't seem to care much about people. Alex wasn't rude per se but he couldn't speak English and it seemed like he had given up trying. He managed an occasional smile with a 'good morning' and followed us once or twice to sight see but most times, he would light a cigarette when we got off the the bus,  get somewhere to sit and smoked till we got back.

One day, after seeing The Dead Sea,  i got back to the bus pretty early and just watched through window as everyone climbed on. That was the first time i noticed it. Alex was still smoking as he approached the bus and he tossed the cigarette as he took his first step on but didn't look back to see where it fell. Joram who was behind him chased the stick (because a little wind had blown it away), stepped on it, came back, checked that everyone was on the bus, told Alex to drive off and carried on like nothing happened. He neither said anything nor carried an attitude and Alex of course, seemed completely unaware of his careless act and what Joram had done. I didn't know what to make of what i had seen so i just shrugged it off and enjoyed the rest of the day.

The next day though, the same thing happened in the morning, and two hours later, and pretty much every time we were getting on the bus. Alex would toss his cigarette and get in then, Joram would - chase it and- step on it, get into the bus after him and act like nothing happened. Every time! It made me love Joram, he had Alex's back one way or the other and didn't care that Alex didn't know. He cleaned up after Alex without making a big deal out of it because it really didn't take anything out of him to do it. It's little things like that that make peace reign and demonstrate true love. I wish we all lived like that.

The only people i clean up after without making a fuss are my family and even they get to hear from me now and again. I take care of people, one way or the other, we all do but most of the time we do it whining. Some times, we even go far as telling the people we're caring for/'loving' that we're only doing it for the love of God. As if, if we had our way, we wouldn't offer a helping hand to those who aren't family, who have hurt us, or who are in need. Unfortunately for us though, that kind of loving and religion doesn't count because"if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them"
Luke 6:32

It is a good thing to know that there are people who love us and have our backs but it's a greater thing to have someone else's back, especially someone who can't pay us back in full measures. We automatically become agents of God in their lives and it keeps us in check because we know that someone out there counts on us to not mess up. Most importantly, it builds our relationship with God. We sin so many times everyday and don't always pray for forgiveness yet God loves us and keeps blessing us. He has our backs despite our many faults and the fact that we'll never love Him half as much as He loves us. So forgiving someone who has deeply hurt us, being there for someone who'll never be able to pay us back, showing love to total strangers and being nice to people who have been mean to us puts us in good standing with God and opens doors for more blessings.

*Luke 6:32 But love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return: and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the ungrateful and evil.

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I got invited to be a member of Faith Dames, a blog by women about great women in the Bible. I felt truly honored because everyone there is an amazing writer/story teller and i don't think i'll ever measure up but it's not about me jor, the stories are rich and eye opening and i'ld love you guys to check it out. I wrote the one about The Zarephath Widow