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."