THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living It Out As A Friend – 2


Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu

After sitting together in silence for a while, Jean said, So tell me, what’s really going on?

Well my mum and dad are splitting after 35 years of marriage

What? Sorry, wrong response…

No…it’s ok, that was my precise reaction when they first told me

What is causing this?

They are unhappy.

What do you mean unhappy? They are always smiling, involved in things and hosting people. They throw a mean party too.

Yes, but under the surface and out of the public eye things aren’t like that.

What do you mean?

Let me ask you a question.

Ok.

When you are going through a hard time, do you wear a sign on your head saying I am having a bad day?

No

When you are facing the biggest doubts of your life do you go blasting it from the rooftops?

No

Why?

Well, it’s my business and I want to work through my issues on my own

Do you tell anyone?

A few people who I know have my back for life.

So why is it so strange when suddenly you hear my folks are having issues? If you would keep your issues in private why do you expect them to air theirs in public?

Mmhhhh. Good point. The thing that gets me is that they are upstanding people and staunch Christians

So? Aren’t they also human beings who are fallible or have issues?

Yes they are but they are leaders

Yes they are. Are you saying that leaders will never have a hard day or a day full of doubt?

Well, they are human so I guess they could have those days.

The thing that gets me though is that since the news broke, we have been excommunicated from all the communities that

Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu

used to embrace us

Really?

Yup!

Why?

Well, clearly they seem think we are now defiled and will contaminate them and affect them with the failed marriage syndrome.

Failed marriage syndrome? For real????

Well, that is my thought because of how people are behaving.

How are they behaving?

Like we have a communicable disease

Ummmm…I don’t get it.

Remember when you were a child and got chicken pox or measles?

Oohhh the itch was too much then add the fever.

Ok, so you remember how you couldn’t go to school till you were fully well lest you start an epidemic?

Hahahaha…oh yeah…I infected my siblings and cousins and we were all home for two weeks.

So just imagine that was two weeks and you could see the end of it…imagine our lives because divorce doesn’t go away so we are blighted for the rest of our days.

Wooow…I hadn’t thought about it like that.

No one seems to have thought about it except me

Have you talked to the folks about this?

Sure, I’ve tried

What do they say?

Mum just cries and says she never thought it would come to this. Dad is saying very little

Have they prayed about it?

Prayed about what?

The way forward…to get a divorce of not; to go for counselling or not; really find the right solution for your family

Right solution for our family?

Sure…there’s no blanket solution for anything in life so I cannot expect that what works for your family will work for mine

Are you saying that your folks are thinking of divorce?

No, but I know they have had some really hard times and I’ve seen the cracks before

You’ve seen the cracks?

Sure. My folks fight but they somehow keep it together

So how have they learnt to keep it going despite the things going on around them?

Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu

I really don’t know but maybe it is time to ask them about this.

Maybe.

There was silence…as each thought about her life

You know what I wish?

What Anita?

That the folks were never the all-together, all loving couple and we never presented ourselves as a perfect family

Why?

First of all the pressure of living up to the expectation is extreme then all this happens

What do you mean?

When we were growing up, we were told you should never do this or that, be seen here or there, wear this or that, talk to this one or that one…uuurrghhh it was endless

Wow

Yeah, I had come to think that I had to do this list of things to remain ‘perfect’ and ‘accepted’. The way the people at church are treating us now is really in line with the fact that if I don’t live up to their expectations then I am not a good Christian.

What do you mean?

The people from church won’t talk to us, come and see us, understand the situation…nothing. I have cried so much it doesn’t matter anymore.

Cried?

Remember the story that I was losing my mind?

Yes.

Well, it started one day when I met three women from the women’s fellowship at church and they asked if it was true that my parents were breaking up. I said yes. Wah! I would never have imagined the backlash that was about to hit me. I was made to stand with these three women for over an hour initially being told off for taking my father’s side, then for having little faith, then for talking about such things in public…they went on and on and on and after a while I just broke down and cried. They then proceeded to take me through ‘deliverance’ saying that I was now controlled by an evil spirit because I couldn’t stop crying.

No way!!!!

Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Image off Mbita Ferry courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Oh, yes!

Where was this?

In the parking lot of a local mall

What? So how did it end?

Well, I simply cried harder and harder and couldn’t stop so I just sat on the ground. I later found out that I sat there for three hours crying and rocking myself.

How did you get out of there?

I had told my brother where I was going and he expected me back within a certain time frame. When I didn’t pick my phone he decided to look for me. By then the management had been called and they were standing around wondering what to do.

How did he find you?

He walked around the mall parking and saw the family car next to a crowd. When he came to the car, there I was sitting on the ground crying. The security guards are the ones who told him what had happened.

Where were the women?

Oh, they had left after they finished their ‘thing’

Really?

Yes.

After that meltdown, I had a few others and so everyone was convinced I’d lost my mind

Wow.

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Jean couldn’t hold back her tears thinking of how she had participated in fanning the flame that Anita had lost her mind. She shared ‘prayer requests’ without knowing the truth. How many other people had she scarred for life by participating in such conversations? How much pain had she caused others by sharing ‘prayer requests’ around? Where did she learn to be so crass and carefree with information? Why hadn’t she realised how much pain she was causing people?

Dear Father,

Help me please. Show me how to be different. Daddy says, to be different I must do different. I can’t do different if I am not different. Please lead me in the way that will make me different for real.

Amen

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living It Out As A Friend


Hi Anita

Hi Jean

How are you?

Photo Courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Photo Courtesy of Moses Nderitu

I’m good. You?

I’m good. Want to do coffee soon?

Sure, how about now?

Jean had bumped into Anita in the local mall on a chilly Saturday morning. She had a full afternoon but right now she could spare a little time to chat and catch up with Anita. It was three weeks since her chat with Daddy about Anita and she had taken care and time to keep her in prayer. After a while, the heaviness and guilt she had felt in her heart at the start had lifted and she had begun to understand what Daddy meant when he said that God would direct her on the path she was to take. She had begun to understand that life was more than just talking about people. There was greater peace in praying and listening to God, then doing what He said.

Oh, ok. I think I can do that

I’m glad…why don’t we sit over there

Anita pointed to a cute little café just by the car park with comfortable outdoor sofas. After finding a table in a quiet corner and ordering coffee and chocolate cake they sat in a companionable silence.

Jean, did you hear about me?

What about you?

That I had a breakdown?

Yes, I did

Who did you hear it from?

Honestly I don’t remember because we were a group of us together at the time

Oh…

What did they say?

Photo courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Photo courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Well, the word was that your family is breaking up and your faith is breaking.
Did you believe it?

I must confess that I did till I went to tell my Dad and he put me in my place

What do you mean?

When I told him about the story in the aim of getting direction, he called me a rumour mongerer.

Hahahahahahahahaha…no way!!

Oh, yes!

Really?

Yup!

Why?

Oh, quite simple…I heard from someone and told another without checking from the source if it was actually true. Moreover, I didn’t even stop to ask God if it was true and what to do.

Wow!

You can say that again.

So what did he want you to do?

Simple, pray and ask God what to do then do it

Sounds simple enough! Did you?

Absolutely…I prayed and God asked me to pray for you and give you time.

How easy is that?

Easy? Not at all

Oh…why?

Well, I wanted to do something, be here, call you etc

Do you honestly think that would have helped?

I don’t know but I surely hoped it would have

Well…your dad is wise

That I have discovered for myself. What do you mean in reference to your situation?

Well, I haven’t wanted to see or talk to anyone for a while.

Photo courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Photo courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Really?

Yup!

So why are we sitting here?

Well, this morning I asked God to allow me to meet someone I could talk to then I saw you.

Ehe…mmmmhhhh. I don’t get it

This morning, I realised that I can no longer walk this road alone. Even as that was true, I was scared to just open up to anyone because of the things I had heard people had said about me. It became so important that I find direction on who to walk with.

Ok…

I asked God to open a door for me to meet someone I could trust and then I left home.

Ok…

When I go here, I walked around the mall window shopping before I sat on the bench over there.

Aha…

As I sat there I remembered Matt 6:33 seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. The I remembered the verse, if any of you ask for wisdom let him ask of God. So I asked God again to open a way for me to get strength for the day and the walk ahead. Then I saw you.

So how did I become the right person to talk to?

When I saw you, I just realised in my heart that you are the one I needed to talk to

Wow! I’m humbled. I don’t really know how I will be of help but I guess this is something only God can lead.

True. it is not a mistake that He had you told off so tht you could pray for me.

I agree

It wasn’t a mistake that you prayed and He said He would tell you when I was ready

True

It wasn’t a mistake that this morning I asked for a friend and then I see you

Wow! I’m stunned. Here I was thinking I was the worst sinner and I had brought total shame to my Heavenly Father. Dear God, you have redeemed and restored me to your plan and I stand amazed. Help me keep walking in your ways as you guide me in all truth and order  my steps.

Photo Courtesy Of Moses Nderitu
Photo Courtesy Of Moses Nderitu

Amen.

Just as they said Amen, the steward arrived with their coffee and cake so the two girls sat and enjoyed each other’s company and the plan of God.

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Who has been sent you way? What conversations do you need to have with someone unexpected? Have you allowed God to direct your steps?

Try it…you’ll never regret it.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living It Out In Prayer


Moses Ksm 1Hi Daddy
Hi love
How are you?
Blessed! You?
Good.
You’ve been quiet…anything I need to know?
Does there have to be something when I’m quiet?
No.
So why the inquest today?
I woke up with you on my heart as did your brother.
Jim?
No, Daud.
Daud?
Yup
And he called you?
Oh not about you. We had other business but at the end of our chat he asked about you
So why didn’t he call me?
Oh he will! You know him. Back to you…what’s up?
You remember my friend Anita?
Let me think…the one with a fake accent?
Fake accent? Really?
Yeah, she’s never been abroad but  she has an American accent
But she’s been to international schools all her life
Aha, sorry to misjudge her. Is she the one you’re thinking about?
Moses Ksm 3Yes
What’s up?
She’s been through a lot
We all have
Yeah, I know but it’s so hard for her.
What’s going on?
Her family is breaking up and her faith is breaking.
Breaking up?
Yes. It’s such a mess
What is?
Her life
And you are able to judge this how?
Just look at her life.
How can I? I don’t have the full picture. Do you?
No
Then how can you say her life is a mess?
I can see it.
See? Please explain what you see.
She’s off kilter, she cries easily, people say her family think she’s losing her mind
People say?
Yes
Do you know these people?
Not all of them
Do you trust them?
Not all
So how is it that you’re peddling this info?
Peddling info?
Sure, you have heard people talk but you haven’t confirmed the story right?
I confirmed it with one of my friends.
That’s not confirmationMoses Ksm 4
Really?
Yes.
What’s confirmation to you?
Have you spoken to Anita?
No!
Have you asked God what’s going on?
No!
Then how can you say you’ve confirmed the story? Have you listened to her? Cried with her? Prayed with her? Stood with her?
Oh my…no
How can you say you are a true friend? Then all you are right now is a rumour mongerer like everyone else.
What?
Yes. If you continue to just discuss Anita and her challenges with others, you are no better than everyone else. To be different you must do different.
What do I do?
You don’t know?
Honestly, I’m not sure.
Well, it’s quite simple really.

Really?

Sure. First, pray! Ask God for peace, clarity…basic direction. Second, do what He says.
Just that?

Moses Ksm 5Yup!

Don’t I need to talk to Anita to apologize & find out the truth?
I don’t know! Maybe but not if He doesn’t say so.
Wow…I had it all wrong!
Yup, but you can get it all right again.

You make it sound so simple.

It is simple dear.

Really? We are so used to talking about things yet you are saying that isn’t the best way?

Not the best at all. Did your discussions about her change her life?

No!

Did your talks encourage her or draw her closer to healing and restoration?

No!

What did it do?

Alienated her…moved us all away, brought shame on her…

How easy it is for us to do the simple bad thing rather the simpler right thing

I must say that praying first at times seems lame

Really?

Yes, because it is just prayer

However, remember prayer changes things

Yes it does

Go and pray for her and then do what God saysMoses Ksm 2
Thanks Daddy.

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Jean left Daddy, went to her room, put her head down and cried. Her heart broke into pieces…
How did I get here?
How did I become a tattler not a true friend?
How did we lose touch?

Dear Lord, Forgive me.

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What about you? Are you a good friend? Do you stand by those God has sent to you fully and truly?

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 All images are of Lake Victoria in Kisumu courtesy of Moses Nderitu