Miracles are everywhere.

This post had been titled, “Lessons are everywhere.” But here is the thing with writers, we are always unsettled, always looking for a better way to phrase words. You are standing at Archives waiting for your girlfriend and a line pops but you can’t even remove your phone to type it. You are asleep and in the middle of the night, God sends you this powerful opening statement that you just have to wake up to write it.

In fact, the word God in that previous sentence was important -because I came up with the title of this piece in church.

So I am seated in church at a teen’s class that I sometimes facilitate. I feel unsettled for two reasons.One, I had not had breakfast. I had figured out that if I sat down to have it, I’d get late. But there is just a way hunger deals with you in church; especially when you are seated behind kids whose mother carried milk and mandazis to silence them during the service.

And two, which is probably the only important thing I’m writing so far is that I have been doubting God and His power. So I am seated there pretending to be listening to the facilitator but deep down I was contemplating on the safest way of quitting church and quitting religion altogether.

For the longest time now, church has been a routine and on this Sunday, I was feeling guilty for making the effort.Guilty that all I do, is go to the class, teach about God, a God that I do not understand, a God that I am angry at, a God who I feel does not care, a God who knows we are not going to prosper but anyway takes us through the whole cycle of moments of intense hope and then moments of intense despair. The routine was growing weary; teach teens class 》》 attend the main service》》vanish-vanish because I do not want to carry my father’s huge bible from church to home…lest hot boys think of me as too churchy. While he is giving it to me, I have to withstand small talk from his friends who are old and have the same old cliché questions.

Old man: Ooh, so this is your daughter?

Inner me: (Smile Susan, smile!)

Old man: Which campus are you in?

Me: University of Nairobi.

Old man: (Eyes growing wide with admiration.) That is wonderful! Graduates from The University(Insert African-British accent and emphasis on article ‘The’) always get great jobs after school.

Inner me: Lol. (Smile Susan, just smile)

Old man: And what course are you studying?

Me: Political Science.

Old man: (turning to my dad who is having a conversation with someone else) Excuse me.Excuse me Mr.Mwai…you didn’t tell me you have an intelligent daughter here.

Old man: (Turning to me) Make sure you work hard………….

Inner me: Okay yeah,Susan it’s time to drift.

Afterwards, I will meet my mum which is a totally different case scenario altogether.

Mum: Ríūrí mūkuruga kí rūngi?(Now, what shall you cook for lunch?)

Then she will answer herself followed by a million instructions. “There is githeri there…just chop onions and tomatoes to make stew and also put some *warus and soup. Don’t cook dry food for us here. Then si you boil some rice and steam cabbage na usishurie* .”

Okay yeah I am done with the kuyu meal.

“And wash the dishes and do not use too much water.”

Susan drifts again…

I drift too many times. So anyway, I was telling you about how I have had my doubts in God. I have questioned life’s meaning. For the last two years, so many things have not worked out in my life. Which is hard to believe and to understand, because I think I have always had a lot of things come easy in my life. I grew up being called smart, intelligent, a leader. I have always topped in my classes or been among the best.

Now, two years down the line, life has been staring at me every single morning and saying… ” You aint shit.” I have worked, put in the effort, trusted in this God…yet again life has stood before me countless times with
that same sentence. I have been at crossroads whether to trust in this same God who says he has good plans for us and this same God, who watches good things happen to good people, innocent people.

Guys do you remember this story I wrote called, “Help Metrine”. You can find it here btw, if you’ve never read it. She got 300 marks in KCPE and got an admission to Lukenya Girls High School. But life again is here telling her… “You aint shit” She cannot afford school fees…and even if she could, her medical condition keeps failing her. So again why would God let the most dedicated, hardworking and
humble girl go through all this?

I do know how it feels to work hard and not get what you want. I know what it is, to trust God and not
have a clue of whether He is telling you to wait or He is just somewhere seated whistling and the turning
to Angel Gabriel to say, “This girl, does she know how many kids are dying of cancer and how many I
have to heal? She is asking for what again?”

Sometimes I think God gets bored of our prayers and turns to Angel Michael in mimicry,

God: Angel Michael, please give me some water. Just water. Michael, I am sorry for the day I stole your
pen. I just needed to write Willy’s name in the book of death. I am really sorry. But Michael, just water. I
promise I will give you my ball to play with tomorrow; after you give me the water. Please Michael, as
you are giving others juice, please give me water, just water…

Angel Michael: God, what are you trying to do?

God: I am showing you how boring human prayers are.

So as I am seated there in class and Kajohnie comes in. Kajohnie is one of the oldest teens in that class. He owns a barber shop at Toez. But you rich folks of Instagram wouldn’t know where Toez is. He seems overly excited which prompts the facilitator of the day to ask him why he is overjoyed. Kajohnie tells us he has a testimony. But I am not as interested to listen. I assume it’s usual stuff. I had a cold, then God healed me. Or ooh, I didn’t have cash last week alafu nikaekelea bet ya 500, game kuisha
I had 1500. You know, usual teen stuff. But Kajohnie tells us that from the barber shop, God has blessed him and now he has opened a Movie shop! Now he has two booming businesses! And well, this
acclaimed political science student has only semester one grades to show for in two years…

I am inclined to believe at this point that God works like drip irrigation. Sometimes He doesn’t flood you with success lest you forget the struggle and become too entitled. He just drips you with small miracles. Today he gives you an idea to partition your kasingle into two and begin your barber shop. Tomorrow by
luck you ekelea a bet and get 2000 bob to buy 2 shaving machines. Then the other day you get one customer, then two, then 5…and by the end of the year you lose count. The next year you move into a
kabedsitter and then you have enough cash to start a movie shop.

Last week, I called a close friend to tell him of some other chap. He has been a conductor for the last six years I’ve known him. He is always so frail and so desperate to get passengers board the matatu which
he has squad for. So if by any chance he sees me going somewhere, he will pester me to death, “Msupa joh! Siunijenge aki, hii ndio gari inaenda, hio ingine utasimama .” So last week, I met him and he wasn’t the guy pestering me to board the matatu or collecting fare; he
was the one driving it. I called my friend to tell him, “Imagine the day this guy was given the car keys and told he will be the one driving that matatu.”

People, miracles are everywhere. They are in opening your eyes every morning to a new day, they are in comfortably taking a piss, then walking to the living room for tea and bread. Miracles are in seeing the rising and setting of the sun. Miracles are in having an opening sentence for my blog at midnight and in having 10 bob to buy credit and publish this piece. Miracles are in being privileged and knowing what
the internet is and being able to read this post. Miracles are in having a girlfriend who can stand all your
crap and in having a boyfriend who prays for you every day.

Miracles are in having a shirt to wear tomorrow, even if it is wash and wear; because there are people who have none. And sometimes they are bigger, like the fact that you will have supper tonight. Imagine how that is a fact to you, but just a prayer to millions of others. Sometimes it’s a scholarship, a new car,
finding true love, fulfilling your passions and sometimes it’s moving into a new blog which you need to subscribe to now!

But whatever the case; Miracles are everwhere.

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Let’s get political.

I  will be very brief and precise to take you through CPS 101; Introduction to Political Science…
Trust me will you? I am among the very few who entered the examination room with neither a mwakenya nor a phone. While still at it; my naivety must have made me believe that guys on campus cheat more in class. I was wrong; as we probably are wrong about most things, girls are the brains in cheating; at least in my school.
But I digress…

Politics 1;- The authoritative distribution of resources and values in any society.(David Easton). So if you thought that politics is people throwing words at each other…you were wrong.If you also thought politics is void of peace, honesty, integrity, service ..you need an English class on the meaning of values.
However, to make it easier. Let’s dissect this argument a bit more deeply. If politics is about authority, then it means power must be sought or contested for. It then makes sense when we say that politics is about the ‘haves’ and the ‘ have-nots’; that when those elected into power have authority they will control the resources; and here is what happens, naturally, the haves will first allocate to themselves these resources which are scarce, they then will pass the remains to their kinsmen and relatives; then their supporters and if anything remains, if at all it does; it passes to ‘others’. So if you unconventionally and perpetually ask why politicians only help their people while in power. The answer is simple; it’s their job description.

Politics 2:- Politics is about who gets what, when and how. (Harold Laswell). You know, when I was a kid. I always insisted to my parents that I want to be president. My mum would hear none of it. She would point out in a quick rejoinder that politics is a dirty game…Well, folks, she was rights. Politics is nothing short of a dirty scandal. If any of your politicians woo you into believing that he wants to play clean politics; ferry him to the church by all means.

Politics 3:- God did not create man as only a social being but also a political animal.( Aristotle) . Given this scenario, man is happy indeed only when he engages in politics– He is eudaimonia( I know…the word sounds like the Kikuyu word for demon ‘daimono’) But that is it…man happens to be a political animal through and through. And if by now you still haven’t got the hang of it; reread definition 1 and think about competing for jobs, buyers and sellers in a market, parents at home, class rankings. Everything simply is politically ubiquitous.

****
When I attended my first political science class; this information was not presented this way. It felt more of a justification of who is the right political animal.
Probably, this is where it all goes wrong, that those with the right information give it to us wrongly.Or that probably we the receivers of information receive it wrongly. You see… I don’t think the problem with our country is ethnicity as much. Ethnicity is actually a good thing if you checked up its definition.I think the problem is that we are ignorant. That we do not understand politics. That our judgment is clouded by politicians who use our ethnic backgrounds to their advantage. The truth is, I do not think they are wrong, I think they are in politics. I think we are the ones who are wrong…I think we miss the point..because in this country what we need is a leader.

I think the problem is us, the electorate who appreciate gossip more than information. You will quickly skim through this piece and since the title is not, ” President cheats on his wife” or “SGR has failed”, you won’t finish it. The problem is that right from high school to campus we are not committed to excellence, we are committed to getting it the easier way. Have you heard campus kids complain about how our country is corrupt? Ooh..they are vicious … and have you seen how they have great cheating skills during the exams?… I honestly cannot read the difference and I have no respect for you. I think you are a menace to this country.
Politics is complex, but we decide who we want by ceasing to be ignorant…about everything even about our own actions.

                                                                       ******

Lesson is over,

I guess that was easier than 3 hours of lecture.

Enjoy your evening.

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Sometimes you just write,write and write some more.

If by now you deem me as a hopeless idealist and fantasist, I would not judge you. God knows you are right; but so are we all. We are all forlorn dreamers who are scared of the future. We are scared of leaving our lousy girlfriends because we are hopeless romantics who think they will change or maybe we are too scared someone else won’t come along. We are afraid of trusting people because we have been hurt in the past. We somehow forget that that is the thing with life, people will always disappoint you, and that’s just about it, pain and hurting are inevitable. If you are a writer like me, you are hell terrified of writing another blog post because you still cling to your previous success. Crap! We are more petrified of death than we are of giving meaning and worth to the life we are living. My list goes on, so let’s get this settled; your rightful description; a frightened dreamer.

When this blog started, I had an anomalous feeling about it, almost shifty. First, I wasn’t given options ati would you like to write or not… I was just told, “We will be writing,” and that was it. That word ‘we’ was simply forced rationalization and not even close to romantic coercion. Secondly, who even calls a blog ‘Voice of an African Child’? What exactly is there to be voiced, land grabbing, women’s rights, corruption or are we just a Ghafla News sub-outlet?

Then, there was the whole combination of the writers, the guy who wrote to you about looking like praying mantis (which I totally concur with btw), when you read his work you just start laughing and then you read it again and just can’t stop. Then there was the other guy, no one understands him, today he writes an article on politics and you are seriously thinking he should be president and the next day he is talking about lying to his crush and your feminist side just does a whoosh. Interesting enough, there was also this girl, you read her poems and you just get daunted and the depth of her words just intrigues you for days. Finally, there was me, and I did not know where exactly I lay.

You see the thing is you can’t place me as a writer. I neither write creative fiction nor nonfiction. It’s just something, a set of words pulled together and sought of makes meaning. Even worse, my writing is imprudent, I can only write when my hands get the hold of writing, and those days just never come. I just felt like everyone else had a niche; they had a carte blanche to be called writers, poets, comics and I didn’t fit. In fact, I have had my hand in poetry for five years now and I blogged the poems religiously for four of those years. But truth be told, I have felt like a poetry fraud for those five years. Whenever I have written them, I have felt like I have swindled rhythm of its right and quintessence. Consequently, when the blog came, I felt not worthy of writing, I contemplated of quitting on days on end and before you judge me again, please be sure you did not give up hunting that girl you’ve had a crush on for months.

The truth is most of the times I have stared at my computer screen for hours, even days and I have had nothing to deliver. The truth is you have struggled reading for your exams and you just don’t follow through. The truth is that you have tried business ventures and nothing seems to work out. The truth is you have been hurt in all your relationships. The truth is that you have every right in this world to give up and quit. The truth also though; is that this is life. This is adulthood, and nothing comes easy, nothing happens spontaneously. You work and work and then when you become a perfection of the practice people naively call you an overnight success.

Fairly, it’s us who make the choice to fear things in life, it’s us who give the ultimatum on quitting. The fear to succeed and the momentum to succeed is simply self-made. Thus, however way you pull yourself, you are just a frightened dreaming soul.

Wisdom lingers.

lost wisdpm

Our family has one norm that we strive to keep every night, family devotion. Of course, sometimes (most times like most families) we pretend to be all sleepy so that the devotion ends quickly. So the other day, July 13 was no different as my mother led the devotion.However, one quote from the daily bread that she was reading, titalled me, it read, “Knowledge grows but wisdom lingers.”

So what really is wisdom?

No, I will not barrage you with dictionary definitions flooded with a cacophony of words. In fact, it would beat the logic as to why am piecing down this article today.

So let’s try to understand it with a few examples; ( or rather what is not wisdom).

1.School Unrest.

Have you heard that as of today 60 Kenyan schools have gone down ablaze with fire? Am sure you have, yes? So where have we gone wrong as a nation, where did the kids lose it?

How do they sit down at night and plan to be precarious arsonists, strategically craft the plan and the next day raze the school down? No that is not even my point, how do they raze their school down after the cabinet secretary of education has graced a session in the school? What do they try to demonstrate; forte?  Strength? Ego? Really, I do not get it.

I suppose I need not talk about our prestigious universities rioting day by day.Do I?

The other day, I sat down to read an annotation to a post on social media. It was a show that is modeled around taking the new age gospel to young stars in schools. At times they go along with an alumnus of the school hoping that they would render a motivational talk that would inspire the students. On this particular Sunday, they brought along, a famed successful entrepreneur, and that session was the dullest. The students kept on wondering when the session will end so that they can get down to an earth-shattering jig. I tell you when the music hit the ground down running, you should have seen them dance themselves out bananas as they twerked their tail feathers dry.( Before you get me wrong, I am not against music or even dancing, in fact, I think is the closest way we can get to raise a generation of Christians in this new age.) But where did we lose it, that students can’t listen to good old wisdom being passed down?

I will tell you what is going on,

We lost wisdom…

2.Christianity.

Yes, I just typed Christianity, so stop reading if Christianity is not your cup of tea.

Proceed?

Okay.

I would have written religion instead, but I am a Christian and it would be wrong writing of what I know not.

In the 21st Century, the internet is becoming fast.It is easier to read about cosmology, theology, science, evolution, relativity, doctrine, spirituality, mysticism…you name it. Every basic information is a click away and at your fingertips in a second.

But as we zoom into this information age, I feel that we have traded wisdom for knowledge. We know too much but practice too less. We question too much but listen too less. We have an endless hypothesis to what is true or false about Jesus and God and his existence. We build doubt day by day. We lose perspective of who we are, we forget who gave us life, we forget who in his grace gave us hands, legs and eyes…need I mention more? Success has become a glorification of our strengths, our innate abilities, our hard work and less about God…this same God we pray to before an exam, every time before we pitch that business idea, every time the driver veers off that road and we think we will die.

Friends, we can go deeper into this but know that a glut of data and visual experiences doesn’t guarantee an increase in wisdom.

But wait, even those of us who profess to be saved and anointed by the oil, baptized by fire and sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit…Is it not today, that we were gossiping that workmate who is so ugly that she has no eyebrows? Is it not yesterday that we were complaining about that Boss who is so frustrating, whereas it is us who didn’t finish that work well? Wait, I am quite sure I saw you in church last Sunday leading us in worship…yes, you who is taking that bribe in that office.

Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge?

3. Politics.

After form four, I took time to volunteer as a teaching assistant at a school in one of the biggest slums in Kenya. A week ago, a teacher requested me to teach a topic in class 8 on her behalf.The topic was Political Developments in Kenya since 1963, I gladly obliged to help. The students were rather bored as it was in the afternoon and some slept away into the lessons as I went on about my endless stories about Kenya being a de jure, a de facto and about the fight towards multiparty democracy.Friends, I tell you,* wacha nifike Government ya nusu mkate* in 2008, then I knew I know no politics.

Suddenly, the class was enthusiastic grew fervent, I was bombarded with questions, one side of the class wanted to know who deserved more power than who in the coalition government, another side shushed the others questions dubbing them political whims, others told the rest how their tribesmen don’t think and how their tribe is the strongest.

Outright tribalism had been displayed right there in front of me. Then I started thinking, in 2007 I was in class 4, so these kids were still breastfeeding or thereabouts, right? So who brainwashed these kids? They clearly did not know of the state of the country during the post-election violence.They seriously did not see a thousand or so people lost their lives, they did not know that hundreds were displaced from their homes, they did not see the grotesque sights of fire all over.They did not have a feel of fuel prices going up, food is scarce and the cost of rebuilding our economy.

So who told them that one tribe is more foolish than the other.Who told them? Is it not us? By the daily discussions, we have in our houses.Isn’t it us who stereotype tribes, isn’t it us who write hurtful and thoughtless comments on social media, perpetrating tribalism?

Did I mention this was in the slums? These are kids who sleep having eaten one meal a day…with barely a nice pair of shoes..but they know the complexities of politics with ignorance but do not have a grasp of the truth of the wisdom which really matters…

The wisdom we did not teach them.

Life is a jungle gym.

 
jungleSince time immemorial, the law has always intrigued me both as a career path and as an academic field. So it took me by surprise when I learned that by Thursday last week, out of the 14 candidates who had vied for the post of Chief Justice in Kenya, only two among them were women. One, two…yes, only two. Now before I am dubbed a feminist, I shall get on with the intricacies of my post today.

The Ladder.

We grew up learning that life is a ladder, you know, you climb one step then the next. It was a theory passed on that line. (Remember Primary math book 1-8? that boy and girl who used to climb that staircase and every new year you would so often look at the picture as if you aren’t sure which step you were climbing next). I am convinced that the concept of life being a ladder is a myth, it’s a fallacy.

Along the way, we stop going upwards, we go downwards, at times trials come and we are thrown off guard. You suddenly lose that job, you suddenly get that bad grade, you suddenly lose that soulmate and that point it feels so easy to give up, to let go, to lift that anchor off the water.

Why?

Because we lie to ourselves that life will become better tomorrow, then we sit back and wait for life to unfold somehow hope that the next day will take that next step up. (We never do). Perhaps this is why we are always afraid to get to the top, to be in the limelight. We feel it’s a shame to be up there, we feel we don’t deserve it, we feel it’s hard.

The jungle gym.

A jungle gym has no rules, you fight for what you want, you start from nowhere, you start with nothing, you only trust your journey and your path. You see, in the quest for going up a smooth ladder we often miss the most amazing things; we miss observing the beauty of life because we are afraid to try. Honor yourself and your gifts and stop misunderstanding success. Success never comes because you fear failure. Success never comes because you are doing things right neither does it happen overnight. Dirt those hands and make yourself productive. Stop pleasing people, please your God and your conscience and redefine success and happiness for yourself.

Stop confusing that voice of ego with the voice of intuition. Write down that proposal you’ve been holding back today, take that French class you’ve been postponing, vie for that political seat. Go out there and make that business project work, go out there and sing your heart out there, go and tell that girl you have a crush on her, go out there and performing arts to us; the random audience and notice that the spark of brilliance often comes out of the unexpected.

Above all value growth and learning in the jungle.

Love

                                                         Susan.

P.S. I still don’t understand why those lady justices are all rammed up vying to be Deputy Chief justice. what is scary about being at the top? I hope you all read this.

Jerioth Muthoni .-Thank you so much for allowing me to use your photo. I hope it drives the jungle gym analogy home. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

A psalm of Asaph.

Psalms 73

As in 1st Chronicles 25, Asaph probably appears as a true worshipper. He hails from a family of singers and his lot is always the first to be cast in the choosing of the duties in worship in Israel.He falls 2nd in rank after king David in leading Israel in worship and later on in Psalms he is a great writer.

However, in Psalm 73, he says he stumbled and almost fell. He says, ” I saw the wicked prosper their bodies all sound and sleek. Not troubled or stricken like other men”(verse 3-12). He asks,” all in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence?” It probably appears to be at a time that he goes through distress as in our day to day sufferings of money, success, and so on. He wonders as many Christian wonder whether indeed God means it when he says he has good plans for us, plans of good and not of evil. Is he justified when he says in Hebrews, “flee away from the love of money, for God has said I will never leave you nor forsake you.

But in psalm73:17, he takes  a new turn, ” till I turned into the sanctuary of Lord; then I saw their final destiny.” He saw how God had set the wicked on a slippery cliff and their end fall would certainly come.

Certainly, challenges will come and hit us to a downfall, many times we will desire to do wicked things because it seems to be the only way out. At times we will feel like the Lord has departed us. But he says in Psalms 20; David prays and records that, many boast chariots and horses but we boast in the name of the Lord our God, the Lord of hosts.

Are you downhearted today? Know that your heart may fail but the Lord is the portion of our hearts forever.

 

 

Love.❤

Love,

It’s all ever written on the face of heaven,

and on every skylight peace haven,

with every star twinkle  at seven,

and with every squirm of crickets and ravens,

sings a perfect harmony of love-laden.

 

And with the rays of the new sun,

that search under the branches,

In every cranny of heart hunches,

Craving for scalding embraces,

Patiently lies love in wait.

 

So discreetly will it wait,

And with every count of stars,

does strength never grow weary,

It will always reside in the heart,

True love,

never ends.

 

 

Happy Birthday

For you TWO friends,

So today I thought of you two,

And knew I’d be right on cue,

Not to be left out too,

In this birthday move.

 

For your care in truth,

and your love in breadth,

and friendship so kind,

that that is hard to find,

You deserve great lines.

 

It’s official, you’ve lived one more year,

You’re birthday gifted and caked,

But  I don’t think you’re a full make,

You’re only half-baked.

 

But then,

From morning till night,

May your days be bright,

And nicer than ever before,

And as years come and go,

May your happiness grow,

And may your dreams be fulfilled

even more,

Happy Birthday, Friends!

 

Lastly.

So finally I have a day to go before school, and probably this has been the most successful holiday with starting up this blog.Special thanks to those who have really held my hand as I worked on this.

But today I wanted to share this with you, that all this has not been by my effort.It has taken God’s hand.

William Henley once wrote a poem (Invictus) that is widely known especially because of one of its phrase, “I am the master of my own fate.”However, there is a Christian version of his poem (My Captain) written by Dorothy Day, a young Christian schoolgirl who ran in trouble in her school because of refusing to recite the poem.When she finally ran out of options she presented her Christian version.

I want to write this because many times we forget who our captain is. We get lost and overwhelmed by our successes and forget the God who brought us here.I hope that you read his Christ remains your Captain.

INVICTUS.

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be,

For my unconquerable soul,

 

In the fell Clutch of circumstance,

I have not winced or cried aloud,

Under the bludgeoning of chance,

My head is bloody but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,

Looms but the horror of shade,

And yet the menace of the years,

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 

It matters not how straight the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the Captain of my soul.

 

MY CAPTAIN.

Out of the light that dazzles me,

Bright as the sun from pole to pole,

I thank the God that I know to be,

For Christ is the conqueror of my soul.

 

Since he is the sway of circumstance

I would not wince or cry aloud,

Under the rule with men call Chance,

My head with joy is humbly bowed,

 

Beyond this place of sin and tears,

That life with Him!And his the aid,

That, spite the menace of years,

Keeps and shall keep me unafraid.

 

I have no fear through the straight gate,

He cleared from punishments the scroll,

Christ is the Master of my fate,

 Christ is the Captain of my soul.