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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Help Metrine.

Life is weird people; and what is more, is we all think it’s unfair. Even the Christian who believes in a just God is still faced with the dilemma of understanding why a merciful God would allow bad things to happen and especially to the good people and to people He claims to love. The atheist and scientist are thrown off guard in trying to prove theories and create solutions, but they never get to an ultimate point of gratification. Probably, this is the spice as well as the gall of life.

****

Imagine you are 19-years old but in class 8. You have lived more years backward. Does that make sense? Let me try to demystify it. You have lived for a decade doing nothing except fetching water, collecting firewood and doing house chores and then you have to start school, ten years later with kids who still have diapers on them. With kids who have to learn how to spell. It makes sense more to you than anyone else that time is an illusion; for so much has passed in its existence. You pass through life because that is what we all do; pass and then die; then people read our eulogies and say we passed away.

In this 10 years, you know only your father and your siblings. Your mother died long ago. You do not know how a mother cares for a child. The emotion doesn’t even ring in you; three, four years later when you have your first period; you handle it on your own. It’s not an exactly bad life as everyone in the village lie the same sought of life as you. It’s a small cocoon which you have managed to survive in. But then disaster strikes; and then you realize; misfortunes do not come singly but in a battalion.

One night after election results are announced, armed men hit your village. They are people you know; your neighbors. You play with their sisters, you fetch water at the river with their mothers, your father works at the same mine or construction site with them. But apparently today; you are no longer a community; today you are tribe A and tribe B. They harass you and torture you and then kidnap your father, and that is the last you see of him; it’s now almost ten years later and you do not know whether he is still dead or alive. Sometimes you think about him and it shivers you, your lips tremble and you get panic attacks…but you never cry; no you don’t cry…where do more tears come from after 10years? Post-election violence left you with nothing but bronchitis which worsened when you lived at the police station; the only place that was safe around you.

A small ray of light flickers when your aunt comes and picks you and your siblings and brings you to Nairobi, the big city. She seems kind, no, she is actually kind. We can just blame poverty at this point because finally, you have to sleep in a single room, which is a wooden shack with a mad flood and old roofs. It is not exactly the big city you have always perceived in your mind. The room is a six by six and you share it with your aunt and her family; a total of 18 and to sleep, you have to lay the mattress horizontally and you all have to sleep across it in order to fit. I will not reiterate that your aunt has his husband there. Yes, everything unfolds under your watch.

You start school at the nearby primary school and constantly you are position one. The teachers love you and you start thinking that probably one day you will get out of this poverty. You start crafting how you will be a doctor. You want to become a doctor because a while back they diagnosed you with polycystic kidney disease. It’s like two demons living in your body…one in your lungs and the other in your kidneys and they both have some collaboration to make your life miserable. Your life entails medicines and more medicines and you live with pain and nowadays you just consider it as that bad friend who is probably teaching you a lesson in life.

But there is still hope, a lot of hope, so you live and strive one day at a time; until someone decides to cut short that dream. Someone strips you off all your pride, dignity and everything that matters. Someone chooses to regard you not human but a sexual object; they rape you and defile you and threaten to end your life if you tell anyone. For days on end, you walk around wishing they actually killed you because you no longer understand life. So much has happened that life is not really worth living and now the doctor informs you that you have to live for two people; you and your expectant child.

*****

There are just things in life we cannot explain and I’m tempted to veer off right now and talk about how unfair this situation is. But this is not a hypothetical story. It’s a true story of a girl I taught at Mathari Primary School in Mathare slums, Metrine Tamnai. She was my best student, had the best handwriting in my class and her compositions were more than admirable. She was neat and when you see her you cannot tell she is 19; you cannot tell that she was older than me; her teacher. You cannot tell that she has a kid; a son. You cannot tell that she is sick or that she lives in a house that is impoverished. At times, I wish she could look desecrated and defeated, probably, it would earn her help; but not Metrine. She is a fighter. She is the strongest person I have known my entire life. She deserves this chance and it behooves us to give it to her. We could talk more, but I just think today I will tell you that at least life has given you the fair chance to control some things; for others, they have no absolute chance of doing it. They have been left with one strength in them; the will to fight on.

Metrine’s condition has worsened. The polycystic infection is eating up her kidneys even faster; she needs your help. She is due to start her dialysis urgently and her dialysis kit costs Ksh 30,000. I would literally beg if I could, for you to help her for you to sacrifice just a bit of your money for this girl. She needs to fight for herself and her son and the many people she will treat in the future. It behooves us to make that step.

Her youtube video is here https://youtu.be/bTW1kOruLZs

And to contribute to help Metrine:

Go to MPESA, Select Lipa na M-PESA,

Enter Paybill No. 891300 Account Number 10893

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