Different people, different experiences, different struggles

I landed on this saying on one of the blogs I follow. A lady had shared her marriage story and pointed out how all should’ve been well but she just didn’t feel content. Her husband was everything one would wish for, but she still felt an unexplainable void. Majority of the story readers were quick to condemn her as an ingrate, subconsciously I also really couldn’t understand what exactly she wanted in this life. As I scrolled through the comments, I happened to land on this one that totally offered a different perspective. It read, “Different people, different experiences, different struggles…well, that is her struggle.” It really got me pondering. We are so quick to judge, condemn and disregard other people’s issues, but at the end of the day, only they can best understand and describe what something means to them. These struggles can take different forms, here are a few examples;

  • A child born into a financially struggling family, where there is constant lack, nothing seems enough. Food, clothing, school dues, utilities, all a struggle. He/she grows up feeling inadequate amongst his peers and therefore a bruised self esteem. This child though, may have no health complications and generally a loving family and other non-monetary blessings.
  • A lady with a very successful career, commands all the respect there is, well studied, traveled, financially stable, but who has trouble conceiving. Only she would have the capacity to understand that pain. All her achievements would seem worthless to her, yet the rest of the world might just never understand that she could have things that eat her up too. Because oh well, what more is there to quest for when you have a successful career and money?
  • Then, there is this girl who hasn’t faced any financial challenges growing up. Every need was met right on time, she never really related to the word lack. But then, she lost her father at a tender age, on Christmas day. For that reason, as the rest of the world looks forward to the festive season, she dreads it. Much as she has no financial struggles, there is an emptiness she suffers that no amount of gold or silver could ever fill. But who would understand this? That is her struggle…
  • There is a child who for some reason is quite slow academically. They constantly struggle with a particular subject, concept or class altogether. They become a point of ridicule and as a result suffer a crushed esteem. They totally feel worthless, even when other aspects of their life could be blooming. The psychological torture of failure outweighs everything else, and that is their struggle…
  • For another, it could be unrequited love.They give their all for someone who could care less about their existence. The bruised ego they suffer can best be understood by them alone. That is their struggle…
  • A student may fail to attain a desired mark in an exam. Perhaps his desired mark was 70% but he only manages to score a 60%. He is quite disappointed but everyone else just can’t fathom how he can make a fuss of such a thing. Plus, isn’t 60% above average? Only he would understand what the 70% meant to him. And I mean, that is his struggle.
  • An employee who toils to give their best at the workplace. But somehow, their best is never enough for his bosses. They could elevate anyone else in the office but him. That struggle can only be best understood by that employee.
  • For another girl somewhere, it could be self image. She just cannot get herself to be comfortable in her own skin. She feels too heavy or too thin, too tall or too short, too dark etc. Even when, everybody else convinces her that she is beautiful, the self depreciating voices just cannot stop ringing in her mind. And that is her struggle…
  • Another child, may just feel unwanted by his family. That is his struggle…
  • A lady who never really gets appreciated by her husband’s family.
  • A man/woman whose spouse is violent, abusive, domineering and insecure. Only they can understand that struggle.
  • Someone else could be struggling with an addiction; alcoholism, drugs etc.
  • A twenty year old who due to circumstances, had to mature way earlier in life. You’d be surprised at how the experiences she’s gone through in those twenty years may not even be comparable to the ones you’ve gone through in your forty years. Therefore, don’t quickly disregard someone because you think they are too young, after-all, what do they know? You just might get shocked.

What am I trying to say? Just because your struggle is different from someone else’s, it doesn’t therefore mean that their’s should be disregarded and yours more justifiable. Try putting yourself in their shoes and just maybe you’ll understand where they are coming from. People are affected in different ways, you might be naturally more resilient. Every one has a different purpose in this life which may present different challenges.

There is a quote that I love to refer to;

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,be kind.”

We are all struggling souls, we all need God’s grace to make it through. It’s important to also note that we are living in a fallen world, which should help us decipher some of these things better.

Romans 8:22 puts it this way;

To live in a fallen world means we struggle with sin on a daily basis. We experience heartache and pain. We witness natural disasters and staggering loss. Injustice, inhumanity and falsehood seem to hold sway. Discord and trouble are common place. None of this was God’s original plan for humanity. We fell from our original position in the garden of Eden. We now live in a fallen world, and all creation groans under the consequences of our sin.

Therefore, we need to encourage each other, pray for each other with all kinds of prayers at all times, seek to know and understand God and his intentions better, through immersing ourselves in His word.

On the issue of being slower to pass judgement on other people. John 8:7 puts it best;

Let he who is without sin, be the first to cast a stone.”

Thank you for taking your invaluable time to read through this post and I can only pray it gives you food for thought as it did me.

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A sister’s open letter to her baby sister

Dearest angel Faith Whit, it’s been five years now without you. The memory of that cold rainy night in March replays in my head so vividly. Had not witnessed such heavy rains in a long while.. I remember how your sister Norah, the one whom you followed, looked so forward to your arrival. She fantasized all day over the thought of having someone to also call baby and play with her hair and all. Actually, we used to jokingly say we wanted you to be called Whitney, but of course how would we think dad would let us take the mantle of child naming? By default that was his role. But Norah couldn’t hide her excitement, she would run to dad and excitedly say things like, “Dad, when baby Whitney comes, i would want to sing lullabies to her.” So, dad with a surprised face would ask who Whitney was, and Norah told him that it was the little unborn you. He didn’t say much..Over time, we had all gotten used to the name, and when you arrived, you were named Faith Whitney Kimono. How I admired your name, and I still couldn’t believe how dad hadn’t made a fuss of the Whit name. Before you were born, I remember I had spent a long while at school, quite a number of months. When we finally broke off for holidays I returned home, only to find mum with a baby bump! I honestly was bewildered. In that moment, I was really disappointed in mum. I thought to myself, “Oh my, mum, you gotta be kiddin’ me, not another child!” At that time, nothing seemed certain, I think it was the period our economy was going through a recession. We were struggling financially. We (my siblings and I), were constantly defaulting on our school dues. We were four children then, and yet mum and dad seemed to be struggling even with just one child’s needs. And now a fifth? I hated the crisis, I wondered where we had gone wrong as a family. That pregnancy was the most difficult mum had ever had to go through. She is an asthmatic, but during that time, her attacks seemed more rampant. Her chest was always weak and medicines to suppress the wheezing were the order of the day. I remember how during one of her antenatal visits, she had had a scan done and her doctor had told her that there was something not right with the little unborn. He indicated that her brain may have a problem, and that it may not be advisable to exert more pressure during normal delivery, he recommended a C-Section. But also, he made it clear that there was a possibility both mum and child wouldn’t make it, or one of them. He had also advised that to reduce the risk, mum’s pregnancy had to be induced. I remember that late afternoon when mum started to get contractions, she kept wondering if she really was going to be able to push. Her chest was weak…I was afraid. I didn’t know what was going to become of that night. She went to the hospital, I remained behind to take care of the home. I can’t explain my anxiety during this time. Would mum make it? Would she return home? Would the baby be okay? I kept by the phone, put its volume on as loud as I could, I waited for any updates from the hospital. For about 5 hours, nothing came…I paced up and about, praying hard for mum’s strength and for a safe delivery. Phew! Dad finally called, and in the most excited tone, he broke the good news of mum’s delivery. She had given birth normally, and both mum and daughter were in perfect condition.Oh what relief! Dad immediately named the little angel Faith! Meanwhile, earlier on in the day, before dad went to the hospital, I was astounded when for the first time in my life I saw him go down on his knees to pray for mum. Dad could hardly wait to bring mum and Faith home! Mum only spent the night at the hospital, and very early the following morning, she was home :-D. The previously tense atmosphere was now filled with joy, cheer, laughter and love. This new addition brought us life! We were not the same. Norah especially, would never leave your side, she adored you. She would want to dress you, bathe you, choose the clothes you wore, watch you fall asleep…she didn’t want to miss a moment with you. You two had a priceless bond. However, this kind of excitement wasn’t about to last long. You were peaceful during the day but would cry almost all night for the nights that ensued. Initially, we overlooked it as normal. But the crying got worse, something seemed to bother you…but what could it be? wish you could communicate.. The weather was bad, those nights were damn cold. I feared for you. But somehow morning would come and you would catch some sleep, mum too would get some rest at this point after a long long night. You developed some kind of flu a few days later, You had a wheeze in your little chest. Mum’s friends kept dropping by to congratulate her upon her new bundle of joy. One quiet afternoon, it was 23rd March,you slept peacefully and for a long while. Mum who was catching up with all tasks that had been put on hold, asked me to go check on you. Before you had slept,you’d had a lovely bath, I remember how Norah prepared the soap, basin and the baby clothes you would wear after the bath. Norah played with and watched you adoringly as mum bathed you. It is after the bath that you had fallen asleep, and since Norah had made watching you her new preoccupation, she also lay on an opposite bed and subsequently also fell asleep. Norah never slept during day, she’d be up and about, but on this particular afternoon, she slept for more than 3 hours straight. I checked on you as mum had requested, I wasn’t an expert at babies, but I thought your breathing was not normal. It was slow and you wheezed slowly..I told mum,”I don’t understand Whit’s breathing, maybe you should come and make an impression for yourself.” She went over to the bedroom and without a word, she came out throwing on her coat as she went to grandma’s room. Grandma dashed for the car keys, and we were instructed to open the gate immediately. It was about 8p.m, Mum, you and Grandma drove off at a terrific speed into the dead of night to the nearest clinic they could come across. I prayed they at least found one open at that time. Once again, I was terrified. What could be wrong with Whit? I prayed it was just a cold, nasal congestion or something and that a syrup would be surely enough to resolve the problem. In maybe less than an hour, there was a hoot at the gate, they were back already! I thought to myself, Oh thank God, they are back so soon, I guess Whit has now stabilized. I opened the gate for them, and calmly they drove in. Grandma was on the wheel, Mum in the co-driver’s seat, holding Whit in her arms. There was a silence I could not comprehend, I feared to go over to meet them. I feared for the worst, why were they back so soon? Did they not find a doctor? or was the problem not so material? And also, if Whit hadn’t made it, why would mum be holding her in her arms? She could have just put her on the back seat. This calmed me for a bit. Our cousin, Vicky, who has a very carefree spirit, had gone over to the car to welcome the mum’s back. Since I’d feared to confront mum myself, I decided to find out from Vicky. I asked her if everything was okay, I guess I wasn’t ready for what she was yet to say. She bluntly said to me, “Whit is dead.” I was numb, I hoped it was just a hallucination. The night was now even darker, I can hardly remember if there were any stars in the sky. My feet have never felt heavier, but I knew I had to go to mum. I went into the house, everything was still, I could have heard a needle hit the floor. I looked around for mum, and there she was, on the sofa seated I guess numb. She had peacefully placed you on the opposite sofa. This time you weren’t crying irritably, you were peaceful. Mum just stared into space blankly or at you…I looked at her, my heart sunk. I moved over to her side and whispered, I’m sorry for your loss mum.

Meanwhile through the terrifying series of events, dad had not been around. He worked and stayed in a quite far away town.  I had called him on the phone when anxiety nearly killed me, as I waited for the mum’s to return from the clinic regarding you. He had picked up the call so cheerfully. I guess happy to hear from his own after probably a long day of back to back meetings.  It wasn’t long before my shaky voice had given me away. He immediately knew something was not okay at home. I briefed him about what was going on and he told me he would embark on his journey home immediately. He had also advised me to remain calm and strong for mum, because I was her strength at this moment. And that whatever happened, we should trust God. I hadn’t updated him on what had come out of the clinic visit, lest he lost control while driving and we end up in a double tragedy. He arrived at about 2 a.m, he went straight to where you and mum were. He was broken, and sadder that he hadn’t been around through it all.

Norah was traumatized. She missed you, and it was hard for us to explain to her young self what death even meant. She was only five years old, but from her numbness…I could tell she had an idea regarding what had happened. She wasn’t her cheerful self, she was withdrawn and quiet. By the way, up until mum returned with you from the clinic, Norah had still been sleeping! It’s like you and her had been communicating in the spiritual realm that entire time, maybe more like goodbye…because both of you had slept for such a long time that day.

At the burial, my heart broke at the sight of you being lowered into the ground, but it broke more for mum, I could hardly imagine what it felt like for her! As for Norah, I cannot forget the sight, she cried and run toward the grave as it robbed her of her Whit. She did not understand why her sister was being put away in a box, taken away from her. She tried to save you Whit but in vain. She continued to sob helplessly. It was heart breaking.

Our joy was short lived and only God knows why everything unfolded the way it did. But nevertheless, we are grateful for the moments spent with you angel. I know you are watching over us from heaven. I passively wonder, what if God took you as a sacrifice for mum? Stakes were high of us losing her as well. We can never really know God’s ways, all we can do is pray and trust. I also want to apologize for being a little cold when I first noticed mum was expecting you, I pray that didn’t play a part in your departure.

You are dearly missed little angel. I keep wondering what you’d look like now? Extremely beautiful I know, just like Norah. Sleep with the angels princess, till we meet again on the other side.

Yours dearly,

Rachel

The Wild Card

Grace and Tony had had an affair when they were much younger, all through their High School to University. Everyone knew they had to last. Tony was a charming young man, the kind that any girl would probably die for. He was now rich, and seemed to have his life well figured out. He genuinely loved Grace, so much that he could do anything to be with her. They had their good times, but as time went on, they fell out. Grace didn’t love Tony as much as he did her. Years later, Grace met another man, Samuel. She was deeply in love with him and they actually got married. Samuel was not as rich as Tony, but well, he was trying. He had a fairly paying finance job. At least he had managed to build Grace a nice bungalow, they were okay. The two lovebirds were blessed with a son; Earl. He was now roughly 7. Just like any marriage, Grace and Samuel’s didn’t survive the real life’s challenges. One day, Samuel was caught up in a fraud mess at his workplace. A large sum of money had been taken off the company account, and apparently, only he had authority to make any such disbursements. Therefore he was a prime suspect, criminal on the run. He was now on the verge of going to jail, his life was crumbling. What would become of his family? His little boy was only 7, how was he supposed to grow up without a father? What of his wife, this wasn’t the kind of life he had intended for her. He got lost in his thoughts, he cried, he had sleepless nights. The only way he would survive jail, was paying off that money that went off the company account. Where was he going to get such money from? He fell into depression, became angry and withdrawn. During that period, Grace and their son missed him so dearly. He would no-longer join them at table for dinner, life had taken a drift. Grace wished she could help her husband out of this dilemma, it broke her seeing him in that state. A thought then crossed her mind; she remembered Tony, he was damn rich. Maybe he would be the angel in this crisis. She swallowed her pride and reached out to Tony. She went over to his house, he lived in the same city. He lived alone in his bungalow. He was happy to see Grace again, he felt even better, seeing her beg him for help. He took advantage of her desperation to also get his way with her finally. He told her, he’d only give her the money she was asking for, on condition that she went to his house every single day for two weeks. Grace went numb with disbelief. But again, what choice did she have? She accepted the terms. On the 8th day into the two weeks, Samuel fell ill and he could hardly make it to work, he stayed home. Grace tried to explain to Samuel that she needed that particular day off, so she could take care of her ailing husband. Tony, with a sarcastic laughter, reminded her that they had made a deal that couldn’t be breached under any circumstances. Grace had no choice but to leave Samuel home and go over to Tony’s. She had made up a story that she was going to see her best-friend, Alisha, who was having some problems. Of course Samuel was sad, he had thought that at least he would spend the day with Grace. But he understood and let her go. Later on in the day, he was stronger, Samuel passed by Alisha’s, most probably to pick up Grace…but she was never there. In fact, Alisha said she hadn’t heard from Grace in about 4 days, she wasn’t even picking or returning her calls. Samuel tried to contain his shock. He smirked and left, rather confused. Meanwhile, at Tony’s, he had set up the table with apples, wine, cookies and many other niceties. It was his birthday and he was happy Grace was there. They shared some light moments, reminded themselves of the olden days when they were still a going concern. Tony knew what he wanted, he had never gotten over Grace! He put in a DVD of them (him and Grace) at one of the University parties they were at back then. As they reminisced, they were interrupted by a knock on the door, it was Alisha! By the way, Alisha had also been to the same Uni with Grace and Tony. She had come by to invite Tony to her wedding which was almost due. Just then, Alisha caught a glimpse of a scene on the screen, it was of Grace and Tony kissing at that party back then. She couldn’t believe her eyes, she was upset. She composed herself, held her bag, and showed herself to the door, as Tony run after her trying to explain the scene. All this while by the way, Grace had been hiding. When she was sure Alisha had left, she came out of her hide-out and slapped Tony. This was all his fault! And his silly DVD! Grace too, picked her bag up and dashed out of the house. On reaching home, Samuel was seated on the sofa, head buried in his palms. He was strangely quiet, indifferent. He asked her where she had been, and she told him once more, that she was at Alisha’s! Samuel gave her a hard glance, and he simply nodded slowly. He knew she had lied. He was upset, but Grace managed to make excuses and he forgave her, they were okay again. Meanwhile, Samuel was still trying to get himself out of his fraud mess. He was convinced a colleague at the workplace had blackmailed him. He wanted to find a way of retrieving emails, phone calls, text messages, anything that could help him dig into his current work crisis. He requested one of his most trusted colleagues at the company, to sneak into the Managing Director’s office and check through his computer. The colleague risked it all and did it for Samuel. After all, he had also extended many favours to him including getting him into the company. The discovery he made was rather shocking; Tony had been behind all of Samuel’s woes! Samuel was filled with rage and disbelief! He went ahead to confront Tony at his house. Tony wasn’t shaken a bit, he actually laughed at Samuel sarcastically. He used this opportunity, to break Sam completely once and for all, he told him of how he had actually spent the entire week with his wife at his house. He even gave details of what she had worn on each of those days! Samuel was bemused. He was lost for words, he had nothing more to do but walk away, leaving Tony laughing more sarcastically like Grace Poole in Jane Eyre. Earlier on, Tony had met Grace with her son Earl. He had asked Earl about his birth date, and the boy happily mentioned that it was in March. There was a moment of silence. Tony looked as though there was something wrong with being born in March. Since the situation was now weird, Grace quickly said bye and left with her little boy. Tony, to further humiliate Samuel, had also mentioned to him that Earl wasn’t his son. That he was actually Tony’s! Samuel was now on the verge of losing his mind, he went home totally beaten psychologically. He confronted Grace regarding Tony’s paternity claim on Earl and other allegations. Grace broke down and confessed to have been going to Tony’s for two weeks but that she had no ill intention, she had done it to get Samuel out of the dilemma. She affirmed that nothing had happened at Tony’s house. Samuel was broken. Grace went over to Alisha’s house and narrated the ordeal. Alisha was so disappointed. Samuel also revealed to Grace that it was actually Tony who was behind their troubles in the first place. Grace was numb. Alisha advised Grace that the only way to settle the mess was by having a DNA test done to confirm the true paternity of Earl. She managed to get hair samples from both men and the DNA test was done…In a few days, the results were back and they revealed that Samuel was Earl’s biological father. He was over joyed, he just couldn’t believe he had won this fight finally! Tony was on the other hand heartbroken, he was sure Earl was his. Because Earl’s birthday, March, was the same time he had been intimate with Grace. Previously, on their way to the hospital (Grace and Alisha), Grace had got an uneasy cough. Alisha had to step out of the car and get her some water to suppress the cough. Grace had taken advantage of Alisha’s absence to reach into her handbag and switched the samples of the two men! She was swift, Alisha got back and there was no sign of anything gross having happened in her absence. She handed Grace the bottle of water and drove off to the hospital. Grace slowly turned her face towards the car window, and smirked in triumph. Grace, Samuel and Earl lived peacefully and happily thereafter. I guess the joke was on Samuel and Tony after-all.

The Escapade

The setting was weird; It was lonely,more like in a woods of sorts. The time was about 2:30 a.m, I wonder what they were doing driving around at such crazy hours while the rest of the world slept. They seemed to be having a good time though. The two girls; Jenny and her baby sister Amy, sat in the backseat, their mother, Laura, in the co-driver’s while Greg, their father, was on the wheel. The car was moving at a slow pace. An intense darkness engulfed them, the moon had hidden itself that night. Just as always, the happy moment didn’t last long before Laura and Greg disagreed over something again. What had started in whispers, was now getting louder and more tense. Jenny was a very peaceful character, any situation that involved a flare totally freaked her out.Her blood would boil,her heart would race and her face would turn pale. The arguments affected her so much that she never forgot any of the outbursts. Jenny loved both her parents so dearly, but at this point in time, she feared for her mother. Her dad, Greg, was a domineering character. He was always right, and anyone who dared to challenge him, terribly bruised his ego. Laura had grown so fond of the arguments, blame game…anyway, what choice did she have? She had taken her vows at the altar, “For better, for worse.” Sometimes when it was too much to bear, she’d stand up to Greg, and that never went down well with him. Whenever her parents had a flare, Jenny feared that it was just like a time bomb, sooner or later, her mum would fall a victim of circumstance due to an argument turned fatal. On this particular night, Jenny was so paranoid…she had a bad feeling tonight wasn’t gonna end well. She didn’t want to witness a tragedy. Her little mind would never live with such trauma. Jenny, taking advantage of the heated argument going on at the front, lowered the car window, and amidst trembles, slipped out of the car. Like a wild goose, she run as fast as she could into the dead of night. No sense of direction, her heart racing, sweat dripping! She wanted to disappear from reality, at least she wouldn’t have to see her mother, perhaps brought to her final breath, by her own beloved father! As she run, she noticed some light in the far distance. It was a hotel, it appeared like there had been a party that had almost just concluded. Jenny run towards the hotel calling out to whoever cared, “Please help me, please!” The waiters were concerned and they quickly came up to her. All she wanted at that point, was a place to hide. Because she knew Greg would soon be all over the place hunting for her. She didn’t want to see him, she didn’t know how to face him, she was afraid of him. In her favor, the hotel still had quite a number of people around and the music too was quite loud. Jenny had tried to get lost in the crowd, but before long, she caught a glimpse of her father on the opposite side, desperately searching for her. She quickly pulled back, with absolutely no idea of what to do next. She had mixed feelings, her heart melted at seeing Greg so desperately looking for his little girl whom he so much treasured. But also, she was very afraid of him… However, she had not much time to play hide and seek, as her baby sister Amy run in her direction shouting, “Oh! there she is! Jenny!” Her escapade had just failed, i guess somethings can’t be run away from. She now either had to face her giants, leave it to God…or to fate.

Kiosk buddy

So, there is this gentleman (guessing, in his mid forties), who owns a snacks kiosk in my neighborhood. From my interaction with him, I could tell he was not an ordinary shop attendant/ owner. He was more decent, eloquent,and filled with so much humility as well. Our conversations are usually short and last only as long as he is working on my popcorn order. I usually pass by in the late evenings and very early in the mornings on my way to work. He had come to know that I was working and I was doing school as well. I can’t forget one day when he commented, “You’re a very hardworking young girl.” I was honestly humbled. Somehow I found out that in his more youthful days before he retired to his kiosk, he had pursued a degree in Medicine majoring in Lab Technology! He’d also pursued active politics as a district Councillor in his home town. wow, I was totally amazed! the guy had had so much exposure, he was well studied and if he hadn’t given me a brief background of himself, one could have judged him as a nobody. So, on another encounter, he asked me if I had both my parents, and I responded in the affirmative. He told me I was so lucky, and that he had lost both his. As if that was not sad enough, he had also lost his wife…she died while giving life..it was now 6 years since. 😦 Oh my God, it was too much sadness to take, for just that one moment. I was dumbstruck, and had no idea how to respond to that. Before his wife passed, they had three children; two girls and a boy. His wife so much wished to have a second boy, and she would bring up the conversation each time. The man kept praying for the wife’s wish and prayer to come true, if that would make her happier. But as fate would have it, in the very instance of making her wish come true, she also lost her life. The sadness is unfathomable. My friend now has had to juggle between being the mother,father and the children’s everything, doing his best to fill the void. All I can do is pray for his strength, emotionally, and also that he never lacks as he solely raises his kids. He owes his wife at least that. Life can be one hell of a ride. I learnt to be grateful for the little things in life, someone somewhere is having it rougher. And also, let’s be kind always, don’t be quick to judge people, you have no idea where they’ve been or what they are dealing with. Cheers!

All is Vanity

The weekend that’s past was a very sombre one, we are recounting great loss as a country after a boat carrying about 150 people on L.Victoria, Uganda, capsized! Only 26 were rescued, 32 so far found dead, and the remaining can not be traced! They must have been caught up in the wreckage.Photos and videos regarding the fatality have been making rounds on social media. Bodies paraded..lying lifeless..In the videos, majority were young very beautiful people who had a whole life ahead of them. They were celebrating and having the time of their lives. Who would have imagined that would be their last? Many questions are left unanswered..why didn’t majority of the cruisers have life jackets? If the boat was not in proper mechanical condition, why was it let to sail? If it had a maximum capacity of about 80 people, then why were there 150 people aboard? Are there any measures put in place by the Lake Management to avert such occurences? The questions can not be exhausted.

Many of the people on the ill fated boat were highly placed in society, these were well to do, most of them being socialites. They were out to have some fun, which isn’t wrong. Some people blame the incident on the victims, others on the management of the boat, others on Government.

The stories are heart wrenching. Two sisters were aboard, they didn’t make it, imagine the pain their parents must endure.., a husband and wife who had just recently been engaged, also perished..a mother of a little boy of about 5 didn’t make it either, what does the future hold for the little boy? Other lives were lost trying to save others, their families hearts are broken as well.  The victims, just like any  other person, left their homes to go cool off some stress and cheer up their day away from life’s worries, but they unfortunately didn’t live to tell the tale.

Just as we were dealing with that, another tragedy was occuring at a Car rally competition where a driver lost control and rammed into cheerers! killing and injuring a number just like that! As I scrolled through my news feed, chills went down my spine. Beautiful young people, full of life, many dreams shattered, their evening had come. 

In the same space, i lost an aunt who succumbed to cancer..so sad.

Not to forget, just about a week ago, we lost about 12 students in an inferno, in one of the Secondary schools!

Much as we would like to play blame game, we needn’t forget that we are all just but a passing cloud. None of us is immortal, and it is simply different timings. The world today is for the strong hearted, there is so much going on. About two weeks ago, my heart sunk reading about the California wild fires! They were sweeping homes at a terrific pace, this was a natural disaster that even the government had little or no control over.

Another story, in California still, was one where a man with unclear intentions stormed into a Restaurant &  bar and opened gun fire, killing at least 12 young innocent people! In a split second, their lives were gone..I read the narrations and ordeal of their family members and my heart bled. I have absolutely no idea how they are supposed to live the rest of their lives with such pain. May God give them the Grace.

All this and more, has got me reflecting on the meaning of life. These people whose lives were claimed were just like us, also had many plans and dreams for their lives, but all that was cut short. And here we are, so fixated about the future that we never stop to appreciate the present. We forget our days are numbered and that no one knows how long they have here on earth. Our lives are so fast paced that we lose the beauty of a moment. We hardly pay attention to our loved ones, hardly tell them how much they mean to us. Before we know it, they’ve slipped from our grip and we spend the rest of our days in regret. Yet, the things that consume us at the end of it all don’t matter at all. At the point of death, rich or poor, all lie lifeless. None can add a second to their lives..all the things they worked so hard for are left behind.

What matters is what our relationship with God was. Had we confessed Him as our Lord and Saviour? It is a gift and a blessing that we still have breath, we are not any better than those that have gone before us. But here we are, may these occurences come as eye openers for us to put our lives right with our Creator, so that we may have life in abundance. These are indeed the last days, all the warnings mentioned in the Bible in regard to the end times are happening; Natural disasters, nations fighting each other, false doctrines, famine, disease, earthquakes e.t.c, refer to Mark 13. There is so much happening that people are becoming numb to pain.

The scriptures say, all these things are bound to happen before the return of the Messiah. But what do we need to do? We need to be strong and of good courage, hold onto our faith so that we are not overcome.These sufferings are temporary, after the second coming of Christ, there will be life and life in abundance. With all that is going on today, it’s brought me to a clearer understanding that all is vanity. All the earthly crowns, the things we are so much fascinated about,are all a chasing after wind.

May we come to the saving knowledge of Christ when we still have the chance to, and survive destruction. So that when He returns, He will gladly reward us with the crown of eternal life. The time we spend masking, trying to be someone else, being anxious, insecure, holding grudges, spreading hate…none of this really matters in the end. So, make time for your loved ones, remind them every time you can about how much they mean to you. Celebrate the small things, enjoy the present, we have only one life to live. None of us knows what the future holds, and when it is that we’ll breathe our last.

Defying Sterotypes

A world where your level of melanin, somehow relates to                                                           your potential.                                                                                                                                        Never questioning that maybe self-fulfilling prophecy is to blame , from stereotypes           placed on us by society.                                                                                                                       A world where origin of birth, may label someone a terrorist without a second glance at their character.                                                                                                                                   A world where “all” and “always” are used to many times like; “all” Christians hate Muslims, “all” people belonging to a particular tribe are arrogant.                                             All people who are different are bad placed in the same category as “radicals”.             Labels, stereotypes, false connotations, are a melting pot filled to the brim.                           A world where “poor means “lazy”, and “rich” means “hardworking”.                                 “Money means “power” and “character”, even where no character can be found.