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The First Luminous Mystery: – The Baptism of Our Lord

Every time I meditate on this, my thoughts are drawn to God’s word when the heavens opened. “Behold, my beloved Child, whom I am well pleased”. Was God pleased with His Baptism, or His life before the Baptism? I will assume both.

Prior to the Baptism, little is said of Christ except that once the parents found him after he got lost in the temple, he went home with them and lived in obedience. We see the role of Mary and Joseph in bringing up a child whose life was pleasing to God, pleasing enough for Him to open up the heavens and declare that Jesus Life was pleasing to Him. Parenthood requires us to not only to procreate, that is get children, but also educate them. Educate them such that they live lives pleasing to God. Many times, when Incense is burned in church, I ask myself, if my life is this smoke blowing up to the nostrils of God, would he be pleased with the aroma? As a parent, am I living a life that is a good example to my children? When I teach them that being God’s child means sharing what we have, for instance in their little lives, toys and their plate of fruits or playing games together, am I a living example to this sharing? When I tell them that God loves children who treat their fellow children well, and are not rude and do not yell or beat up others or cause injury or harm, or throw stones at the others, am I practicing the same things? Sometimes I look at them and tell God, how do I teach them you? How do I teach them to obey you? How do I teach them to live in Obedience to you? It is said that children learn more by example, more than by instruction. I am challenged every day to live a pleasing life because I no longer do it just for myself, I do it for my children too, of whose great responsibility of guiding them to heaven gates lies on my shoulders. How I wish that if heaven’s were to open, God would say, These are my beloved children of whom I am pleased.

How can we live a life that pleases God? In obedience to His commands. And what are his commands? Love. Love for God, Love for mankind. How do we exercise love for God and man in our daily lives? Whatsoever we do to the least of His Brothers, we do to God. This is the gospel we must practice and hope to God our children emulate.

God was pleased with the Baptism too, I assume. Prior to the event, John was hesitant to perform the ceremony. This is after all is Christ whose sandals he is not fit to carry. And this great man whom everyone has been waiting for, who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire wants poor, lowly John to baptize him. But Jesus tells Him “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented (Mathew 3:15). Baptism identifies us with the family of Christians. Jesus, though without sin, wanted everyone He was ministering the Gospel to, to identify Him with the family of believers. Christ did not need to be baptized, not for himself. But so that we stiff-necked people would identify with and accept his message, it was right to fulfill all righteousness. It was God’s will. It is God’s will that we all be baptized. It is God’s desire that we all be a community of believers. Our ancestry tied to Adam compromises our right to be children of God and Our baptism removes the impediment brought about by this ancestry.

There are symbols used during baptism that make me understand the significance of this moment. The white fabric placed on our foreheads that signifies we are new beings in Christ, that our lives are cleansed and we are white as snow, and our responsibility to bring this fabric to the heavenly gates unstained. How do we weak mortal people live untainted? By grace. Grace that reminds us to confess whenever we go wrong, grace that condemns our pride when humility is needed, grace that tells us we have offended the other and we need to apologize, grace that enables us to forgive. The responsibility gets heavier when we are God parents. We must assist these new Christians to bring this fabric to heaven unstained. Do we ever think of this when we are appointed as Gd parents? God parenting does not end with the camera moment. It is a lifetime responsibility of prayer and presence to those who we accept to Godparent. Do we think about this when we are appointing our children’s godparents? Probably not. We should start taking it seriously, because it is not about us. It is about the new souls, new children of faith. It is about the journeying with them until they get to heaven. It is a promise to always pray for them, and if possible always be with them physically whenever possible. It is also a greater responsibility for parents because, by the virtue of our parenthood, we are mandated to make sure our children’s fabric gets to heaven unstained. We are born stained. We have to get to heaven unstained, because nothing stained can enter heaven. Our first responsibility as parents then is to ‘unstain’ our children from the sins of our ancestry, the original sin. While we may plan many things for our unborn children, where they need to be born, where they will live, the kind of schools that they will attend, what they will wear, their beds, rooms and colours, we need to plan for their baptism as soon as they enter this world.  A friend of mine had his child baptized on the third day after delivery and I was impressed. Very impressed. We also need to teach them to hold this fabric in reverence, where fabric implies their lives, their character, their values, their activities which should not in any way stain their white fabric.

At our baptism, we also light a candle that symbolizes our new roles as Christians. That we are the light of the world. It is the responsibility of the Christian, the parents of the Christian and the Godparents to ensure the light keeps burning. Is my candle still burning brightly? Are my words and deeds a reflection that I am a child of the light? Are my words and deeds responsible for putting off other people’s candles, or are they making them shine brighter? Is my candle on the table or hidden under the table where the significance of its light is not recognized? Am I honest to my calling to be a child of God and a parent to a child of God? Am I using this candle to illuminate the lives of others or to set fire on their lives? Our candles is evidenced by the good deeds we keep performing. At the end of the day, when I look back on all my daily activities, can I identify any good deed?

The Second Luminous Mystery: – The Wedding at Canaan

Christ and His mother are guests at a wedding in Canaan.  Mary notices that the wine is running out and informs Christ. Christ is adamant because “His hour had not come” but because he is still living in obedience, he recognizes the need to respond to his mother’s request. Mary, believing in her son’s capacity tells those who were serving to do what Jesus tells them. And they did as instructed by Christ. The eventual outcome is JOY in the hosts who commended the good wine that was served at the end. Mary recognized the need of the ceremony. Mary recognized her sons’ capacity in fulfilling the need. The hosts were desperate for a solution and in following instructions from Christ, their needs were fulfilled beyond their expectations and there was Joy for everyone.

We are called to be intercessors. We are called to recognize the needs in others and express those needs to Christ. We are called to recognize the need for others and fulfill them whenever we can. This recognition is summed up by Christ on the preaching about Judgement day. “…I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…”. My colleague was telling me of a story of some students who visited her in an office. One went to see her and she did not have food to eat. Another came in shortly after her, she had cooking flour, but she did not have vegetables and she had not paid fees. My colleague told this second student of the needs of the first student. This student requested to share her flour with this first student which in her opinion could make porridge, meaning she could not let the other go hungry and she had something to share. My colleague promised to provide for the vegetables as she waited and prayed for her that another Samaritan would come in to solve the fee problem. Both students got food to eat eventually. And the second by the grace of God also got fees. In another case, my former football captain shared her story in social media. She says that she employed a house help who was very kind to her child. This lady had a son in prison who was serving a life sentence. Through the good relationship with the prisoner’s mother, they started visiting the young man in prison. The relationship grew, though at the time, members were not allowed to see their kin. They spoke to them through a hole. The lady passed away after sometime and my former captain informally adopted this son as her own. She kept visiting him. Eventually with the improvement in prison services, they got to meet and it was an occasion of many tears. She recently attended an open day where they could share a meal and she saw the appreciation and the joy in the young man’s face knowing someone cared enough to visit him. This is what this mystery is teaching us. To recognize the needs of others and strive to fulfill them. We may not be in apposition to offer everything, or anything at all, but we can pray. We can always express those needs to Christ. Christ will find a way of fulfilling them. Who needs food to eat today? Who needs a listening ear? Who needs a nudge of encouragement? Who needs to be visited because they are broken? Who needs a hug? Who needs that boost in paying fees for their child and we have the resource? Who needs a ride to work because they have to get there but they just got employed and they are broke? Who is mourning and needs us to mourn with them? Who needs someone to share that moment of glory with us? Who needs a hand to hold on to just because they need some company in the journey of life and they are very scared of the dark? Who needs that listening ear? How can we respond to these needs? Can we be the servants executing the needs? Or can we be Mother Mary and present the needs to Christ?

There is also a very important aspect we need to remember. Mary’s instruction to listen to what Christ is telling us. Is Christ speaking to me today? What is He telling me? Is he telling me to be a little kinder to my child? Is He telling me to forgive? Is he telling me to respond to any of the needs of those I have encountered? How is He expressing this need? Is it that nudge in the heart? That constant thought of someone at night? That silent scream in your heart to reach out to a long lost friend? Is it the sudden need to talk to someone? Is it that friend of yours telling you about someone else’s story and they are wondering what to do? Is it that scripture that keeps reminding us of a certain experience we just had? That nudge to return kindness for kindness, not necessarily to the same person? Our subconscious usually tells us many things. Our interactions also tells us many things. Sometimes we need to be quiet and listen. Maybe, just maybe, Christ is telling us something.

The third Luminous Mystery: – The proclamation of God’s Kingdom

Christ proclaimed the kingdom of God in the three years of His ministry on earth in many ways. But what we need to note is he did it by word and deed. He preached the gospel to multitudes. He taught his disciples intimately in private. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He visited his friend’s sisters, Martha and Mary when Lazarus passed away. He vehemently condemned what was wrong. He practised what he preached. He preached of a kingdom of Love and lived it. He preached a kingdom of needs recognition. He recognised the need in others and went ahead to fulfil. He preached obedience. He obeyed his father. He preached forgiveness. He forgave those who killed him. He preached mercy. He was Merciful. Our Christian calling is to be Christ like. Are we Christ like? Are we proclaiming the gospel in word and deed? Is our private life different from our public one? If Christ was to come to us in our bedchambers, would we continue doing that which he found us doing? Or would we be as ashamed as Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit? Do we feed the hungry? Do we visit the sick and those who are mourning? Are we alleviating peoples suffering or are we exacerbating it? Do we do what we are called to do whole heartedly as if we were doing it for God? Our jobs, our families, are the roles we play executed to the best of our ability? What are we holding back from God? In our baptism, we are crowned Kings, priests and prophets. Do we exercise these roles, or were they forgotten at the altar of our baptism? Are we living in obedience to the nature of our calling? Are we living in honesty to our priesthood? Are we living in honesty to our marriage vows? Are we living in honesty to our mission requirements of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience? Are we true to our call to parenthood? Are we true to our lay missionary work? A self-evaluation of our life with regard to our call to be Christ like will allow us to know whether we are proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

At our baptism, we lit a candle that needs to keep burning in our lives. The number of people reached by this light signifies the extent of our ministry. We preach Christ’s ministry first by living it as Christ did. How many grudges do we harbor in our hearts for past hurts? How many times do we narrate this hurts to others? In narrating them, are we preaching Christ? No, we need to forgive, and only refer to the hurt if it is the gospel of forgiveness we are preaching. How many times have we loved and lost? Lost our fiancés, our husbands, and our boyfriends? What do we remember when we think about them? Do we remember them in love for the moments shared or out of hate for the hurt they caused when they left? Are we preaching love for our enemies when we remember them? How many times have we fallen out with our brothers, sisters, parents and spouses? When we preach reconciliation, do we remember we need to reconcile with them or do we say, never ever shall I speak to them? How many times have we done stupid things? Do we remember to ask for forgiveness from God? Do we acknowledge a loving father who forgives even when our sins are as red as crimson? Do we remember that we need to do likewise?  How many times do our children go astray? Do we remember that Christ vehemently condemned wrong deeds? Do we condemn wrong acts? Or we look the other way because it is our children or loved ones doing it? Do we remember that we are to condemn the act not the person? Christ instructed a lot. Do we do the same to those who are young in faith? Do we reach out to them when they fall? Are we among those who are jeering at them and laughing because they have fallen? They will know we are Christians by our love. Do we live as children of Love? Children of love recognize needs of others and strive to alleviate them. In doing so, the candle of our lives keep burning.

The Fourth Luminous Mystery: – The transfiguration

Before Christ begins His mission, God declares that Jesus was His Beloved Child of whom He was greatly pleased. After proclaiming the Kingdom of God and is ready to end His ministry here on earth, God again declares His love and pleasure in Jesus. The question I keep asking myself is, when God looks at my life, and if heaven was to open, would He say the same things about me? Have I lived a life pleasing to God. When I was baptized, I a white fabric was symbolically placed on my forehead to show I had been clothed in white. Is my dress still white? If I died today, would I go to heaven?

The fifth Luminous Mystery: – The institution of the Holy Eucharist

Christ knows, with a lot of sadness that his hour has come. He shall be crucified. He will go back to His father. The disciples will be left like sheep without a shepherd. But he wants to share a last meal with his disciples. He wants to make it special. He organizes, through a strange request to a stranger for a room to be set for them. A meal is served. But Christ wanted to leave them with something more than a meal to remember Him by. Something that will not make them feel so lost. Yes, he had promised He will always be with them, yet He still thought he needed a symbol. He knows he is going to be away, but he desires that they will be spiritually strong. Food will give them physical strength, but he desires that they have spiritual food too to guide them through the moments of His physical absence. So while at supper, he takes bread, blesses and breaks it, and tells them, take this all of you and eat it. It is my body. Then he takes a cup and blesses it, tells them, here, drink from this, it is my blood, which will be shed for you and for all. Do this in memory of me.

Every time we receive Holy Communion, we commemorate the death and resurrection of our lord and the significance of all this in our lives. It is a reminder of who Christ was when he was alive, what he did and what he taught us. It is reminder of the sacrifice of love at the cross, and what this means to us in our daily lives. It is a constant reminder that we are children of eternity because by His rising, he went to prepare a place for us in heaven so that “Where I will be, you also will be”. It is a meditation of the whole of the journey of Christ as demonstrated by the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. It is a reminder that I am not alone. In celebrating his memorial, I am reminded of His promises; I am with you till the end of time; I will send you a helper; I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. It is a reality that, just like we get hungry and thirsty in our physical selves, we do get hungry spiritually and need spiritual nourishment. Spiritual nourishment gives us strength to fight our daily battles of faith, that urge to hang on longer to a grudge, that hardened heart that does not see the need to assist where there is need, because we once did and were robbed, that weakness of heart that draws us to valleys of self-pity and depression, that constant conflict we have with those close to us, that unexplained change of behaviour in those we love, that constant weakness that we cannot shake off, with this constant nourishment we can keep walking, trudging, running the race of faith. It is a reminder that I need to keep my garment clean. The temptations of this world, coupled with our vulnerability due to the original sin make us fall often. Since we cannot receive Holy Communion in an unworthy state, it reminds me that I need moments to examine my conscience regularly, I need to make peace with Christ in the sacrament of reconciliation, and make amends so that I can, in my weakness, live a worthy life. A life worthy of heaven. I need to make peace with those I have offended, I need to be at peace with myself, so that I can be at peace with God.


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The First Glorious Mystery: – The Resurrection


The tomb is empty

It has been two days since Christ died and was buried. Its tradition to go and anoint his body with fragrant oils. But when the women get to the tomb, Jesus’ body is missing. Two people appear and ask them why they are looking for the living among the dead. “He is not here: He is risen”. They went to the disciples and told them He is Risen, but they did not believe because “their words seemed like nonsense” (Luke 24:11).

The Message of Hope is hard to comprehend, especially when we are at our lowest. We have lost our jobs, we have left our spouses, we have been diagnosed with cancer, we have lost that chance at a scholarship, we have lost all that matters to us, that dearly beloved parent has gone to be with the lord. How do we move on when it is all weighing on us? Yes, we have surrendered it all to Christ, but it still weighs us down, so we go back to the tomb of our sadness, we keep going back to take a peek. There was so much hope in the Living Christ, but we just buried him, we just buried our dreams, we just buried the hope in getting better, we just buried our beloved, we just buried that good salary. Our lives are stuck, we keep going back to look at the memories, the feel good moment, the hopes we had, the moments shared. We shed a tear. We crush all over again. But we are asked again, why are we looking for the Living among the dead? When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window (Sounds of Music). But we are stuck at looking at this door. We miss the open windows of opportunity, because we do not want to let go. There is hope in the resurrection, but even as our dear ones tell us of this hope, we do not believe because ‘their words seem like nonsense’.

There is dawn after darkness, no matter how long the nights are. Even Light does come to Alaska after the 3 days of no sun. There is an oasis in the desert, even if we walk miles and miles to get to it. There is a chance open for us to explore, even if the chance comes once in a million chances. Our challenge is in recognizing the chance and taking it. Can we believe in a staircase even if the only step I can see is the first? Can we believe in the resurrection, no matter how farfetched the idea is? How does one just rise from the dead? But just like the resurrection was real, the dawn of new hope is real. If only we can believe. That little faith. That mustard seed.

The Second Glorious Mystery: – The Ascension

Obereschach_Pfarrkirche_Fresko_Fugel_Christi_Himmelfahrt_cropJesus came, suffered, died and was crucified. He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven. The ascension of Christ is another blow to the disciples. The Resurrection brought hope back to them, because He whom they followed and fed them and healed the sick and had power over everything was back from the dead. They saw Him. They felt Him. Their joy was restored. No sooner had all this joy and peace and hope been restored than he ascended. He left them, this time round forever. The disorientation is back. The fear of tomorrow clouds them once more.

When I think of the ascension, I do not look at the disorientation, though it is ever present in our lives. The promise of good things that whose joy is short-lived; the hope a job interview brings which disappears with the award of the post to a different person; the disorientation of trusting again to be hurt all over. The hope of Chemotherapy treatment that ends when the symptoms of the disease recur a few months post chemo.  What I meditate on was His acts before He ascended and his promises after His ascension. When he was preparing for His departure, He promised His disciples a Helper. He also prayed for them.

In His promise, in the Book of John 14, He tells His disciples;

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

As I meditate on this, in my weakness of going back to the grave, going back to the moments of weakness, where I have to rise again and remind myself of His greatness, I remember that Christ promised to always be there for us. He swill never leave us as orphans. He will send us an advocate who, with His help, we will do great things. The Holy spirit does come to us in that tiny voice that tells us, Keep walking, just let go, just believe; He is that friend who whispers words of comfort, exactly as we want to hear them; He is in that parent who admonishes us when we do wrong; He is in that mentor who tells us we are stronger than we know; He is in that self confidence that allows us to face daily challenges with a broad smile; He is in that calmness when everything is falling apart; He is in the words of wisdom and Knowledge when we speak to someone to give them hope. The Holy Spirit, who Christ promise is with us. Christ is with us in the Spirit within us and those we interact. Do we notice the spirit, or are we still looking in the sky for the Gone Christ.

Christ also prayed for us.

That we may be one, Just like Father, just as you are in me and I am in you… I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.

This reminds me of a favorite song with one of the verses going thus:-

Make the world a unity,

Make all men one family,

Till we meet The Trinity

And we’ll live forever

Christ desires that we live in unity. Christ reminds us that this unity, which is born of love for God, will get us to heaven, where he desires that eventually we be with Him. Unity is a fruit of Love. When we love we remain united, not only with ourselves but with Christ who is Love itself. Love does not offend the beloved. If we love someone, we seek not to offend them. If we love one another, we will live in Harmony brought by the desire to remain united with the ones we love. We know that offending the love causes disunity. So we work hard not to offend this love.

The ascension thus is a reminder that we are pilgrims in this world. We are pilgrims who are not alone. Who with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be guided to live in unity with one another, and in living in unity with one another, we are united in Christ. When we are united in Christ here on earth, we are assured that when we reach the end of our pilgrimage, we will be eventually united with Him, so that where He will be, we will be too.

The third Glorious Mystery: – The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

The disciples are disoriented because Christ is gone, they gather alone in fear of the Jews. The Jews Killed Christ. What will they do with them now that their leader is gone? What if they decide to crucify them too? Who wants to die such a painful, shameful death anyway? So they hide. The live in constant fear. The do not know how to live the next day without Christ. He defined their life. He showed them direction. HE taught them. He encouraged them. Like He had foretold, they were sheep without a Shepherd. They were a people with no direction. They were lost.

imagesMany times we get to this point of disorientation. Especially in transition. Transition from one academic level to another, transition from one job to another, transition from one place to another, transition from one social status to another. We also get disoriented when things do not go the way we wanted them to. We want to start college or join high school, but just a few months before, we realize we are expectant, we get an interview to this job we desperately want, but someone else is appointed, through corrupt means, that grade we want to get so bad, that achievement at work, that award, that recognition, but it keeps elusive, that mega downfall that makes us feel we have failed, a broken family when we leave our spouses yet we know deep in our hearts we desperately wanted it to work, that boss that pushes you to the edge until you quit your job, not because you do not need it, but because you know fighting on will be  in vain, that business that does not pick and three years later you know you have to close shop, many related moments. What to do? We go back to basics, but where is the energy to start all over? In which direction? In what manner? With What resources? We retreat to those cocoons that close us away from the world around us. Directionless.

Then Christ appears in their midst. “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And they are strengthened and they start speaking in many languages and every person who heard them could understand the mighty works of God.  In 1 Corinthians 12 we are reminded that there is one Spirit who enables us differently, just like there is one body but with different parts that all function well together to make the whole. It is in our lowest that we need to discover who we really are and what our capacities can achieve. It is in our lowest that we can appreciate that we are not on our own, we need God’s graces to lift us up, to enable us take that one more step, to lift our face so we can look up again. It is in our disorientation that we can trust the voice of God to show us direction. We can be still and listen to the voice of God. It is in our nothingness that God moulds us into something of wonder. It is when we can’t speak that we can let the spirit speak for us, when we know our words are no longer of value, then we can surrender. St. Francis of Assisi once said in extreme poverty he found wealth and true happiness. What can we learn from our rock bottom moments? Can we recognize the spirit of God? Can we allow Him to do marvelous things in us?

The Fourth and Fifth Glorious Mysteries: – The Assumption of Our Lady; the Coronation of Our Lady.

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44].

indexWhen I meditate on these two mysteries, I think of the roles she played in the life of Jesus as a mother, and the role she played to the community as an advocate. As a mother, she walked by the side of Jesus to the last minute on the cross when he commended his life to God and breathed His last. As an advocate of the community, there are several cited occasions when she pleads for the cause of the community to Christ. “They have no wine”. In her heart she knew he could do something. “Do what He tells you”. She requires of us to follow the instructions of Christ. We know she is in heaven, with her beloved son. Can we trust her to continue being an advocate for us to her son? The life she lived on earth, can we follow her example especially as mothers? If our children one day stand accessed, will we stand with them guilty or otherwise? Would we walk the way of the cross with them? Will we look for them when lost? Will we pray for them, cry for them, and wipe the dust off their clothes when they fall? Can we drink the cup of suffering with them?

These are the questions I ask myself when I look at my children. I also pray through her intercession that I be granted the graces I need to walk with them in their journey of life, wherever that journey leads them with total acceptance of who they are in my heart.

What to consider when going to meet someone you do not know so well…

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I walked into a coffee house yesterday with a friend. It was in the evening and there were several people in enjoying their drinks of choice. We sat in the table next to a gentle man and a lady. They were an arms-reach from our table. We ordered. We get engrossed into our discussion. After a while, the lady walks out. For a toilet break I think. She leaves her handbag on the table. Nothing unusual. After a short while, the guy stands and walks out. He leaves the handbag on the table. That is very unusual. It is a non written rule in my head that if I am having a meal or drink, I need to watch the belongings of my companion if they take a toilet break. I shouldn’t take a break when she or he is still away. unless there is a third part. The rule applies to the party too. Or I guessed. Wrong. especially for the scene unfolding. I tell my companion. It is strange that the guy walked out and left the ladies handbag. My statement was more suggestive though, I used the word girlfriend. My companion tells me the guy unzipped the handbag and picked a phone, stood and left. It shouldn’t ring a bell still. In any case,once in a while my husband tells me to put his wallet and phone in my bag, right? Wrong. The waitress comes and puts reserved notice on the table. The ladies handbag is still there. The lady comes back. Runs into the waitress and asks, where the guy went to. She says he just walked down. But little did we know he was not coming back. She comes and sits. Goes through her bag, then she casts a look across and asks if the guy took her phone. My companion answers yes. Then she goes, “Oh My God”.

Of course we inform the management (through the waitress). The waitress says there are many such cases. She also says the guy frequents there. Maybe with fresh bait every time. This brought back memories of what I used to be told when I was growing up on precautions to take. I am going to share a few tips I gathered a long the way in my journey of life:-

I do not drink alcohol, and probably one of the reasons why was for my own safety. Drinking to some extent reduces the rational capacity of a person. The level of loss is different. Others need only one glass of one, others need a whole crate of beer. I have never wanted to test my limits. Some say that you limit your alcohol consumption. I have learnt that , sometimes in some company this rule does not work. If it is a group outing, it is always easy to volunteer to be the designated driver, or the cab advisor when everyone else has since stopped being themselves. In the least you will ensure everyone is home safe and sound.

One of the safety tips I remember my brother ever mentioning to me way before I joined college was when you are having a drink with anyone, if you need to pee, finish your drink first. If you had not, order a fresh one when you get back. It may look unusual to those who you will be with but just in case your drink was spiked, you will be okay. This does not only apply to alcohol, but also to the teas, coffees we do with friends, prospective clients or customers, and even strangers on blind dates.

It is good to let someone know where you are. It is also good to let this person know at least one person you are with. We may assume we are in control of things, but stuff happens. Picture a guy who goes out for a drink with friends. He drinks later than them. His drink is spiked. He goes Missing in Action (MIA). Or those thieves who unleashes things that you breath and pass out. When someone has been keeping track of your movements it would be easy for them to, in the least know where to start looking for you or who was last with you and what happened when you parted ways. It may be strange but I try my level minimum to always let my spouse know where I am, who I am meeting, where. Even when he is not around, I still let him know.

It is also good to have at least one contact off head. This is where the back up phone mentioned in My Accident… My Lessons makes sense. This will make sure that when tragedy happens to you, even if your phone is dead or has been stolen and you cannot access your contacts list, you can contact one person, hopefully this person is the same as the one you had told where you are.

I also remember a friend of mine telling me never go out without extra cash, enough to cater for your food and drinks just in case the person you are meeting bails out on the bill. Make sure you also have enough money to get you home. This may come in handy when group outings go in a direction you did not anticipate and you need to flee them. You may not have to tell them you are leaving. Excusing yourself for a pee will give you time to walk out on company you do not want to be in discreetly.

In addition to all these, ladies, carry your handbag to wherever you are going in case you are taking a break from the company you are with. Unless that person is your spouse or fiance or your really bestest of friends.  In the least this should apply. If you go to the loo, go with it, if you want to go to the counter for an extra order, please don’t leave it, if you want to walk across the room and say hi to a long lost friend who just walked into the restaurant, that bag is not so heavy, pick it, walk with it. A lady,s bag has everything, from her friends spare keys to her identification documents. If that bag goes MIA can you survive a week without its contents? If not, please make it a part of you.

other advise gathered online include googling the person you are meeting, pepper spay, meeting is busy places, watch for disturbing behaviors and if your instincts say run, then just run.

I asked the girl if she knew the guy well. She she knew him but not so much. I hope in the least she gets her phone back. I also appreciate the restaurants that have CCTV, though I highly doubt they assist much. Maybe another caution should be to sit within camera range. Either way, hopefully this can stop someone from getting into the same pit.


My Accident… My Lessons


imagesThe date is 5th September. I am driving a long Nairobi Nakuru Highway. Am am almost at the Gilgil weigh bridge. I am anticipating traffic. There is almost always traffic here. It is getting to 9am. The highway is not so busy though. But then again, it is a Tuesday, it is not those days everyone is rushing to the village or rushing back to the CBD to live yet another week of the activities of 5am to 8pm in a bid to put bread on the table. Besides the usual once in a while crazy trucks speeding past, it is slow. I am the last in a queue of about five vehicles. 60KPH is my speed. Then suddenly, the slow night gets crazy as a speeding truck hits my car, at the rear, near the wheel. My wheel goes poof, I swerve into the truck, minimal impact, I was driving slowly anyway, but the impact still sends me off the road, I loose balance, try to steady the car, I veer across the road, finally when I could remember where my breaks were I stop the car. Breathe in and Out. I shout, everyone Ok? Passenger 1 next to me, yes; Passenger 2 at the back, yes. We are all good. The truck is long gone. I can only see the tail lights vanishing into the darkness. I exit the car, check the impact, one totally damaged wheel, and one flat tyre (reparablle. It lost the valve during the impact). We are going nowhere. The rule of the road says only one spare tyre. I have damaged 2. What to do? I Call my brother. He gives instructions. Call my husband, this calms me a bit. Now I can get into action. Passenger 1 gets help from her brothers. My brother assists me in getting the cops. Cops come and confirm accident, record damage. I call the insurance guy and he instructs me on what I need to do. No intervention to the damages if possible he says. And get police abstract. The brothers take the flat tyre for repair (We need to get out of these woods), someone (the only driver who stopped to see what kind of help we probably needed) said there were rhinos around. The tyre is repaired and we fix them. We test the car. It is still going nowhere. The damaged rear axle is making the car skid. We need to tow the car. The brothers assist us in getting tow services. Finally, the car, my two passengers and I are brought to Nairobi aboard the tow truck. Its 3am. We arrive in Nairobi. We drop the car at the insurance inspection centre. Some guards on patrol offer us a ride (paid) to Passenger 1s home. We dropped Passenger 2 in Kinoo. They can’t drop me home they need to get to work. Its 5am though so I get dropped off at a bus stop. I take a matatu home. Its 6am. I finally get home. Safe. Tired but safe. Glory be to God. I need to get back to the police station to collect the abstract, but first I need some sleep.



This could be a story of any accident victim on our roads. The stories change from person to person. The essence of this is not for the story itself but my lessons from my long night.


  1. Strive to be good Samaritans: – I know that our roads have rogues and cons and helping a stranded motorist, especially at night, is unimaginable. I don’t even know if I can stop to assist a stranded motorist or passenger now, especially in those places that chain messages always point out. But I know that there are good Samaritans out there. The truck driver who saw us by the road side and stopped, I don’t know him, but he stopped. It’s just that what we needed was beyond him. There are those who saw us veering off the road, crossing the road and stopping. They drove on. I don’t blame them. I probably would have done the same. I pray that the scary stories of cons will not deter us from doing good when those one in a million instances comes.
  2. Kindness abounds: – The two gentlemen who helped us that night, I owe them a lot. The insurance guy stayed awake with us. He picked my calls even at 4am. I pick my calls very selectively after 6pm. But he did. He did not owe me anything. His job did not require him to do that. But out of the goodness of his heart he did it. I cannot pay them back the kindness. At least not to them. Maybe someone else will benefit in the payback. May we strive to be kind.
  3. God watches over His children: – I drove to wherever I was going alone. But on my way back I had two passengers. I had company that night. I was not alone. It is because of them that the car could be repaired. It is because of them I could brave the night with the imaginary rhinos. It is because of them that I was probably brave to keep acting. I did not have control of many things that night, but God brought made sure we were safe. A lot could have happened (the mind gets creative here), but God was in control
  4. Always have a backup phone:- There are many things that are put in survival manuals. Matchboxes, pocket knives, blankets, flashlight, flares among others. Add to that list a backup phone. A phone that can take night pictures, even bad ones, but has good battery life. Smart phones die very fast. Mine had died an hour earlier. A mid the confusion I had forgotten about it, but it came in handy.
  5. Forget the incident, remember the lessons: – It is traumatizing to go through some stuff. Especially ones that allow your mind to wander. Get traumatized. Cry. Scream. Get frustrated. Yell at someone. Sigh. But after all the emotions, let your mind derive lessons from the experiences that are life. In the long run, life is a series of events. What hurts is the stories we attach to those events. Hurt a bit, but learn from the events. And let those events make you a braver happier person. Find a reason to be thankful. There are always reasons to be grateful. May it rain, we cannot stop that from happening, but may we never forget to sing and dance in the rain.
  6. If tomorrow Never Comes:- We all have heard of the best regrets one makes on their death bed. You forget to live when you are alive. You forget to live because someone hurt you five years ago. You forget to live because you are afraid of the consequences of your decisions today. You forget to live because you are afraid of what people say. You just survive, because you are living fear. You have one life. Live it well. Live it in the best possible way you know how. Live it to fulfill the person you  are. Live it to the purpose you were created. discover that purpose and live life. If tomorrow never comes, then there will be no regrets because you lived to the best of your capacity, you did the best you could in what was entitled to you, you lived a purposeful life, but more so you were happy and you were not afraid.

Why teaching is a great profession…


I was recently invited to give  talk to a group of High school teachers. It was a challenge and a privilege.  I said yes, not because I had anything to tell them, but because I was doing a friend a favor. I pondered,wondering what to tell a group of teachers. After a long debate within, this was my message to them…

  • Amidst all the unimportance preached against your profession, teaching is still very important. I believe that there are three persons who have the capacity to impact on the life of a person, positively or otherwise;the parent; the teacher and the priest/pastor. You can influence their character, expand their mind, mould their values, direct them towards becoming the very best of themselves. It is all in the words, the power of spoken words, in the home, in the classroom, in the pulpit. Words that create or destroy, words that tear or build, words that makes one fly or bring one tumbling down. They come to you like wet cement, whatever impression you put on them lasts forever. You have limited time to interact with this soul, mould it well. Albert Einstein once wrote that teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. Honor your worth.
  • He who must once teach must never cease to learn. One must create time so that they can perfect their best. After you perfect you then you are in a capacity to perfect others in the field of your interest. Build yourself so you can build others. Become a masterpiece of your own person, then you can create beautiful works of art.
  • The world will not honor you for the work you do, you must then honor yourself. The greatest teachers, Henry David Thoreau, John Locke, Albert Einstein among others still remain influential to date, because they attached value to imparting knowledge and sharing it more than he reward they got while at it. You must love what you do beyond the the returns it brings you, not because the love will put food on your table, but because the rewards of your impact are beyond the finest food you will ever eat.
  • Organization must be geared towards a common goal. While each teacher has a unique specialty, all the resources, human, time and otherwise, must be harnessed towards the betterment of a student. Not only academically but all round success. A school therefore is not only a machine for learning but a culture where all work together to bring up a human person.  It is an environment where talent is nurtured, innovation is encouraged and values are grown. The school could be having a dream, but we are all a part of that dream.
  • A school is not a machine. We must realize that each person who comes into it is human, with its own uniqueness, different backgrounds, different environments of growth, different personalities and temperaments. Like my grandmother said, there are children born with teeth and others with none, meaning, our levels of interactions with different people come at different ages. We do not expect like thinking just because we wear the same uniform. We are different, abled differently, all needing love, acceptance and respect, in spite of who we are. If your contribution towards in this person is n making this person better at their best and improving on their worst, then you will not have lived in vain and your impact will be for generations to come.
  • Finally, what what the children become is your responsibility. Not because you wont have bad results, but because you gave your very best. Teaching is giving yourself to make someone else better. I believe in doing the very best, so that when you are old, and you look back and ask yourself if you would change anything given another chance, you would confidently say, I wouldn’t change a thing…

You are a teacher. You have one chance. Be the very best. Do your very best. Become the very best. By being, you help someone else become… 

Article 39:- Hormonal Contraceptive-The Viable Alternatives…

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In my previous article, Hormonal Contraceptives-The female poison, I have highlighted the various side effects of the hormonal contraceptives. It is evident that its harm outweighs its value. So what next for women of child bearing age – Married women?

The contemporary world has reduced the term family planning to mean the spacing of births. It has also convinced most if not all of us that the only way to space births is to objectify oneself by using the several modes of contraceptives namely, the barrier methods, Intra-uterine devices and hormonal pills. However, there are scientifically proven methods that respect the dignity of the human person, are free of charge and have no side effects. For the purpose of this article we shall call it Natural Methods of spacing or achieving births or Natural Family Planning (NFP).


  • NFP is not counting your menstrual calendar days;
  • NFP is not withdrawal before ejaculation during the conjugal act;
  • NFP is not the use of barrier methods during fertile days of a woman’s fertility cycle.

So what is NFP?

According to usccb.org, Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative) natures of the conjugal act in marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife. This aspect of NFP also then supports God’s design for married love.

NFP is based on scientific facts about fertility. The methods are developed from research about women’s menstrual cycles and the signs of female fertility. Over a century ago, scientists discovered cyclic changes in cervical mucus and their relation to ovulation. In the 1920s, scientists identified the temperature rise that signals ovulation. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists developed programs to teach others how to observe and interpret these fertility signs. Today, ongoing research continues to refine the methods of NFP. Any married couple can use NFP.  A woman need not have “regular” cycles. NFP education helps couples to fully understand and interpret their combined fertility, so that they can discern when to postpone or try to attempt pregnancy. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. The key to the successful use of NFP is cooperation and communication between husband and wife, a shared commitment. It is unique among methods of family planning because it enables its users to work with the body rather than against it. Fertility is viewed as a gift and a reality to live, not a problem to be solved.

Fertility cycle NFP practice is pegged on four facts about the fertility of man and woman:

  • A woman ovulates at only one time during her cycle, and an ovum can survive for only 12–24 hours;
  • Spermatozoa live only one to three days in the presence of fertile mucus, with survival up to five days being rare;
  • Cervical mucus enabling healthy sperm cells to navigate the genital tract is necessary for fertility (fertile Mucus);
  • A man is fertile from puberty till his death;
  • Fertility cycle is a function of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

What are the methods of NFP?

A woman’s fertility cycle (not menstrual) has four phases; Menstruation phase; First phase of infertility(Basic Infertile Pttern-BIP); fertile phase; and the second phase of infertility. While in her fertile years, a woman’s body provides several basic ways to identify the fertile and infertile times of her menstrual cycle. The rise and fall of reproductive hormones is responsible for these signs. Recognizing the pattern of those physical signs forms the basis for all methods of NFP. Each NFP method is focused on one or more signs of female fertility. They can be grouped into three categories;

  1. Billings Ovulation Method (BOM):-

BOM was developed by Drs John (1918–2007) and Evelyn Billings, validated by eminent international scientists and successfully tried by the World Health Organization. It uses cervical mucus/vaginal discharge consistency in identifying the fertile and infertile phases of the fertility cycle already highlighted above. Mucus CharacteristicsThis method can be used to achieve or postpone pregnancy during regular or irregular cycles throughout all stages of reproductive life, including breastfeeding, and peri-menopause.

What to obseveThe cervical mucus changes in viscosity and consistency with each phase of the fertility cycle. These changes are consistent with the phases of fertility. In NFP education, a woman learns how to identify the normal, healthy, cervical mucus which indicates the days that sexual intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy (the fertile phase).  Keen observation of the cervical mucus can tell when a woman is ovulating. Once the couple can identify when the woman is very fertile, they can choose to abstain from sexual intercourse and genital contact if they are postponing pregnancy or engage in the conjugal act when they want to achieve a pregnancy.

More sophisticated trainers teach on how to observe the character of the cervix. It is based on the fact that the cervix opens only three times in a woman’s life; during menstruation; during ovulation; and at childbirth.

                     2. Basal Body Temperature Method (BBTM)

Basal Body Temparature chartBasal body temperature is the lowest body temperature attained during rest (usually during sleep). It is generally measured immediately after awakening and before any physical activity has been undertaken.  Ovulation causes an increase of one-half to one degree Fahrenheit (one-quarter to one-half degree Celsius) in basal body temperature. The tendency of a woman to have lower temperatures before ovulation, and higher temperatures afterwards, is known as a biphasic pattern. This method is used to pinpoint the ovulation time thus enabling a couple identify when to avoid or engage in the conjugal act depending on whether they are postponing or achieving a pregnancy. Its only weakness is that it identifies post ovulation infertility phase.

 3. Symptom-Thermal Methods (STM)

STM typically combines charting of the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and (Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) of cervical mucus observation with other optional indicators, such as changes in the cervix and secondary fertility signs to identify when a woman is fertile. With this method, a couple can chart the pre ovulation infertility phase and the post ovulation fertility phase, and of course ovulation.

With the development of ovulation prediction kits (or OPKs), the rise of certain reproductive hormones such as estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) can be observed. Other optional signs, such as breast tenderness or minor abdominal pain at the time of ovulation, can also be observed by the woman.

How it Differs from contraception

There is an inherent inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative aspects of the conjugal act. The connection between the two aspects of the conjugal act is in fact such, that the destruction of its procreative reference necessarily destroys it’s unitive and personal significance. Why? Because the conjugal act has a significance that goes beyond the expression of affection and pleasure it offers. The conjugal act does not in any way lose its full meaning and value if one knows that a conception is out of the question, as when age, an inevitable operation for the sake of health, or pregnancy exclude it. The knowledge that a conception is not in question does not in any way taint the conjugal act with irreverence. This act in such a marriage, if it is the expression of a deep love anchored in Christ, will rank even higher in its quality and its purity than that in a marriage in which the love is less deep and not formed by Christ even though it leads to a conception. Yet even when, for good and valid reasons (such as the endangering of life or grave economic misery), conception should as far as possible be avoided, the marital act, whose meaning and value is the actualization of an ultimate union, in no way loses its raison d’etre. The intention to avoid conception does not imply irreverence as long as one does not actively interfere in order to frustrate the link existing between the conjugal act and a possible conception. Nor is the use of natural family planning in order to avoid conception in any way irreverent, because the very fact of the possibility of natural family planning, that is to say, the fact that conception is limited to a short period, includes also a God‐given institution. This also has a meaning, and it is definitely reverent to accept the opportunity which God offers to those spouses for whom the avoidance of conception is imperative! That conception is restricted to a short time also implies a word of God. It not only confirms that the bodily union of the spouses has a meaning and value in itself apart from procreation but it also leaves open the possibility of avoiding conception if this is imperative for serious reasons. To make use of natural family planning is not to imply the slightest irreverence or rebellion against God’s institution and the wonderful link between the love union and procreation; it is in no way a subterfuge, as some people tend to believe. On the contrary, it is a grateful acceptance of the possibility granted by God to avoid conception, if this is imperative, without frustrating the expression and fulfilment of spousal love in the bodily union. As soon as we see the abyss which separates the use of natural family planning from artificial contraception, we have answered the rhetorical question: “Why should artificial contraception be a sin if the use of natural family planning is allowed?” And as soon as we see clearly the sinfulness of artificial contraception, we can and must clearly repudiate the suggestion that this is the proper means to avert the threat of overpopulation. No evil in the world, great as it may be, entitles us to use a means for avoiding it which is sinful. To commit a sin in order to avoid an evil would involve adhering to the ignominious principle, “the end justifies the means” (Dr. Vincent Njuguna- St. Matia Mulumba Mission Hospital)

NFP represents a unique approach to responsible parenthood because it  calls for shared responsibility by husband and wife; is based on scientific research about the signs of fertility; treats each menstrual cycle as unique (from experience, it is unique); teaches husband and wife to daily observe the signs of fertility; has no harmful side effects; maximizes the possibility of achieving pregnancy when intercourse takes place during the fertile phase of the wife’s menstrual cycle; is effective for postponing pregnancy when intercourse takes place during the infertile phase of the wife’s menstrual cycle and; respects the unitive and procreative nature of conjugal love. In NFP both husband and wife are taught to understand and live God’s design for married love—this will give them countless blessings.

The various benefits of NFP cannot be exhausted but some include that NFP methods promote a holistic approach to family planning which both respects procreation and has the potential to deepen the intimacy of husband and wife in that it is open to the life giving nature of the marriage act; NFP methods support reproductive health. They are good for the body. The natural methods have none of the harmful side effects caused by contraception, especially chemical contraceptives (e.g., pill, injection, etc.). For the woman, NFP charting can even assist in the diagnosis of underlying medical problems. And, if a couple find they are having trouble conceiving, NFP information can help them pinpoint the most fertile time of the wife’s cycle. NFP methods can be marriage strengthening. NFP relies on couple communication and behaviour change. NFP methods require husband and wife to cooperate with each other in the most intimate area of their lives. During times of periodic sexual abstinence, husband and wife live a renewed courtship as they discover non-sexual ways to express their love for each other. On a practical level, husbands are encouraged to “tune into” their wives’ cycles, and both spouses are encouraged to speak openly and frankly about their sexual desires, hopes for number of children, and prayerful discernment of God’s will for their marriage. When living the NFP lifestyle, husband and wife learn that they have a shared responsibility for safeguarding God’s gifts of human sexuality, marriage and family. They also grow in their understanding of God’s will for their family size. NFP has the potential to make good marriages great. NFP is also free. In Kenya, training of couples is free, and exercising it accrues no costs whatsoever.

A number of NFP providers teach a variety of approaches to NFP. In Kenya, in addition to the Catholic Church, we have Human Life International Kenya among other organizations. It is endowed with doctors-physicians and gynecologists- and volunteer couples who are users of the methods. On-line courses are offered by Couple to Couple League, WOOMB International and most catholic dioceses all over the world.

The big question that comes when this is raised is, does it even work? What are the success rates? Well, from a users point of view, (we-my spouse and I- are users of the BOM) it depends on what you are trying to do. Are you trying to achieve pregnancy? Then yes it is successful, but remember, children come from God and are blessed unto us when God sees it fit to bless us with children. It is always for his glory. Are you trying to postpone pregnancy? Then yes it is. Currently rated at 99%. You just have to remember the fact that sex during fertile days can result to a pregnancy.

What makes it not work? Most of us have grown up in a world that glorifies sex and believes that sex is any time anywhere as long as there is a woman and man. Premarital sex is celebrated and those who choose to abstain till marriage as viewed as abnormal. Transfer the same attitude to a marriage situation and parties in a couple, believe that since they are married they are free to engage in the conjugal act any time but are not willing to embrace the fact that sex is both unitive and procreative, functions that are not mutually exclusive. Couples thus will seek to frustrate/treat the procreative aspect of the woman by letting her be responsible for her fertility and willingly frustrate it by taking the hormonal pills, implants and having intra-uterine devices inserted in her womb. The other major reason is fertility is viewed as a woman problem and should be fixed. Most men, not all, tend to abstain from responsibility of the procreative aspect of sex. Sex thus attains a selfish end as opposed to the unitive end that it was ordained to have. NFP introduces to the couples the value of joint responsibility in this key part of their married life; their sexual life; where each party appreciates and accepts the whole person and does not try whether medically or otherwise try to suppress any body functioning.

The biggest challenge I find is the attitude. How are we going to change this attitude that NFP does not work, bearing in mind even the medical practitioners who interact with families daily do not even want to think of this as an option because it is a concept out of this world. How do we even try to change a concept that is far-fetched because the other options are a multi-billion business enterprises that any other information that contradicts that which they advocate for will kill their business? Are we going to be brave enough to go against the norm? Or will we be complacent and keep failing to teach what is the best option? Are we going to watch as the cases of cervical and breast cancers rise and cower because we are too afraid to face this multi billionaires? Well the choice is mine, especially as a woman to abstain from the chemicals or to keep the poison in our systems. Either way, someday we shall all live the consequences of our decisions. I have always said, sexual matters are very key to the woman, and whatever is contrary to that which we believe in can be avoided by ensuring that the people we choose respect us and value that which we value.

Can we please stand up!


I acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Vincent Njuguna of St Matia Mulumba Mission Hospital and Augustine Richard Kakeeto, Lecturer at Catholic University of Eastern Africa- Kenya. 

Garissa Attack – The stories that will never be told, they can only be imagined

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shatteredWe all go to college. Not all of us get out of college. For some its because death they pass on. I went to college too The first time I heard of a student die, I cried a lot. I cried for the parent who expected to receive the son a graduate but receives a coffin instead. I cried for the mother whose hopes had died with the death of this child. I remember how the student died. He was swimming, just a few metres from where most of us were as we took a refreshing swim in Lamu having had a tiring day of touring the Island. He was swimming then he was gone, swallowed up by the Indian ocean.

Every parent sends their child to school for many reasons. For a country that is struggling in building its economy, its mostly about a better living for this child. My father always encouraged us to work hard in school so that we could have a better life. He took us to school. He struggled to keep us there. He whipped us when we disappointed him with poor grades or with behaviours that would threaten our admission. For all that struggle I am. I thank God for that.

For the parents who sent their children to  Garissa University College, their dreams were varied. Each parent has a dream with each child. All those dreams have been cut short. Stories have been told of how it happened. Gruesome pictures have been circulated. Frustrations of identifying one’s loved ones have been narrated. We have all expressed our anger,, which is justified. We have prayed and lit candles. For consolation, for repose of the souls.Amidst all this, there are stories that will never be heard. Stories of parents who will weep the loss of their children for the rest of their lives;parents who have lost their sole hope in family breadwinners, of parents who will walk with their children as they try to relieve the trauma and hope to God that someday they will be strong enough to forget the sound of a gunshot, the smell of fresh and drying blood, the sound of a dying friend, the sight of a lifeless body, the screams that will be etched in their heads. No one will hear of how life will become of all the families of the victims as they live each day mourning their beloved,not because they have not mourned enough today but because every day will be a journey of saying goodbye all over again. The readers will never know of the finality of burying a child. We have hopes and reams and the things we wish to do, and the promises these children represent, but it is all gone. We will never hear of the journey the wounded will make in struggling to forgive those who murdered their kin, their struggle to let go, and the questions they ask themselves that will never be answered; the what if they were still alive… candles

They are not dead those who still live in the hearts of the living. And true to that, those who are gone will forever live in our hearts. I lost a brother when I was eight years old, or there abouts. I once asked my mother of it has gotten any easier, and she said no. The child remains alive in her heart, she will forever remember those last moments when he breathed his last (sob sob)… These parents mourn their kin, their beloved. They will mourn them for the rest of their lives.

I always say that when you loose your beloved, you should remember the moments you sent with them, the memories you made, and that is what should remain in the heart to help us smile through the tears. The whole world is mourning these children.While we may not have lived with these children and may not have memories to help us smile, while we may not have the right words to even take away one drop of tear from the faces of these parents, guardians, brothers sisters, hope for the country at large, while we can not even begin to fathom the pain they are feeling, or the frustration they get to go through with every dawn of a new day, or the hopelessness they feel; while we may not even know what to do or say; we may surrender it all to our loving father in heaven. When all is hopeless, He is our hope. I wish all those affected Jesus. May He be with you, be your strength, be your consolation, be the answer to all those answered questions … Like Henri Nouwen said, I will be “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing…”. I cannot do all this in person, but I go down on my knees and pray with you. umoja

The 7 day #BibleChallenge…. Day 7

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Love is the greatest  1 Corinthians 13:13;
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Romans 13:10;
Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

Love is the greatest, and will forever remain the greatest.

LoveI have a belief that if we loved and loved truly, then all the evil we see, the betrayals, the bloodshed, the fights, the wars, the hatred, just to name a few would all be history. If I loved my friends enough, I would not speak behind their backs unless I am speaking praises, If I loved my neighbour, I would not shed their blood, I would not rape their daughter, I would not sodomize their son, I would not steal their belongings; If I loved enough, I would not corrupt the nation of its wealth, I would not grab public property and claim it as mine, I would not organise a group of gangs and make them kill each other; If there was enough love, then we would all live in goodness, looking out for each other, no one would go hungry or thirsty or naked; no one would be in prison, no one would be struggling with letting go of years of bitterness held deep in our hearts for wrongs done long ago,…

But that is a perfection that we have to daily seek. It is the perfection Christ seeks to teach us each day. As humans, we are weak, we have to constantly seek to be perfected by Christ. Our journey of faith because a continuous search for perfection, which by the grace of God, we shall achieve in eternity.

1 loveIt is easy to love those who love us back. Our ultimate test of love, is when we have to love those who we believe do not deserve our love. May we, in this moment remember the crucified Christ, who in spite of our imperfections loved us enough to die on the cross and keeps loving us…

The 7 day #BibleChallenge…. Day 6

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We are all called to be kind. And like one wise man said, kindness is a language that the blind can see, the deaf can hear and the dumb can understand. It is easy to be kind to those who are kind to us It is easy to show goodness to those who are good to us.It is very easy to reciprocate love. True Christianity however calls us to go beyond that which is obvious. Luke tells us in the Bible to Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 

True Christianity requires us to do to others as He did for us. While, we condemned him and mocked Him, he cried for us; while we whipped him till he bled, he prayed for us; while we nailed him on the cross and jeered till he breathed his last, he forgave us. He tells us “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”. 

Be kindIt is easy to wonder how we can be this, especially when we are really wounded. Kenya is a bleeding Nation at the moment, how now can we love those who brutally shot and cut short the lives of our beloved children? How now? Isn’t this verse making a mockery of our emotions? Flip side; how many times do we ourselves wound those whom we love? How many times do they bow down, swallow their pride and tell us,  “I forgive you?” Are we so special to deserve forgiveness?

Luke 6:37-38:- Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you…

God have mercy on us and grant us graces to actually be kind, very kind, especially when being kind is hardest…

Article 32:- Who will eat the vulture…

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Vulture eats leopard,

Leopard eats snake,

Snake eats bird,

Bird eats worm,

Who will eat the vulture…?

This is not an ordinary food chain as we know it. I don’t even know if vultures eat leopards. It is a poem that came to my mind as I try to get a grasp and rationalize the news I have been hearing in the recent past. A house help decides a child’s back is strong enough to bear her 60 something kilograms (or above) weight, sane adult grown men deciding women should be made naked and sexually harassed for whatever reason and uncles who believe they can punish their sister in law by raping their own niece are just an example. A father who decides his spouse and children are better dead. A wife who decides life is too much and she would rather drown her children and herself. A group of people who decides that others must die because their names are structure in a way that does not suit them. A business man decides a rival needs to be eliminated from the equation for him to succeed… The examples are numerous; and very heartbreaking.

I know to some extent our society has become a man eat man kind of society. But this is a new record of low. They say what distinguishes us from animals, in as much as we are from kingdom Animalia is our humanity, utu wetu. What happens when that humanity is gone? We have become animals who rise up against each other, devouring each other mercilessly not caring what damage we leave at wake as long as our appetite to devour is satisfied. It is a predator prey relationship. Our aspect of reason is all gone.

So what would make a society rise against itself? What would make family turn against its most vulnerable in the person of children, killing them, maiming them, raping them, battering them, denying them basic human rights of food clothing and shelter in the most unorthodox ways? What would make family members turn against each other? Brother killing brother? Sister sending hooligans to rob her own sister? Sons killing their parents? Wives murdering husbands in cold blood? Parents killing their children? What would make a community turn against each other? Armed men shooting unarmed men and women whose only guilt is to look for daily bread? Shameless men stripping their lady friends off all of their dignity? Armed militia terrorizing communities. Neighbors rising against neighbors destroying them and what they hold dear. What happened to us? When did we stop caring? Who decided it was time love came to an end in our lives? Where did our humanity go? Is this the end of times that was prophesied?

c 2I don’t have the answers to any of the above questions. However I do know that someone has to eat the vulture. Or something. We have to retrain ourselves again to care, to love, to be there for each other. We have to learn to be human all over again. How do we learn this? Parents, have to own the responsibility of instilling values and nurturing morally upright and responsible individuals. They must arm them with so thick a skin that the contagion that comes from interacting with the world does not corrode or poke holes into that shield. I know that family’s must stop acting and living as individuals and restore the sense of ownership. Uncles must look at brothers’ children as their own and treat them so. Aunties must fight for their nephews and nieces hard enough for the society to know that they belong somewhere. Grandparents must instill those values that they instilled in their children long ago. The spirit of togetherness must once more be nurtured in our hearts. Parents must take the initiative of introducing the family unit as an institution to be treasured and protected at all costs. Each family member must stop being a threat to the other member of the family instead be a back up who when the world is so wild, one can go back to and find solace, rejuvenation of the tormented spirit. I know that the community have to stop taking the laid back attitude and stand up for what is right and condemn what is wrong. It must not watch as victims are suffering just because whatever is happening is not happening to them. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, Because I was not a Socialist; Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Trade Unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”. He was a protestant pastor who was condemning all who did not speak during the German holocaust. If we do not speak, then at some point when the tree falls on us, who will care if it happened to us? Our hearts would have been so hardened that it won’t matter anymore. Neighbors must restore neighborliness all over again. I also know that the state, in its leadership must diligently fulfill its responsibility towards its people. It must act, not just speak, it must do not only say, it must stretch out its long arm as it is usually insinuated and reach out not only to the affected but also those who are affecting. Laws must be made, but most importantly they must be executed. The state cannot remain complacent. Complacency will breed indifference, indifference hatred and hatred radicalization.

Back to my poem…

Vulture eats leopard,

Leopard eats snake,

Snake eats bird,

Bird eats worm,

Who will eat the vulture…?

 The earth says it will.

What does it imply? If all fails, then there will be natural justice or divine justice. In as much as God should not be our last resort, when everything seems beyond us, we know that God will always come through for us. Exodus 22 from verse 20 talks of people not taking advantage of the widows and orphans for whoever does angers God and His wrath will be upon them. In those days, widows and orphans were the most vulnerable in the society. Extrapolate to today, my thinking is, those who are vulnerable should still not be oppressed or touched or assaulted for woe unto s if they cry to God, His anger will be upon us and according to Exodus 20:24; “My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless”.

May we do our part in protecting and taking care of His creation.


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