Today’s publication is a sequel to The Bed which remains one of the most read articles in my blog’s short history. A big thank you to the reader that chose to ask my opinion on this issue. I won’t say your name.
I will tell you two storiess. The first is heart breaking while the second is just a natural case of happenstance. We spend a whole lifetime planning and painting fantastic imagery of our future but sometimes [if not always], fate has a different plan. Some call it Murphy’s law. I call it life. One will never be experienced in matters of the heart. The script changes constantly and heartbreak is the constant threat that always lingers in the dark episodes of our existence.
My friend Lilly got married at 25 on a sunny friday morning. It had just rained the previous week and the landscape everywhere looked beautiful and colorful. Her parents were very happy and proud. By then, it was an open secret that Lilly had fought the ‘good fight’ and was now being betrothed a pure and virgin bride. To cap it all off, Sam, her boyfriend of 5 years was also ‘pure’ and free of scandal. If this marriage was a garment, the tag must have read MADE IN HEAVEN on the collar.
You see, they’d both met at church and had similar tastes in almost everything. They both believed in the sanctity of a romantic relationship. They had made a covenant with God, their parents and themselves never to engage in sex before marriage. On this morning of their wedding day, tears rolled down the cheeks of almost all that were present at the plush, well manicured gardens. It was a sweet union. When the minister pronounced them man and wife, they kissed romantically and it was evident they had ran out of breath in the tight grip their love, diligently earned. And as the young maids showered confetti and rice on the love birds, the young ladies present at the wedding fell into a swoon and could not hide their envy. It was beautiful.
It’s been 6 months now and Lilly is crying in the kitchen while making dinner. On the kitchen table lies the lovely red roses that Sam sent to her office earlier during the day. She’s crying because she doesn’t know what to do. Sam has always been a good man. He makes her feel special and Lilly is sure he loves her. But this is not the reason why she is crying. She is sad. There is something about Sam that she can’t get out of her chest. Since they got married, they’ve only had sex 3 times and they both hated it. It was short, painful and devoid of all emotion that should ideally come with making love. Sam preferred to turn of the lights while they were at it and cautioned her against making any noises. Needless to say, the sex was over in the blink of an eye and he was snoring at the far end of the bed in no time. He seemed not interested in making love and this made Lilly feel inadequate and worthless. In the morning’s after, he wouldn’t touch her or kiss her good morning and was out of the house before first light. It felt like she disgusted him after sex.
She feels wasted for all those years she kept herself pure for marriage. According to Sam, sex ‘is not everything’. He prefers to cuddle and watch a movie over a nice meal. What I’m trying to say is, Sam has never had a chance to ‘practice’ and is therefore not confident with himself. He is a proud man and will not pause at the possibility of learning the art of making love. What a classic case of marriage made in heaven and a bed made at the carpenter’s. For now, Lilly is holding on.
“It’s only been 6 months” she consoles herself. She shudders at the thought of living like this for a lifetime. Meanwhile, onlookers look at Lilly and Sam with envy wishing they too, had a marriage as blissful as this one. They look so cute together! MADE IN HEAVEN.
Meanwhile in downtown Nairobi,there’s a couple fighting at the bus stop. It’s Sharon and George. They call each other names and cuss loudly and in a short while, they are arrested by city council askaris and bundled in a waiting ‘cage van’. They’re charged with disturbing public order and fined a hefty amount each. After working together to contribute the sum, they’re let out in an hour. Once out, they kiss and make up and are laughing in no time. It’s been 10 years on and off in their relationship so they’re used to this. Marriage is an issue that none of them wishes to discuss. They both believe that once they get married, the fights will get worse and they might end up splitting for good. In their opinion, marriage just complicates things.
Sharon and George have a great sex life. They both love exploring and learning new stuff. Weather in public or private, they show their affection fearlessly and passionately. They’re also addicted to what the new world calls ‘make up sex’. So most of their fights have a happy ending and are therefore petty. They play and live as if it’s always their last day alive. At the bus stop, they were fighting because a pretty girl had said hi to George and Sharon had a hunch that the two had slept together before. Women can tell these things you know. Other than these ‘small’ misunderstandings every now and then, Sharon and George are generally a happy couple. They could live on sex alone, or so it seems. Each one of them has tried a different dish on several occasions but it seems this one still suffices at the end of the day. A wedding can wait. For now, they can love freely and work on their ‘imperfect’ relationship learning and changing. In the meantime, the bed is the least of their worries. They’re doing just fine.
These two cases are just a a few that caught my eye. I have also seen many instances where both approaches have worked and the couples have enjoyed long healthy relationships. Most of us have been brought up on rules based on morality and religion but somewhere along the way, we get to realize life is real and very practical.
And finally, there are two people somewhere in the world who feel it is time to make a bold move. Be careful what you wish for. Everything has a price. One big question though; will you shop around and test before you buy or will you buy first and test when you get home? In both cases, the shop DOES not accept returns for goods once sold. Both scenarios have advantages and disadvantages but most of all, they are real. For once I hope you will not base your decision solely on religion or hearsay. For this one, just do you. And as for the guardians of religion and doctrine, maybe it is time you engaged your flock in discussion and reason. I believe more lives can be changed positively this way.
Let it be known that there’s definitely more to a relationship than just sex. There is love, work, money and family to consider too. However I chose to talk about sex because it’s what no one wants to talk about in honesty.
Remember, as you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
When I was in class one, my teacher noticed I had a passion for arts and so she made it her mission to help me develop my talent. She would always provide me with extra crayons and additional drawing paper. All this, because I painted her a picture of what I thought was her family. Perfect and balanced. I remember her reaction when I presented her the painting. She cried helplessly, hugged me and soaked me in her tears. I was too young to understand what her tears meant so I cried with her too. I was later to learn that she had lost her family in a car crash. From that moment, we became best friends. She even offered to teach me how to count as I had difficulty in math. She liked me. During the morning breaks, she and I would go and sit on the grass at the far end of the field and I would catch grasshoppers for her. I wanted her to smile but she wouldn’t. She was a sad creature.
One day after learning of the fate of her family, I painted another picture of her family. This time, I painted her departed husband and two kids were on the top of my composition with smiles on their faces. At the bottom of the painting I had drawn my teacher smiling and looking up at her family. I used yellow for most of the painting. This also happened to be the first thing she noticed when I presented it to her. I explained that the yellow stood for God, and that he was always watching over her. I also told that her family was safe in his hands. There were tears in her eyes when she told me that she didn’t believe in God. For a young child brought up in a christian family, her statement threw me into personal melee and finally a quest for the existence of God. It was the saddest thing to know that my teacher died a few years later in 1997. It was even more sad to learn that she died having not believed in the existence of a higher power.
When I was twelve, I read the bible from beginning to the end. I wanted to find out why people believed in christianity. It was a tough time as my uncle and his wife had just lost their three month old baby. Naturally, some people wanted answers, others wanted understanding. For me, there was one big question. Where was God when the poor child was sick? Why would he give us a ‘gift’ only to take it away before its time? It just didn’t make sense. I was looking for answers in the bible in the hope that I would get an enlightenment or at least an understanding. I could not bring myself to believe how God formed the universe from nothing. There was a tempest in my heart between logic and faith. In a strange way, I could now understand why my teacher did not believe in God. It was scary to harbor such thoughts in my young mind. But sometimes, the answers come when one is in the eye of a storm because after my long search, I finally got home. I believe strongly that God exists. Trash everything else. That we evolved from apes is complete rubbish. How else can the evolutionists explain why the apes are still there? As one blogger put it, it’s like saying a chair will one day evolve into a table.
You see the terms faith and logic are relative; depending on how you understand them. Personally I believe that faith is observed and experienced by signs. Affection is not affection unless it is expressed in signs. How else do you know that someone loves or hates you? Is love something you can touch? Is hate an object you can take hold of and bury in the sand? Why then do you doubt the existence of God just because you cannot see him?
Likewise, science also derives its basis on signs. Smoke is the signal of a fire. The mood, cognition and voluntary movement in a human being are explained by the presence of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) that the brain is able to produce. So can we safely agree that science and religion are based on signs? Well scientists would definitely not agree to this co-relation. Fair enough. I wonder what they have to say about this thing called gravity. How is it formed? Where does it come from? Clearly, all a scientist can do is try explain the signs of God’s work. It then becomes useless to explain the inside of an egg without first trying to find out where the hen came from. Get it? At the end of the day there is no evidence needed to bring forth faith. Just signs.
‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. ‘ Hebrews 11:1-3
In my article Dreams, I gave the example of Jesus‘ Walk On Water. I have come to call this wonderful event WOW- Walked On Water. Of course scientists will always try to refute this fact but I on the other hand, have experienced more WOW moments than I can count. My prayers have always been answered. I have seen the signs of God’s goodness that I can’t ignore. I have done bad things in the past but I now enjoy the mercies and grace of a forgiven man. You see the same author of my faith is the same One who created science. So when science fails to explain an occurrence, I cannot assume that it doesn’t exist.
Sometimes all we need to do is close our eyes and experience the connection. You know that feeling in your heart that tells you, that you are not here by chance?
These are just random thoughts of a man looking to find his way. The journey is long and it’s just beginning. Maybe next time I will tell you what else I have discovered. I dedicate this to my mother who has been the best teacher when it comes to explaining the intangible.