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.
By Michael Ngigi
What are the biggest lies you can tell yourself [forever] in a relationship? I know if given a chance to list them, one could fill up a dozen toilet rolls with these hoaxes that we can’t seem to detach ourselves from. Before I deliver my thesis, a comprehensive disclaimer is key.
The opinions herein are based on things narrated to me and not experience. Some are also based on observation. I write this on behalf of a group of men and women who are looking for answers.
If you were struck by lightning while walking along street x on the same spot twice within one week, would you use that street again? What are the chances that you can be slapped by a mad man 5 times in the same market over a period of a week? Ok, let me move closer home. Banging your finger five times with a hammer while trying to drive in a nail should give you one clear message. STOP IT! You’re not cut out for this. Try something else! One could easily say, it’s common sense that such an unlucky person lacks. Well, it’s easier said than done.
Meet Shiku. At 21 years she looks a bit too mature for her age. Worry lines are beginning to show. In her eyes, a fire, slowly dying is evident. She is beautiful and homely. You know the kind of girl any man’s mother would wish for? She is a snob. The good kind. Many a man she has turned down because she is faithful to Mark, who happens to ‘love’ her very much [in her words]. They have been going out for three years now. She talks about him nonstop.
To the trained eye, too much flowery talk is an indicator of a huge underlying problem.
You see, Mark is violent. Hardly any argument in the last two years, has ended without a fight. Wrong word. A beating. Last Friday he assaulted Shiku, causing injury to her internal organs. She spent a night at the hospital on heavy pain killers and therapy. On Monday, he sent Shiku a bouquet of yellow flowers at her office with a note written “I’m sorry it’ll never happen again”. She read the note and cried. Her tears were not tears of pain. They were tears of love and joy.
She ‘knows’ that one day Mark will change. She knows he loves her and that it’s always her fault that she is beaten. She still lives with her parents. No wonder it is always a task lying to them where all those black eyes come from. Sad, is all I can say. Well she could survive a few more months till they get married, eye suppose.
In a place not far away from our ‘star’ couple. We meet another interesting couple. Justin and Maria. They are in love. They meet for coffee almost daily after work. During the day they send each other nice love notes on phone and internet. According to Justin, this is it. Lately, he has noticed a slight change in his girlfriend. She is too happy, too loving and a bit too caring. He likes it, but he doesn’t feel comfortable. He wants to raise the issue but is afraid it would lead to fight… and possibly a break up.
“I’ll give it more time” he says to himself. If he only knew…
Maria has been through this before. I mean, the love thing and everything that comes with it. She has a condition that is still yet to be documented in medical journals. She gets bored easily. She thinks highly of Justin. He seems a nice guy and is quite interesting too. However, there’s something missing. She can’t put a finger on it but she knows it exists.
Unknown to Justin, she also likes this other guy who we will name Jack (like in a porn movie hehe!). He is mysterious, exciting and fun to hang out with. She is undergoing a mixture of emotions that she can’t explain. You see three weeks ago, they [Maria and Jack] went for this friends’ reunion in Ngong and there happened to be lot of alcohol to be consumed. They got hopelessly wasted and ended up at his place. As nature would want it, they ended up in bed. The sex was great.
Now Maria feels terrible. Two weeks ago Jack called her up for a ‘hang out’ at the new club in Westlands. Again, they ended up at his place. She doesn’t know him well but can’t help falling for his magnetic effect. She knows Jack is not they serious type. So she feels guilty and ends up being overly nice to Justin. She hates the mess she’s in. She’s in some serious trouble. No, Justin is.
Enter Justin. By now he is sure something is up. He is a business man so he understands the law of mitigation. It is obvious that he is in a sinking ship. He has the option to cut his losses and run. He has been a player before so he knows the situation he’s in. He gave up that life because he had finally found rest in this amazing girlfriend of his. However, he chooses to wait for the worst to happen. He tries to convince himself that Maria is just undergoing some changes in her life and that she’ll come around soon.
“Things could change eye suppose” he mutters to himself as he smokes his joint in the toilet at his workplace.
It is obvious that over speeding is dangerous yet we do it. Women know a violent man even before they date him but they assume. Men know a wandering eye yet they propose to be there for her for life. All in all. I think human beings have got to be the most ignorant lot. We never learn. We could die holding on to that sinking ship all the while ignoring the buoy that constantly floats by. A race that embraces harm and hurt even though it lies inviting in plain sight. But we could live like this eye suppose.