Excerpt: …On Grief

We must give each other permission to grieve, and to grieve in the way that is unique to each of us. No one has permission to say to us, “It’s been long enough. Get over it.” No one. …….. Lives that are lanced by loss do not magically zip themselves up into nice, neat packages. When Jesus saw the grief his dear friends experienced at the death of Lazarus, he wept. JESUS WEPT. Even though he knew what was coming next, even though he knew his friend would walk out into the sunlight one more time. Surely we can do no less.

 

From the blog post Making Room for Lament by Diana Trautwein

Even. Jesus. Wept!

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God is Everywhere

God is everywhere
If you’ve ever wondered where God lives…
If sometimes He seems far away in His house in heaven, look around you…
God is everywhere.
You see His face in a woodland flower.
You feel His touch in the gentle rain.
You hear His voice in the murmuring winds.
Even in small secret places, He is always near.
His miracles are as small as a snowflake…
and as great as a sky of stars.
God brings the spirit of joy to your home…
and the spirit of peace and thanksgiving where you worship.
When you speak to God, He guides you.
He is your strength when things don’t go right…
and your comfort when you are lonely or sad.
When you are kind and thoughtful, you are helping to do God’s work…
and in return He sends you the gift of happiness.
God is in every one of us.
He is in our friends who like us just the way we are.
He is in our parents who help us grow up and love us always.
God is in those who think and act as we do…
and in those who may be different.
God is love, and He lives everywhere there is love.
Most of all, God lives in your heart.

  • Barbara Burrow

Tarrus Riley

I can’t say Reggae music is my favorite…..but I discovered Tarrus Riley this afternoon.

I absolutely loved his album mecoustic… I kept thinking about each song…this might be my favorite. I was spoilt for choice; you might love it as well.

Find him. 🙂

Oh let us lift our eyes to the hills
From whence cometh our help yes I
And give us health and strength…
In these challenging times I say
Never let I foot be moved
Show I to improve
Let the words of my mouth
And meditation be true

Africa Awaits – Tarrus Riley

Friday Night…..

Headlines ‘gracing‘ our newspapers lately…..this, then that, this here as well…oh, that too…

Now back to Friday Night…I saw three things that I immediately told myself I would write about. When I was in Primary School, when we got to class in the morning, in turns, we’d go..news news…and the class would answer, yes news? insert laugh. What does yes news even mean? so…yes news? Then you’d say, when I was coming to school, I saw a ……..(Fill in whatever it is you’d seen that morning)

News News…..When I was driving home Friday night I saw three things.

Thing One:

I drove on an extremely clear road, well, because of the time it was. A car sped past me and I mean really fast and I thought…okay is that necessary? Right after, a police patrol truck drove by me even faster than my friend ahead. It had no siren. No LED lights. I thought that was a bit irresponsible because if they are moving at that speed, at least warn whoever might be on the road to get out of your way? I watched the police truck approach the other car and then drive right infront of it and pulling it over. I figured he must have done something hence the really fast driving he did by me a few minutes earlier. I drove past them parked by the road. Didn’t get to know what the matter was. I wasn’t interested, anyway.

Thing Two:

11:30pm and there was the mother of all traffic jams on the road! Like where in the world were people going or coming from? Then again, I was later told that this is normal for Friday late night…..I wouldn’t know. On a normal Friday night I’d be on phase three of my dreams at that time.

Thing Three:

I saw Kifeesi.

During the traffic, cars literally bumper to bumper at now close-to-midnight, a group of people swarmed the road. I wondered where they were coming from but stopped my thoughts half way asking myself, where are YOU coming from, Jem? Pot Kettle.

They walked down the road, some crossing, looked like they’d been at a gathering that had just ended. I noticed this one girl walking in the crowd but by herself. Then two guys came walking behind her, talking to each other, it looked normal, and I was actually enjoying the distraction from the unbelievable traffic. Within seconds the two guys were now at either side of the girl, threw their arms over her shoulders and it really looked friendly. Something someone you know would probably do when they meet you on the street. However, it wasn’t. Shortly after, she started screaming. I’m certain everyone must have been as confused as I was because the whole process looked normal upto that part. She screamed, people heard, stopped walking turned to her and then noticed she was being robbed. A few men tried to scare off / get the two guys but they quickly run across the road an into the dark in a nearby valley. I could not believe all this had unfolded right infront of my eyes. Naked eyes they say?

It was scary! I thought about the girl after, was she hurt? Did they take anything? How old was she? Did her people know where she was? Was she going home? All these things kept running through my mind. Then the two guys…..were they high on something? Is this their pastime for every night? Did they find another unsuspecting victim later? How old are they? What’s their story? Why did they choose this path? Is it satisfying?

Then the time lag(s) between reactions as everything unfolded.

  • The girl….there were a couple of seconds between the arms throwing on her shoulders and her scream. I totally got that. If someone threw their hand around my shoulder, first reaction wouldn’t be a scream, it’d be me turning around, then probably realising I don’t know the person, sensing danger and screaming. This is probably what happened with the girl.
  • The rest of the crowd…..still, a couple of seconds passed before someone actually moving in and trying to intervene. It was not instant. Were people trying to understand what was going on? Did this buy the culprits some more time?
  • The two guys…..Even as she screamed and people moved in, they didn’t flee immediately. Are they not afraid? Is this a regular activity for them that they’ve mastered it and know exactly when to run?

I was shaken really. This can happen to anybody. The two guys were not obvious at all. I would definitely be caught off-guard and I’m sure so many other people would too. If they can do this in a crowd, what happens in isolated places? What would have been this girl’s fate had she been walking somewhere else…with no people?

Thing Three is what stayed on my mind….and the reason for the first line of this post.

Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. – Robert Burns _ 1784

 

Pause

I hadn’t taken a break off work since May…..that might actually seem like a short while a go, but thing is when I took the May break, I needed to concentrate on some other things that were not exactly work-related. I needed to get them done. So as much as I was not at a desk or field, I was, in a way, working. That obviously meant, I did not rest.

Two weeks ago I decided I needed a real break. This became clear to me a week later when I tried to print out something at the office but could not remember my password….a code I had used pretty much since the year started. I absolutely couldn’t remember it. I remember standing over the machine for a good three minutes staring at the keypad…wondering what combination to punch in. I tried several and nothing worked. I moved from trying to remember to guessing to forging. And then I gave up and walked back to my desk. After a while I did remember it, and went back to print.

To me, this was the confirmation I needed that I had to take a break. If I couldn’t remember a code I’d used every day for the last eight months, how was I in position to make any other responsible decisions? I made my leave application and submitted it. Requesting for two weeks straight. Not to travel. Not to study. Not to event-plan. AND no, not to get married….as some people thought, smh. But to simply rest. That’s all I had on my mind when I submitted my application.

Three days into it and I can feel it. I feel different. I don’t feel tired. I hope I don’t look tired. I have picked up the book I put aside months ago…and I’m reading it again. My goal is to finish what’s left of it during this time. I have opened this jem-forsaken blog (Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh) and I have something for it….I haven’t felt like writing anything here for a long time. No time. No energy. No morale. But here I am, back at it. Happy to be back.

Yesterday, I told someone I might be a workaholic. Mainly because as much as I am away from the office, my email is activated on my phone and I am aware of just about everything that is going on. I check the emails as frequently as I do when at work, only that this time, it’s just for my information and not necessarily action. I did this deliberately because I don’t want to go back confused…and lost.

But even with this, I am glad I wake up to do nothing. Literally. And I am not worried about something going wrong…because I am doing nothing. Doing nothing and that not being a problem. I basically wake up, to sleep. Ok, and read my book…and eat.

It feels great. Taking a break from adult-ing for a while. Even if a short while. It does feel great.

Maya Angelou said,

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.

I’m glad I have been able to give myself more than a day. 🙂