Isn’t it amazing to realise that we have come to the last quarter of 2019? The days have flown by and we find ourselves trying to take stock of the first nine months of the year. In these parts, this is the time where gloom sets in. Unrealised dreams, unfulfilled promises, dashed hopes. Everything comes to the fore. For some however, it is a happy season. They have a lot to show for the first nine months and are rejoicing at God’s goodness.
This experience helps me appreciate afresh, the healing power of God and His presence with us. He says He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us always. He is with me even now, as I write this. As I think of weight loss strategies and pain management strategies without medication. As I promise myself to stay away from excessive eating and stay committed to walking and healthy eating, He is with me; helping me stay committed to the good things that promote health and healing.
So, what solution do I have to experience joy and encouragement on an ongoing basis? Look up! That’s what the preacher said. When you wake up in the morning and everything in you tells you that you are nothing and not deserving of a good day, you look up and remind yourself that it’s true. You don’t deserve a good day, but the One Who loves you more than you can ever love yourself has already gifted it to you. You only have to receive it. And even if the day still brings with it sorrow or pain, you can be assured that the One Who loves you is aware of it, and is working everything out for your good.
One thing is clear: being an African woman most likely guarantees that you will be demeaned, maltreated, considered less and be less appreciated and more prone to abuse than other women and other human beings in the world. It is the combination of two factors that individually qualify you for discrimination: being a woman first of all, then being an African. Like the saying goes, ‘It’s a man’s world’. Secondly, in almost all African traditions, the woman is considered to be less than the man, and that is putting it very mildly.
A very painful part of the aftermath of the scandal for me, is the reactions of a lot of Christians, defending their man of God and even denying the event. We do not have proof yet, whether or not the rape occurred, but the blind defense is what gets to me, and the excuses and arguments being proffered to support the positions.
Men of God are God’s servants and messengers, sent to represent Him and share His messages with the Body of Christ on earth. Because they represent God, they are to be respected. However, we must remember that they are still men and not God, so the respect we give should not be the reverence reserved for God. In addition, because they are men, they are equally susceptible to sin like all men are (men and women alike) and should not be deemed infallible, like God.
When a victim speaks up and is ridiculed, it brings the pain of other victims back to the surface and you suffer along, although secretly. The comfort survivors have is that God is there. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
I wish there was more succor for the suffering, such as access to counselors and people who understand abuse and how to deal with it, both for the victim and for the abuser. This is because it’s not only the victim that needs help. The abuser does too.
She was too stunned to think. She didn’t know what to do to stop him and tried to evade his blows, without success.
He kept shouting at the top of his voice and attacking her. When she lost her balance and fell, she remembered that the steward was around and started shouting at the top of her voice.
He looked around to be sure everything was going well, before heading to his designated table to have dinner. The band leader chose that moment to change the beat and started playing a very upbeat tune, a mixture of afrobeat and pop, very African. Out of the corner of his eye, the captain noticed a couple at the next table get up to join the dancing couples on the floor. He did not pay much attention and continued with his meal. It had been like any other trip and he was glad that it was ending uneventfully, especially as his experience had taught him that anything could happen at sea. He had learnt never to heave the sigh of relief until the last passenger had safely disembarked.
If you are in school or taking classes, it is very easy to fail.Just don’t attend classes and don’t study anything. You are guaranteed to fail. But if you want to succeed, you have to attend classes religiously, actually listen to the lecturer, take notes, ask questions, read up, work on assignments, submit by the deadline, prepare for tests and exams! It takes a whole lot of work to succeed. You have to sweat. You have to work. It doesn’t come easy.
Surely, nobody enjoys suffering or wants to suffer. However, if we are to objectively consider the history of Christianity, we would discover that the records show tremendous and lasting pain experienced by professing Christians through the ages. Why then would we expect our Christianity to be pain and trouble free?