Who lifts them when they are down.
Who can lovingly reproach and correct you when needs be.
Who challenges you to be more than you are or do better.
That you can call up on short notice and they will take your call or make the time.
With whom you can dream up big ideas.
You trust fully.
Who accepts and loves you as you are …
A friend of mine came “out” this week – out, as in of the proverbial closet. Well, he was an acquaintance from Church and he led worship as part of the Praise Team.
- I wasn’t really shocked at his coming out and his statements around it because for the longest time he had been posting very provocative articles on homosexuality and I figured that it maybe because he is currently in Uganda (homophobe capital of the world). On this day he decided to speak plainly and talk about how gay people are out and about and more common than we imagine and thereafter I saw the Christian backlash and response to it all.
- I stand by the Bible (God’s) position of homosexuality – it is a sin and it is outside of God’s plan for mankind. I am unapologetic about this. However, there is a clear distinction between the man (as indeed we are all fallen) and the sin. The latter is abhorrent to a Holy God while the former is beloved to Him.
- In portraying this distinction, it is vital that fellow man portrays love and understanding. Love that stems from the knowledge that before God, we all fall short in many areas and the understanding that to God, sin is sin and no one’s is better or less than another’s. Bearing this in mind will guide your language and approach. Otherwise, we are no different from the Pharisees!
- Personally, I feel for my friend because this is not an easy path he has selected: i) A large part of his past/present life is Church and he has the dilemma of serving a loving God who does not accept his lifestyle and ii) it’s illegal in East Africa – obviously no one has been convicted as successful prosecution requires that the accused be caught in the act.
One of my first (fast) friends from High School was in town this week and despite receiving additional work just before the planned rendezvous, I am glad that we still made time to have dinner and catch up.
- Seeing each other after so long resulted in a general acknowledgment that we have all grown up. She is planning a wedding in June and has a little daughter that turns 5 later this year – about as long as I have been with my person. Besides the fact that this November will be 11 years since we finished high school.
- In reminiscing about high school, we both agreed that if we could go back, we would relax more and do more extra-curricular activities. We did go to one of those schools where success was guaranteed and we should have been equipped instead to know how to better deal with the pressures of success and how to unwind. More importantly, how to fail and get back up. From conversations with some of my other classmates, it’s hit me that it does take us such a while to get there.
- About having the strength and the foresight to leave a job when it stops feeding that inner part of you that ticks and makes you who you are. And not feeling like a failure at the same time when it does not work out. In determining what to do post-high school, few of us really interrogated the options available to us and presently some of us are going through a period of asking whether this is what we want or not. A very important phase that might improperly be read as being radar less and shifty.
- The most significant thing she did say to me – women need to be authentic with each other and in the process know when to give yourself a break. In our different roles: daughters, sisters, partners, colleagues … we must know when to ask for help, when to speak up, when things aren’t working out. If women were more honest with themselves …. Who knows how that sentence might end but I will try and find out.
Have you had any interesting conversations this week.
Posted in Heart matters, madness, marriage
Tagged authenticity, bible god, faith, female's friendship, Heart matters, homosexuality, madness, marriage, Uganda
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girls’ girl and I firmly believe in the strength of women and the beauty that is women’s friendships. This is hardly surprising as some of the best lessons in life I learnt from my four older sisters – who are family and as I have gotten older, my friends.
From my first sister, I have learnt about kindness and generosity – genuinely giving things from the bottom of your heart and not expecting anything in return. Maybe its because she is the first born and long accustomed to having to share with the babies, but she is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. From her I have also learnt the importance of tithing and giving that 10% of your income to God – this from the time when she gave me pocket money to now when I earn a salary. She is also very funny and never once treated me as a baby. My best memory of her was when she left for University, at an institution four and a half hours from Nairobi and she would write letters home to me telling me about school. Obviously part of it was to me, but some parts I had to relay the information to my parents. But what stood out was she wrote to me not as the 7 – 11 year old I was at the time, but as an old enough sister.
From my second sister, I have learnt the soft professional skills – my CV and cover letter are modelled along hers, she has sent me all sorts of articles on how to conduct myself at the office, how to behave at interviews, how to speak to my boss and make certain requests, verbally and via email. I have also learnt how to laugh and just savour the moments with her being able to listen and laugh at anything I tell her, often making the story more than the humorous event. She is truly my biggest champion with my two best memories of her being the day an older girl bullied me and she matched out a friends house (having heard her small sister cry) and slapped her across the cheek. SCORE! Also in Primary school, she used to sign my school diary and check my homework on behalf of my parents and a particular teacher did not like this and called her stupid just as I was stupid – I rushed home and reported this and first thing Monday morning, she was at school coming to do battle with him. My best moment was watching him slink back to class after being chastened in her presence. DOUBLE SCORE!!!
My third sister and I can laugh. Growing up, we spent so many hours just cracking up and laughing and annoying the other three who often did not get it. We have the same sense of humour and often, just need to say it once when the other would double up in laughter with tears rolling down and sides hurting. I owe the direction that my post-graduate studies took entirely to her, she got me to send in my application in time, she went to the school, followed up with them continuously until I finally got admitted. For two years, she stayed on at work until 7/ half 8 in the evening to pick me up as I did not drive at the time. On a lighter note, she also taught me how to make rice and we all know much how I love the stuff. She also greatly inspired a lot of my musical and reading interests with us jointly reading and discussing so many books over the years.
The sister whom I follow has an uncanny sixth sense – she can read someone and however long it takes, her initial instincts will be proven right. And so I tend to depend on that at times, I can go in and get to know the person but also allow for the fact that she will be right about them eventually. She is also entirely protective and of all my sisters, she definitely makes me most feel like the baby of the family. She also taught me how to drive and through her son, has shown me what it is like to bring up a child and how it is to have someone to be responsible over.
Do you also have sisters? What have you taught them or what have they learnt from you?
Posted in good, Heart matters, home, madness
Tagged female bonding, female's friendship, good, Heart matters, home, life lessons, madness, sisters, women