My Gratitude Chronicles (2)

Broken bones and forgiveness

When I was about twelve or thirteen years old, someone did a bad DV episode on me and broke my back, (at least, that’s what the local orthopaedic guy said when my Mom took me to him very late the night after the incident

I had been staying with this family that was not entirely mine, (story for another day), and the man of the house was a troubled soul who was quite violent. On the night in question, an argument between husband and wife resulted in a severe case of wife battery, and somehow I was the innocent bystander who got caught in the fray. And I was beaten very badly. I was slapped, punched, kicked, tossed in the air and finally stepped upon. And my back cracked. The following day I was shipped off to my parents; broken, bruised and battered, but alive.

And I forgave them.

Forgiveness has always been easy for me. Maybe because I’m a coward at heart and revenge takes too much energy? I do not know,, and please don’t hurt me just so you can find out, lol!

But I am a happier person when I forgive. Bitterness and anger give me headaches and body cramps. I think that being bitter is sometimes worse than having broken bones. I am grateful to God that I have none.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matt.6:14

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Domestic violence? Get a life lady, get a life!

 

One of the reasons we often hear for women remaining in abusive homes is that they do not have the means to leave. They have neither a job nor any other income source or they have no savings of any sort. I know there are several contributing factors but this is one of the things I usually hear from the women I counsel. I hear this complaint from so many married women, even the those that are happily married that I have decided to address it today.

I believe that every woman should work. I was raised by a father who believed that “He who does not work should not eat.” So I grew up knowing that work was an essential part of life, regardless of your gender. I have always worked. No, don’t get me wrong, I have not always had a paid job but my hands have always found something to do so please pardon me if I sound a little impatient with women who do not work and who choose to stay at home all day long bemoaning their fate.

I am a firm believer in the role of a woman as nurturer of the home and I have no quarrels whatsoever with a woman who makes the choice to not work outside the home. What I do have a quarrel with is a woman whose only form   of work is taking care of children and the home, all day, always, with no plans to do anything else! Come on people! Take care of your home and your kids all you want but please have an income source or a savings somewhere. If your man gives you any sort of allowance at all, try to save something from it no matter how little. Let’s say for instance your allowance is three thousand naira (about $10) a week or even a month; imagine with me that you keep aside a little, say, $1 each time, in ten weeks you would have $10. Not much you might say but enough to flag a taxi down if you need to move out quickly.

There is a sense of empowerment that comes from having some financial independence, no matter how small. And when there is no paid job, please look for something to volunteer for. You could volunteer your time at a local school or church or community centre. It may not pay but it would help to build a sense of self-worth. You could try your hands at writing or arts and crafts, or singing or anything else that catches your fancy…

How Could I?

Night has never seemed so dark. Bleakness has a new meaning; it is the state of my soul this morning. This Passover must go down in my history as the worst ever! I wonder if I will ever again enjoy this sacred feast, suddenly it has lost all meaning for me.

 

I can’t face my friends anymore, nor indeed my own dear wife. Especially not my wife. She held the Teacher in such high esteem! She knew He was who He said He was, she accepted it without question and proclaimed it whenever she gathered with the women at the well to fetch water. She never argued with them, never felt the need to explain, but she knew and she had proof. Proof that no one could argue with. She was convinced even before that memorable day that He had stopped by for dinner and her mother’s fever was at an all time high.

 

That fever had a story behind it. It had a life of its own, it came and went as it pleased and it was usually most pleased when it could cause Peter the most embarrassment. He knew she was proud of his position as one of the esteemed followers of the Teacher and though she never said much, everyone in her circle knew of it. Whenever any of the women asked why her husband was no longer carrying on with his once thriving fishing business, she was quick to let them know that he was now in a higher line of business. “He’s fishing for the souls of men.” She would proudly respond. And when they asked her what that meant she would simply shake her head and say, “you wouldn’t understand but my husband works directly with the Teacher now.”

 

And now I am faced with the prospect of telling her that I had denied knowing the Lord! How could I? What had come over me? But worse yet, she probably knew already. Bad news had a way of travelling through Jerusalem at the speed of light.

 

I had better avoid the house for a couple of days; I will go to John’s house, his wife is a lot more respectful and even if she’s thinking the same things, she will not voice them..

 

THE THIRD DAY..

 

What is it with these crazy women and their senseless rumours? The Lord is not there? He is risen? From where to where? All these thoughts ran through my head as I raced towards the tomb, faster than I ever thought I had the capacity to run. Then I got to the tomb and He was not there, He was gone, like the women said, gone like He had told us countless times, not dead, risen, alive. And now I know just how big a crime I committed three days ago; the One I denied knowing was truly the Son of God, nay, He was God Himself, in human flesh and I had been priviledged to be in His inner circle.

 

“Oh God have mercy on me!” I must go into the city and look for the others.I will go with John and search till we find the Master. He will have mercy on me, He has said it before that anyone who comes to him, He will not cast out; I will go to Him and confess my sins, I know He will pardon me..

 

Between Abigail and Saphira: Who’s the better wife?

Two very interesting female characters in the Bible are Abigail and Sapphira. Both were wives with very intriguing stories.

Abigail was the wife of Nabal, a rich man who dealt in animal husbandry; he had livestock in abundance and was a man to be reckoned with in his time. But his name was ‘Nabal’ which meant fool. Now, why on Earth would any parent want to name their child ‘fool?’ And why would any adult want to keep such a name? Anyway, that is not the subject of our story. So Nabal was a rich man and his wife was Abigail, described as beautiful and wise-talk about opposites attracting!

Nabal insulted David, who was a kind of Robin Hood of his day and David was bent on killing Nabal. Abigail intervened by providing food for David and his men and pleading for David to refrain from soiling his hands with Nabal’s blood and Nabal’s life was spared by David. The following day she told Nabal what had transpired and he had a heart attack, fell into a coma and died ten days later (please read the full story in the Holy Bible, book of 1 Samuel  chapter 25). Abigail then goes on to marry David and they live happily ever after!

Fast forward many thousands of years later to the time of the early church. The early disciples were excited at the move of the Holy Spirit and were doing amazing things; people were selling their possessions for the common good and this couple, Ananias and Sapphira took a joint decision to also sell their land and be known as ‘givers’ to the cause. To cut a long story short, they agreed to keep back part of the proceeds and claim they had given all. Ananias takes the money to the church elders, tells the agreed lie and dies. His wife comes in three hours later, not knowing hubby was dead, tells the same lie and dies instantly.

This post is not about the morality or otherwise of their individual actions, rather it is an attempt to answer the question of who or what makes a good wife? Abigail went against her husband, disobeyed him, called him names before another man, disrespected him to David and in the process was indirectly responsible for Nabal’s death.

Saphira on the other hand respected her husband, agreed with him in every area and did exactly what he wanted her to do, and that led to her death!

So the question is, who was the better wife? Are there lessons we can draw from these two women? Where should a woman draw the line when it comes to obeying her husband?

Let’s talk, what do you think? Maybe we can lay this age-old debate to rest for ever!

ps: the story of Ananias and Saphira can be found in the new Testament book of Acts, chapter 5.

Of containers and their contents: my deep freezer and I.

Amazing the number of things we take for granted in our daily lives isn’t it? So here am I thinking about my deep freezer and its contents and the vital role it plays in my life. First some background on this most important of containers; I’ve had several in the past twenty odd years. Most have been given away to a more needy person after years of faithful service and I think I may have sold one or two in the past, but at every turn in my adult life I have had a deep freezer or a freezer of some sort-  I recall that for about seven years I had a standing freezer with drawers that served me faithfully well.
So what exactly makes this container so special? My freezer is an enclosed box with clean surface and two handles on the door, it is all white and cool to the touch and at first glance it looks like a giant box with a surface that should be used for cutting and trimming. But my freezer is a lifesaving box! Inside it are the secrets to a happy kitchen and a more efficient me. Inside of my freezer is a story, hardly ever told in public of who I am; bowls and bags of soups, stews and sauces. Packs of beef, fish, poultry, goat meat, half-eaten bowls of food, leftovers, vegetables and a myriad ingredients that make my life as a working mother more bearable
The freezer has rescued me on many a tired night when I couldn’t begin to plan dinner if my life depended on it, just dig into its bowels of mercy and warm the first thing that catches my tired fancy; so yes, my freezer is not just any other container, it is special. It helps me in ways you cannot even imagine. Thanks to my freezer I can write more, sleep earlier, rise later, plan better and be a more loving wife and mother. I salute my freezer! Suddenly I realize it is more than just another container in my home and today I honour all freezers around the world, they are the unsung heroes in many-a-kitchen. Today I name this container, ‘my wonder box!

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