Traffic jam

Traffic jam is efficient,

Cause you remember-

He is Omniscient.

He ain’t mute like a mime,

He is Lord of Time.

Traffic jam is efficient,

You get to be proficient –

In reading books

Or touching up looks.

Traffic jam is efficient,

You are insufficient-

You did not pay attention;

You passed the gas station;

You are running on empty,

You are down to your last twenty.

Traffic jam is efficient,

You did your best,

Maybe it’s time to rest.

Smell the coffee,

Chew the toffee,

He leads you softly

To your trophy.

Chasing Mr. Right, Ending up with what’s Left

I decided to break the silence; there was no one left to speak for me.

In the time since this happened, I have found many comrades in the struggle. It’s in the sigh, the way they hang their heads, the way their fingers caress their cheeks, the way they hug their shoulders, the way tears well up in their eyes but do not pour out onto their cheeks. The shaking of their heads, the limpness in their limbs, the tone of voice, the staccato speech. The absence of adjectives.

It started- I was five years old, they stopped us at a roadblock on the way to Kabale- systematically stripped all the adults of anything they deemed valuable. And my sweets. Who steals candy from a baby? Mr. Right.

We hired him to guard our home when thieves overrun the University’s defences, he didn’t show up that night. We were robbed clean. He didn’t show up again, but we were given a replacement by Mr. Right. Why a replacement? Sshhh, Mr. Right is always right.

Then he was assigned to guard my daddy to keep him from harm’s way. But we found daddy in a hospital, another roadblock, badly injured though not fatally. It could have been worse, is all Mr. Right said.

We came back from burying mummy and again we had been robbed. Mr. Right needs airtime. Mr. Right wants to interview all the staff at home, he ends up intimidating them. Mr. Right needs facilitation. Mr. Right, is it possible for you to do your job quietly and leave us to mourn? Shhhhh, Mr. Right is always right. He has a very important job to do.

Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic. Lewis Caroll

The hassle -Madam, your seat belt is not on; Madam, you are over speeding, here you see the machine says so; Madam, aren’t you too pregnant to drive? Madam, it’s very hot today. Mr. Right please, don’t belabour the point. Is it reasonable for us to use the same time it takes Toyota to manufacture an entire car to “discuss” the use of a mere component?

Yes, the madness got to me.

So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah
Psalms 55:6‭-‬7 NKJV

He raised his arm, as I drove by with my children, I stopped. He systematically begins finding fault with everything about me, he strips me down, shreds my integrity and crumples my dignity like used wrapping paper. I play it down, my children are in the car.

Finally, he latches onto he said-she said like a desperate man falling into a chasm. It’s his word against mine. No one stops to assist, not even the bodaboda man. Girl don’t you know your place, you don’t argue with Mr. Right. He is Right, just do as he says! In sync, and like a well choreographed dance, each one dances to his tune and they move off stage. I cannot dance any more, Mr. Right? I have only two LEFT feet. The music plays on.

I run back to my safe place, my car. He followed me, where are you going? I am Mr. Right, you cannot leave till I say so.

It is time to take back my life, I choose to take it back. I try to start my car, his hand swiftly grabs my hand and my key. I am not allowing you to take my life away again, Ssebo. I fight with all I have. He breaks my key chain, takes the key. Strips my car of its plates.

Mummy, mummy what is happening? The hammering is too loud. Mummy, are you going to prison? Mummy, Mummy, what is Mr. Right doing? Hide, hide, Where can we hide?

Satisfied with his handiwork, he puffs his chest out, gives me back the keys to the car. But it’s not my car, it’s damaged goods. Damaged like my soul by Mr. Right.

Mummy, I heard the car crying.

I can hear the sounds of Jessie Reyez’s Gatekeeper

I wait for the Lord , my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord

More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalms 130:5‭-‬6 NKJV

Tell us about Mary

I have spent time thinking about Mary, her courage and her humility- but mostly her courage.

She couldn’t have been more than fifteen years and yet she didn’t cringe when she was told she would be the mother of the long awaited one, the Messiah. Her brother-in-law, Zechariah questioned the same angel Gabriel in the Holy of Holies. Her response on the other hand,

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38 KJV

Seated in the sweltering heat, fingers impatiently tapping my steering wheel, I am unable to wait a few minutes for a rushed driver to bypass me. She allowed God to bypass her- her engagement was on the line, her family might disown her, her friends might call her a liar, the synagogue might excommunicate her.

(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Luke 2:35 NKJV

She laid her life, her aspirations, everything that was familiar , down convinced that God is able to do what He said He would do. When he does, it will be good and perfect. She was certain that the devil is not in the details, God had the plan and all the details working for her.

She makes the journey to Bethlehem by donkey (that’s what we have always sang in the carols) but maybe she walked. A donkey is not the most comfortable ride, it’s not a four wheel drive with air conditioning, cushy leather and a stereo surround system. It is a rough ride, she felt every bump, every rock, every stumbling and probably a few tumblings. It must have been windy, cold, extremely hot at noon, definitely exhausting.

Her feet swelled. She got thirsty and hungry. It was a rough journey. Joseph is also young, slightly older than her but definitely fits in very well with our youth in this millennium. He fumbles and is clumsy as he gets weary. His sense of judgement gets cloudy. Yet, they take it in their stride. Caesar Augustus may have lost his marbles but God has got this. He is the light in the dark unknown.

She goes into labour in the middle of the census. The town is abuzz with the excitement of reuniting families. Tired Romans trying to just get through the counting and Rabbis exhausted from all the dinner parties. In a stable, probably all alone, she gives birth to her first born. She has heard stories and been prepped for this day. But there is a very conspicuous absence, her family. She doesn’t get to share her joy with them. Instead she has smelly, uncouth, excited shepherds visit. They tell their story of angels, she doesn’t tell hers. The three Magi come with the most expensive gifts, they tell their story. She doesn’t tell hers. Motherhood begins quietly, in quietness and trust, she finds rest.

The baby has been up the whole night, feeding every two hours. She glimpses a blurry Joseph bustling around the room, they have to leave. Herod is after Jesus. She had hardly recovered from the dedication and purification journeys. Just when she was getting into her rhythms. No time to lose, she is back onto the donkey with the baby. Her back hurts, her nipples are sore, her eyes are heavy, she can’t feel her arms… The baby is fast asleep. The journey to Egypt is longer- feeding breaks, nappy changes, water refills- more arduous they must travel silently. No friendly stop overs, no banter in markets, only silence.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalms 23:4 KJV

Joseph’s eyes betray him, they well up with tears, we survived the holocaust but all are gone. Her heart tightens, “what about John?” Terror seeks to grip her soul, the baby coos. But God. She mourns for her sisters, her friends, comfort them, O Lord. Thank you for our Savior, this will end. Her heart remains steadfast, it is well with John. It is well with Elizabeth. It is well with Zechariah. It is well with Israel.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
Deuteronomy 33:27 KJV