He is not here

The end of a rope. I have not had an occasion to run out of rope. However, we did run out of road this one time. Hilarious right! So we were cruising on Mombasa road heading back to Malindi, and part of that road was so bad, you didn’t know whether you were on the road or off the road. Well, not quite. It was really bumpy, so at one point, we noticed how smooth it has gotten. Only to hear our driver say, “oops, we run out of road!” We were driving on the shoulders at that point. He quickly course corrected and we were back to our jostling.

Not so many situations are this great. Most of the Hallmark movies have a scene where the family of the patient are in the waiting room and the surgeon walks in, still in his scrubs,and says ‘Doctors have done all they can… but he/she didn’t make it!’ Hearts broken. Sad theme music. And it’s done. You may rewind but you will always get back to that point and the doctor will walk to the waiting room in his scrubs. There is a finality about death.

Then there was COVID and the dynamics changed completely. No more wakes. No more ashes to ashes and dust to dust by the grave side. No more laying wreaths on caskets. No more viewing the body. Just the ‘angels’ coming in, spraying their paths with chloroquine. And ensuring everyone stays far away. Strangers burying a strangers. Loved ones estranged. There is a stillness about death.l

https://www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/2020-10/WHO_2554.JPG

Early, one Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary made her way to the tomb to finish dressing the body of her Rabbi, Jesus. She finds the tomb empty and goes back to tell Simon Peter. Simon and John run to the tomb, to find indeed it is as she said. They return to their homes. The emptiness of this phrase points to the hollowness of death. Mary remains in the garden distraught, weeping and recounting the same phrase as grief is bound to do. The angels ask why she is weeping. They have taken away my Lord and I don’t know where they have laid him. Even after the angels have told her. She looks up to see someone and in her grief, she recounts the same phrase for him.

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

John 20:15 NKJV

Mary’s pain is raw. The raw pain missed in Hallmark movies. I was hurrying to the hospital when the call came, it was my dad. He calmly asked where I was and I told him I was rushing to the hospital and apologized because I was so late. I cannot remember anything else he said, but I do recall that he told me mummy passed away in the early hours of the morning. Ohhhh, those words cut through my brain like a butcher’s knife. Right to my physical heart, the only response was a loud wail. I stopped the car in the middle of the road. I felt the sun had to stop rising and darkness should come and cover me. But it did not. I felt like my life was over but it was not. I just kept repeating over and over, mummy has passed on. It void statement. It was devoid of meaning. Because what was a world without a mummy. From the day of my birth, mummy had been there. When I cried, I would cry for my mummy. When I was in labour, my mummy was there. Now in the moment that was like the worst, she was not there. There is a loneliness about death.

Jesus, just like He did for Mary, whispered, ‘Dora, why are you weeping?’ She is not here. She is risen. May hope arise dear reader in your heart. The One who is the Resurrection and the Life. The One who is the firstborn over all creation. He is not dead, He is Alive. Because He lives you can face anything. Look to Him, He is your Lifeline and Waymaker.

Pie Jesu

How would I describe 2019? Like a whirlwind. There have been so many heart-stopping moments between short pauses. Apprehensive yet hopeful.

As hopeful as POTUS crossing the DMZ. With all the James Bond movies, I had watched, I was sure there would be a last-minute curveball. Surprisingly, there wasn’t.

This has been 2019. I set goals to blog once a week. I had all the drafts and story outlines written out in my mind. The actual blogs never saw the light of day. I was blogging. I was outlining. Very hopeful.

I started my books. Outlined all of them. I lost all the outlines and my heart with them.

I lost my temper. I lost my mind. I lost my marbles. I lost myself. In the whirlwind of life, I started to lose my essence. During a short pause, I breathed. I gulped all the air I could and began the slow path to recovery.

I find myself drawn to this meditation, this Advent season. My preferred soloist is Cecilia Bartoli.

Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. (×2)
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem sempiternam.

Pious Lord Jesus,
Give them rest.
Pious Lord Jesus,
Give them everlasting rest.

The Latin lyrics and the English rendering of the last stanza of Dies Irae (Day of Wrath).

I have found unusual comfort in the knowledge that even on the Day of Wrath or Judgement day, it is Jesus who gives me rest. I have wrestled with the concept of rest and its application to my life this year. I set goals for rest -daily, weekly, annual- and never achieved them.

This meditation is a reminder that even when all my failures gather and conspire against me, Jesus gives me rest. Everlasting rest.