When I was a little boy (very little, since I don’t remember most of these things) my mum had devised a pretty smart strategy to keep me on my best behaviour. She used to come home from work and give me details of every little thing I had done during the day. I was told that I once asked her how she knew all this stuff, and she told me that she had a TV at work connected to cameras in the house that showed her everything I was doing. The truth was that, every few hours, she’d call home and speak to the nanny who’d then give her some kind of report.
When I got a little bit too old to believe her “cameras-in-the-house” story (and trust me, I did look for them!), she came up with a new one. She told me about God.
See, my mum has always been a firm believer; and she did everything she could to lead my brother and I in Faith. For all the time I’ve known her, she always encouraged us to pray in the morning (Nta kuvyuka wiruka nk’agahene ko muci!) and before bed at night, and to thank God for every little thing we have. As we grew, she made us understand that we shouldn’t live our lives trying to impress her or any other people. She told us about a God who knew everything about us, knew our innermost thoughts and desires, and followed us 24 hours a day, every day of the year. True story! She encouraged us to read and mediate on the word of God, and to try to understand what God really wanted from us.
I have to admit that for a long time I saw God like some kind of judge waiting to strike whenever I did something wrong. Stubborn that I am, that really didn’t keep me from non-commendable behaviour; but every single time the remorse would almost kill me. Being aware that I was still alive despite my misbehaving, and thanks to some good teachings, I realised that God isn’t that much of a “mean person” after all. I realised that He is in fact, more than anything else, my friend…
Imagine you had somebody in your life that knows every single thing about you – the good AND the bad – but doesn’t make you feel inappropriate or less worthy of being a man (or woman). Imagine you had somebody you could freely complain to and cry to without feeling like a woose. Imagine you had somebody who really loves you the way you are, who isn’t always nagging you, telling you to do this or that, criticising your every move and trying to turn you into some ‘saint’. Imagine you had somebody who is always there, lovingly advising you on the consequences of your decisions and constantly encouraging you to make the most your life. Imagine you had somebody who knows your personality and sends you warnings when situations that may hurt you come about. Imagine you had somebody who is with you and for you, every single day of your life… I found that ‘person’ in God… Forget about provision, miracles and all the things that I consider as bonuses; just taking into account the aforementioned qualities (and many more that I can’t put into words), the “Man up there” has been THE MAN for me… because most of the time, all we need to get through this life is somebody who ‘gets’ us… somebody we can talk to… and trust me, I talk with God! I actually don’t know how to recite prayers using phrases like Heavenly Father, Dieu Tout Puissant, Kibirengeye Kizima and all that… I speak to God like I’m speaking to a buddy. I haven’t had any negative comments about this from the concerned, so I guess there’s nothing wrong with it.
I’m sure some of you (looking at my ‘atheist’ friends) are reading this and thinking “the poor chap has lost it”… and it pains me to say that I don’t have a counterargument. I really don’t know how to prove God and his love to anybody. Just like nobody proved them to me. I had to experience them myself to know they were real. In fact, I don’t think anybody should believe in God if they haven’t experienced Him some way or the other. And don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I’ve seen God (not that I want to, as the Bible says that ‘no man has seen God and lived’), nor do I live my days “hearing voices”… but I’ve experienced Him; numerous, multiple times!
Beyond being my friend, He has also been an impeccable provider and guide. Although I may sometimes come off as somebody who loves to brag about his life and accomplishments, the truth is that I credit EVERYTHING on the goodness of God. If you could be in my head you’d realise that, despite the impression that I have ‘everything under control’, most of the time I simply have no idea what’s going on in my life. God has been the best counsellor I could ask for; and whenever He sees that I don’t know what to do (it happens a lot), He’ll create situations that somehow stir me into the right path. #BestFriendEver
When I started blogging some time ago, all I wanted to do was testify about all the good things the Lord has done for me. I hoped that somebody’s life would be touched and changed by my stories – giving them hope that God IS REAL. And that HE IS GOOD. Clearly I haven’t been doing any of that lately – SMH – but I’m still conscious that the love of God is the only thing that has kept me going, and sane… In fact, looking back at the darkest hours of my life, I don’t think I’d still be alive if it weren’t for Him…
Let His name be praised!