Category Archives: Musing

The God of the hummingbird

Have you ever seen a hummingbird? They come with bright plumage, long beaks with extensible tongues and wings flapping hundreds of times per minute. The wings flap so rapidly that they give off a humming sound. They can hover in midflight and can fly backwards. They are probably the smallest birds in nature but by all means they are the most acrobatic. They are indeed a wonder to behold. Resident only in the Americas there are more than 300 species of hummingbirds known.

Seeing a hummingbird in flight I wondered, “how it became so exceptional and yet so small”, most species are less than 8cm. It didn’t take me long to conclude that it was not by chance as Darwin will have me believe. The complexities of its flight process are overwhelming. By myself I concluded that this must be the best evidence of precision bioengineering I have ever seen. How can chance be this precise when man in his brilliance has not achieved such on that scale.

The saber tooth tiger or the T. Rex with all their mismatched parts may be works of chance, the crocodile or the rhinoceros may be borne out of chance but not the hummingbird. This bird is too exceptional to be the product of the trial and error of evolution or the winner takes it all of survival of the fittest. So I sort my own explanation to the nature of this wonderful bird.

In my search I came across a book said to be thousands of years old, compiled over centuries and was argued to hold the secret of life. In the book I read that all living things were created by a God. And then I thought “I could relate with this, a higher intelligence creating things”. And then the book said this God also created them male and female that is with reference to human beings. Things were getting really interesting now; it went on to say that God created the great sea monster leviathan.

In one part it said, “the foolish say there is no God” and in another part it said that “God is found in nature” it said that in a part called the psalms that “he made the heavens with the words of his mouth”. Now it was sounding like folktale but I couldn’t drop it yet.

Reflecting on what I learnt from the book, I found out it made more sense to me than chance or evolution, it seemed logical to me that something or someone who’s knowledge is infinitely more than mine is at work in the life of the hummingbird.

I made a decision there and then to learn more about the God that made the hummingbird, I concluded within me that, if he could make such miniature wonder, what could he not do. Since I found the God of the hummingbird he has not disappointed me yet. He has laid bare for me the facts of life more than science has been able to explain.

I am learning to work with his time and not mine: his existence outside of time doesn’t make it any easier for me. But I have learnt that with the God of the hummingbird only one form of time exists and that is his time.

Advertisements

The me prayer

Lord help me to be content with being me

Help me to walk my paths and not the paths of another

Help me stick to your plans for my life

Even when I don’t know them in detail or in full

Help me Lord to stand true and not falter

Give me grace to stand with you though I stand alone

Give me grace to keep my head

Even when others are losing theirs.

Teach me the peculiarity of me

And the work that went into my crafting.

Teach me that I am like no other

And so should not desire to be like any other.

As we walk together Lord

Teach me to desire to rise as I fall

The grace to live fully for you and for no other

And be a good compass to those who seek you.

My Lord, give me the grace to forgive easily

To not mistake forgiveness with cowardice or stupidity

Give me grace to speak when I must

And to listen when I should

Teach me Lord that wining an argument does not make me right

Neither does losing one make me wrong

Teach me to be silent in the face of insult and injury; for you did as much

Teach me that speaking to correct a wrong must be borne out of love and not anger

If my talking will cause more harm than good

Then Lord let me not speak

If my defense will prolong a fight

Then let me lose the fight.

Lord I am but a man

Striving to know what is right and do what is right

I have failed and I will fail

But I know your grace will always be sufficient for me.

Amen

Fractured Images

The earth’s about five thousand million years old. Who can afford to live in the past?

                                                           Harold Pinter

She has never felt like this before, what is this feeling that she can’t explain? Could this be love, she asks in her mind. And then she remembers and smiles.

This is how her life has been since they met, around him she always felt no need to pretend or to put up facades to protect who she is. With him she was happy being herself. Whenever she hears his voice her heart skips a beat, whenever they are together she yearns to be free like the wind. But in all her happiness she holds back never giving in fully. She is tied down by a haunting memory of decades ago, the memory of an incident that drove her to build walls round her heart. Walls that were meant to keep her from getting hurt. Since the day that memory came into existence she has trusted no man and with good reason too.

Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

                                                     Christina Rossetti

So now even in her joy and happiness, she is expecting to wake up and find out it’s just a dream. But she hangs on as if on tenterhooks wanting to believe and hoping it’s not a dream.

She can’t remember the last time she had a clear thought since meeting him, her mind is all muddled up and she wonders if she has not lost it. But then if only this feeling can continue she can give her mind for it. In the little moment of “sanity” she gets, she wonders what this feeling is that could break down barriers that are decades strong and still standing. As she begins to get lost in the feeling, the memory comes back more vivid than ever almost in high definition reminding her of what she has suffered and the pain she went through.

She knows the memory was forged in pain and her heart only seeks to protect her; but she must make a decision, either to jump or to stay.

Afraid of tomorrow unknown, guided only by a past experienced she looks at the world through a broken window. So the image she sees is always fractured, fractured by an experience forever etched in her memory. After what seems like an eternity of deliberation, she decides on a course of action.

She decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, into this vortex of feelings she doesn’t understand she decides to give herself. She decides that her past will no longer define her; she has to live to shame the memory that haunts her and has kept her in chains for decades. She decides to love him as much as he loved her and to open her heart fully to his embrace. And since she took that decision, she has never had course to worry and has never looked back.

Dedicated to all sexually abused women who are finding it hard to give their hearts fully to another.

I speak for the babies

In May 2012, the Times magazine used as its cover page the picture of a young woman suckling a 4year old boy.

timecover-600x799

Expectedly this generated a lot of heated debate on the appropriate age to stop breastfeeding, on the posture of the woman involved in the picture and her son and interestingly the debate also included the appropriateness of breastfeeding in public. A lot of people the world over engaged each other in different forums in a bid to make their side of the story heard.

And then in the September of 2014, the Glamour magazine published in its cover page a picture of the actress Olivia Wilde breastfeeding her 9month old son in public and then the conversation went into fever pitch again.

olivia1

For a lot of the people that raised issues with the picture, their argument was that breastfeeding is a sexual act and shouldn’t be done in public. This and other similar views made up the opposing side of breastfeeding in public.

And this view of things makes me want to know, what is sexual about breastfeeding your child?  And if at all for the purpose of this discuss we assume it is a sexual act; then is it a sexual act for the mother, the child or the spectator passing on the street?

Breastfeeding is an act of nurturing that increases bonding between the mother and the child builds the child’s immunity and adequately nourishes the baby amongst other benefits. How can this be termed sexual?

I come from Africa where not breastfeeding your child is the exception rather than the rule. It is not abnormal to see mothers who breastfeed their children for up to 1year. Women are not ashamed (no reason to be) to breastfeed their babies wherever and whenever the need arises and they are not bothered (as they should not be) by who is looking or who wants to tell them to “go do it indoors”.

Our world has been so sexualized that every natural act is now seen to have a sexual connotation. From scantily clad men and women on the streets, to pornography and near naked women on ads for products that women have no business using, there is sexuality everywhere so our “sexual senses” are extremely sensitive. Hence giving sexual definition to an act that does not deserve it.

Motherhood is the most natural thing that can happen to any woman, yet we are bickering on if it should be done outside or inside.

I find it worrisome that what people in Europe and America (the much celebrated literate continents) are arguing about is not whether breast milk is the best for the child or not, or the right age to stop breastfeeding but about the sexuality of a natural act only because seeing a young woman suckling her child makes us uneasy.

In an era where we are championing for reproductive rights and gay rights, who champions the right of babies to be breastfed wherever and whenever they need it?

Consistently in its advisory to countries the WHO has always emphasized on the need to ensure a minimum of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding for the newborn because of the health benefits it confers on the baby, this has been championed by the Breastfeeding Hospital initiative (BFHI) a program under the WHO child health program.

Accepted, this is not always possible, because of some genuine reasons and not cosmetic ones, but to argue on the very thing that defines our care for our offspring is most interesting even when our offspring has been defined as the weakest of all species.

I believe I speak for the babies when I say: “all babies have a right to be breastfed by their mothers wherever and whenever the babies demand it, it is our inalienable right and we demand nothing less”.