Friday, April 22, 2016

Church: Because I am Broken

Are you broken too?

Courtesy of Klear
Picture me in church. The guy wearing a checked shirt with Khaki pants. Of course they’re matching or are they? Let’s settle on I think they are matching. And I have loafers on. Let’s talk about loafers kidogo. I have come to adore loafers recently. See with loafers you can simply slide them on without socks and it is still a kickass, probably outdated, fashion statement. And besides if you wear socks with loafers it looks weird unless you have Larry Madowo’s happy socks. Donning loafers with socks is how people in ‘Nyairofi’ tell you grew up in ‘Karima Mutiume’. And this is so because people in shagz dress in the look-at-me-I-don't-live-in-the-city way and I know this because I was brought up in ushago and I am different because the ways of the city accepted me. I became one of the city people. I changed my ways. I was turned. Does that sound like a script in an alien movie? Anywho, when I go back to ushago greet mzee and maitu heads turn my friend. Women murmur low-key about me – the kamwana who went to the big city all slim and naive and now has chubby cheeks and confidence from here to Timbuktu. I don’t know how they feel about that. Girls stare at me too. To them I am an icon of fashion and  progressive lifestyle. They tell their boyfriends to be like me. Should I vie for a political seat? Yes?

Hyperbole aside, on a normal weekday in karima mutiume you can easily get away with wearing boxers over your pants, Spiderman style. Nobody really cares. And in karima mutiume once they get wind of a ‘new’ fashion – which probably will be a year later – everyone rocks the same attire. There’s this Y person I was reminding of the karima mutiume guy starter pack; a red cap probably written ‘Chicago bulls’ (replace that with the De Matthew cowboy hat for the case of village elites), a SAVCO or equally branded jeans trouser, a pair of fake brown timberland boots, a big belt with Chuck Norris embedded on the buckle, jacket ya pumzi (what are those called in English?) and a shirt. The shirt part is hard to describe but there are usually those shirts that come in batches of a million and so every other guy has one. Yes those ones. That’s the starter pack.

Of course there are alternatives. You can choose to wear a suit. But village suits are different. They are shiny and baggy. Everyone seems to have a suit two sizes larger. Its how it has been from ancestral times. A well kept tradition. Only city-coined 'renagades' run away from it. The trousers are especially very large - the kind that can be used to make two pairs for Nairobi people. "Filthy children!", a church elder would say, "Wearing pants that barely fit them". Which is true to some extent. Now because there are not that many people over there, when Kimotho, the tailor buys a huge piece of sewing material, it means that at least 10 people will end up with the same kind of suit, with only the size being different. But they won’t care. Matching suits somehow tickle their happiness.

Ok, I am diverging too much. Back to loafers.

So on those mornings – which happen to be very frequent – when I’m late and don’t have time to get the wardrobe together I just slip them on and off I go. Just like that. Loafers are life man. PS: Putting my wardrobe together means finding a clean pair of socks.

Now back to the church story

I am standing there – sixth seat from the right and the fourth row from the front. One hand is up in the air – upper than usual. This is after I have lifted both for some time and I have to take one down to avoid severe exhaustion. And also to conserve energy just in case Pastor Ken wants us to lift them up again. He does that a lot. One hand up takes half the energy. You also need to know that I did not eat a full breakfast and so I am a little famished and drained too. Why? Because it’s Sunday. What happens on Sunday you ask? Hold that thought right there, we’ll come back to that.

So I am there, closing my eyes, its dark, and tears are edging at the corner of my eyes. I am not the teary type. Okay hold on, I know I am adding too much stuff in between but I have to let you know the only other time I tear is when cutting damn onions! But I am getting me a helmet for that which I’ll dispose off as soon as I get a bae to cut onions for me. So I am not tearing over damn onions or lost Sportpesa bets or a cold heartless dimwit that walked out of my life. No, I am soaking in worship. It’s that segment in church for kutendereza - I like the word tendereza by the way - sounds solemn and all. I am praying. Deep stuff. I even say ‘shabalabala canter njeru’ somewhere inside that prayer. It feels good. I am alilo in the spirit if you know wharamean

Courtesy or Relevant Church
Today I am seated next to Pastor Sang – he’s a prayerful guy. A really loud prayerful guy. And he is very straight with God. He says stuff to Him aggressively and punches his palm to make points. So when I sit next to Sang, I also get tempted to be loud. I say amen to some of his points so that God will answer to both of us. Let’s call that prayer diversification. I am not sure if Sang listens to what I pray about. I sure hope he doesn’t because I do pray about girls and last I checked Sang has a wife. Well we don’t want him polygamous do we? Not with all these prayers at stake!

Maybe God likes his zeal. Maybe He looks forward to listening to Sang’s prayers on Sunday mornings. I can imagine the conversations that take place on Sunday mornings in heaven.

Gabriel: (to God) Sang is here. He’s really praying.

God: Sang my guy! I like him. What does he want?

Gabriel: (gets a list) He is praying for peace in Kenya. They fear that Alshabab will do something crazy again. For a car, for rent money, for the CJ, for Duale, for Moses Kuria, for Duale again and rent again.

God: Not the lame Alshabab guys again. Ebu confuse them. Alafu give Sang rent money too and sober up Duale and Moses Kuria! Jeez those two need to get their acts together! Everyone is praying about them!

Gabriel: And Wesh is here too.

God: Oh, I like Wesh. Is he wearing those cool khaki pants again? Of course he is. He’s slaying much nowadays. So what does Wesh want?

Gabriel: (After listening to me for 10 minutes). He’s praying over girls again! He says he wants a bae.

God: But we gave him a bae last week and the week before that. What happened?

Gabriel: (Rolls eyes) I know. He has been curving them. The one for last week he says she talks too much.

God: Smh. Does he even need a bae now? (Checks my heart for the truth). Lol….see here Gabriel (pointing at my open heart), Wesh just wants someone to help him cut onions!

Gabriel: (Indignant look) Do we give him a bae?

God: No. Give him money for a helmet.

Gabriel: No bae? He’s your son!

God: Duh! I know he is and I know him better than anyone. No bae for now. Just a helmet.

Lets back up to why I am doing this.

Na usisahau kuomba”. That’s how regular conversations with my mum over the phone end. She’s sweet. Never shouts over the phone. Never grumbles too. So it’s hard to ignore her request. When she asks me to pray I really have to. She says it’s for my sake and I believe her. God knows I am the chief of sinners. I am broken. Under heavenly receivership. That’s why I show up to church on Sundays. Why I care to pray every other day. Why I read the bible even when its talking about cubits length and more cubits in width. Even when it talks of people who begot other people who begot other people.

Wait, there’s the part where I don’t eat breakfast on Sunday. That is mostly because I trade it for 30 more minutes of sleep. You can never sleep enough man. So I am always on a rush on Sunday mornings to get up, shower in like zero time, slide in those cool khaki pants that God likes and loafers and to get to church. So I show up to church to talk to God and hear from Him and get unbroken, become His masterpiece and not be under receivership here (read Chase bank manenos) and there in heaven. It’s also sorta cool that God likes me and you know we have had this thing going on for some time and I cannot like let Him down. And I love being in church on Sundays. It just feels right.

Why do you go to church?