If you have read my articles, you know that I try to keep my articles personal. I try my best to be honest in what I write; I don’t write anything if it does not represent the illumination of what I consider to be personal truths that are deeply anchored. From time to time I do fall into the human temptation of jumping on the blogging band wagon of what seems to be fun, easy and commercial; well this is not one of those articles.
There is this beggar along Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru town. He is middle aged, probably aged 49 years. One of his legs is plagued by elephantiasis; it is very swollen, threatening to burst the elephant of a leg at any minor provocation. Flies buzz around him… it is a horrid sight which makes me wish he was off the streets by any means possible. I frequently walk along where he sits; be it rain or shine, he sits with his tattered umbrella that seems to leak like a sieve. He always looks through my eyes and seems to see into my soul. He wears a friendly face that seems to dress down the pain in his heart. I am ashamed to say that I always make a curve around him, on such cliché days; I will increase my pace as I catch sight of him through the snaking of Nakuru pedestrian traffic; I am afraid that I will be tempted into listening to his woes.
I know I sound inhumane but take a brief look in the mirror and confirm if you are without sin and fit to stone me into condemnation. It is troublesome just how little we humans pay attention to the suffering of the person right next to us. I am not alone in this; most of us make up part of the statistics of human beings that reasons that it is better to assume the plight of the low and asphyxiated in the society.
This got be thinking on the design of life, I tried to see into his soul and to carry his cross; even for a minute. I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t exactly know what to do to help him but I think that sometimes, thoughts count more than the money. During certain moments of thoughts, we are silently praying to God. In these moments, no matter the complexity of the attitude of the body, the soul is held in the simplicity of kneeling. The thoughts of such souls are a kind of direct religion, they question until the questions are solved.
The pleas of men’s souls will command the angels to detach themselves from the heavens, to walk with mortals and to traverse the destinies of men. In such moments, mere mortals will have the audacity to stand on alters of the greatest of Thrones and to question Gods pyramid of knowledge. It is part of man’s nature to question what we don’t fully understand.
The untold truth is that we do not understand Gods mercy, we either try to understand or we assume the questions all together. In a world that is plagued by war, disease, famine, death and all sorts of sufferings, it is easier for both pious and impious men to imagine a better world. A world that is free of sickness, suffering and death. We constantly wonder why God allows all these things to happen; if he is the all-powerful God, he should be able to design the world to be good just as he is all good and holy, this is simply human nature in its wildest of thoughts and if such thoughts don’t cross your mind from time to time, you are either incredibly naïve or you don’t read the Bible much.
The question of human suffering is complicated, that is why God dedicated the entire book of Job to the subject. It is easy for men to blame God or reject him because they cannot make sense of the suffering in life; I know this because I have done it. For a long time, I held onto the thought that; if God is great and good, he would make our world good and because this world is not good; then the creator is not perfectly great and good. That was up until I realized that the interior of truth lies in recognizing that life is suffering.
I realized that not all human suffering is evil, and even when it is evil, it is temporary. That the hearts of men are just as fragile as dreams and as such, men don’t have the bigger picture and cannot see beyond the present. Gods goodness is not evaluated based on the temporary world as it exists; God is good but he does tolerate temporary evil in his creation if it serves a greater good.
Human beings are very funny creatures, we will sing out loud every Sunday of how great it will be in heaven but nobody is ready to see that heaven just yet. We simply hope that it will be amazing and great. We live by hope, without hope we would die as a creation; hope can however be blind to truth. Pure truth is only realized in the presence of death. In death, we are most prone to the Truth. The irony is that in Truth human beings are also prone to death. Such a lethal combination means that most men don’t dare question Truth. God does not hold men at the ransom of suffering, 2 Nephi 2: 26 – 27 (one of the latter sacred texts of the latter Christian saint movement) says that “wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given to them which are expedient unto man (serves man’s interest). And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto him.”
Men are free to choose and just as there are birds in the clouds, there are angels above human suffering. Human beings too can take the form of angels; but even that is held in a choice; to help others or to ignore the wails and rattles of the suffering.
Good, bad, brave, godly, ungodly….. must all fall. The fate of all men lies in the dust. To die is however not a condemnation from God. The greatness of mankind is in the hearts of men and not in minds; for hearts can live into eternity. In the eternity greatness is born, free from human perspectives.
~ Antony Mwangi.