Come alive.

By On Tuesday, 07 March 2017 09:02
Come alive.

I recently read, Birds of Kamiti by Benjamin Garth Bundeh. The story is a true recount by the author on his incarceration for a crime he didn’t commit. In the first trial he is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to capital punishment. Having gone through the first trial he doesn’t trust any lawyer to represent him fairly. Thus he opts to represent himself in the appeal which he wins and is granted freedom; the one thing he craved since he first set foot in the police cells.

Off the bat the book doesn’t come off as a Christian literature but further down the pages i encountered what sometimes is our daily struggle; the fight to keep our faith when everything falls apart. How do we maintain a steady gaze at the one who called us while everything is moving at a dazzling speed? 

In the book Benjamin confesses to be a follower of Christ, initially he prays and hopes that the truth would set him free. But then hours turn into days and days into months and eventually years. He reads the bible and when all hope is vanquished he begins to question it.

He has questions like why a good God would be indifferent to his unjust suffering. From his point of view men are corruptible by nature and thus cannot be trusted, but then what was the incorruptible God doing while he suffered?

In the Kamiti cells Benjamin encounters a fellow convict Ogolla. Ogolla is a staunch catholic who believes in life after death, when Benjamin’s hope in eternity wanes Ogolla assures Benjamin that he would come back from the other side and prove there was life after death.

The right before Ogolla’s execution the other convicts hear him making a heart rendering prayer, in his prayer he wonders why God isn’t moved by his plea. Further he wonders if God was just then why would he let something as terrible as the hangman’s noose happen to him. One of Ogolla’s co-accused even confesses that Ogolla was wrongfully accused.

While reading on Ogolla’s march to the gallows I half hope that the hangman sees the light and lets him go or that the gallows jam so Ogolla is set free. But none of that happens as Ogolla is executed and life goes on.

One thing I struggled with after reading this book is that it’s not reconciled, not like accountants do hehe but reconciliation for the Christian that is you and i. When the author was incarcerated he struggled with his faith, when he appealed and got out, he still struggled with suicidal thoughts. At the end he doesn’t really say where he stands which is why I felt it wasn’t reconciled.

When we go through difficult situations we forget the basics; that we are alive because of a higher being than ourselves. The Lord says in Jeremiah 27:5

 5"I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great powerand by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.

  

We forget what God can do. In the book of Job chapter 41, the Lord paints his servant Job a picture of absolute power and control by describing to him the Leviathan, the great and terrifying creature. The leviathan can neither be pulled with a hook, nor can its head be pierced with fishing spears.  One whose snort throws out flashes of light and its eyes are like the rays of dawn. Its breath sets coals ablaze and flames dart from its mouth. And yet the Lord controls this creature.

We forget who holds our destiny. In the story of Moses and Aaron in Exodus chapter 6, we are told of their lineage that goes back to Reuben the son of Jacob. In God’s master plan he ensured that both Aaron and Moses came from the tribe of Levi. The brothers were to lead the Israelites out of bondage and show them how to worship the one true God.

We forget who holds and controls the times and seasons. On the day Moses came to take the Israelites from bondage, Exodus 12: 17 the bible records

You shall also observe the Feast of unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.

God hadn’t lost track of his promise to redeem the children of Israel 430 years after he had made the promise to Abraham. He still had it in him the ability to redeem them and he intended to do just as he had said.

As we have been learning from the building of the tabernacle, the camps of the 12 tribes of Israel were made in such a manner to look as a cross from above. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is crucified and we get our salvation.

I once read a quote that read ‘never have I ever looked back and thought God was wrong at point x’. God is not a son of man that he should lie or have a change in heart; when he promises he fulfils and when he speaks he acts.

The interesting thing with being human is that we find what really is in our hearts when we are in tight situations. When King David took Bathsheba for himself, he realized what kind of man he was. He went to the Lord and asked him for a contrite heart that is able to sustain him.

The ability to not lose sight of Christ can only be found in the Lord. In 1st Samuel 30: 6 King David came from battle with his men to find the Amalekites had taken their wives and children captive. His army men were so enraged they wanted to stone him, the bible records ‘But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God’.

 

Yes, we will face situations that are worse than our best imagination, we will fail, we will lose but in the end we will do well not to waver in trusting the one who called us. We will call the dry bones into the situations and they will rattle into life once again. 

Regina Gacheri is also a blogger at gasheri.co.ke/blog

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