My November Voyage & Deep Gratitude to my Father

[Image by mbgrigby]
I hear them calling out to me at odd hours of the day, those feisty, notorious characters of my novel's work-in-progress. They burn with an alluring desire for their voices be heard, to tell their story. They want the world to know who they truly are. Not just the fictional figments of the world's imaginations, but true stories that have happened before throughout our existence, and will continue to happen till the end of time.

Hurts, pain, survival, salvation, redemption- these characters want you to see where they've been, and where they are determined to go.

So, in order to listen to them more carefully, to truly let them teach me who they really are, I will join the rest of the NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) participants, as we embark upon a very sacred pilgrimage to find the voices of our characters. I believe it is a voyage that has beckoned to me for a while now, and I will not turn my back on it. So dear readers, I'll be 'gone till the end of November' (like that famous song sweetly says). Feel free to devour the previous posts on the Lamp Blog, and meditate on them till I get back with something new in December.

Deep Gratitude to My Father:

In the month of November, we celebrate "Thanksgiving" in the United States, and in this month, I have a deep sense of gratitude towards God. You know, it's not like everything He promised has fully manifested in my life or my family's yet, but I can see that He is working behind the scenes, doing things that only Him could have ever thought of. I'm thankful for so many things, beyond this rather short list I'll give right now:

* For Purpose: I don't want to imagine how it feels to live a life without any direction from God. According to His word, He has promised to "order the steps of the righteous." And though sometimes I do not understand the things I do, it has happened many times than I can count that at the end of every project I come to the realization that God's hand was in it all along.

* For hubby: He does the most romantic things sometimes. For instance, I might be whining about needing something, and then he goes in secret and buys it for me. Oh, also for his selection of movies for our downtime. Whenever I'm the one choosing the movie, it's usually a bad movie thank God he's been assigned the task of always choosing the movie to watch.

* For Laughter: I called my dad some days ago, and the way he laughed made me giggle. There's nothing like pure joy emanating in the form of laughter, and I'm thankful to God that although things are still taking shape, He has given us the peace that passes all human understanding. Some of my family and family friends lost some loved ones to death, but my prayer is that God will continue to cause us to laugh...because we will be rest assured with a unique kind of peace that can only come from one source.

* For Connections: Sometimes people don't understand when I tell them, but some of the best friendships have arisen from my social networks (Blogger, WordPress, and Twitter). I strongly believe that for some of you, our paths have not merely crossed casually, and that there is a purpose as to why we've connected so strongly. So let's keep connecting, shall we?

Happy thanksgiving, lovely readers. See you all in December. Love you lots! PS: Let me know if you're participating in #NaNoWriMo too, so we can do this together :)

The Frailty of Your Humanity

[Image by Beni Ishaque Luthor]

22-year old *Talatu watched the events unfold from the old drab brown sofa where she lay taken by an extreme unknown sickness. There were five other people in the room. Speaking with hushed voices, shameful whispers. Her parents stood over there by the window- mother with her white hair held tightly in plaits, her simple blouse and matching wrapper worn firmly around her small waist, and father hunched way too low on his walking stick, having to bear with listening to mama talking forever like she always did. Two aunts and an uncle surrounded them, also listening to mama's low-pitched rambling words.

Something crackled in the near distance, and when she looked, a fire had been lit to keep her warm. With the last strength in her body, Talatu kept her eyes wide open. She wondered what would happen if she closed them. Would she wake up again? Or would she give in to death? She decided that although it would be a hard thing to do, she would keep her eyes open until she could no longer do so.

Because her eyes were open, she noticed when mama walked over to the drab brown sofa, bent down to place her frail shaky hands on her neck.

"She's too hot," mama screamed. "We cannot stay here and wait any longer."

Mama looked at papa who looked away as though he had suddenly given up all hope for healing. He shrugged his shoulders, her mother could do whatever she pleased. So mama snapped her fingers and ordered aunty Hauwa to go and fetch the village doctor.

A few minutes later, the old man who'd been summoned was standing in front of the sofa, holding out a brown calabash containing some type of ominous liquid.

"Drink this," he urged with his deep sunken voice. "It is a bitter liquid, but you will be well after that."

He was right, it was very bitter. But wellness did not come. After a few days of her intestines crying out, the only words she could say were, "Oh God, please help me."

*Talatu is a Hausa name which means "Girl Born on Tuesday."

* * *

What do you do when you've reached the peak of your humanity? When your arms can't bring down the rain? When your own arms can't save you? What do you do? As much as we want strength instead of fragility forever, we have to come to the realization that our humanity is frail.

"All men are like grass, their glory like flowers; grass withers & flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Peter 1:24

The only constant thing, the only thing which will not pass away is God and His word. When we understand that, it pulls us closer to the One who framed the world with His hands. Every other thing becomes second best. The only way to live for all eternity is to get the life which He has freely given us, eternal life.

Question(s) for the Day: Do you realize that your body has its limits? What are your priorities? What do you dedicate your whole life to? God and His word, or the selfish desires of your flesh? Happy NEW MONTH of November. Have the most blessed week ever, your best days are ahead of you if you keep meditating on God's word. May you prosper & be in good health always.