The Perfect Christmans
“Why aren’t you eating, do you think tomorrow shall bring abundance as such?” Thoko just looked at her blankly, a true definition of stubbornness. She bit her lower lips before finally giving life to her thoughts. “Mom, I think we have missed Christmas this year. Everyone is eating good food—meat and rice, but we are not, and…” Nasupuni giggled, but before she could respond, Thoko fired another question. “…Do you think Jesus also died for poor people like us? And if He loves us, then why can’t He provide just a half kg meat for our Christmas?
Thoko was the curious kind, and being Only eight, she was way beyond her age and smarter than her brothers—Jimmy and James. Her dark skin and sharp narrow nose reminded Nasupuni of her husband.
It was one Wednesday early afternoon; the sky was well dressed in pale clouds that masked the face of the aggressive sun. Unlike last Christmas, there was no sign that heavenly drums would roll and rain. The atmosphere matched the mood. Drunk men lay all over, and most adolescence were in pairs—a thing they called love. The smell of good food suffused the troposphere, and even dogs knew it was a special day. They devoured as if there was no ‘general January’ ahead.
Thoko gazed at her mother empathetically. It was surprising how she seemed to relish the meal. “Usipa on Christmas day? Hell no!” Thoko wished her dad was around, but the memory of him was a ghost never to summon.
“Zikomo ambuye!” Nasupuni whispered as she washed her hands. She then tossed the plates in a somewhat broken bucket that stood by her feet. To her left were two buckets of water, and over the far corner lay a quarter bag of maize, which she wondered how long it would last, but instantly, she felt words reverberate in her subconscious, “the Lord will provide.” Meanwhile, Thoko’s question itched her. “…Do you think Jesus also died for poor people like us?” Nasupuni spotted an infinite lattice of curiosity in Thoko’s mind. Nonetheless, she didn’t blame her; what kid wouldn’t wish to have meat and rice on Christmas, let alone wear new apparels and attend choir festival? But unlike all days, today Nasupuni wasn’t going to respond. “Thoko, shut the door and follow me!” she commanded in a motherly tone. Sooner, the Kabanza arrived and they hopped on. Along the way, Nasupuni narrated the story of Jesus’ birth. “We are finally here!” Nasupuni sighed, leaving the story in suspense. Thoko was paralyzed. What she saw was mind-boggling. Why was cancer so cruel? She wondered why kids like them had to face such torment. The story of Pempho moved her spirit. She has spent all her life in the hospital, the smell of drugs was like her perfume. Thoko felt sorry for her.
The streets were all dressed in Christmas lights and most shops were closed. As they walked, Nasupuni, continued the story of the birth of Jesus but Thoko paid no attention. She got submerged in myriad questions about God and life. Sooner, they made an acute turn and found themselves in the shopping mall. Thoko was now excited, “this is the Christmas I know.” She smiled.
After walking for 15 minutes, they arrived at a certain unfinished building. At first, she thought her mother wanted to pee, but upon entry, she was not just paralyzed, but shocked. The building she thought was deserted, was in fact home to many; the blind, the lame and innocent children. From their expressions, you could tell, life was thick-skinned. They kept their clothes in plastic Jumbos, and cartons are what made their sleeping mats. She sensed that the place had more people than the ones she saw, perhaps others went begging. Nasupuni introduced her to them. “How did you know all these people?” Thoko was perplexed, but Nasupuni simply smiled and continued distributing the items.
“Thoko,” her mom called for her attention. “There are two dresses in the bag, one is yours; but give the other to either Chisomo or Tapiwa.” Thoko glimpsed at them both, and quickly handed over the dress to Tapiwa, but suddenly snatched it back. Chisomo too wore rugs, why Tapiwa not Chisomo? Quandary consumed her. “Mom I can’t choose!” she protested. “It’s ok. Just give to either of them, none will blame you. That’s what everyone does anyway.” Said the old lady from the other corner. She was blind, yet saw exactly what was happening. After a moment, Thoko paced forward and gave the dress to Chisomo. Meanwhile, her mom looked the other side. Thoko turned, and noticed Tapiwa’s dropped face. She felt as if Tapiwa was judging her. She pulled out the other dress and gave it to Tapiwa, wrapping her in her arms. “Am sorry, take it, I already have enough!” She blubbered. Her mom approached and massaged her on the shoulders” “My daughter,” she begun. “Yes, God loves you!” and indeed Christ did die for everyone. Now let me finish that story,” she paused. “The birth of Jesus is the coming of hope to the world. His crucifixion is a symbol that He shares in our suffering. And his resurrection brought salvation for mankind. God sacrificing His Son is one way of showing how much He loves us. Just like you did with your dress, Jesus denied himself, and prioritized us. On the other hand, He is setting an example for us to do the same to others. It’s ok to eat good food and put on fancy clothes during Christmas. It’s ok to celebrate, He delights in our joy. Yet still, we can better celebrate and thank Him by mimicking His example, like He said, “if you love me, keep my commandments.” Thoko had just experienced a perfect Christmas. She went back pondering about her mom’s last question. “What good are fancy clothes and yummy food if your soul is spoiled?”
Date: 03 January 2020
By Cliff ceekay 2 Likes Register to like