I’ve always hated Sundays. Don’t get it twisted. I mean those days as a kid when mama or the Little Big Sister woke you to dress up for the big day. They bath you early in the morning, something I only engaged in after much convincing, and put on you that ill-fitting shirt and a pair of trousers. They were usually so colourful you would imagine the feeling our Kamba brothers had putting them on. And you had to put them on however much you hated them-those Sunday best though!! Occasionally, we tried the Little Big Sister’s patience engaging her in unending hide and seek games just to tell her we were the men and to see what she could do when irritated on a Sunday. We so proudly and enthusiastically walked together occasionally holding hands headed to church. It was a day that we so much revered and expected a lot from. We had always been taught that there was nothing as good as starting or ending your week, whichever worked for you as having to congregate and worship together. Nothing else mattered on this day except for the day itself.
The part I loved was having to live like nothing mattered. Like it was all important yet not so serious. You went to church holding hands just like all the little kids have always done and it felt like home. Not that churches do not feel like it nowadays. As a tad, you could sit, stand, jump, shout and walk out umpteenth times but never felt a grain of guilt in your tiny little yet so beautiful heart. The grown ups never really took it to heart, they knew you were a kid and could once in a while give you that look that said “hey Mike you are overstepping.” You could chill for a minute or two then you are back at it.
Deep inside it was like you also knew or felt they understood. You innocently sat anywhere, next to mama or papa. But never next to big brother lest he decided to tell on me. Papa loved singing with that his crooked voice. I admired his confidence.Deep inside it was like you also knew or felt they understood. You innocently sat anywhere, next to mama or papa. But never next to big brother lest he decided to tell on me. Papa loved singing with that his crooked voice. I admired his confidence. But he always loved to sit at the front which I loathed because it denied me the so very important opportunity to delve in cheeky stuff. Or you could sit next to Agal, all little girls then were called that, and feel nothing, unusual that is. I’m starting to sound as if the little angels were blocks of ice so you coud shiver and feel cold whenever you sat close by. You smiled at Agal and she smiled back revealing her almost empty gums. If Agal was not so cheeky or playful she had a pair or two of her milk teeth which meant she was reserved or that her parents were a little strict on her. This meant you had to approach with caution lest you get worked on by her daddy.
You never felt any guilt for your actions in the house of God. You got the Word and internalized it. Those days they said you were a kid and understood not much of the world-adult stuff. But when it came to listening to the Word you came out feeling happy. Sometimes I feel maybe it was never the Word that brought the feeling of happiness and contentment with life but rather the freedom that we had, the innocence with which we carried ourselves even though we sometimes surpassed the acceptable levels and got occasional beating. It was fun and we all wanted it to last longer if not forever.
Then somewhere along the way things happened. The girls grew, we all did. Most of them at this time refused to be called Agal no more. If they sat on the left we sat on the right. We grew and learned of the world or so they said. We graduated from Sunday School to the Youth Service. They used to call it English Service and I always had a problem pronouncing that. It was like an unspoken directive to ‘behave’ with our ‘sisters’ and especially in the house of God. We did not care to ask but obey. And they never bothered to enlighten us on these matters of importance. The Word taught love for the neighbour yet all I learnt was never close. They came, read a verse or two which often were for the Offertory and left. They didn’t tell us of the everlasting Kingdom and all its good tidings. Tidings more precious than gold or silver. They did not tell us that an only Son was sent and died for us on a tree so that we could be free and live free. That our trespass was already forgiven even before we committed it. That we could love unconditionally just like we were unconditionally loved by this man who we never met yet knew everything about us.
Time flies and things change. But I want to go back some day and listen to the Word like I used to. I want to go back and sit next to the now grown Agal and share like we used to. And share also on Facebook the photos that we shall have taken after the wholly service. I want to go back and learn of the miracles and the healing that were performed by the guy from whose suffering we’ve received our freedom. I want to go back and join in prayers with papa knowing that he is someone continuing in determination with what he loved most, singing only this time with the angels. I want to go back only if you take me.