Finding God In Strange Places

#6. “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Over the weekend, Accra was hit by a terrifying gas explosion at the Atomic junction roundabout which is one of the busiest in the city. There’s a  boys senior high school, several churches, storey buildings, residences and stores in that densely populated area. So when the explosion occurred, there was fear, panic and a sense of desperation from those at the scene and those of us who live in other  neighbourhoods.

ATOMIC EXPLOSION

I was making the terrified calls to make sure my friends were okay (as well as cussing out Mark Zuckerburg for the lack of a safety button for African tragedies) and sitting safe at home. Then a friend of mine decided she was going to help distribute relief items. My immediate reaction? “Sit your butt down. You’re not going anywhere.

I didn’t  tell  her that; I kept my fears to myself, told her to be careful then prayed the night away. Then she went out and  gave as many victims as she could reach,  items  like water and blankets…..and a shoulder to cry on.

Whilst I sat home, snug, safe and dry,

I didn’t give my lack of action a lot of thought that Saturday; I figured I would do more harm than good anyway.

But it did niggle at me on Sunday morning, as I sat in my pew and listened to the sermon. I wondered about the victims of the explosion; I wondered about their children and how they are faring; I wondered if they will get the psychological counselling they need to get past this tragedy.

ATOMIC EXPLOSION 2

I wondered what I was doing in church whilst there were people who had suffered an awful incident and needed my help – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

It was the first time in a long time that I sat in church and wondered whether I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I stayed til the end of mass, then called my friend who told me not to worry about it; that she understood; and that next time, she’ll override my fears and drag me along so I could help out.

And as we spoke I felt a deep calm wash over my fretful soul and I knew my decision to be more of a do-er in times of need was something my Papa God approved of and would hold me to in the near future.

In the restlessness of my spirit I found resolution and courage; where did you find God today?

 

 

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Natural Hair Minute

#1. Yaay! Wash day!

Define freedom.

Freedom for me is when I release my cornrows after keeping them for three weeks. That feeling when fresh air passes through each strand of hair; the thick curls that form from doing LOC consistently; the joy that comes from holding my hair out and examining my ends and deciding dispassionately that yes, my split ends situation is getting better and yes, I will trim them anyway.

 

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And then there’s washing my afro hair that I call Ohemaa. There’s something magical about washing those thick coily tresses; soaking them in water; lathering up with my bottled alata semina shampoo of choice before deep conditioning it with my honey-infused conditioner. Then wrapping it up in a shower cap and towel for 30 minutes, rinsing out, trimming the split ends then threading my hair or braiding it whilst I figure out what next to do with it.

I love wash days……especially when I do it on Saturday when I can wash and get other things done like cook and do laundry and clean my house. (Yes, I’m a feminist who’s a domestic goddess. If this offends you, take matches and start burning the sea)

And in Accra I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to products because, as one of my friends pointed out to me, the natural hair movement is strong here.

A lesson I picked up from washing my hair on Wednesday was this : I am waay more patient with my hair than I am with any other aspect with my life. I tried perm rod curls which ruined my ends and left them weak and so damaged that I didn’t just trim them – I had to chop off at least an inch. In fact, it was a very sad distin. 😦

But its been almost a month since that event and I’m gradually seeing my hair get back to its previous large halo style. I don’t stress myself out when my hair doesn’t grow quickly because I know that it doesn’t grow long, but it does grow thick.

I don’t compare my hair to other textures because Ohemaa and I have come to the understanding that we’re not in competition with anyone for any reason. Natural hair is a marathon not a sprint.

I don’t suffer bouts of hair envy although I am surrounded by women with beautiful afro tresses – my sister Tricia number 1. Her hair reaches middle of her back after a two inch trim. Somehow Ohemaa and I have reached that point were we don’t project our hair insecurities on the people around us.

After a minute of reflection, I realised it won’t kill me to apply some of these principles to my life – don’t envy, be patient, love regardless, focus on what’s important and don’t be that woman who projects her issues onto others and then plays the victim card. (That’s not a cute look)

It’s been 24 hours since I made this decision and to be honest, it’s been tough, but so far, so very very good.

xoxox