Understanding my friend. By Oliver TUSIIME

Brace yourself, this is a long one!

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” When it comes to talks of friendships, there quotes that rarely skip the moment, and “a friend in need is a friend indeed” ranks most. For a long time, I thought of this in monetary terms, my friends bailing me out financially, or giving me tangible help in my time of need. But, again I always wonder, the people that bail me out financially, that support me in “Tangible ways” most of them aren’t my friends – tbh, most are amazing people that are in a position to help – in that moment, some are people who just want to help, and others people who are blessed with helping hearts!

Until recent my mind ran back to one of my childhood memories – to the first girlfriend I had when I was in Primary School. I was a boarding student and my friend was day schooling, and now and then – she would bring me cucumbers and avocadoes at school – it was her way of sharing with me – I believe, and caring for me during that time, but that isn’t the reason we were friends, we just happened to be friends without rehearsing and preparing for it, young innocent girls – that just fell in love with each other. My friend intrigued me, I found her to be stubborn (as culturally defined), happy, straightforward, a go getter, honest, and on the other hand I really didn’t know what or who I was, but the resistance our friendship attracted made me sense that; me and her were totally different, despite all this I didn’t love her less, actually at that young age she gave me another glimpse into life I wouldn’t have found anywhere, I never condemned her world – I chose to understand her. And because I wasn’t willing to give up on my friend, those who resisted us, though had a say (a big one) in my life – accepted my decision.

The thing is I never expected anything from my friend that would make her feel uncomfortable, I just wanted for us to be the friends we were then – I believe the same went for her – then, I laughed at her stubbornness, watched when she took on an argument, but, I knew I didn’t have to be her. I just had to understand her, and I never struggled to.

Fast forward I find myself in a community of fellow mid – teenage girls, and this friend of mine is there – or say a friend I hadn’t seen or kept in touch with for over 7 years +. We meet at a time when we are aware of who we are, time had moved us to different places – lived in different communities, met many different people on the way, and hit adolescence. A permanent part of us had been formed – it had stuck and we were expressing it, it was defining who we were, and each passing day we grew sure of who we are and what we wanted!

So when we tried to putting together what we had left off years back, we failed completely – we were sharing some common friends, but we weren’t friends anymore – it’s like we never existed, and none between us tried to stretch to revive what once was. We had grown to be sure of who we were. We were meeting a time where my once childhood friend wouldn’t get me, or she wasn’t willing too, and from my side I don’t think I could just look at her any longer, accept her the way she was like I used to do then.

We were in a moment where none of us was innocent, where cultures, beliefs, systems, values, inspirations, all of it had now made us, had influenced us, our eyes had been opened, accountability and responsibility was necessary for friendships to survive – in the now, and the price to pay to sustain all this was “Do you Understand me”.

Sometimes I see my relationship with God through the ‘Do you understand me CRY”, whenever I need something – that perhaps my intentions for needing it I doubt. And I find myself pushing despite how many brick walls I come up against, my question is, do you understand me? I hope you understand why I have to do this Lord. That person hurt me Lord, so you understand why I can’t forgive them. I have no clothes to wear God, all the girls at our church will be well dressed-but me, so you understand why I have to skip church tomorrow. I hope you understand Lord, I have to save this food for tomorrow – so, Jane can survive without a meal tonight. I hope you understand Lord, my father/mother did this to me, so I can’t help them with chores today. I hope you understand Lord, my Pastor spoke badly to me, so I can’t continue serving! I hope you understand Lord, I just can’t wait, it is unreasonable for me to wait, I am ready to start on this, please, I hope you understand. We go on and on.

From the other side God is, whispering with gentleness, God is saying I hope you understand me my child. I hope you understand that you didn’t choose me but I chose you and I predestined this life you are living now, I hope you Understand that the sun shouldn’t go down when you are angry – it is going to poison you, it is going to stop you from living a joyful life I have for you, I hope you understand. I hope you understand I have loved you so much, given my son for your sin, I have forgiven you and your sins are remembered no more, and so are the sin of that of that person who has wronged you, I hope you understand you are all my children, I love you all. I hope you understand that I took care of you yesterday, that I am taking care of you now, and I will be caring for you tomorrow, so share with Jane what I have blessed you with, being kind will help you grow and also enable you put your faith in me, I hope you understand. I hope you understand that you have to obey your parents – I have put you in their care for a reason, obeying them – teaches you obedience to me – I hope you understand. I hope you understand I created you – I should be the foundation on which your life is founded, it should be me you serve not your pastor, look at me – listen to me, I should be the inspiration behind what you do – my ways are just, I am kind and I abide in love, I am your God, you can call me Father, friend, provider, counsellor, I hope you understand me! I hope you understand that my ways are far better than yours, I know your tomorrow, I have answered your prayers before you say them, all my plans for you are good, I am your Father, I am your Lord and King, I am your Friend – I am everything you need. I hope you understand me.

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