What is this day called Christmas?
Since 1 AD,when Jesus Christ was born in a manger – how more humble can one be- and 30- 33 AD, when he was hanged – and since then, the bloodletting heralding his birth and death,can make an ocean; then, 600 years later, another One is born.
Two births. Heralded by deaths and crazy, impetuous bloodletting. Two birth pangs caused by fear ; and birthings, in pools of blood,tears and anguish. The Roman imposed king was told that a king,greater than he, was to be born. He went crazy in fear and jealousy. Decapitate all newborn boys. So, the mother to be, in fear,had the baby in a manger. 600 years later, the Other One, also arrived, born out of birth pangs of fear. The Army of Abraha, had sworn to destroy the Ka’aba.
The Two boys survived. And from then till Now, we are wreathed in blood. Already primed, we lined up behind the “conjured” myth of each one, killing ourselves.
So, this Christmas, 2019, will it be a passage? Have we crossed the teens of the new century; And become young adults- brash, free but discerning?
So, this Christmas, 2019, will we finally realise that it was needless. It is still needless to go searching for alien life – to kill them or make friends? We are 7 billion human beings..Have we finished making friends…or settling imagined wrongs? And we’re here looking for ” alien” lives. Here on earth, all Nations’ Immigration forms, list other human beings as “aliens”.
So, on these two humbles lives, millions have died. Slaughtered. Because the Peacemaker was too soft, on his ” enemies “. And we cry louder than Them.
Today is Christmas. And not one Christian neighbor has seen it fit to bring me a bowl of rice. And chicken( in Africa, it’s chicken). Not that we can’t afford the rice or the chicken. We can. But, truly, we secretly crave for friendship. We crave for the artificial boundaries to vanish. We want to give and be given.
Last Id’, I gave chunks of raw meat to my neighbours. So, we were taught. Mama da Sho was particularly grateful; but, that sly neighbour of mine, I pointed out to my wife, must have secretly thrown away the meat. I swear. Oh ! he said all the right words, but, I am sure, he threw away the meat.
Times gone by, when you were sure of the Christmas rice. Such aroma. Such dreams of how Mama Nkechi’s rice will taste this year. Although boys will be boys, we tried to be on Emeka’s right side. Even though, we all knew he was offside when he scored the goal, we let him go. It’s a goal. Just to make sure he remembered us when the mother begins counting neighbours to get the rice and the chicken. Those Christmases..
When Amir Yigal slaughtered Yitzhak Rabin, in anger, for making peace with the Arabs, 60 Heads of States and Goverments of the world trooped to Israel. To the Holy City of Jerusalem to pay ” personal respects”. Since the Israeli Government did not “invite” Yasser Arafat, I wonder who gave the Israeli Air force the permission to fly him to greet Leah Rabin,personally? And he shed tears…to join the flood of tears,since thousands of years gone by.
Shows how lonely humanity is.
And talking about loneliness… In April of 2014, “armed men” in a convoy of “silent” trucks stormed “silently” the Government Girls Secondary School, in Chibok, Northeastern Nigeria. They herded the 217 girls into the trucks and vanished. And all along the way, were Nigerian military checkpoints! These girls,those still in captivity, must still be so lonely. I wonder where they are : And my tears blind me to the small prints.
But, even more lonely, is Leah Sharibu. A teenager held in captivity because she “wouldn’t renounce her love for One man for the Other.
Those Two again. Separated by 600 years. But, causing us such enormous collateral damage. I don’t envy them. Everything that goes wrong,in our world, is heaped on their heads. One cried,” O! Allah! I did not send Wa’il…” Too late. The Sword of Islam carried out the atrocities. The other cried, ”
O! Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” Ahap! All for nothing.
Two Peaceful men,starting orders that testify to their Good ness. One named Prince of Peace. The other named his Order,Peace: All they wanted was for humanity to come to each other. Consoling. Sharing warmth. Was that too much to ask for?
So, today is Christmas. And I can’t hear any big knocks on my gate, heralding a bowl of rice and chicken…but, wait, that’s a knock. Child-like. Hesitant. But, persistent. A brave child leading other Christian children to my gate,for “happy Christmas, Uncle”.
And I am cheered.
Happy Christmas 2019,the Last of the teen, naive, exploring years of this Century. I bid you. But, I must hasten to greet the Christian kids,who have come in love to my gate. Empty handed,but, confident that Uncle will give them Happy Christmas.