( continued from Public, Secret Lives -1 https://tshiditseke.com/2018/02/05/public-secret-lives-1/ )
“Travel well dear, call me when you arrive!” She waved and shut the door. That was the last of the relatives who had stayed behind after the funeral to help clean the house and keep her company. The reality was starting to kick in. She was going to live alone in what now seemed like a big house. She walked into her only daughter’s room to catch a breather – still wondering if the events of the past few days were a nightmare or reality – a reality which would still be a nightmare. She stood up and paced around the room, browsing through her clothes, drawers, bookshelf… bookshelf -Diary 2007. That caught her eye. She quickly pulled it out from the stack of books that were neatly packed on the shelf, paging through to that month to see if Thato had written something that could bring illumination to the tragic event.
“Today is a rather dark day for me. I am home alone, mother is at church. My body is probably surprised why I am not at church today. I just did not have enough energy to pull up the façade I have had on for the past months. No one seems to notice that deep down I do not see a hope in this world. It seems to me that all that people care about is that I made it to church and that I participate in all activities. Anything beyond that is beyond the “caring” syllabus. That has kind’a made me do all of that to keep up with their love and attention, to the point where I do not know how I could live any other life besides church life. I have seen how they treat people who aren’t as committed to “church”, based on attendance and not so loud Amens. Sometimes I wonder if those people don’t have an even deeper genuine relationship with God. I don’t think I have one. All my life I have relied on mother’s prayers. I do not recall ever needing to have a relationship with God nor committing to one , but the funny thing is, the unspoken awards for the best Christian in church often came to me. I see all that, but my soul is as empty as people’s bank accounts in January.
And now I have to deal with this whole HIV positive thing alone. Argh, why did they force us to do an HIV test at res during last month’s health drive – maybe I wouldn’t be feeling this dark cloud over me. Perhaps if I hadn’t found out I am HIV positive I wouldn’t be here. How will I tell my mother that I am HIV positive? What would people say? How would I have contracted it since I am the best Christian? I don’t even hug the brothers at church. Theo really messed up my life , I hate him, and this time I cannot fix it, unlike the last time when I terminated to hide the baby. Life could still go on, I could still be the sister everyone expected me to be. But now? How do I hide this from my family, church, future husband? My life is officially ruined… I might as well end it…”
She could not continue reading any further, her heart was heavy. At this point, tears were streaming down Mrs Bapela’s face. As far as her eyes could see, her daughter was on the straight road. She assumed, she assumed that she was doing well because she has had always been in the church from a young age. Perhaps she should have encouraged her to have more of her own personal walk with God instead of being content with the fact that she is a good church goer. How did she miss it? How did they all miss it?
It’s hard to read this series without reflecting as Thato and as the church. I haven’t see a group of people that display a believe in ‘magic’ healing like the church. We don’t even have counsellors anymore (Topic for another day). We miss it because we don’t pay attention and we thrive on assumption. Thoughts?
Partly also because I’ve always looked at the “good Christians” as people who don’t have any issues.
Which then makes you think you aren’t good enough to even be in church.
The aim of this post is to bring to surface those issues that I believe we might be neglecting as the children of God in the church. I do not want to fall into the trap of pointing at the church as though I am not part of it. I hope this will allow us to reflect on these issues and take it upon ourselves as individuals to contribute to the health of the church. example ; if we see a need for counsellors, cant we mobilize that instead of waiting for ” the church to do so…..? Yes, we cant all be counsellors , but if we all make an effort to atleast genuinely care for the next person and know that Christianity is not just about going to church and being active. there is so much more
The problem is most of us we put more effort into how people see us than how our actual relationship with God is. Also, church shouldn’t be a catwalk for good people, it should be a place where we all go to grow from the different levels where we are. But we have all, everyone , inside and outside…. made it to be about how good a person is. Everyone has issues, even the bible says you will have problems, but if we establish a deeper relationship with God, it will be much easier to deal with them
Relevent post indeed. One of the things that contributed to me leaving fb was the public display we make and at the end give so many people wrong impressions. I think i once even posted that we need to live what we preach cause at the end of it all we end up making God to seem like he does not work only because we pretend alot. The church plays a big role in so many pressures but at the same time our pastors also teach us how we ought to live so that our walk with God can be fruitful. May we all be responsible with our Christianity, & at the same time learn how to care for the young in faith or just our neighbours to avoid situations like Thato repeating. Thank you for stressing the fact that Christ works its just we don’t allow him in our private space at times.
good christians are the ones drowning most times..they’re manier times i’m not ok but i soldier on..thankfully it hasn’t reached this state of despair. we don’t talk about our issues because we get judged when we do and most times none of the people you talk to understand, they just feel like you have choices to turn the situation around..just pray it away they say..do they know that most times you cant even pray no more, you’re weary inside out..basically you’re just living…