I had forgotten to get a few things in time for our Christmas family lunch so I drove to the nearby town to get these things.
Because we live at least 20 miles outside Nairobi, this little township store is a life saver. It lacks variety but stocks every possible thing we might need.
On arriving outside the shop, a parking spot was opening up so I decided to turn into the shoulder and back up into it as waiting on the main road would mean holding up the building up traffic on the main road close to the nearby “bus terminus”.
This “terminus” really is something our county council shouldn’t collect tarrifs for as it wasn’t built by anyone or anything, it evolved from some primordial soup and is just as chaotic as this little town can afford.
That is a story for another day but partly also for today.
I put on my hazard lights and waited as I engaged the reverse gear.
A small Suzuki SUV came hurtling out from behind the 3 or 4 cars that had now collected behind me and sped into the now open spot.
Clearly this driver had seen my intentions…and hadn’t watched Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail”!
I began to talk to myself in the car reminding myself that there were three days in a year when I can’t allow myself to be angry: my birthday, Easter when our Saviour died for our sins, and today-Christmas.
The headlines in the Narobian would not be pretty: Award winning musician/ Preacher jailed for road rage.
My family would never forgive me for ruining Christmas at my house! I’m exaggerating but my point is made.
I breathed out and then decided I’d just park on the shoulder and nip into our countryside supermarket and come back in all of 5 minutes.
Which is what I ended up doing but I thought maybe I’d just look at the person to let them know “you sucker punched me but I’m alright-it’s Christmas”.
To my utter surprise, the driver was a middle aged nun!
In a demure grey habit.
Well she was either a nun or matatu driver in disguise!
She, good people, was officially gangster!
She was still sitting in the car looking back towards me with either a sheepish look fiddling with her phone or a gangster look that said “what?”
I’m now not so sure but I’ll go with the sheepish look.
Maybe the Lord had sent her on an important errand: to check if I had all 9 of the fruit of the Spirit on an unsuspecting Christmas morning.
Dealing with gangster nuns was not part of any training I had come across so I half smiled, half laughed shaking my head and got my items and headed home.
But therein lies the dragon that we are now facing. This right here was a microcosm of what we are-who we’ve become.
It’s at the heart of the healthcare crisis, traffic & transport system problems, the election commission crisis, the many scandals concerning misappropriation of public funds and the myriad ills of governance in our nation.
At the heart of it all is a person in a position to do right, who knows to do right but puts their own interests in front of the interests of others.
Never mind the consequences, as long as we can get away with it.
Thankfully, there was no altercation (no pun intended). The headlines again would not be nice: “Nun knocks out Gospel singer”-believe me she seemed capable.
As we take time to reflect this holiday season, every one of us can take something from this incident. But especially those of us in leadership in whatever capacity.
We can be the council who do not build appropriate parking but collect fees.
We can be the milling crowd wandering aimlessly oblivious of the import of the goings on around us.
We can be the nun, selfish and in a hurry.
We can also sit and count to 10 when something gangster happens to us.
However, we all can do the right thing though-every one of us.