Pre-script: (Your blog will play in 10 . 9 . 8 …) The ruling on Candidates in Court will be delivered next Friday. That is one day after the ICC will publish trial dates of when the accused should appear in the Hague. So the situation is on hold as Kenyans wait for the verdict. . . .Now to your blog!
“Depart from Me.” I cannot begin to imagine the sting of these words,1 especially if spoken to one expecting to be ushered gloriously into heaven2. The plea of response reveals a lot: “But Lord… I did this and this and this in your name…”
This morning, we could not send email because of an “IP address conflict” on the server. Not to worry; we left for the office with the confidence that the problem would fix itself by evening.
At the office, I was assisting one of our pastors with a U.S. visa application. “PIN Number Invalid. You are not recognized in this system” flashed in red across the online application screen. “That’s okay,” I explained to the pastor. “By next week the system should catch up with itself.” But I was starting to get uneasy.
Then after putting my SIM card into a new phone, the message came “You are not registered on the network.” “What? A customer care agent AT the network OFFICE is the one who trimmed the card and PUT IT IN the phone. And tested it. Now it is not registered?” Since the SIM card had been trimmed to size, it could no longer work in my old phone either.
Feeling quite alone with no way to reach “my contacts,” I was checking out at the grocery store and anxious to get home. “We need your I.D. for the credit card,” said the teller. I pulled out my driver’s license. “No, we need a passport. We do not accept a driver’s license.” What?
Trying to convince the teller did not help. He called the supervisor. No progress. I was taken to the customer care manager. “I have been shopping at NakuMatt forever, and have never been asked for a passport,” I tried to plead. Granted this was a different branch of the store, but at the NakuMatt just one mile down the road, I was ‘well known.’ I looked around to see if any of the tellers who ‘knew me well’ might have been transferred to this store. No one. I could feel a crisis moment approaching (Read: Adult Female suffers Emotional Meltdown at Check-out Counter). My email doesn’t know me. My phone doesn’t know me. My embassy doesn’t know me. And now NakuMatt doesn’t know me?!? How can all this be happening in one day?
“Mrs. Omondi?” I heard the manager asking. Suddenly it clicked. I responded in the Luo language – a sure proof that I was in fact Mrs. Omondi. Instantly things changed. We started chatting in Luo: Idhi nadi? (How are you?) Idakuri? (Where are you from?) etc etc etc. After my home area and husband’s identity were well established: “Sure, we’ll accept your credit card. No problem. But next time. . . .”
I thought he would say, “Next time, carry your passport.” No. He said, “Next time, greet us in Luo to start with.” (smile) Only in Kenya!
Back to the point. We probably all know the irritation of being treated as persona non grata in one context or another. It feels so unfair. So unjust – especially since we are very alert to our personal ‘rights.’ Reviewing things on my drive home, the scenarios narrated in Matthew 7 and 25 came to mind. (By the way, this is NOT intended as a nasty game that messes with anyone’s assurance of salvation!) But on that final day, the earthly credentials, connections, passports, passwords, contacts, followers or friends . . . will be of no value. Am I known to the King?
Check out the verses, and have a famous day!
- Matthew 7:21-23
- Matthew 25:31 ff