Sunday started off quite well. Unusually, I woke up early, I wanted to attend the first service today. Normally, I attend the second service with my mum. We live in the suburbs of not a big yet famous town in our country. Our church is part of quite a big denomination in our country though not the biggest. Hmm… enough selfish comparison.
So when I got up, first thing like any other person I did consult my phone what time it was. Of late I don’t set alarms they annoy me, and I most oftentimes knock my phone off from the top of the tiny wooden stool permanently placed beside my bed. That’s my phone’s bed by the way, I could say that’s where it sleeps. So it was about 7.30 am. Yeah, that’s my early for a Sunday, I don’t know what’s yours.
So I was the second person to be up. First was my mum. Mum goes to sweep the compound as I start cooking tea. Dad and bro are not yet up. I sit in this weak chair placed in our kitchen, it has a small nail that is out of place. As I sit back to watch the tea cook, my leso got caught by the nail, that I didn’t know, so I proceed to move my bum on the sitting space to get comfortable.
I was gifted this “Leso” by my late grandma, May she Rest In Peace. I love this “Leso”, I loved my grandmother, atleast I was lucky to find one of my two alive. This lady was a strong soul. It was in 2015, September when she left for heaven. It had been 3 days immediately after my birthday when she passed on. Last year’s birthday was quite lonely. Of course filled with her memories. See why this Leso is so important to me?? So as I moved to sit well, the tiny nail did the unforgivable. Yeah it did. My leso got ripped. A big tear. Well it might not be as big as you think, but being what it is to me, that small hole was really big. Get me??
And I must admit I am mad at auto correct right now for writing “Lesotho” everytime I want to say “Leso” and I have to keep deleting the last three letters. Hmm by the way, what’s leso in English?? Anyway this kind of big scarf, that African ladies tie on their waists, it runs down to cover your clothing. It works as an apron.
So I got mad at this kitchen chair or seat or whatever that thing is… clearly I am still mad. Come on! What did you do? Do you know what you just made imperfect? This is me talking to a seat. So I took the seat, and threw it out through the kitchen door. Yes, I did do that… it hit the concrete ground outside and I heard it make some noise. Like it was hurt. It was usually weak and squeaky. And that throw I gave it, that hit it got from the ground, that made it even weaker. And the squeak was that of a chair begging for mercy. Wait, where did I get that? I think that’s my first genuine smile today apart from the many fake ones I do to acknowledge that I’ve seen someone in church, usually accompanied by a nod.
So I’m quite an empathetic soul. I followed this chair and I almost asked, are you hurt? I’m sorry okay? So when I lifted it, it was way weaker. Barely each piece holding on to the next through the now overly loose nail joints. I know it’s funny but I felt guilty, like I had hurt this chair, like it was actually feeling pain. I am still sorry by the way.
So I looked back at the tea I was cooking. Yeah you’re right, it poured all over the cooker. I had a mess to clean. I had lost like half the sufuria (cooking pot). I started to question why I had even woken up. Dad passed by the kitchen.
“Are you burnt? What happened? Why did the milk boil till it poured?” I was dumb for a moment. Tongue tied.
“What happened to the seat?” I was so guilty, I almost felt like a criminal. But I managed to speak up.
“The seat has a protruding nail.” I said.
“So are you hurt?”
“No I’m okay.”
“Clean that up before your mum sees it” so I cleaned the mess, took another packet of milk, and started off again. I prepared tea, fried some eggs and we had breakfast. I quickly dashed and took a shower hastily prepared and left for church.
We don’t live far from church. Less than ten minutes brisk walk. I met the usher at the entrance, he is tall, in spectacles and a bit elderly. Probably a retired civil servant, and now serving at the church as an elder. Ushers should be young, light to move around looking for seats. But this guy is dedicated to what he does. He is usually early, warm and welcoming. So he showed me in. I walked in by the right side aisle and got a good space at the highly coveted centre row.
We sang a few choruses, worship songs and a hymn. Afterwards we sat to listen to announcements and later the sermon. So all I remember is Ephesians 1:1 atleast I remember the scripture. After that, my mind was carried away in thoughts. What was I thinking? And that’s not rhetoric as it’s mostly used. What was I thinking? And the answer is not “I knowwwwww” as it mostly is nowadays. So what was I thinking? You know do you? Haha, Yeah I guess you’re right… About that chair.
How can a worthless squeaky and weak chair occupy my mind this much. Hmm! I need a life! Right?? Oh my God! What’s wrong with me… I called it names right now. It’s never going to forgive me. This chair. I’m not sure whether I should say that it has been running in my mind all through the church sermon. I mean is that possible? Can a chair run? Well, I know for a fact though that it has been sitting in my mind, I can’t help but think that I over reacted. It didn’t really deserve such a harsh treatment. It was just a small nail and not the whole chair that did me wrong. I don’t like how I dealt with it, and I am not proud.
I can’t wait till the end of the service. I really wanted to get home and check on that chair. Is it better now? I had taken it up and put it against the kitchen wall from outside so it would be supported and rest as it recovers. I still felt sorry. After what seemed like roughly 40 minutes, the sermon was over. The service was coming to an end. So we did our rounds to take our offerings to the front, After which we shared The Grace. The long awaited time was here, my heart was like “Thank you Jesus.” I didn’t stick around to say hi to fellow churchmates I was in a hurry. Or I’d like to think I was.
So I got home met my parents leaving for the second service. I made my way straight to the kitchen opened the door and the chair was not there. I asked my brother about it. Yes he didn’t go to church, and I don’t know how he managed to get away with it. So he told me that chair had been moved to the store near the garage since it was weak, and it was to be replaced.
“What? why? But we can still fix that one…it’s just the small nail, and….” my brother got worried, because since when do I fight for old and weak chairs? I don’t get it myself but since today. I do. So I moved the chair back to the kitchen and decided to wait for Dad to come from church so we could fix it. I owed it to that chair. I had to. Fight for it! When he came we did it. We fixed the chair. The small nail was hit back in. I thought we literally hit the nail on the head. Or did we?
So the chair stood back in its place, firm and strong. I want to say stronger than ever buuuuut… nope. I think it was strongest when it was still a tree. When it was alive. When it was free. When it didn’t have to bear people’s weight. That’s when it was strongest. The youthful years of this chair. It was time to swallow my pride. How I had handled it that morning, now I needed it. Who needs a seat in the kitchen? The lazy one? No I wouldn’t call me lazy just because I like to sit back as food cooks.
So I learned a lesson. An important one for that matter. Though I look at that chair and smile. Feeling like I saved its life. I’m not sure it will ever get itself to forgive me. And if it does, it won’t forget. Because I just hurt it when it was weak and helpless. I wasn’t patient with it. I thought I was the only thing that mattered. With my leso. Did it really feel all this things? Enough with chair matters though.
Sometimes, we act without giving it a thought. We interact with people, whom we have no idea about. Maybe they are weak, maybe they feel worthless, at their life’s worst points. People may wrong us a little sometimes, like the nail, but we got to correct them gently and if possible, with love. When we get angry at people we are focusing on the wrong things. It could be something , that can be fixed. If I didn’t start dealing with the seat when my precious leso got ripped, the tea I was cooking wouldn’t have poured. I had to clean it, plus use another packet of milk. Maybe if I didn’t get that mad, I couldn’t have had to.
I had also caused the seat to be put aside. If this was a person, maybe they could have lost their job for just a small mistake. Maybe we could sort it between us. Be kind, regardless of what is thrown against you. Small or big. It won’t cost.
When people wrong us, sometimes we need to think about them, it’s not always about yourself. Maybe you could help them fix it. And help both of you. Don’t be so fast to rant insults, don’t be so fast to get angry. Take your time and think about them. You have no idea of their situation. Why are they bitter? Maybe they have been hurt over time. They have had enough, and they’re tired. And don’t forget, you might still need them later despite. Take your time and learn, take your time and help a soul.
This way, you’ll be proud of how you handled it. You’ll be happy and feel a sense of satisfaction that you helped a soul. I look at our kitchen seat today and smile. It did teach me something. I believe there is always something to learn, even in the smallest situations. Look at me and this seat. Now I can deal better with people who wrong me. I am grateful to this chair. I hope you learn something too.
It had a soul.