In the past month my church small group has been studying stewardship. During one of the lessons, it was highlighted that we are stewards of the relationships God has put our way. It was a time to pause and take stock of the people I was connected to.
I realised that I quickly identified as a wife to one Muse and mother to two lovelies, sister, daughter, christian church goer, neighbour, small group leader, friend… I even introduced myself thus. These relationships demanded a certain level of input from me. I had to be the good neighbour who doesn’t throw noisy parties at 3am or pour trash on the stairs because I was mindful of my neighbours. I had friends who needed me and who I needed to be there for. I had prayergroup mates to pray and be accountable to.
In these relationships I was trying to stand before God and say I have worked what was given me as a mother, wife, writer, Kenyan woman, believer and I have fought a good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.
But there were relationships I was ignoring or not taking too seriously yet God was expecting me to be a faithful steward in these as well. I was someone’s grandchild. Was I holding my weight to my cucus? I was a cousin, aunt, niece, mentor, villagemate… was I being a good steward? Would my nieces be proud of the aunt I had been to them or I was just a name in their lineage? Would my village remember a daughter like me in their time of celebration or need? Was I holding my weight as a mulamwa to someone?
Christmas will be a time when you are reminded just how many people you are connected to. You can choose to see them as a burden, obother or non-of-your-business but God will demand an account of what you did with your life in relationship to these people. Realise the privilege it is to have those people living across the hall from you, or related to you or attending the same church as you and ask God why he has placed them in your life. Recently there was a story of a woman stranded in Dubai and the first question people asked is “kwani she doesn’t have a family, friends?”
Chance encounters for me have turned to be blessings, people brought into my life for a purpose, people I need to get my job done some day in the future in a way I could never have anticipated. And those chance encounters have probably opened doors for some people as well. Recently I needed to get an article form a medical doctor. Then I remembered a family we had carpooled with for one church trip and the lady is, yes, a medical doctor. And she was willing to write.
On the same note, it’s time we dealt with this lie from hell that we do not need some people in our lives because they come from a certain community, or we don’t need certain communities in “our” country. We are connected, and we don’t always choose who to get connected to. In fact we can only choose our friends and spouses, to some extent. All those other relationships – your classmates, colleagues, cousins, brothers, parents, in-laws, neighbors, parents at same school- are providence. Appreciate them. Build them.
I am taking stock of more relationships in my life and trusting God to give me the love, patience, time and wisdom to be a faithful steward.