Is it okay not to be okay?

The news came in as a bolt out of the blue for the entire family. It was unexpected, unimaginable and something that was difficult for the family to fathom. Death was one fact that wasn’t fully acknowledged. In comparison, it was easy when they lost a loved one who was terminally sick and whose life faded away day by day. The family had then been psychologically prepared for any news more so, the bad news. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so this time around. He was at his prime age, thirty to be precise. A talented young man with great opportunities knocking at his door, sky wasn’t his limit. Football was his deepest passion; he dribbled the ball like a piece of cake, his feet were a master piece. His bedroom walls were decorated with medals and trophies he won on the football pitch. Sadly, death came knocking and knocking hard.

It was a case of mob justice. Despite the talent, passion and opportunities at hand, he had his personal struggles especially in the areas of friendship and peer pressure. One thing led to another and in no time, character and discipline was compromised, and he started living a double life. It is quite unfortunate how the African society has slowly and silently embraced the mob justice as a quick solution to issues and problems in the community. Worse still the youths are the major victims of this particular circumstance. The reality is that by killing an offender through mob justice doesn’t necessarily mean that the offense will end at that. Alternatively, the African society should embrace the legal and just ways of handling such cases.

He stole a motorbike which was tracked down by the owner who mobilized his fellow bikers. He was ambushed at the wee hours of 9th Saturday morning December 2017 at his hiding place in Majengo shanty house Nairobi, Kenya. Hearing the stories that surrounded his death and viewing the body before and after the post-mortem was a heart-breaking experience for the family. The broken skull on the forehead, sharp stabbed wound at the back of the head, a lost tooth and a bulged out chest which indicated that he was about to take his last breath before he died brought tears of pain to everyone around.

Is it okay not to be okay? In a world where approval, recognition, attention, following and likes are the order of the day, it is easy to be carried away in the moment, trying to fit in or trying to be the perfect person while things are falling apart. Society has presented us with the ‘ideal’ person, environment and marriage that seem attractive at face value but not authentic in any way. This is even worse when it comes to the loss of a loved one.

Despite the surrounding circumstance of death, the family had to go through the mourning process. It wasn’t an easy one at all and the environment wasn’t conducive. The male figures in the family were warned against mourning and were required to man up and show no emotion. In as much as they needed help to demystify the idea of mourning, they needed to come to that point of admitting that they needed help. The danger of not allowing yourself to mourn in the right way is that it prolongs the healing process. It makes one to leave in denial, hoping and expecting to see the loved one walking in through the front door or worst still looking for him on the road, in a crowd and even looking for familiar faces.

As humans we are faced with different challenges at every level of life. Times we feel as though we will be perceived as failures, unfit and imperfect in the ‘ideal’ world if we admit or concede to our failures and the need for help. Jesus was faced with the same situation when His close friend Lazarus died. He knew people saw Him as the all perfect person and He could have decided to man up or be okay even though all was not okay, but He didn’t. The Bible records that ‘He wept’. In the above story, the family has to acknowledge what befell them and forgiving the offenders so that they can receive healing that won’t happen overnight. This is one of those processes of life that only God and not man can solve. You need to surrender and realizing that your might, influence or money can’t bring healing and restoration. Then allow God to intervene in your situation and the pain within the heart. Allow Him to fix the wound of loss, divorce, retrenchment and unforgiveness within you and your family in His time and process. It is okay not to be okay!

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