With Her Suitcase

It’s a Sunday morning like any other.

The estate streets are relatively deserted. The ground beneath me is wet from the gentle rain that fell all night. There’s a pleasant quiet in the air like the world around me is having its Sabbath too.

I’m staring out of the matatu window when I see her. Actually, I see her huge suitcase first. Lying abandoned at the stage. It very well could be the largest one that suitcase brand has. Not the kind you lug around on foot…on your own.

I look around and spot her. Hurriedly moving from the row of houses behind her to the stage. She gets to her luggage and somehow makes it across the road to where we’re waiting.

As the tout struggles to get her suitcase into the matatu my gaze shifts between her and her possessions. Because from the way the suitcase is about to burst open, it seems like she’s carrying everything she owns in there.

Haggard. She looks haggard. Like life knocked her down and sat on her to make sure she stays down. A flurry of possible explanations rush through my mind. It comes with being a writer I suppose. Seeing a story in every face.

Whose house is she from? Husband? Boyfriend? Relative? Was she kicked out? Did she leave by choice? A combination of both? Because no one sends guests away that early on a Sunday morning without even seeing them off. Her hair hasn’t seen a comb today. Her top is inside out. So much speaks to her rushed departure.

Several huffs and puffs later, the tout gives up. Between her and her suitcase all three seats in front of me are occupied. We continue on. When fare time comes she ends up short. One of the women near her bails her out lamenting that the tout could have done a better job arranging her suitcase. He defends himself. We all witnessed his struggle.

Where is she going? It doesn’t look like she has any money left. I’d seen her rifling through her handbag for whatever coins she could get to pay her fare. Even they weren’t enough. How’s she going to get to her destination?

“Lord?”

“I am with her.”

I smile at the paradox. At how we can speak so little yet say so much to each other. There was a time when it wouldn’t have made sense to me. Now, in the strangest of ways, it does.

In the midst of the choices we make…the choices others make…and all their consequences…His love is right there weaving it all for our good. Even when we don’t know it, don’t think we deserve it, don’t see it just yet.

He remains Emmanuel. God with us.

To underestimate His concern, to question His desire to help and hold, is to know little of His love. How little I have known of His love. How much He continues to show me.

My stop comes before hers. She’s talking to someone over the phone to pick her up.

I carry her with me through my church service…through the rest of my day.

They say prayer is the least you can do.

I used to say the same thing too.

Till I realized that there’s nothing more powerful on heaven or earth than the cry of a child’s heart to their Father.

It’s a Sunday morning like no other.