Christmas is here.
Alice, who is attending a nursing course in Nairobi, Kenya wants to return home,
back to Subukia. On her long journey she is reflecting on many things. She is
thinking of her home, of her young brother John and her mother. Her father died
some years ago. She is asking herself where her brother who she has not heard
of for a long time might live at present, Alice knocks at the door. Her mother
answers from inside: "Karibu” (“Welcome” in Swahili)). She opens the small,
almost tiny door and sees her mother sitting on the floor, leaning at the dark
brown, muddy wall.
"Why are you sitting
on the floor," Alice asks her mother, "isn’t there a chair to sit on?" "There
isn’t,” is her mother’s answer." I did not have the money for flour and sugar
so I sold our two chairs together with the table. Neighbours gave me money,
about 600 Shillings. The chairs and table were already old and not a high
quality." "But we are celebrating Christmas." replies Alice, "how can we
celebrate Christmas without a chair and a table? What can we eat at? Should we
live our whole life just on the floor? Since our childhood we have slept on the
floor. And from now on we will have to sit, to rest, to eat, to do everything
just on the floor." "I have lived like this for some weeks and I have gotten
used to it", explains her mother, "I do not need chairs and table anymore; to
sleep, to rest, to eat, to do everything just on the floor, that’s possible."
"And by the way, where
is John?" Alice asks her mother. She replies: "He went to look for work, to earn
some money. I think he had been hungry for a long time. I expect him back for
Christmas." "Where can we lay the grass for the crib?" Alice questions. "Here,
next to me, here is enough space," is her mother’s answer. "I think that Jesus
can feel at home here".
"Can’t we lay the
grass just in the middle of the house where the table was before?" Alice
suggests. "In the middle there is more light than close to the wall. Then we
can see Jesus better. And so our house, the whole house, can become his crib."
And she adds: "We do not have a chair and a table, but we have a lot of space,
the whole house for Jesus!"