Look at me. Look at my wife. Now back to me. What do you see?
After the Sinai fire, one media house interviewed a man who had just lost his wife in the inferno. The grieving fellow expressed concern that he had lost the one person who took care of his hygiene. Certainly distraught, he wondered who would do the cleaning now that his wife was gone. Watching the grieving man on TV, I wondered if that was really his concern at the time. I mean, had he lost a wife or a broom?
Now the good book says that “he who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) As to what a wife finds, the good book is not very loud on that. Perhaps wives don’t need any confirmation as to the quality of the spouse they find, once they chance upon one. Nonetheless, we can rest assured that a wife is a good thing.
Besides, isn’t she the one that should worry more about you than you worry about yourself?
When you’re unwell and coughing out a mix of lint and sludge, she’s the one who’ll rush to the kitchen, get some warm water going on the stove and rush it back to your ripped throat. And before you fall asleep again, she’ll plead with you for the umpteenth time to go see a doctor. But being the busy, (*cough* stubborn) man you are, you say, it’s not that serious. “Tough men don’t go to hospital.”
Ah.., but when do mean really go to hospital? When they can’t walk?
Speaking of being crippled and how it all came about. The nights you spent out drinking yourself to an unroad-worthy state, filling your drooping belly with chunks of fatty red cow. How your wife stayed up late, waiting, listening, hoping, crying and then praying that you are alright. Those hours that drive a wife insane with anger and then fatigued with worry.
You never bothering to call or text. She never getting enough sleep to handle the children’s persistent questions on their father’s whereabouts when he doesn’t show up at the breakfast table. And she is forced to hide your shame and her pain, and instead carries your pride of fatherhood on her face, as she sends the kids off to church.
Her phone rings.
“Mama baby, I had an accident. I’m at Nairobi Hospital”
“What? How? I’m on my way.”
Sick and worried, she rushes to be by your side. You narrate the story of an accident you were involved in, but were too drunk on pride, power and alcohol to witness.
“I just found myself here when I woke up.”
She hopes you’ll still be able to walk. That you’ll be back on your feet soon. That you’ll be back to your old self. just not drinking as much. But it will take a lot of prayer to ensure you come home early and sober.
Then again, you’re a teetollar. A scholar. A professor. A businessman. A workaholic. You’re busy providing for your family. Too busy to spend time with them. You’re locked in the study. You work overtime. You’re in a meeting, can’t talk. You’re chasing paper, to make sure your family has the best. Monday to 365th day. Too busy to talk about what you do or how you do it. Besides, the wife wouldn’t understand how your business works. She’s to shallow.
Then one day, the cops come knocking, and the banks are calling and the auctioneers are carrying everything out of the house. Sick and worried, she salvages what she can, rounds up the children and sits at a corner to watch “the best” go to someone else.
Sometimes I wonder, if the tables were turned and we were all equal in God’s eyes, would husbands be sick and worried about the things wives get sick and worried about? Would a husband stay up late, waiting patiently for his wife to come home from a drink with friends, or would he be angry instead?
Would he stomach a text message about a meeting at 2am “Can’t talk.”
Would he care for her when she’s on a wheelchair, until she was able to walk again, knowing very well she was drunk when she rammed into the other car? Would he get an ulcer waiting for his wife to come home from prison, or would he go right ahead and marry someone else?
Perhaps wives were designed to be sick and worried. And how can that not be a good thing?