Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kisakye Means Grace

Lobu said, “I’ll pick you up at 6:30.” What for, I had no idea. To my surprise the car was loaded with friends. A short distance away, after plucking three white flowers from a vine along the roadside (one for each of the ladies), Gabriel pulled into a waterfront area where I admired the scenery for some time. Lake Victoria is accessible from a number of beaches nearby and the view is never disappointing.

Cement pylons lined the edge of the lookout area. I suppose they were intended to prevent cars from driving off the cliff. I thought hopping from one to the next would be fun, but they seemed so far apart…impossible to span. Short-legged Gabriel hopped up there and easily jumped from one to the other. With one guy on each side, holding me steady, I hopped from one to the next. Not to be topped, Gabriel promptly hopped two feet at a time, like a frog. I didn’t even bother trying. Seriously, they were very far apart.

The red-eye in this photo was just too funny to miss
given my sophisticated pose.
Still not really having any idea what we were doing other than enjoying nature, which I loved to do, the group moseyed to the upstairs of the empty restaurant where more friends were waiting. A birthday party…for me! We laughed and told stories and laughed some more. Then, that big box on the table that was blocking our view of the person across the table was lifted. Underneath was a beautiful Ugandan style cake with a happy birthday message painted in icing across the top. I really don’t know what kind of cake it was, spice something with raisins. It tasted yummy.

Among the various short stories told that night, Ronnie proposed that I needed a Ugandan  name now that I am born into their family. The discussion began in English by asking which clan I wanted my name to be from. How would I possibly know that? The conversation quickly turned to Luganda and I sat patiently smiling. In less than a minute they had the name chosen.

Lydia, Ann, Leslie, Ronnie, Herbert's friend, Gabriel
Missing: Herbert...someone had to take the photo.
Kisakye (chi-sah-chay). Kisakye means grace.

Gulp. How did they know that this was the special gift my father prayed over me constantly in those days after Rick died? How did they know this was the special email address he and I share? How did they know this was the word on the bracelet I made to ease me away from my wedding ring? How did they know that this word would have so much meaning in so many more different ways in my life?

Kisakye. The guys described the depth of meaning attributed to this word as the kind of grace God shows a couple who were trying to become pregnant and only after years and years finally succeed. The name might be given to that child, it’s not used lightly. Why would they chose that name for me? One thing I do know is that without the grace of God, I would not be here. Through God’s grace this past few years I have been, in a way, born into a new life.

Kisakye, evidence of God’s grace.