The two boys walked through the grass, deep in thought and conversation. The tall African grasses for miles around, were thin and wispy, reaching up to their chests. Daniel broke off a stalk making other stalks bend low and then bounce back, dancing.
“What shall I do?” Uzi asked his best friend, as he rubbed his hand over his kinky red hair.
“You know father sees us both as his sons, so I’m your brother. The question is what do we do?”
“Thank you Daniel.”
“Only God knows what we should do.” Daniel said.
“I say we tell her.” Uzi blurted out.
“He said don’t tell anyone he has AIDS.” Daniel reminded Uzi.
“I know but it’s not fair to her and the rest of my, our,” he corrected himself “brothers and sisters.”
“But this is part of tradition. It’s part of our culture for a man to be able to have sex with more than one woman.”
“What bad culture is that?!’ Uzi blurted out, frustrated, “Cheating on your wife? That’s not culture, that’s sin. My father, as a Christian knows better.”
“I know Uzi” Daniel stopped, “I’m on your side. But your Dad has not been a Christian all his life. The old ways are showing now.”
Having stopped in the grass, to talk, the two 12 year olds looked like thin old brown tree trunks.
“But he has endangered everyone’s life now that he has AIDS. It could stop me from going to school and you know I want to be a doctor.”
“I know” Daniel sympathized.
“I’ll have to stay home and take care of the younger ones.”
“You’re really imagining far in the future, Uzi. If it comes to that we’ll work it out. I want to be a mechanic, so maybe when I finish my apprenticeship I can take care of them while you go to medical school.”
“That is so kind of you. You really are a brother. Better than a brother.”
“But Uzi, there are so many good possibilities before these dire circumstances that you are imagining. There are treatments for Dad. Your mother can be tested if we tell her. And there are treatments for her.”
“Where is the money coming from?”
“No one has stopped working yet. And it may never happen.”
The breezes blew the grasses low around them, as if worshippers paying homage.
“Even if father hasn’t acted like a Christian” Daniel went on, “in every way, we can do better. We can trust God. The Bible says that without faith we cannot please God. So let’s put some trust in Him. Fear is just going to make us panic.”
“Yes, I’m encouraged already. God will tell us what to do and lead us to the solution or the right way to handle this. I see so many other children like us going through this, but I never thought it would happen to our family. Imagine what the church will think.”
“No more imagining. Only believing the truth, that God gives us. Pastor just finished teaching us about the Holy Spirit.”
“Yes, the Comforter.”
“We need that comfort right now. Before we go into the town, let’s pray out here and relax in God.”
With the tops of the grass huts of their village barely visible in the distance, the two knelt at a grassy knoll and got quiet with God. They stayed there for about half an hour, before they rose to go home. They sang songs of victory as they went; more full of faith, than when they started out.