Why is this Sunday service taking so long oh Lord?
My tummy was rumbling so loudly that I had to sneak a peep at Bro. Paul sitting close to me to ensure that he wasn’t listening to the rhythmical sounds from my inside!
I woke up this morning just like other days when I felt the sticky thing in-between my legs.
Oh not again Lord!
I knew from that moment that I was going to have to battle with dysmenorrhea- menstrual pain for the rest of the day and I really hated the thought.
I racked my wardrobe for drugs and gosh! My fervin was exhausted. I angrily threw the empty sachet away and had a warm bath, getting set for the Sunday service.
I had just concluded a three day fast and I was looking rather lean- but it was worth it. It bordered on issues concerning my life and I had to take it seriously.
I didn’t know how to hear God!
Well, most times after praying fervently, I would just tell God to talk to someone or reveal something to someone else if he didn’t want to talk to me personally and that was what he had always done.
Probably I was just too filthy!
I had told him that in the service of today, if he wanted to talk to me, he should do so through all the ministrations in the church- the choir ministration, the drama ministration, the message itself and all.
I was however shocked when the title of the song the choir sang was ‘Holiness unto the Lord’!
I knew about holiness so well and that was not my prayer point at all. I am on the way to perfection and I am carefully watching my steps lest I stray.
I didn’t want this choir ministration. So as they ministered, it was just as if they were pumping LaCasera drink into my body system that made the body fluid escaping my body to gush out as if being pursued vehemently.
‘Let us jam our hands as our dear father in the Lord, Pastor Idile takes up the mic’ He announced in his usually affecting tone. He was the reason for my prayer- Tony!
I sighed deeply.
‘God, are you just going to talk to me? Are you going to speak to me through this man of God? I really need your touch oh Lord’ I uttered silently as my faith got revived again.
‘Touch me one more time oh Lord, yes dear Lord, touch me one more time oh Lord, I need the touch of the Father, I need the touch of the Lord, touch me one more time oh Lord!’ the pastor sang in his baritone voice and the awesomeness of the whole thing pushed me down to my knees.
I just mentioned His touch right now and the pastor is singing about His touch too.
‘The service is definitely for me’ I said so loudly that I noticed Bro. Paul looking towards me but I wasn’t moved. Who says this God isn’t real and I would love to tell him to experiment.
He is good abeg!
The message snowballed and I listened with rapt attention, slapping my laps together so the pain in my tummy would ‘gerrarahere’.
The topic was ‘Confused?’ -So apt, touching and just like that.
Oh yes I was confused. Madly confused!
I said yes to Jean’s proposal last month and the relationship had started to bloom greatly until this Tony came around that same week. He was a serving corps member and he was deployed to my area, so he worshipped with us at the central church.
Since I set my eyes on him, my mind had been in a real state of chaos. I was just so confused that I decide to step away from the choir group where he was very vibrant so I could get things straight.
I was going to the church that very day and as I always did, I was dressed gorgeously for the service in my opened toes high heeled shoes. As I locked my car, I started walking as if being pursued.
Just then, Sis. Jane called my name and as I tried to turn back in order to answer her call, I never knew a canal was before me. My shoe nose-dived into the canal but just like the slow motion in any Korean movie, a strong hand held me and pulled me up with a force.
“Sorry ma” he said and I looked into his small, milky face. I blinked severally, trying to get my voice.
Who is this boy?
He bowed slightly before me and off he went- but my eyes went with him!
I slapped my head to order that very day to no avail especially when my research told me he was just an ordinary corps member.
‘He is just a small boy’ I thought to myself but the turmoil in my heart continued.
Whenever I went to the church, I would take a spot in the choir room where I would have the opportunity to get a good look at him without being noticed by anybody.
Whatever he did appealed to me. There was a day that i saw him blowing his nose. The way he held the tissue paper was skilled! Funny me!
Immediately I realized that I wasn’t getting things straight again, I had to sit down, fast and pray well so that God would speak to me. So, he would clear my head and put the right thing in there.
‘Most time, we think we have arrived and that it is time to settle down because we have the job, beautiful accommodation, money and all but God is saying no! And you’ve got to wait on him’ My pastor killed it. As I jotted the point down, my body shook violently.
Pastor was stupendously right!
“What else are you waiting for my daughter? You are well employed as a lecturer. You have a degree in Mass Communication and two Masters Degrees in Public Relations and Advertising respectively. What are you waiting for? You are our only daughter o and see how big you are. No one would even believe that you are not 25 yet.” My mother complained bitterly the last time we met.
My aged mother and father had been my specimen for a good marriage for many years now. Though it took about four decades after their marriage before they had me, the barren years really strengthened their love.
Though I am very beautiful, I have the dominant gene of my father. I am built like a man- with well-built muscles, a deep, bass voice and very hairy skin. In my secondary school days, I was called ‘Miss Gorilla’
Although I battled with inferiority complex for a long period of time, I overcame because of my supportive parents, my choice of career (My radio voice was always being begged for) and my unit in the church (Bass part which made the songs beautiful).
When I wasn’t talking of any boyfriend, date or fiancé yet, it was very natural when my mum called for a dialogue with me.
Jean was a single father whose wife had left him for over five years after he caught her in an adultery act for more than three times. I taught his daughter in her final year and that was how I got to know him well as he requested for a private lesson for her at home, during the holiday.
Whenever I visited the beautiful house of his, the way he ran around to prepare food in the kitchen, set the house in order, pet his daughter to listen whenever I taught was overwhelming. He was just too nice!
When he sat me down to say all he had passed through in his marriage, pity rose from my belly for him and I opened my heart to him. I would buy him gifts, go on picnic with him and Sarah, his daughter and I would help in the kitchen- his skills of combining different ingredients to make something extra-ordinarily was highly touching!
In fact, when I realized I was in love with him, I quickly told him about Jesus and he was truly converted as he wept for his sin.
When he proposed to me, I was shocked. I really loved him but never had I thought about getting married to a man in his late forties. I told him to give me some time and I really calculated the cost.
His daughter loved me
He didn’t divorce his wife- she left him
He is now a Christian
He is good looking, accomplished and wonderful to be with
What else would I need in a man?
I said a big, fat yes!
It all went well with us as we had reported at the marriage committee in the church and our meeting had been adjourned to next week.
All seemed clear to me until I met Tony!
“I am going to teach you a song today. I told earlier that it’s a special service today so we are doing everything in another style. Who knows maybe it’s for someone her that this service had been designed?” the pastor said again and mouth agape, I nodded like an agama lizard
My pastor is truly anointed!
He started singing thunderously
I will wait, wait, wait on the Lord
I will wait, wait, wait on the Lord
Learn my lessons well
In his timing he would tell me,
What to do,
Where to go
And what to say
The pastor’s voice rung in the whole building as he sang till the whole hall felt that move and there was the outpouring of the spirit. I watched as people fell to the ground, raised their hands to heaven in total awe and surrender to God.
I was too touched to pray!
Suddenly, something struck my heart and as I held my chest to calm the pain, a force pushed me down to my knees; perspiration covered me from head to toes- I was dripping; I shook as if I had been suffering from fever for a very long time, the goose bumps that covered me and its tingling effects refused to leave me as I gnashed my teeth. No words proceeded from my mouth.
I moaned and moaned again.
There was a stir in my spirit – for the first time! I was praying in the spirit. Prayers that was too superb and extra-ordinary for my mouth to utter.
‘Many of us say that the Lord can’t speak to us and that we can’t hear him because we are not worthy to be spoken to by the immortal. We prefer the pastor to hear for us even when God is talking…He is speaking to you…” The pastor emphasized on and on and I suddenly realized the pain in God’s heart when I limited His ability to talk to me.
“The wall of partition is broken. Enter in before him and like Jacob, wrestle with Him in prayers. He needs who would dare seek His face. Wait no more, seek him! He wants to talk to you. Stop doubting His ability. He is the Lord God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Him? Is there anything too hard for God?” the pastor asked with a stamp of his feet on the floor.
My mouth opened and with my mouth filled with gratitude, I gave Him thanks for talking through me through the pastor
Then I regrettably said I was sorry for limiting him. For seeing Him as being selective of whom he talked to.
“Who says there is no God?” I uttered affirmatively as if I had a sword to behead such individual. I stood up from my kneeling position and joined in the thanksgiving session that followed the message session, wiping my sweat off my face.
The joy in the face of every member was unspeakable! It was glorious that my heart kept stirring- the new spiritual experience that I have got from God during this service!
Blessed is the woman that married this Pastor Idile!
Just like a video camera, my eyes travelled through the church to look for where Mummy Idile was seated but I couldn’t sight her. My searching job begun in earnest.
I saw her briefly that morning clad in a blue suit gown and a gold hat. Where could she be?
My eyes travelled to the gallery above me.
There she was!
There was a smile on her face but the smile looked somehow.
Sad? Uncertain? Bitter?
I couldn’t figure what was wrong with that smile but I knew it wasn’t a happy, grateful smile. I looked on at her and as she nodded severally, the light above her shone on her and her face glistened. I saw it clearly- tears!
What could be wrong with her? Was God showing her a vision that is very saddening? What was bothering her Oh God?
I felt she was supposed to be the happiest woman on earth for having such a vibrant man as a husband especially with this wonderful outpouring of the Spirit.
My spirit stirred again!
Was God trying to tell me something?
I placed my head on the pew in front of me. I didn’t even realize that the service had been brought to an end. I was overwhelmed within me.
Something is just not right! What is it oh Lord? Talk to me please!
I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything. It was just darkness I saw and I heard the hooting of car horns outside.
Isn’t God going to speak?
I heard on knock on the pew which I was seated on. My eyes still firmly shut, I smiled.
“Is that Jesus?” I asked, very happily.
Jesus had come to speak to me in a very different way. Wonderful!
“Speak on Lord. You daughter listeneth” I said when I didn’t hear any sound.
“Very funny. Ok, it’s not Jesus o. It’s His son” I heard a wonderful male voice.
Eyes still shut, I racked my brain.
Jesus’ son?…Jesus has a son ?
Still in my fantasy, i asked on.
“Angel, you mean?” I asked and I heard a very loud laughter.
I opened my eyes widely but it was blurry because I had closed my eyes firmly for a very long time.
When my sight cleared, right in front me was Tony!
He had drawn a plastic chair and was seated, staring into my face with a funny smile on his face. He obviously was not done making jest of me and I felt so foolish.
“Sis. Precious, you are supposed to be in the drama unit. You can really act” he said and I smiled
What could I say now so this brother wouldn’t think me weird?
“Well, you wouldn’t understand” I managed to say and he smiled again. The way his cheeks raised whenever he smiled was beautiful and my heart stirred again.
“I can relate to that. We just get to a point where we are so confused that we just want God to speak to us. We become so desperate that God just calms down and says, if I don’t talk to her, let’s see if she would still stay.” He said and I smiled
“Hmmmm, that’s profound!” I nodded as the words sunk into my skulls.
“Yes my sister. When we so desire that he speaks probably so we could brag about it to our neighbors that God said this or that to us, he withholds his voice. Then, when we do not expect, he would speak, he drops it gently and he waits to see who cares to even notice what He had done” he said on and I watched on with great awe.
He paused and smiled
“Sister Precious” he called out and I woke up from my fantasies again.
“Continue my brother. I am being blessed” I said and he laughed, clasping his hands together
“I am not a pastor o. this look you are giving me be like say you think say I be one kind apostle” he said again and we laughed together
“But really, that was deep. So so thoughtful! God bless you” I prayed heartily
“You are very funny Sis Precious. Whenever I see you, you remind me of my mum. Your stature, your clichés, your voice, your long hair, and your funny talks, everything, just like her!” he said and I blushed
“That’s wonderful.” Was the only sentence I could utter
“Yes…why haven’t you been coming for the choir practice? I had wanted to ask for a long time now but whenever I looked at your side when the service ends, you would have gone. God held you down for me this morning” he said again and I shook my head.
Only if you know what these praises of yours is doing to my heart right now. Please, just stopabeg!
I stopped because I couldn’t face you! Because of you
These thoughts filled my head but I shook then off and smiled
“I will resume soon. I just had to step aside for a while. Thanks for your concern” I said and he smiled
“Ok ma. Thanks too” he said and he stood up.
I felt bad of a sudden. I hope I hadn’t said something that had made him feel bad o.
“Which side are you going to if I could give you a lift?” I asked in compensation and he smiled
“Iwo-Road area” he responded, looking down at me. He is quite tall…nice one!
“Ok. Let’s go” I said and as I tried to start, I felt something wet down my skirt.
Stains…Blood Stains? Oh no! Not at this point.
I was wearing a white skirt since I used heavy flow pad in the morning with the mind that there couldn’t be any stain… What shit!
“Is anything the problem?” he asked, concern written on his face.
“No. Let’s go” I didn’t want to appear foolish. It might be the sweat that was making me feel wet. I stood up suddenly, checked the white pew and nah! It was soaked with blood. I sat down right back in the chair. My perspiration started. My heart started beating fast.
Oh why today o God!
“What happened that you suddenly sat down?” He asked and I smiled faintly, obviously embarrassed but grateful that he didn’t see it.
“I just realized that I wasn’t done with the prayers I was doing, I was praying for somebody when you interrupted” I said. Was that a lie? Well, maybe partly. Forgive me Lord. I just had to do it.
“Ok then. Thanks for the offer then. Pray for me too o” he smiled again as he walked away.
I heaved a sigh of relief.
“Let’s just assume that he is the person sef, would this be the right way for him to see me? Stained with my own blood? No, that would only show him how careless I am. I wouldn’t want that” I said aloud, laughing with satisfaction that I was not caught.
But I do I get out of the church like this?
I turned back and saw some men counting the offering and all…why wouldn’t they do that in the office ehn?
I turned forward and saw some others too, discussing in groups. What do I do oh my redeemer? I am done for right?
There was a tap at my shoulder and I looked up- Tony
“Yes?” I asked, almost sharply. He smiled
“You were supposed to be praying” He said, almost in a challenging tone
“Yes and you are intruding” I said defiantly. What a bother! He smiled once more
“I have this for you. I thought of sending someone but I found nobody around. Please, don’t be offended” he said, dropped a black polythene bag on the white chair before me and off he went before I could say a word.
I was perturbed.
What could be in the bag?
I opened and the contents of the bag dazed me, leaving me in total shock!
A new pack of sanitary pad, a small white towel, four sachets of water, a roll of tissue paper and a small white wrapper.
Tears streamed down my face.
Was I supposed to be angry at this guy now or be appreciative? Which?
What an embarrassing day to remember for me oh God!
A paper fell from the bag and I picked it up.
I unfolded it even as tears clouded my eyes.
“I am sorry. I just seemed to find out. A medical doctor would just know!”
Is this guy for real right now?
I folded myself in the corner where I was seated as if something should take a hold of me and make me disappear!