“Are you sure of what you are saying?” Reverend James asked in astonishment.
“Daddy, I’m very sure sir.” Thompson replied.
“Do you even know anything about this lady?”
“Yes sir.” Thompson responded and sat uprightly.
“And you are sure God led you to her?” Reverend James asked surprisingly
“Daddy, I’m very sure sir.” Thompson answered with all confidence.
“Alright, what do you know about her?”
“A lot sir.”
“Just a lot? Tell me, I want to know.” Reverend James adjusted his glasses. “I want to know in details.”
“To say just few, I knew she just got born again and she’s growing gradually in the faith. She was once a stripper in one of the clubs in the city. Apart from that, she was a sex worker. She did this to sponsor herself through her University days. She met Christ during one of our revivals two years ago. Sir, I knew her past very well. I was in church that day she testified about her salvation.” Thompson answered with self-assurance.
“Hmmm! Thompson, are you ready for this?” Reverend James queried.
“I was convinced by the Holy spirit. I had been nurturing this in my heart for the past seven months now because I wanted to be so sure. At first, I declined and neglected the conviction due to her kind of person. I mean where she came from. But the Holy Spirit kept telling me and He also ministered to me from the book of 1st Timothy 5:21 that ‘I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.’ Please, believe me sir.” Thompson gave the reply with sincerity of heart.
“Thompson, I need you to sleep over this again.” Reverend James fixed his gaze on him.
” Sir, I’m not in haste too. But, I had made up my mind on this issue and I must follow God all the way irrespective of what Sis. Mabel might have done in the past. She’s a daughter of Zion now.”
“Do you even know if this sister in question is in a relationship or not?” Reverend James kept asking him questions.
” The last time we spoke sir….”
” You’ve been speaking about that already?” Reverend James scowled.
“Not what you are thinking sir.”
“Then, how come?”
“We were in church that day and after service, I walked up to her when I observed that she was passive during the service, she was so down. She told me I should be praying for her. I asked her what happened? She said her parents were disturbing her on marriage and she’s not yet in a relationship.”
“Oh! I thought you had proposed to her.”
“Not at all sir.”
“Actually, I just asked. I knew Sis. Mabel is not in any relationship yet.” Reverend James said.
“Sir, I don’t want to miss it in marriage. I’m ready to face anybody and anything about this issue. Everything that happened was in her past and we should let it remain there.”
“I can see you are so determined.”
“Yes sir.” Thompson responded firmly.
“Thompson, you are my son. One of the greatest assets God has given to this church. I want you to still try and pray more about this. Prayer is never too much you know.”
“Alright sir. I will wait and take every necessary step you want me to take sir.” Thompson said cleaning the sweat from his forehead.
“And Thompson, you know you will have to convince a lot of people about this development. The church, your parents, friends and even me.” Reverend James removed his eye glasses and cleaned it with the handkerchief on the table. “Because Mabel, you know em…em….Mabel. I hope you understand what I’m talking about. I’m not here to change your conviction though, just wanted you to pray more.” He placed the eye glasses on the table.
“Thank you daddy. If I’m not patient, that means I did not love because love is patient. So I will be patient and allow God to be God in this case sir.” Thompson said.
“Let us pray then. Before that, what are you doing about your master’s programme?”
“I just took the form last week sir.”
“That’s good. God will perfect everything in Jesus name.”
“Let us pray.” Reverend James stood up.
“Yes sir.” Thompson knelt down and Reverend James prayed for him. He left the Reverend’s office after the prayer. Reverend James was amazed at Thompson’s proposal to Mabel. He thought if Thompson would get married, it shouldn’t be an ex-stripper at all. Thompson had been saved since he was a teenager. He had been committed and vibrant to God and to the church. The church’s headquarter gave him a job as the manager of the church’s farm immediately after his NYSC programme. He decided to go for his master’s degree after two years.
He was the only child of his parents. He had served in many offices in the church from the youth arm to the choir. He sang beautifully and also played the piano skillfully. Thompson had been the dream man of many sisters in the church but Mabel had captured his heart since the day the Lord spoke to him about her.
Mabel on the other hand just had her water baptism six months ago after completing the believer’s class with distinction. She joined the ushering department and began to work for God immediately. She was a beautiful young lady, petite with a chocolate skin. She was just a lady whose life had been full of ups and downs. She never had access to the light of the gospel since childhood. Her parents never went to church. She was the fourth child of a family of eight. She was determined to go to school against all odds and so went into prostitution and dancing in club houses to get funds for her schooling. She had heard about Christ from preachers but never saw a reason to give her life to Christ.
Until one day when Living Grace Church International held a revival close to her apartment. She felt the urge to go out the first day but something kept her. She couldn’t help it on the third day than to go out and join them at the crusade ground. The preacher preached about the cross. She couldn’t explain what happened to her that day. All she knew was that she was in front of the preacher when the altar call was made. That glorious day, she gave her life to Christ right there.
The church followed her up and Josephine who was the Reverend’s daughter was appointed to also follow her up intimately. Mabel had not gotten a job since she quitted being a sex worker. She later learnt baking and confectionery which was sponsored by the church. This was what she had passion for and she really enjoyed it. Her parents never reasoned with her on giving their lives to Christ even when she had witnessed to them on several occasions.
Thompson got home and knocked the door.
“Who’s at the door please?” Dncs. Adedara, Thompson’s mother asked. She was in her late fifties.
“It’s me mummy.” Thompson answered.
“I’m coming.” She came out of the kitchen and opened the door for her son. “You are welcome. And did you see her on your way here?” She asked.
“Who?” Thompson asked with confusion.
“Josephine of course. She left not quite long.” She answered
“I did not see anybody on my way at all.” He said and took his seat.
“It’s possible because she came in her car.” Dncs. Adedara said adjusting her scarf.
“And why did she come?” He asked staring at his mother.
“Are you asking me? Perhaps, she missed you.” She said smiling and winking at her son.
“Missed me?” Thompson looked at his mother like she was acting.
“I’m just thinking out loud. She even told me you’ve been avoiding her lately. Why?” She asked.
“Mummy, I had to. Everybody thought we are in a relationship in church and at my work place too.”
“So is that enough reason for you to avoid her?” She queried him.
“Yes mummy. It could be a barrier to her relationship and to mine too.” Thompson answered.
“Thompson, I don’t know why you are disturbing yourself. This lady is a good girl. She’s the daughter of the Reverend; that’s an added advantage. She loves you from her heart, she loves your family, that’s so obvious. She’s from a noble home. She’s godly and educated. She had completed her master’s degree and will be going for her Ph.D. soon. What are you looking for?” She tried to convince her son.
“Mummy, Josephine is not God’s will for my life. I had prayed about it the moment I realized we were getting closer.” Thompson said emphatically.
“She’s not the will. So who’s the will? I don’t understand you. This lady is your friend already. Aren’t you supposed to marry your friend and not a stranger? Your dad and I knew her very well right from childhood. Her parents are well known to us too. Won’t it be great if the Deacon’s son marries the Reverend’s daughter?” She moved closer to where Thompson sat.
“Mum, for the fact that she’s a member of our church and we are childhood friends doesn’t make her my future wife by default.” He groused.
“I hope you know you are not getting any younger? Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you decide to start enjoying life.” She rested her left hand on Thompson’s shoulder.
“When it comes to enjoying life, one has to get the right person. The wrong love makes you wonder where God is and I don’t want that, so it’s worth the wait mummy.” He said.
“Sometimes, when you wait for the right person, you will never find. All you have to do is take that person who is left and make her right.” She emphasized as she placed her right hand on his son’s shoulder.
“That’s manipulation mum and we don’t manipulate in the Kingdom matters. I will keep praying and trusting God ma.”
“You don’t close your two eyes when you pray in situations like this. You watch and pray. That’s the scriptures.”
Thompson observed that his mother would not stop persuading him even if he had all the proofs to convince her. He thought within himself to let the cat out of the bag. He was prepared for his mother’s reaction.
“Exactly mummy, I’m watching and praying already and God had led me to someone.” He said.
“Oh! Really? So who is this person?’ She sat down with keen interest.
“She’s a member of our church.” He answered
“She has no name?” She fixed her gaze on her son who was nervous already.
“Her name is Mabel.” He muttered the words in his mouth like a small kid.
“Mabel? Which Mabel?”
“The same Mabel, mummy. There’s only one Mabel in church.” He answered
Dncs. Adedara looked at her son disgustingly for ten seconds without saying a word. He was looking down feeling embarrassed by her mother’s look. She stood up and hissed. “This conversation is getting boring. Let me go and monitor my husband’s food. I think this hot weather is affecting you. I will advise you get a rest. When you are ready to talk to me, you can call on me.” She left in annoyance into the kitchen.
Thompson stood up and followed his mother to the kitchen. “Mummy, just let me explain in details.”
“Thompson, this conversation has ended. Don’t you get it?” She scolded her son.
“Alright mummy.” He said and left the kitchen. Thompson was an introvert and a man of few words too. He wouldn’t argue over anything.
He entered his room, prayed and took a shower. He relaxed on his bed as he began to listen to last week’s choir ministration on his phone. His mind was not on the song at all; he was just thinking about Mabel. He never liked what his mother said but he trusted God to convince her as He had convinced him. After five minutes, he slept off.
Dncs. Adedara was not happy with the new she heard from her son that Saturday afternoon. “Mabel, Mabel of all sisters in the church. Does that mean my son doesn’t have a good taste? How will my only son, not just only son, my only child be engaged to a stripper. Not just a stripper alone, a sex worker for that matter too. A lady who doesn’t have any religious upbringing. What advantage will that bring to my household? I will never take this. It won’t happen as long as I exist.” She was soliloquizing.
After thirty minutes, Thompson’s cellphone began to buzz. He woke up from his deep sleep with annoyance. He picked it up and it was Josephine. He never liked to be disturbed when asleep. But this is Josephine. A lady he had love to associate with. He could pick her call even in the dream. He became calm as soon as he realized it was Josephine.
“Hello Phinny.” He said sounding weak.
“Hi dear.” Hearing Thompson’s voice, she replied bubbling with excitement.
“Good afternoon.” He said turning to another side of the bed.
“Good afternoon. How are you doing? You aren’t sounding very fine.” She said wondering what could have happened to him.
“I’m fine. Just feeling slight headache.” He said.
“Oh! I thought as much. Sorry about that. I hope I’m not disturbing you now?” She asked.
Thompson didn’t want to sound harsh. Moreover, he loved Josephine’s company, so he lied, “not really, you aren’t disturbing me.”
“I’m thinking you should have a malaria test. I’m not going to work today; I would have asked you to come over for a test. Maybe after your rehearsal tomorrow, you can run a test and let’s see what’s happening.” Josephine advised.
“A test? Josephine, I will be alright. I just need to relax.” He said turning down Josephine’s offer.
“You didn’t disappoint me at all. I knew you were going to turn it down. Like I didn’t know you are trypanophobic.” She giggled.
“Will you stop that. Must you always say the truth? For your information, I’m a grown up man now, I can take as many needles as possible.” He began to laugh. Josephine had a way of bringing him back to his normal self. There was this special part of his heart that Josephine occupied.
“It’s better to come for the test tomorrow. Then you can take your drugs, eat and relax very well before going to work Monday.” She advised him.
“Jokes apart, I will be fine Josephine. I just need to rest.” He hesitated.
“I don’t care. I asked after you like an hour ago. I came to your place.” She said.
“Yes, mummy told me.”
“And you couldn’t even call me.”
“I’m sorry, Josephine. I ran out of airtime. As a matter of fact, I thought since I would be coming for rehearsal tomorrow. I would see you at home.” He explained.
“You ran out of airtime?” She was surprised to hear that. ” Anyways, I just came to check on you since I’m at home and it’s a weekend too.” She said.
“Oh, that was so thoughtful of you. I really appreciate that.”
” Hmmm Thompson, are you sure you appreciate that?” She said knowing fully well that so many things had changed between them.
“Of course, yes. Or are you doubting that?” He asked.
“No, I’m not. It’s just for confirmation sake.”
“Oh really? Happy confirmation then.” They both laughed.
There was silence for six seconds. Thompson didn’t have anything more to say. He just wished Josephine could end the call and he would prepare for his rehearsal tomorrow.
“So Thompson, your mum told me you came to see my dad this morning.” She broke the silence.
“Yes, I did.” He answered sharply.
“So what’s the seeing all about? Share with your bestie now. You know I care about you.” She said with excitement.
Dear reader, will you advice Thompson to share the situation with Josephine?
Published By: Ifeoluwa ORISAKAHUNSI