When Baawua, resident macho man and general troublemaker (in that order) finally gave his life to Christ, he expected the world would change to accommodate his new perspective on life. He anticipated a sudden ease in every hustle; the ephemeral peace that had at once taken over his heart when Pastor Ashimolo laid hands on him, to remain forever. He closed his eyes, he felt a tearing sensation inside his chest and he began to hope. Through his gibberish rumblings, that came from the divine of course, through his tears, he began to hope. Surely, a better life filled with happiness and laughter lay ahead. A conscious decision to flee from sin was the key to solving all of his problems. The Pastor had screamed it through the microphone and he had believed.
It was no wonder his frustration then, when 2 weeks later he found himself seated at the porch of Pastor Ahimolo’s house, his dismissal letter, creased and dirty from the last time he had balled it up in anger, inside his hands. He waited patiently for the pastor, the ferociously shaken anger inside him plugged only by the cork of his faith, of the bible’s admonition, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.”
The door creaked open and the pastor came out in shorts and a singlet. For the first time he was seeing the man of God outside his robes and he was not impressed. The tiny singlet stretched tightly around the old man’s potbelly, barely covering the gaping space around his waist; where the blue and white of his boxers had to be covered up every few seconds with his loose shorts. Ashimolo, for he could not bare to think of him as a pastor now, dragged one of the chairs towards himself and sat down. It took Baawua a few seconds to collect himself.
“The peace of the lord be with you, pastor.”
“May his mercies endure, my son.”
“Pastor, I am sorry to disturb you this fine afternoon. I came to tell you, because you are the one who God chose as a vessel in bringing me into his light, that I have been fired.”
The pastor leaned forward, taking the envelope from Baawua’s outstretched hands. He read through the A4 sheet in silence, longer than anyone ordinarily should have. Baawua addressed the old man with his eyes, a child curiously waiting on which lie his parents would choose this time in explaining why he didn’t have meat on his food like everybody else.
“It says here that you’ve been laid off. That’s different from being fired, you know?”
The miserly words infuriated Baawua. He forced a smile.
“No difference really, man of God. Laid off, fired, in the end I don’t have a job. So, what’s up? It’s been 2 weeks since I joined you, and I have not sinned too.”
“These things happen to test us, my son. Every trying moment is an opportunity for God to show us his….”
“But you said consciously deciding to flee from sin is the solution to all of man’s problems?”
“Yes, but sometimes the devil notices our good deeds and he brings tests like this to shake our faith. To make us think it’s all not worth it.”
Baawua was quiet for a few seconds.
“So, the devil is the one who tests us ….. and before I interrupted, you were saying it’s an opportunity for God to show his power. So the devil gives us trouble so that God can show off? Are they working together? What is happening? because me, I am not understanding.”
Baawua did not notice the pitch of his voice rise. He did not notice the violent tremors his hands had taken up. Ashimolo stuttered, cowering under the threatening weight of Baawuas’ wrath.
“We-ca- We can never understand the ways of the supernatural, my child”
“AH! BUT YOU DIDN’T SEEM TO THINK THAT WHEN YOU WERE TELLING ME THAT GOD WOULD REWARD ME FOR NOT SINNING!!!???? YOU KNEW HIS WAYS THEN ERH!?”
Baawua popped up to his feet.
“I NOR DEY BARB THIS SHIT!”
“Young ma-man, ca – calm down, erh?”
“TWO WEEKS THIS, I NOR FOK, I NOR DRINK, I NOR BEAT ANYBRO. I NOR BORE ONE MPO SAF. EVERYBODY SEE ME AAAA, ‘EI BAAWUA, YOU THIS?’ YEAHH ME THIS, I CHANGE RYDEE. I BE CHRISTIAN. ALL I DEY EXPECT BACK BE HAPPINESS THEN PEACE OF MIND. I COME THAT YOUR SHIT CHURCH, I DO ALL THE EMOTIONAL THINGS. HARD GUY BUT I DEY CRY. HARD GUY BUT TAKE MY SOUL GOD AND USE ME AS YOU PLEASE. ALL THAT. WHAT THIS!!!???”
Baawua snatched the letter from the pastor and threw it back at him. Ashimolo’s wife and children came out running through the door. He glared at them and shoved past.
At the backseat of the trotro home, Baawuas irritation was at a simmering pause. He “consciously” decided to do all the things he had denied himself immediately he got home. He was in the middle of a text to Suzilina when the corners of his eye caught a man in the third row slowly rise, a bible tucked under his armpit.
“HEY! HEY BUUULU! WO NIM DIER 3Y3 MA WO AAA, TENA SE WAI?”
The skinny man turned to address the demon. He saw the devils face and sat down quietly. Faith, he had plenty of, muscles, none. What was it that the bible said even?
“The spirit is willing, but the body dier, weak.”
Art Credit: Nathan Greene – Preaching the Word.
Translation: Hey Buulu, wo nim dier 3y3 ma wo aaa tena se wai? – Hey fool, sit down if you know what’s good for you. Okay?