‘Hello,’ Chief Mbadiwe’s baritone voice resonated, ‘I’m sorry, for calling you at this time of the day.’
‘No problem, sir,’ I replied indifferently.
‘Actually, I just want to express my gratitude on your investment on my daughter. Nkoli’s performance in mathematics in her former school, used to on the average level, but all that changed since you began teaching her…’
A greater part of our conversation centred on his daughter and in the end, he offered a short prayer for me.
I was overwhelmed by a wave of mixed feelings the moment I hung up. It was hard to believe that the same chief Mbadiwe, who I misjudged a couple of hours earlier, was a saint!
No doubt, it is not right to judge a book by its cover.
The following day saw me in a church thanksgiving service as Pastor Dave electrified the whole auditorium with his soul-lifting sermon.
‘Our God is a merciful God,’ he emphasized, ‘it is by His mercies that we are not consumed. Brethren, God has a big surprise for someone this season…’
‘Amen!’ our response shook the church auditorium.
My heart leapt as an unexplainable joy bubbled within me. And just as I waved my hands in affirmation, my gaze caught that of Bro Ralph.
Ralph was one of the eligible bachelors in my parish; who beyond the fact that he was a very zealous Christian, also possessed some striking handsome features. Although a widower for over five years, yet he had never made any serious move for a remarriage ever since.
‘I’m saying this authoritatively,’ the pastor continued, ‘someone here is in for a big surprise this season!’
Without looking up this time around, I had a feeling of someone’s gaze. My speculation was later established when we all rose for the congregational hymn and i found Bro Ralph looking intently at me!
As the rest of the service went by, my mind raced wildly in excitement.
Could it be that the young man wants to…?
‘Brethren, please let’s share the grace in fellowship!’ the pastor intruded into my world of fantasies.
I waited for few minutes to greet some old acquaintances, the moment the service ended. There was hardly anyone who did not comment on the sermon. The message gave me a renewed surge that all things are possible with God.
I was almost at gate when an usher pulled me from behind.
‘Bro Ralph wants to see you,’ she uttered and disappeared into the crowd.
Oh, my God! I pondered, could this be my big surprise?
I returned to the auditorium and found Bro Ralph discussing with the pastor. The moment he saw me, he excused himself and led me to the church café.
The radiance on his dark black complexion that morning, made him more handsome.
‘Good morning Sis Dabira,’ he began.
‘Good morning, sir.’
‘Without mincing words, sis, there’s an important issue I want to discuss with you.’
Please spill the beans! A thought screamed within me.
‘Sister, for the past one month, I’ve been praying for a very important matter; and just last night, the Lord finally spoke…’
Thank you, Jesus! My mind glided in new dance steps.
‘Are you still with me?’ he waved at me.
‘Yes…yes. You said the Lord gave you a confirmation…’ I smiled.
‘The Lord expressly told me that you’re the one that I should hand over the youth fellowship to…’
Every other thing else he said afterwards paled in significance. The good news I literally craved to hear was not part of the package!
TO BE CONTINUED…