I craved for the uplifting fellowship among brethren. I watch clips every now and then and see people with lifted hands. I see hungry souls, longing to fest on what the pulpit will offer for the day. I observe and I could see the joy in the Minister’s eyes as he beholds the congregation and gives his message, blessings and finally, the benediction.
A tear often playfully dance down my eyes and I sniff in like to control my lids from leaking further. My lids seems to adhere easily. It keeps to itself but begins a big fight in my mind.
“You have been here long enough. You need to join yourself to a congregation and enjoy this sweet sensation that seems to give you an orgasm.”
The struggle, fight and craving of my heart was high. Probably higher than Kilimanjaro and in the high spirit I typed “I want to go back to Church after eight years but I don’t know how to go about it. I love your Church but I’m bothered about my mobility.”
Like she’s been waiting for me to let out those words… She was more set than a goal keeper at the goal post “wow! I’m glad to hear that and I promise to see to it. I want that for you too.”
I blushed. I smiled. I felt fulfilled. My cravings is about to be satisfied through this friend.
I knew my family might kick against it, but I was less bothered. More reason I didn’t let out the thought to anyone even when it warred heavily within me.
Arrangements were made. How she did it I didn’t know. I only know her Pastor and his wife came around, all lovely with their kids. I wouldn’t have asked for more. The first decision I ever made without carrying anyone along is about to become a reality. What more could I have asked for. “It will propel me to take more steps and make more decision single-handedly” so I thought.
Mummy had her criticism. “People will look at you and start with their pity-party” she spoke her mind. I knew she wasn’t in support.
“I don’t mind anymore. I’ve been here long enough.” I was so confident and my words surprised even me.
A week became two and the third week, everything was set! I went to Church! A Tuesday evening service. A Bible study!
Mummy had this frown when I was been carried into the car that boldly said “this is one of the stress you refused to consider when you made your senseless decision.” I ignored her. I ignored everyone passing by and I got to Church only to realize I’ll be handed over to another Pastor I’ve always seen passing by my house that I never knew could be a Pastor.
Bible study was fine and they prayed for me after the service. Oh I miss this prayer life in the Church!
The Pastor that brought me to Church was back to pick me and himself and his wife were patiently waiting outside. Now I’m in care of two Pastors. Both wives seem to be loving. They helped me through the steep paths and assisted me into the car which literally means: they carried me like a baby into the car.”
On our way home they told me my chair was already there and it wouldn’t make much sense carrying the chair away from there. “They are good people and I’ve talked to them about you” Pastor and his wife encouraged me, but all the while what kept ringing in my mind was “I told mummy not to tell my brothers to take the chair there. I didn’t know the Church they were heading, not like I knew anywhere either but I warned her to wait for the Pastor before taking the chair anywhere. Now I will be under someone else.”
The sight of my house, where I also call my prison house jeered me back from my thoughts. Mummy was all smiling seeing the car. Big sis and her kids were outside and Pastor asked if I knew my big sister. I smiled and told him who she is to me and funny enough, Pastor and big sister knows each other too well. I thanked them and left them with my big sister has I made my way inside, leaving them to catch up with each other.
Mummy asked how the service went and I made her realize I couldn’t have asked for more. She seems happy, same with me too. Who wouldn’t be satisfied after a craving desire is fulfilled? Well, maybe those who attempts suicide and succeed. I don’t know what satisfaction they derive.
Plans were made and I had to get some clothes. I had clothes, but they were all indoor wears, none of fitting for outdoor activities except the one I wore to Church that Tuesday and the one I just got thinking I’ll be attending my brother’s wedding.
Life is always filled with surprises for everyone. I never knew I would go to Church this year. Every signal in my body boldly says “it’s impossible!” but here I am sitting with brethren listening with rapt attention to the sermon. It wasn’t as moving or great as I had envisaged, but at least I’m there and it can only get better. Maybe. Just maybe.
I couldn’t cope with mid-week service, so I vouched for Sunday service alone. During the process of going back to Church, I had gone back to the hospital too. “Enough of staying indoors” was the mojo that propelled me.
I went to Church the next Sunday and the next after that, but my hospital visit a Thursday to my fourth Sunday in Church was stressful. It took a while to recover from the stress and to stand back on my feet took a while. I called in that I won’t be in Church that Sunday. Why stress them to come over on a Sunday morning when I know I won’t be able to follow them to Church? They agreed and came around to pray for me after the service.
My supposed fourth Sunday in Church was cancelled and I looked forward to the fifth Sunday. I had called on Saturday that they can come over to pick me, I’m strong enough. But Sunday upon Sundays and many more Sundays till date, I haven’t seen them. I see the Pastors I was handed over to, always passing by my house every time and it seems I didn’t deserve even a “Hello” from both couple. I felt dejected! That’s an understatement though, I felt worse than dejected. I felt anything terrible than dejection and it played a great role on my mind and in my walk of faith. I collapsed on the path!
I couldn’t walk out of this path of faith ’cause I know how sweet it is, but my feet was stuck to my heels, I couldn’t move.
“What Church rejects people due to their inadequacies?” I queried myself, but before assuming and concluding on this mirage, I sent the Pastor who handed me over a message and he was so sorry, but couldn’t do much about it. ‘I was already in another Church and it might create much hush tones that he won’t be comfortable with’ my thoughts though, because he only kept saying “it is well!” It can only be well though.
Myself and the first Pastor do chat often; more like everyday, but I’m yet to see the Pastor I was handed over to. I understand he doesn’t have an internet accessible phone, but a simple “Hello” would have done a lot of magic on my Phleg-Mel mind.
It’s over now, but what notion did this experience create on my mind? “I now see the Church as a place where only the wealthy and healthy are welcomed.”
How true can this be? “I experienced a total dejection from a Church that serves as a parish to one of the big Names in Nigeria Church history. But I still have my objection though, “I haven’t tried every Church and or parish, so I won’t conclude and that won’t stop me from loving the Church when all these is over. ”
The Church is a place for solace and love, plus attention, but the way some congregation place Christianity as a place for the PERFECT ONLY is uncalled for.
That poor man that just walked into your Church might be the next big thing in the world that just needs an uplift in faith and probably a little support to start with.
That woman being wheeled in every Sunday might be the next success story. Her testimony might lead many to Christ. Her healing might delay, but in the process, make every other member of the Church strong in faith.
My experience in the Church almost made me conclude I’ll never have anything to do with the Church again even when I’m healthy enough to walk into any Church of my choice, but what sense will it make?
If your Church isn’t impacting you, speak to your legs and find another Church. It is not a sin to change your Church.
“Many are called, but few are chosen.” Understand your Church leader and see the fruit in him/her, if it doesn’t glorify God, it’s time to make a move… But true it all, never forsake the fellowship of brethren and have a faith filled heart controlled by Christ even as you serve and walk with Christ daily.