DUST TO DUNGHILL? #1 (SHORT STORY)

“Their lives were about to change! She was certain of it. They would move into a flat, buy a car and enrol their kids in a decent school. She would have her own shop. Obum would be self-employed.”

Intro:
Have you ever woken up from sleep or come out from a time before God with praises that just won’t go away? It usually signifies that something good is in the offing, doesn’t it? Well, this happened to the young lady in this story but instead of good, evil descended on her and her family. Find out the details of her case and what eventually transpired in this two-part fictional serial. By God’s grace, the story is inspirational, it’s heart-touching and it seems so true to life.

Read, share your impressions and stay blessed!


DUST TO DUNGHILL? #1

Chizara was in a happy mood, no doubt about it. She woke her husband, Obum, who was trying to get some shut-eye after his night guard duties with an ultra high-pitched singing of Frank Edwards’ “You too dey bless me.” He chased her out of the bedroom but she continued as she prepared her five-year-old twins, Nne and Nnaa, for school.

She smiled and waved gaily at neighbours as she walked the children to school. A motorist splashed her with muddy water from a pothole adding a curse to it, “You no go comot for road? Motor go kill you today!”

She waved and said, “God bless you!”, to which he replied, “Idiot!”

She was unfazed by the encounter and thanked God the dirty water didn’t touch her kids. She continued to croon choruses as she handed them over to their teacher at the ramshackle kindergarten they attended.

“Any school is better than none at all,” she always told herself whenever she looked at the half-wall structure made with mud and coated with a thin plaster of mortar, chunks of which were falling off here and there. It had a rough cement floor while the roof was rusted corrugated iron, patched at several spots with pieces of new sheets.

When she got back home, her husband was still asleep. She stayed away from the bedroom because she had some business to attend to and it was best handled in the sitting room. She looked around at the comforts they had acquired when her husband still had his factory job: a three-seater couch and two armchairs made of leather, a 32-inch plasma TV; a DVD player; an apartment-sized compact refrigerator, and a CD deck from her husband’s brief foray into deejaying to make extra money for their twins’ arrival. They refused to sell these stuff even when he didn’t have a job as a reminder of the better days.

Ever since Obum fell on hard times with the closure of the factory he worked in four years ago, Chizara had managed their lean resources prudently. Besides the pay from his security work, she made occasional cash from braiding neighbours’ hair and making pastries to sell to shops in their neighbourhood. She wished she had not got pregnant in SS 1 and dropped out to get married. Perhaps, she could have got a clerical or teaching job, at least for a steady income.

She thanked God for “arresting” her husband and herself after he lost his job. He quit drinking and clubbing and they stopped fighting incessantly. There was really no love in the marriage before then, just a fulfilment of a sense of duty to avoid bringing shame to their parents, who were respected Christians in their communities. But the hardship drew them to God and then to each other. It brought out the best in them making them civil in their treatment of each other, at first, and then openly affectionate with time. It also taught them that “a little can go a long way”, whether it’s money or food.

She brought her mind back to the business in hand. She was excited by something she had read in her Bible that morning. She had prayed briefly about it but promised herself she would get back to it after escorting her kids to school.

It was a passage from the Book of 1 Samuel, chapter 2, verse 8 which stated that:

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.”

From the way she was feeling, Chizara could have sworn that that verse had just been inserted into the Bible specifically for her and her family.

From the time she read it at 5:40 a.m. till her husband returned at 6:30, she had been dreaming of the possibilities that scripture presented to them. Their lives were about to change! She was certain of it. They would move into a flat, buy a car and enrol their kids in a decent school. She would have her own shop. Obum would be self-employed. He was a skilled welder, all he needed was a workshop and equipment to set himself up. That would take quite some money, she thought. But so would everything else she was dreaming of. She had no idea where the money would come from but that was the whole point! God was stepping into their situation and He would provide somehow.

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When they did their morning devotion, she was raving about what God was about to do but Obum, tired as he was, “failed to catch the revelation”. He told her to just pray so he could sleep. He also warned her against raising the children’s hopes because she said they will be going to a better school soon. She claimed it would be a school like DeLores’ Kiddies’ Academy which made the kids scream with delight.
They passed DeLores’ on their way to school and saw the beautiful compound with swings, slides and other playround equipment. The children arrived in a school bus and posh cars and they looked so well kept.

In spite of her husband’s caution, the more Chizara thought about it, the more ecstatic she became. That was why she launched into her interminable blasting of “You too dey bless me”.

She needed to “lock in the blessing” as their pastor would say by taking that scripture back to God in prayer and asking Him to do for them just what it promised. She was so absorbed in her supplication that she didn’t realise time was far spent. She went to get some food stuff from the bedroom to cook but Obum had already cooked beans and yam porridge. He left a note that he had an urgent call to the village. She hoped it wasn’t about death or ill health and went to collect what she could from shopkeepers who sold her pastries and paid her piecemeal.

Obum returned from the village in the late afternoon, shortly before he was due for work. Chizara was devastated by the news he brought. Contrary to her hopes, Obum’s father had just died. Although he had Obum later in life and was in his early eighties, he had not complained of ill health but passed away in his sleep.

Chizara’s mind was whirling with questions: Where would Obum get the money to bury his father being an only son? What type of evil was this coming right on the heels of her revelation and great expectations? When Obum saw how shattering the news was to her, he pulled her close and assured her that God had not abandoned them.

But everything kept going downhill from there. Obum’s attempts to get assistance from friends and relatives yielded little. He began to sell the items they had clung to from their easy days and Chizara wept over and over ’cause with each sale, she felt they were being dragged farther away from their dreams. When Obum had raised what he could, they went to the village for the burial.

-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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87 thoughts on “DUST TO DUNGHILL? #1 (SHORT STORY)

  1. They always said God’s ways are not our ways…maybe this is the beginning of her prosperity. After all, all things work together for our good right?…as long as we are called according to His purpose and we love n trust… He will glorify His name…

  2. so touching… but God has his way of blessing his people.yes! trials will come but our courage to carry on matters a lot

    • If only we can remember that trials and temptations are not the end of the road because our God is faithful.

  3. Obum who was bad in the past turned to a better person, he is a help to his wife but challenges made things odd. the man and his wife have come to trust God completely that God will bless them. hope the two continue to share together and be strong

  4. Wow!!!! Don’t really know what to say…….. … I believe when things are getting tougher, it means your breakthrough is on the way. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Chizara shouldn’t lose faith, her miracle is on the way.

  5. We have to know that the ways of God are so high that mere mortals cannot comprehend but God said that when the time is right I the Lord shall surely make it happen… Can’t wait to finish the story

  6. There comes a time in everybody’s life when we think that things are about to turn Good for us and it won’t be as we thought..
    But from that level of faith chizara had in God. Am sure, God won’t let her and Ibunno down

  7. I believe before every blessing comes trial, but when we stick to God he is always there to see us through with the challenges of life, with the kind of faith Chizara has i believe he will see her through, and i believe he has something great in store for her

  8. Good gracious! This story is so imaginative, I could picture the entire scenario, I hope things get better.

  9. It could be devastating to be getting negetaive results when you have prayed incessantly for something good. But we can only hold on…have faith and PUSH. Praying until something happens.

  10. Is good for one to be optimistic. I love Chizaram faith of a better future for her family. Sometimes when we are faced with trials we should always know that God is trying to push us to another level. there is a saying that EVERY DISAPPOINTMENT IS A BLESSING.

  11. Chizaram’s faith is really the type of faith that Christians should have. even in her family’s situation, she still believed that her husband will have his own office, she will have her own shop and her children will go to a better school.this is what faith should be like.

  12. Talk of faith when you are up on the mountain.
    Talk so easy when life is at its best.
    Now down in the valley, trials and temptations.
    That’s when your faith is really put to the test.

    For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley.
    When things go wrong he makes them right.
    And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times.
    The God of the day, is the God in the night.
    ‘He never fails’.

    • The ways of God is not same with that of man, who could have thought that Obum and chizara would be exercising faith in God, we should always endeavour to serve and acknowledge God both in our bad and good times and not only coming to him when it seems he is our only option.

  13. Cannot believe i have not seen this story. It is very interesting.The Lord works in mysterious ways and He does not allow trials and tribulations that we cannot handle. Chizara should not give up faith. The Lord works!

  14. There is always a reason for things to happen, chizara need to trust God and understand her husband situation

  15. Sometimes what we wish for is not what God want for us in our lives, I think they can scale through with God all things are possible.

  16. Things are not looking too good for Obum and his family o. I really hope Chizara’s high expectations will not be dashed. It would be so devastating for her. Let’s hope God comes through for them in the second part of this story. Good job ma’am

  17. Chizara’s faith shouldn’t be shaken by whatever event that seems contrary to her expectations. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. No matter the situation, trust God, cause there are great things coming your way.

  18. Oh dear, from downhill to downhill…But I know one thing and am sure about it; God’s words never fail, though it tarries, it will surely come! Can’t wait for the later part of the story…

  19. Oh dear, from downhill to downhill…But I know one thing and am sure about it; God’s words never fail, though it tarries, it will surely come! Can’t wait for the later…

  20. Chizara should not waver on her faith,there are times like this in a believer’s life,but all we have to do is to trust the Lord and he will definitely come to our rescue.

  21. the fall of a man is not his end unless u decide to end with your fall.God is not a man maybe that was just a test to chizara’s faith. she shouldn’t give up rather trust in God for help

  22. I could not hold my tears reading this story. The truth is that God sometimes uses hardship to draw His people nearer to Himself as a jealous God. He will surely intervene in our ugly situation at the appointed time. Chizara’s lifestyle is worthy of emulation; looking at the manner she is able to cope with Obum in the midst of challenges. And as a praying woman rather than a nagging fellow, God will never abandon such people.

  23. All things work together for good to them that know God.Rm.8 vs 28. The will of God is of good. May he give me the right person to down with me in my life’s journey.

  24. Oh no, this story is touching there Is always up and down of life and whichever situation you find yourself never relent on praying to God, my advice to chizara is to be steadfast in the lord I believe all hope is not lost, God is going to do something new in her family.

  25. God is not dead. In the face of trials and temptations, we as Christians need to remember that. Everything happens together for our good and as long as he has promised us better days in his bible, it will surely come to pass as long as we stand firm and believe

  26. Hm. I know it seems as though God has abandoned them but trust me, from personal experience, he has not. If they keep believing and crying on to God in this their hard times, he will answer them in so big a way that they would be speechless

  27. For whatsoever we are passing through, God is always with us. My mother once told me that God cannot give us burden we can’t handle but our problem is that nobody wants to suffer. Temptation will come and go the same thing with trails but the purpose of God in our lives endures forever.

  28. Sometimes poverty brings people together and make them love themselves more. Just look at this couple, the husband was drinking before but their lack made him think otherwise and eventually stopped drinking and starts giving God a chance. A poet in his poem called ” The pulley”, says that God uses problems to pull men close to himself. Probably, if things were going on well with him, he may not have remembered God and probably would have still be drinking.
    I prefer that people look for God in there wealth than in their poverty. When sick God in your riches, it shows your genuine love for Christ( I mean genuine seeking of Christ and not pretense as some rich people do today), but when you seek Christ in your poverty(after who had money but no longer has), it will appear as if you are following God because of what he will do for you and not your love for him.
    I pray that things gets well for the couple.

  29. In every situation let’s always adore God for He knows everything. He knows what we want and therefore will not forsake us His children. Just trust and remind Him of His words and believe that He must surely do something.

  30. I can only imagine their plight???…(wipes my tears)

    The way Chizara’ s expectations were cut short really touched me. And this kind of situation makes one to doubt the existence of God or ask why God allowed the predicaments befall them.
    Thank God Obum didn’t break down alongside his wife.

    Well, as far as nothing lasts forever, their problem will be ephemeral. I believe that through prayers and steadfastness, God will surely remember them.

  31. Dear CHIZARA,

    Know it that the living God don’t sleep. And you should worship and adore Him in every situation you find yourself. Every test He puts you through is to sharpen you to be more stronger.
    It may seems that God has forsaken you, but trust me, He always make ways for us at the end.

    Engaging piece by the way.

  32. experience is always the best teacher, Obum in his good days had nothing to do with God but drinking and clubbing. Now that he has lost his job he then remembered that there is God. I believe that their present condition is the beginning of theirr prosperity for the way of men are not the way of God. He mede us to understand in the Book of Psalms 23 vs 1 that the Lord is our shepherd we shall not want. Also in 1samuel 2 vs 8 it says he raiseth up the poor out of the dust and lift up the begger from the dunghill to set them amount princes and to make them inherit the throne of glory for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he had set the world upon them. Surely shall it come to pass

  33. In all situations or circumstances, we should always give glory to God almighty. Tribulations will definitely come but he still expects us to trust him because he is the master planner and doesn’t take permission when he wants to bless you.

  34. Heart touching story chizara shouldn’t give up because in every dark cloud there is always a silver lining.

  35. God has a reason for everything. Sometimes we think we’re being ignored but his plans for us are greater
    Everything is just time and believing he’ll do it because he doesnt forsake his children

  36. Christ in us is the hope of glory. As long as they believe in God, he will see them through. I believe that through chizara’s faith, God is going to lift them higher (the circumstance surrounding them now doesn’t matter). God can never forsake his people.

  37. What a touching fictional story.
    I almost weep for them,knowing how it feels.
    Nevertheless, good days await them ahead.
    No condition is permanent.

  38. Hmmmm,this is touching. God is still on the throne, surely He will change their story.
    I love her rugged faith in God’s word, praying with God’s word always yield good results.

  39. So sad😥. I feel for Obum. Imagine what this kind of thing feels like! It’s too much for a human being. I pray that he continues to pray in faith. He should also be thankful that God blessed him with a prayerful and understanding wife. If not, more problems would have arisen.

  40. Wow! This story is a clear proof of what people are facing today. It’s as if when God speaks, life’s circumstances are seemingly contrary. I can’t wait for the next episode

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