HOME TRUTH (A SHORT STORY)
“He had taken offence after an argument with a junior deacon during the workers’ meeting a fortnight ago and had stayed away from church hoping the pastor will contact him to apologise for not calling the younger man to order when he challenged him.”
This is a hilarious but instructive tale of ego, church politics and friendship. Read, give your impressions and kindly share on various fora for the benefit of others. You are blessed!
Allwell dived for his phone as it began to ring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the call he was expecting. Rather, it was a programmed promotional message from the service provider.
“Lijue nsi onu!” (Eat a mouthful of sh#t!), he barked, as though the speaker could hear him and threw the phone on the sofa. Anxiety was wearing him out because his self-imposed exile from church didn’t seem to be having the anticipated effect.
He had taken offence after an argument with a junior deacon during the workers’ meeting a fortnight ago and had stayed away from church hoping the pastor will contact him to apologise for not calling the younger man to order when he challenged him. As time passed and the pastor didn’t call, he decided that he would make do with a conciliatory gesture from any senior member of the board of deacons. But if anyone had noticed his absence, they were yet to show it.God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. - 1 Peter 5:5 (KJV) Click To Tweet
Another ringing of the phone startled him but he chose to ignore it rather than break the device, which is what he knew he would do if he was accosted with another pre-recorded hogwash from the telecom company. As he was walking into the bedroom, he heard a pounding on the front door. It transpired that a brother from the church, Akachi, was there to see him. He would have said, “About time!” but Akachi didn’t count. He was just an ordinary member without a title.
“I was about to leave after knocking twice and calling your line without a response.”
“Sorry, my brother, you are welcome. How was service today?”
“Service was great but I was worried I’ve not seen you for a while. I hope you are ok,” the conversation continued as they sat down in the living room.
“Couldn’t be better!”
But who was he kidding? Akachi was a close friend, so he came out with it and the bitterness that had been piling up seeped through. He sowed the highest seeds, paid the fattest tithe and personally supported the pastor’s family; yet he and the older deacons sat by and watched an upstart have a face-off with him.
(Related: Wnen Giving Advice Gets Tricky)
Akachi started his response by complimenting him on his financial contributions to the church and disclosed that he had a confession to make in that regard.
“Personally, I’ve never been much of a giver. It will surprise you to hear that my offering in church has never exceeded 100 Naira.”
“I don’t believe you. A Grade Level 14 officer!” But Akachi nodded his insistence. “My brother, you have a problem!” Allwell exclaimed.
“Yes, and so do you! I have a problem with giving generously but your problem is your motivation for giving. It appears you’ve not been giving to God but to the church to ingratiate yourself with the leadership and gain control. My friend, you have the heart of a politician, not that of a worshipper.”
(Related: A Mind of Her Own – II)
“Akachi, I’m a deacon of fifteen years’ standing. I can’t have you lecturing me on how to worship my God.”
“This is not a lecture but a home truth from one friend to another. And before you get angry and try to kick me out, know that my lunch and dinner will be here today. My wife and children went to the village to see her parents.”
“But come oh, is it not ironic that you can be so tight-fisted when your name means hand of God?”
“Na you sabi,” Akachi threw back as he headed to the backyard from where the aroma of the jollof rice Allwell’s wife was cooking was wafting. But deep inside he acknowledged that Allwell had a point and resolved that he would double his offering for a start.
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
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