This is neither fiction nor romance. It is a narration of events that occurred to me today, and I write it as it happened.

I cannot explain how infuriated I am right now. There’s a bloodstained wad of tissue beside me, and my clothes, pierced through by a few glass splinters, lie on the floor. There’s also an open cut on my left knee, visibly red, but not bleeding anymore.

I was on my way home from court. I was in a bus, the third person from the window in the row of seats behind the driver. We were approaching the bus stop near my house.
When the lights turned red, the bus driver, quite correctly, stopped, coming to a halt in the lane closest to the curb.
Almost immediately, there was a loud, persistent honking from behind. We turned towards the source of the noise and discovered it was a white Hilux POLICE truck, packed full of policemen.

I wondered what they wanted us to do, as we were at a red light and thus could not move forward. Our bus driver pulled a little closer to the curb and gave way for the police truck. As they drove past, a dark-skinned officer brought his head and hand out of the vehicle, and hit the left window of the bus a couple of times, shouting and swearing at the driver as he did. He hit the glass window with the gun he held, and the glass window shattered, splinters flying into the bus like shrapnel, lodging into the skins of man and woman both. I froze for a second, stunned at his callousness, and then jumped out of the bus, terrified and half-expecting gunshots.

Satisfied with his handiwork, the police truck sped away. The light was still red.

Shock and speechlessness were the overwhelming feelings in the bus before the driver and his conductor gave a roar of fury and, ignoring the red light, broke away from traffic in hot pursuit of the truck. I had barely managed to jump back in before the bus took off, tyres screeching on the road. I picked glass from my seat and skin and sat down, hanging on for dear life as some passengers tried to point out to the driver the direction the police truck had taken. The driver missed a turn and got caught in another red light as he tried to get back on track. I’d been contemplating whether or not to leave the bus, and as soon as he stopped, I thanked God, paid the conductor who was still lamenting about how his passengers had been wounded, and climbed down, dabbing my bleeding wound. I had been cut on the knee by a shard of glass. Blood kept pooling up from the little wound and trickling down my leg. I was almost in tears as I flagged a Keke Napep rider down. He saw my wound and facial expression before naming his fee after I’d told him my home address.
I got in, and when I got home, I wondered how many other passengers had been hurt. I also wondered if the bus driver had finally caught up with the police man and wished him God’s protection. I wasn’t expecting him to get an apology or money to fix the bus from the policeman. If anything, I hoped he wouldn’t be shot at or seriously beaten by the policemen.

I wish I could say today is the first time I’m noticing police brutality, but I can’t. I can’t say that it’s not the trend to hear that our law enforcement officers, sworn to protect and guard citizens, have decided instead to terrorize and cause fear. “Accidental discharge (of bullets)” has become a common slang. Freedom of speech? Presumption of innocence? Those are abstract concepts, judging by the actions of policemen. Our Constitution might as well be buried in sands.

I’m pained because if these policemen drove away and were not caught, serious injustice would be done. And they would not repent, and more likely than not, repeat actions like this on other civilians.

I crave the day I’d see a policeman in the dock in court, on trial for either assaulting a citizen without cause, or for breaching a duty.

I long for that day. I’m not an advocate of self-help, so I wouldn’t want a group of people to beat a policeman to death for doing something wrong. That would be heartless and equally wrong. But although I don’t want that, I won’t be surprised if it happens.

Something has to be done. It’s not clear whether we are safer with armed policemen or without them, as they are terrors in their own way. In addition, they are often unavailable when needed. I will not talk about the bribes and extortions of policemen today, that is a topic for another day.

How are policemen trained? Are they required to read the Police Act and other guiding regulations? Is anyone ever punished for breaching a duty?

It’s high time something was done! I agree that there are a few good police officers with integrity, and honour, but they are so few, they almost don’t count. I’m reminded constantly by police actions and inactions that they are not trustworthy or dependable: when the chips are down, God is all one truly has.

“The Police is your friend”. This statement would be funny if it were not so sad and contrary to everything I have observed.

“The Police is your friend”.

Sigh.

IMG_5807

I did something I shouldn’t have done. I couldn’t pray freely, and I’ve felt gloomy all day. God isn’t quite someone you can shrug off, or utterly dismiss, so I couldn’t make myself dismiss how awful and guilty I felt. I’ve read that remorse is one thing, repentance is another. Repentance is what’s required by God. Remorse is just feeling sorry about an act but not convicted enough to never do that thing again. I had repented of this act one too many times, and wasn’t sure now which was remorse and which was true repentance. This added to my guilt. I did my quiet time this morning, confessed my sin but still couldn’t pray confidently. I felt God was somewhere ‘yimu’ing’ at me and saying:  “Na so, weren’t you sorry only a few days ago”?

Let me tell you. It doesn’t quite matter that you know the devil’s specialty is ‘accusing brethren’. When you’ve done something you shouldn’t do, it’s hard to ward off the devils accusations, cos let’s face it- you truly are guilty. Lol. You’ve given him legit reasons to point fingers at you before God. At least, that’s how you feel. That was how I felt. I halfheartedly repeated God’s promises to myself: “Though your sins may be as red as scarlet, I’d make them as white as snow”, “He who covers his sins won’t prosper, but he who confesses his sins to the Lord, shall receive mercy”. Meh. I wasn’t convinced and still felt heavy and unworthy.

I sha left the house to do my work, still feeling gloomy and cranky. Fast forward. My mom calls me to say hi, and asks me to pray with her on something that needs urgent intervention by God. Can’t go into details but it’s the sort of desperate situation where if God doesn’t intervene, I’d never be the same again.  I had to snap out of my pity-party. I ended the call and walked to the restroom for privacy, locking the door behind me. Tears were already showing off on my face. I knelt down in that public restroom, and talked to my Father. I immediately had to believe that when God sent Jesus to die, He didn’t imbibe the ‘Taxify’ process.

Let me explain. If you live in Lagos, you may know that Uber- the popular riding app, has competition- Taxify. I have both apps on my phone and alternate between the duo depending on what rate is cheaper. Duh. One rainy evening last week, there was a surge on the Uber app. A surge means fares are higher than usual, especially because the drivers available are few or there is a lot of traffic, etc. I switched to the Taxify app, and while the rate was cheaper here than on Uber, the drivers were quite far from my location. I would call the requested driver, and on finding that he’s far, I’d cancel the trip and request for another driver. Did this about 6/7 times and I was blocked on the Taxify app. What’s more, I was blocked till July, 2018- literally a full year away. I was flabbergasted and filed a complaint. They haven’t replied cos they take about a week or more to respond. I think this is because there are many rider complaints and few administrators.

I believe God does not quite have a number of sins to forgive before He blocks you. (This doesn’t mean one should deliberately abuse grace as there’s no more sacrifice of sins left then-see Hebs 10:26 and a Pastor please.) God doesn’t take over a year to forgive your sin when you confess it and truly repent. He sorta replies ASAP. This means you don’t have to wait your turn since He doesn’t have to take separate time attending to His numerous children. Imagine we had to wait for God to respond to the prayers of all His children in China, with America next in line, and then Nigeria. Whatever would we do?

I knelt on the bathroom floor, and asked for forgiveness. I explained that though I was confused as to whether I was feeling remorseful or truly repentant, I was honestly sorry, and the likelihood of committing said sin again was definitely less, by His special grace. Emphasis on ‘special’. I was confident He’d see my heart and believe me.

As I prayed, I suddenly remembered my little cousin had upset me yesterday. I love her very much, but she was quite rude and I’d planned to ignore her or shoo her away if she even apologized, before finally accepting. I called it ‘discipline’. My thoughts then went to the Scripture: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”. Here I was holding on to a little girl’s rude behaviour and planning how to teach children to obey elders, when I was a constant defaulter before God. Who did I think I was? I literally sighed in awe at the revelation.

gif amaze

I revised my prayer and forgave the little girl in my heart. I then prayed for the urgent need and asked God to intervene. Some prayers don’t need many words. Tears and pain are a form of prayer. I wiped my face and red nose and left the restroom way better than I’d felt when I entered, confident that God would answer my urgent request, picked my laptop and started writing this. This isn’t a sermon. I don’t have many scriptures to insert and I’m not an ‘expert Christian’, if ever there was any, but I’m certainly making headway. I think. I just know that God doesn’t think the way we do. You’re there feeling guilty when He wants to hug and help you.

This is just to narrate my little but meaningful episode with a very merciful God this morning. I’m sometimes dramatic, but this truly humbled and calmed me. If you’re reading this, kindly utter a short prayer to thank God for answering this ‘urgent prayer request’ I’ve referred to here, cos i know He will. Faith-major key.

Thank YOU so much for reading this longgg, unplanned piece. I do matter to you, don’t I? 😉

I’d feel way, way, better if you left a comment here- please point out errors, make corrections, send a hug, ask for my account number, etc.

Love.

 

*Photos not mine*

IMG_8380I think I found it, guys! Ah, LIFE. FINALLY.

I woke at about 8:44am this morning- the 29th day of June, 2017 and reached for my phone. Bad habit, especially since one of my mantra says: “Go to God before the Phone”. I’d picked that from one of my YouVersion Bible App daily plans, on my phone. I managed to resist the urge to go through waiting phone contents, and returned it after checking just a few messages, (Lord forgive me). Next, I determinedly reached for my ‘Daily Guide’- this is a devotional guide published by Scripture Union, Nigeria. You know those ‘jim-jim’ Christians of old, popularly called SU? Well, I’m one of them. Been an ardent reader of the guide since my mother started buying them as yearly New Year gifts for my siblings and I.

Long story short, my daily devotional plan for today- is titled: “Guidelines for Living a Blameless Life”. I sat right up. Here’s a relevant short bio about myself- I love God. I love Him more than I show, but He knows all things, right? Small consolation. I value family, I love food and I like to take pictures of fine things- nature and myself. I am loyal to people. Somehow, I’m still single. I firmly believe we need more eye doctors in Nigeria, these brothers need help.

I apologise for digressing. Back to ‘Guidelines for Living a Blameless Life’. Because I claim I love God, you will understand how important this topic ought to be to me. I want to know how to say I love God, and live a life that agrees with my confessions. How to stay firmly away from sin. How to steadfastly please God, and not greedy, ol’ self. How to practically love God in such a distracting, tempting world. Of course, I want to know the sharp-sharp way to live a blameless, pure life in Lagos. Indeed, any true Christian would pause and read carefully. And so I did.

My guide referred me to Psalms 15:1-5. David in his usual soliloquy, wonders in the first verse who can “live in God’s holy tent, and dwell continually on His holy mountain”. I read this psalm in different translations. You can trust The Message Bible to ‘tush’ things up-

Vs 1: “God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list?”

Here’s my answer compilation from different translations of the same passage:

  • Those who obey God in everything/ Live pure lives/ Walk with integrity and strength of character.
  • Do what is right/ Do as you should
  • Tell the truth from your heart/ Speak true and sincere words
  • Don’t say bad things about others/ Don’t spread gossip
  • Don’t tell shameful things about those close to you/ Do no wrong to your friends/ Treat others fairly/
  • Don’t do things to hurt your neighbors/ Don’t spread rumors/ Don’t say cruel things
  • Despise the despicable
  • Honour those who obey God/those who fear God and obediently worship Him
  • Always do what you promise, no matter how much it costs/ Keep your word even to your own disadvantage and don’t change it for your own benefit
  • Don’t charge interests on loans
  • Never take a bribe/ Don’t take bribes against the innocent

Verse 5 finally concludes: Those who do these things will always stand firm. You’ll never get blacklisted if you live like this. Whoever does these things will always be secure. He who does these things will never be shaken. Whoever lives like this will always stand strong.

Such encouraging assurances. I have listed these 11 guidelines in my notebook. I can’t say now if I’m guilty of any, or how many. *Cue in the reliable “Only God can judge me” guilty people’s favourite phrase*. Who’s with me on living by these guidelines? They’re clearly not the entire rule-book, do see your Bible for more information.

Kindly note, that your neighbour is not just Mama Ada who lives next door. It’s also not just the weird Tinubu family who live across the street. Neigbour is defined in the locus classicus UK case- Donoghue v Stevenson, 1932 as “persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question”. Ugh. Simply, your neighbor is everyone you meet, interact with or have cause to deal with- whether stranger, friend or acquaintance. Etc. I think God just wants us to love Him and each other thoroughly. We do this by understanding we owe a duty of care to each other.

Here’s something noteworthy. In the space of two days, I received news that two of my school mates had died. They were both about 26-28 years old. I know that life is fleeting. I know we are only remembered by what we have done. I also know that after death, comes judgement. I personally, do not quite have an option. I want to live a life that thrills and delights God. No hypocrisy. Only sincerity. And then I want to settle in comfortably in His arms, when I’m old and grayed.

 

 

 

*Thank you for reading! I’m trying hard to revive my writing culture abi spirit. Olowogbogboro will do it! Forgive errors. Do comment, correct, criticize, judge, hurl shoes at me if led to. Or you may read and meditate quietly away. Please do the former. Flower photo, just because. Ignore fingers. Lol. Xo

 

 

 

I’m sitting on a chair,the same chair of course that has borne my weight a few of the many times I’ve had more than one or two weighty issues on my mind.
Funny thing though,there are no tears coursing down my face tonight. . There’s, however, still the complementary slow,sad song playing on my phone.
My heart has experienced more than its own fair share of ache and hurt.
I shake my legs. No,not because I’m shaky with grief. I’m only trying to ward off this fat,happy mosquitoes dancing and playing around my slim body. Why do they choose now of all times,to do their jamboree? Tsk.
See how I dint use the word ‘skinny’ as I would have before? I’ve mastered how not to say words that don’t make me feel beautiful. Not a very hard task though..if u know what I mean.
Wondering what I’m doing up at this hour?
Wish I were studying now,like I ought to be..my mum is gonna have my behind if I come home with unimpressive grades. And it doesn’t matter that I’m an adult now. And u can also forget the fact that there are suitors saying hello already..
Nah. I’m awake because I’m still thinking of the very heavy,hurtful,cruel and careless words someone I used to know..love,said to me a few minutes ago.
Where are the tears tonight? This is really surprising,especially because i’m your typical ‘cry-at-sad movies-happy books-good joke-everything-sorta girl’. I really want them to come now..tears and sad music u know? Perfect combo.
Well they refuse to come. I’d better give up. Might be a longer night if I keep waiting.
When love turns to hate..is there a song with that title? Or a book? I don’t know.
And no,the hate isn’t from me. Gee,I couldn’t hate anyone even if I tried. Well,I’m not too certain about the future but I haven’t quite hated anyone before. Not that I’m a saint(still working on that by the way),but I don’t really have the patience to carry anger and malice around for another human. Its ridiculous. There are many other things I’d rather carry..a box of Kit-Kat chocolate,a long pile of novels,so they would make me go that zig-zaggy way people walk when they are carrying a pile of books..I’ve always wanted that silly experience. Oh well.
I’m weak when fights arise..I’m most vulnerable then.
I know this and so I begged,apologised..and frankly now,I don’t even know why I did all of that. I probably didn’t want to lose friendship with this person.
These bitter words kept tearing through my body. You know the feeling u get when a nail tears through your skin or dress; surprise at first and then disappointment,and maybe pain,if it was your skin it tore.
Anyway,I laid down my armour,noticing that I hadn’t even worn it in the first place. I pleaded for a truce..then I completely surrendered. Yet the words kept being hurled at me. Not one missed its target.
Then came the leader of the pack,the captain of the words. The one with the strongest punch.

Finally I realised..people change. Or maybe they deceive us without letting us know who they really are. More particularly,it seems people do not even really know themselves. I sorta realised that late..a little too late.

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!