In a community called
Lies a popular pool, the flowing water, as it is called.
Five entrances led to this pool, at each entrance lies a shed which housed the sick, the blind, and people with all sorts of illnesses.
Yearly, at the due season, only one person, the first to enter the flowing water gets healed.
This particular year, millions, all left to their fate with no one to call their own, gathered at each shed, with one thing in mind, to get healed.
“I have been here for the past twenty-five years. I got sick some days before my daughter’s wedding. The wedding ceremony was held but my sickness grew worse.” A man with sore all over his body, recounted.
“I was diagnosed with a terminal disease during my childhood. My parents got tired, my siblings had their lives to live, so, this is why I’m here.” Another narrated.
“I wish it were possible for everyone of us to get healed at once.” Another added.
“Legend has it that an angel from heaven blesses the water annually for only one man to be healed.” A women with swollen foot said.
“But why one?” Another asked.
“I have no idea. I just want to be healed, totally from hitching and scratching my body. It is painful.” He said with drops of tears running down his sun-beaten cheek.
“Not as painful as mine. My head feels heavy from time to time. I feel as though something grows in it.” Another lamented.
“Well, my stomach grows bigger each passing hour, the same illness that sent my parents to an early grave.” Another lamented.
“As sad and lonely our story might be, let’s hope we get a chance to be healed as soon as possible.” Another who had been sick for thirty-eight years added.
Several days later, the river showed signs of bubbling
“It’s time!!!!” Someone screamed.
Instantly, without considering their inabilities and limitations, they rushed, to the best of their abilities to the flowing river
Only one of them got healed, as usual and others left the river, disappointed.
But, this year’s disappointment is a fuel to a new surge of hope; the bigger the disappointment, the stronger the hope for the coming year.
Several months after, a man walked along the flowing river, moved with compassion, He moved closer to one of them
“For how long have you been here?” He asked the man who had been there for the past 38years.
“Thirty-eight years.” He replied.
“Why did it take so long?” He pressed further.
“Because I have no man to carry me into the river. No matter how hard I try, others, though sick get there before me. So, I wait for the next year hoping to get healed.”
“Can I examine you? I want to help.”
“You can help me by carrying me into the river once it bubbles.”
“Well, you don’t have to wait for the river to bubble the next year before you can be healed. Permit me to examine you.”
He examined him, after getting his permission. Then, He gave him the treatment He could offer
“Thank you so much. I hope I’m not asking for too much, but can I ask for another favour?”
“I can’t be the only person you would help. Can you help in giving treatment to others, I can help if you want.” He requested.
“Sure, why not? I will be glad to help.”
Some say I don’t exist, some say I do, while some call my existence a myth.
Wherever your stand might be, I do exist, fulfilling my reason for existence.
“Who are you?” A young man, panting, called out.
“Who are you? Why are you following me?” He asked again, this time, with a tone louder than before.
Again, she was silent but kept following him.
“Are you deaf or something? Who are you woman!”
Again, she was silent, but her countenance changed.
“I will ask you for the last time. Who are you?”
Again, dead silence, but she looked scarier.
“Then, I think you must be one of those girls. Jealousy must have made you follow me but I have no time for you today, probably next time. Today is for my first wife and her children.”
“You must be a psychopath. I am not interested in you. Stop following me!” He commanded, although scared.
“Why won’t you say something?”
“God! Why should I meet a mad girl on my way to my sweetheart tonight? This girl must be insane.”
So, he decided to walk away without looking back.
Another silence with distant humming.
He went farther ahead, without looking back.
“Hello there!” She screamed into his ears.
“You scared me.” He jumped off from his sitting position. Then, he looked at her closely, the mad girl. “Why are you following me?”
“To pay you back in your coin.”
“Now, I know you are insane. Are you that obsessed with going out with me?”
“You haven’t changed, have you?”
“I’m a man, what do you expect?”
“I expected responsibility, honesty, truthfulness. Would you be happy with your wife if she slept around with other men, both younger and older than you?”
“My wife is my wife. I married her to myself.”
“Just the same way she married you to herself.”
“Woman, let me be. I am a man.”
“You are not. You are just a coward hiding behind a mask called the male gender. Your manhood is not determined by the number of girls you sleep with nor the number of wives you have but by your ability to be responsible in caring for that rib of yours.”
“Woman! You don’t teach me how to live my life.”
“But I give to you the consequences of the choices and decisions you make living that life of yours.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You must have heard the saying, one good turn deserves another.“
He nodded in agreement.
“Then, a bad turn truly deserves another.”
He became restless and uneasy.
“I am Karma. This is the time to pay for your foolishness.”
“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
“Sorry. Tell that to the lives you destroyed by raping them, tell that to your children you refused to care for, tell that to the women you married by deceit.”
“I apologise for my errors. Please, don’t harm me.” He pleaded.
“Today is your last………. I am Karma, and I will pay you in your coin.”
I grew up as a loving daughter to Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
My parents moulded a wall of love, care and discipline around me.
It was a boundary I was not meant to roll over.
Although I had an inch of curiosity in me, wanting to know what life outside the wall would be, I remained still and silent, obeying my parents.
With each passing day, my curiosity grew as well.
I wanted to ask them but afraid I would disappoint them by asking such a question.
“What if they think I do not trust them?” I silenced my curiosity with this.
“I’m afraid that would disappoint their love for me.” This, I said another moment.
Unfortunately, my curiosity grew at a very rapid state.
So, I decided to explore life outside the wall.
On the D-day, I packed all I felt I would need for the journey ahead of me,
And, wrote a letter to my parents;
Mom, dad, I am grateful for all you have done for me, grateful for your care so far. I am so sorry for taking this huge step without seeking you. I am just curious about the life outside the wall and all it has to offer me. I still remain your daughter. With lots of love😍🥰.
I folded it neatly and placed it on the center table.
With that, I carried my bag, looked round the house, probably for the last time, and left the house.
“I don’t know what lies ahead, I just hope I don’t land into a huge trouble because of my curiosity.” I muttered.
I stepped outside the gate and I journeyed ahead.
Seconds rolled into minutes, then minutes into hours, and hours into days;
My cash got exhausted,
Hunger set in,
I had to relocate from the hotel I logged in, so I had nowhere else to stay,
Became homeless, hungered, and tattered.
The worst of it all, my curiosity got me nothing
“I thought there will be life outside that wall I left behind. I thought things would be different. I thought….” I cried.
“Young lad, are you alright?” A caring old woman asked.
“I want to go home.” I screamed.
“Did you miss your way?” She asked again.
“No. I left home myself, now, I really want to see my parents. I want to go back home.”
“Why did you leave home, in the first place?”
“I was curious. I wanted to know what life outside the wall would be like. I wanted to feed my curiosity. I just…”
“Calm down my dear. I hope you have fed your curiosity to your satisfaction?” She fixed her gaze on me.
“Yes, I did. There is nothing outside the wall. I felt secured and loved within the wall, outside it, nobody cares about me. It is a different life entirely. A life of everybody for himself but God for all of us. My parents cared for me, trusted me and lived me but I? I betrayed their trust, their love and their affection.”
“It is okay. It shows you learnt your lesson already.”
“Yes I did ma. I don’t think I ever want to tread this path again.”
“Do you know your way back?”
“Yes, I do. I have a request to make ma.”
“Can you go back home with me? I don’t think I can face my parents after what I did to them.”
She held me by my hand, and followed me home.
Back at home, “Good morning, here.” The woman greeted.
“Good morning. Who is it?” My beloved mother asked.
On seeing me, she jumped for joy and screamed to call my father, “Honey, she is back. My Precious is back home.” She hugged me tight, not ready to let me go again.
My father did the same thing. I broke down in tears. “I’m so sorry for disappointing you both. I thought there was life outside the wall but it was all an illusion.”
“My daughter, we will talk about that later. Right now, what matters is that you are back home. Thank you ma for bringing her home.”
“It is not a problem. I have a daughter of her age too. Take care of her.” The good Samaritan said.
“We will. Thank you once again ma.”
She signalled to my mom to have a word with her in private, “Her curiosity led her outside there. Please, as much as you create a wall of love and protection around her, please, explain the reason behind all you do for her. Let her know why and what happens when she disobeys.”
“I will put that into consideration. Thank you so much for your help.”
While I walked along a lonely path,
Thinking about what life has thrown at me;
I wondered, “What did I do to deserve this?”
Unfortunately, there was no reply.
I could recall the recent unfortunate incident, HIM THAT I CALLED A FRIEND
It happened that, at that time, things were so bad; family crises, emotional disturbance, social meltdown, financial knockdown, just name it
Discouraged and tired me had no hope, no way out and no where to go, so I explained my struggles to him,
Relied on him for strength because I was tired, fed up of the whole issue and at the edge of giving up
Several moments later, after being fed with spoons of words of encouragement and served with drinks of inspiration, I decided to keep pushing, no matter how hard it seems
To my ultimate surprise, my struggles became the inspiration behind my friend’s blog, he saved me the shame by not adding my name
I heard lots of comments while I walked past people;
“Oh my God! I feel for her. She is too young to go through all these.” Someone pities me!
“So, is that enough reason to give up. Then, let her die since she has nothing to live for.” Another commented.
“Some people just want an easy life. Oga oooo!” Another added.
I felt so betrayed, all I wanted was a shoulder to lean on, not many shoulders but one. Is that too much to ask?
“I don’t want to be sympathized with but encouraged.” I said as I challenged him.
“You can’t blame me. It’s a good story and you can’t deny people’s ears from hearing it.”
“But I trusted you.”
“And I did what I felt was right.”
“It is true…..”
“The best a human can be is being a human that he is. Thank you for listening when I needed someone to speak with.”
I left his presence, went back to my place;
“Will people ever get over talking about my struggles? I thought I had a friend in him. I thought I had a shoulder I could lean on.” I wailed.
“You have mine to lean on. I am willing to be your friend.” A voice said.
I looked around, in search of the owner of that gentle voice but I found him not
“I’m right here within you.”
“And you can trust me completely.”
“So, I can trust you, right?” I asked, although I had the intuition I could trust him.
Yes, I can trust Him. He is my shoulder to lean on.
Jesus knows all about our struggles
He will guide till day is done There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus No, not one! No not one!
“Welcome home my daughter.” She received me with a warm embrace as I stepped into the house after several months of staying in school.
“Mom, I miss you so much.” I replied, although tired but happy to be home.
“This holiday period will be productive, I’m sure of it. I will build myself in all spheres.” I said to myself.
A week passed, nothing! “We are still celebrating. Time lies ahead.”
The second week rolled in as the previous one was rolled away like a carpet.
New goals were set, with a different mindset of achieving it all.
But, history repeated itself yet again
The second week soon came to an end and, time was mocking me. “I wonder what these creatures think of themselves. Of course, they have dominion but not over me. Only those who can control themselves can use me effectively.”
“I’m tired. Should I just resume school? Will that make me more productive?” I asked myself out of frustration.
Eventually, I opened up to my mother, “Mom, I had a to-do list before coming home with the hope that I would achieve most of it but two weeks has passed and I haven’t achieved any. I’m so worried.”
“Can I see the list?” She asked.
I went into my box, brought out the list for her to see.
“Wow! This is a lot of work you know.”
“I know mum but I have to achieve them. I should probably resume school since home is not helping.”
“Whether you are at home or in school, if you will not discipline yourself to be productive, you can’t achieve anything. My point is, regardless of where you are, learn to take the big step of consistency.“
“Mom, if I’m in school, I will be encouraged to do better.”
“You are right. We function best when there is a challenge. If you are encouraged in school, what will maintain that encouragement?”
“I don’t understand your question mum.”
“When a test lies ahead, majority of the student read better but do not understand better because they were only compelled to read. If you read because you saw others reading, you will eventually be frustrated if you don’t get the result they get.”
“What should I do, then?”
“Whether at home or in school, climb the ladder of productivity every day. A rung a day and you will be surprised when you reach the top.”
“I feel more relaxed and comfortable at home, won’t my comfort zone affect my desired results.”
“A drop of water a day will eventually make a stream. Right?”
“Yes ma.” I nodded in agreement.
“What if rain falls, does it affect the result of getting a stream?”
“We might get a river!”
“Exactly, your comfort zone should make you get a better result. Make the most of it.” She advised.
“Thanks mom, for always being there. I pray God will enrich your wisdom.”
“Amen. Thank you for trusting me with your inner struggles.”
Restless, I paced back and forth, from one end of my room to the other end, my sleep is disturbed.
Muttering words to myself, “Something is not right.” I said again, not knowing the exact reason behind my nervousness.
“I am sure something is not right, but what? What could be wrong?” I muttered again.
I put on my robe, left my room and headed to my favourite spot, my garden
I continued to pace, then I remembered
“Of course. I remember, something was indeed wrong.”
I rushed into my library, opened my year 2019 diary to the seventh month.
I went through it, day by day until I found what I was looking for, Mordecai’s good deeds
“But, Mordecai, do you have to snatch my night rest from me?”
This man saved my identity 3 years ago;
I work as a lecturer in a prestigious University while he, Mordecai worked in the adminstrative block of this school.
Although I was a little harsh on this student, he should not have taken that step.
This same student has been giving me a lot of headache but I planned not to give up on him.
On this fateful day, he came late to my class, so I prevented him from entering my class. Unfortunately, he missed a very important test that day. I planned to have a test, so I never conducted the test because he missed the class.
So, being affiliated to the top officers of the school, he planned a coup against me, got a good number of lecturer on his side.
As God would have it, Mordecai chose to stand for the truth.
Although I lost my job that year, Mordecai’s good deeds still baffles me. He had nothing to gain in return but he stood against an administration to defend the truth. I promised myself that whenever I gain my feet back, I would repay his God deeds.
But, being a man that I am, I forgot. Exactly 3 years has passed that I failed to fulfill my promises.
“Mordecai, I am so sorry for disappointing you. I will search for you and find you. You are a rare gem.” I said happily.
“Now, I can sleep soundly with both my eyes closed.”
Growing up was really so hard and difficult
Everywhere I turned to, all I got was rejection and disappointment
So, a friend of mine introduced me to a business, she called it fishing
I started fishing; giving my body to broken men, unhappy men, and flesh-governed men just to get a medium of exchange
Not one, not two, not three; so many of them
They would come to me to feed their flesh, then pay me for my services; some appreciated me, some treated me like a dog
But none of them was proud to be associated with me in public
Deep within me, I knew I was made for more
I knew I had more up my sleeves but I was overwhelmed with dirty garments that I can’t discover what was underneath my sleeves
Fishing continued for years, I was not proud of it neither was I ready to stop;
Convincing myself with the statement, “There is no means of survival except this. Just look at you, you look more beautiful than you look few years back.”
“I know but I am rotten. I look gorgeous outside but my inside is rotten. Can’t you see?”
“It is better you ignore that notion. No one is ready to offer assistance if they won’t get anything out of it, no one will help you. You have to help yourself and you have been doing that right.”
I had no choice, so I pressed further and went deeper with more hidden publicity
But, my Creator had a whole new plan for me
I met Him, “Do you know you were made for more?”
“Yes I know that.”
“Do why are you doing this?”
“Because I have no choice.”
“You do. You can choose to stop just as you chose to start.”
“So, how do I survive?”
“Trust me, then.”
“Trust you! I don’t even know you.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I think you are crossing the boundary, stranger. My body is mine not yours.”
“So, you know that your body is indeed a temple.”
“That’s none of your business.”
“This body of yours is a dwelling place of the One above. It is a temple He patterned for Himself so you can carry Him about and you won’t be alone. He never wants His belongings to be dirty but holy at all times.”
“Well, too bad, this temple is defiled already.”
“Are you happy opening the door of this gold-plated temple to strange helpless men.”
“I offer help to them. Even pastors come to me for help.”
“Only a helped can help. There is no way a blind man will lead a blind will direct a blind man, both will land in the pit.”
“That’s logical. But, I think you are quick to judge. Do you think I want this life? I grew up with no one to help, everywhere I turned to gave me rejection. I knew I was made for more but I had no choice to accept this offer because it approached me to rescue me.”
“But you never turned to me for help.”
“Should I ask for help before you help me. I thought you dwell in the temple, you should do all it takes to secure what’s yours.”
“Well, I will never force myself to live in a place I’m not welcomed. Get this temple cleaned up, the owner will be happy to come home.”
“So, how do I clean up?”
“Ask for help from the One who wants to dwell in it.”
“I’m dirty, really dirty. Do you think this dirty temple will become clean and shining again?”
“I am absolutely sure. Ask Him and He will clean it to befit His majesty.”
“Clean this temple up, Lord. It has been defiled with lies, frustration, hopelessness, prostitution, irresponsibility. Clean it up, Lord never to be defiled again.”
He is God
Engaged in an eternal battle with His enemy, Devil
With His favourite weapon, arrows; a bunch of it in His quiver
One by one, three at times,
He picks His well-polished pointed end arrow,
aiming at His enemy to strike him really hard
“Wise one, why would God settle for arrows when He can use weapons like bombs and the likes?” I asked as I listened to his teaching, attentively.
“If I were in a war, I would use the weapons I find more comfortable rather than the ones that will become a burden to me.”
“Well said sir. But, what does the arrow signify?”
“You.” He replied sharply.
“Me?” I replied, surprised.
“Of course, you and every young one out there. Children are heritage of the Lord, a man that has them in full, just like arrows in the hand of a mighty man shall not be ashamed.“
“So, I am an arrow in His hand.”
“Yes, made to target the weak point of His enemy.”
“But, what would become of me in his hands, rather, at the injured point of the enemy, useless?”
“You should trust Him. He never leaves His favourite weapons behind. Once the enemy has been shot, He goes there, take back His weapon to be polished for another use.”
“But, what joy does the arrow get in being used, polished, then reused?”
“I say it gets fulfillment. Let me ask you this, can a kitchen knife complain of serving in the kitchen?”
“That’s why it is made. To serve in the kitchen.”
“Exactly. If you do what you are meant to do, there can never be any other joy compared to that.”
“True, wise one.”
“In addition, there are people tasked with making and polishing the arrows so they can eventually be weapons in His hand.”
“Who are they?” I asked, staring at him.
“Your parents, the Godly elders in your community, disciplers, and many of them as He brings them your path.”
“So I must listen to them?”
“Not just listen to them, trust their roles in the making and polishing processes. They are to make you an arrow to be shot at the enemy.”
“Thank you so much for this wisdom. God helping me, I will trust and obey these processes.”
“Honey, my birthday banquet starts tomorrow. Hope you are ready for this week-long celebration?” My husband asked.
“I am fully prepared, you should trust me. I already secured a separate place for the wives of our guests.”
“You never disappoint me. I love you honey.”
“And I love you much more. Happy birthday in advance, honey.”
“Thank you wifey.”
The celebration began the next day;
The hall was beautifully decorated with white curtain and purple ribbon, my husband’s favourite colour combo
With lots to eat and drink, without limit
On the last day, my husband with his friends, got drunk, “their hearts merry”
“Go, fetch me my wife. Tell her to come display her beauty to me and my friends.” He said to one of the servers.
“Ma, your husband instructed us to inform you that your attention is required in the outer court.”
“To do?” I asked, feeling uneasy.
“To display your beauty before him and his friends.” He replied.
“Tell him I’m not interested.” I replied, angrily.
“Ma?” He asked, not sure of what he heard.
“You heard me right.”
Exactly, what does he take me for! I married him, definitely not to be a public show of display.
“Sir, you refused.”
“What? How dare she? Is she not my wife? Why would she disobey me this way?” My husband screamed.
“This attitude of hers will definitely give our wives the liberty to disobey us. You should punish her.” One of his friends suggested. Others nodded in agreement.
“Get a replacement.” Another suggested, sharply.
There are so many beautiful young women ready to submit to a husband.” Another added.
Angrily, he came to the inner court where I celebrated with the wives of the guests, “Starting from now, you cease to be my wife.” Then he left.
I was angry, astonished and amazed at his actions; shouldn’t we settle this amicably like One as God called us?
Do you think I was wrong? Do you?
Before me lies two bottles;
Labelled A and B;
Filled with honey, as I was told.
“Which of them should I go for, A or B?” I wondered.
“Well, I will advice you go for A.” A voice answered.
“Why not B?” Another said.
“Gosh! I am totally confused.” I stared at the bottles once again, from A to B, then B to A.
After few minutes of confusion, I went for bottle labelled A.
“It wasn’t a wrong choice after all.” I said to myself.
Drop by drop, I ate the honey.
“What is this?” I asked myself as I spat the content of my mouth out.
I examined the bottle again, it’s the same bottle of honey I picked earlier.
“It wasn’t swapped. It’s the same bottle.” I told my confused self.
I cannot continue with this, I still have a long way to go, and now this, a bitter honey?
“What exactly is going on? Can someone just come to my rescue? I followed the instructions to the latter; pick a bottle and leave, how come I ended up with this?” I said, staring at the bottle in my hand.
After several minutes of anguish, an answer came
“You must be worried?” He asked.
“Worry is an understatement. I am really angry right now. Despite abiding by the instructions to the latter, how can I end up with this?”
“Well, two bottles, labelled A and B with a note indicating that you pick and leave were before you.”
“Of course, and I picked only to find bitter honey in it several drops after.” I lamented.
“Did you ask before making your choice?”
“Do I need to?” I replied sharply.
“You are free to make your choice but it is better to consult someone’s who knows better than you. The bottle you picked was half filled with honey unlike the other one, but it takes an ability to discern between the two similar but different choices to make the right choice.”
“But, I thought it was left for me to decide.”
“You are right about that. It takes understanding and trust for you to consult Him who knows better than you do. You can make the decision yourself but choose to trust Him. Another thing, He won’t impose His choice on you, rather present it to you as an option.”
“What role do I have to play then?”
“Trust Him, believe that He won’t lead you astray neither would He make a wrong choice for you.”
“Wow! I never thought about it this way. What should I do with this bottle, then?”
“Ask Him about it.”
“But, I’m embarrassed. I’m so ashamed of myself right now.” I confessed.
“You should not be. Learn to tell Him everything, about your right choices, wrong steps, joyous moments, embarrassing moments, He will listen.”