August 19…… Episode One
Why someone could be this obstinate is what I don’t understand. Covering Maxwell for the hundredth time, Faith hissed and his eyes flew open.
She looked at him, pity and anger mixing with her breath and the tenderness she once felt at every gaze was gradually being replaced with disgust for him.
Oh, she had prayed, but the victory lay in their hands; his hands as the head of the family.
She was determined to go against whatever rule he has set. If that would free her, free them all. She could smell the danger looming and knew what she had seen that morning was going to happen. They had wronged an innocent man and if they didn’t rectify it soon enough they would pay dearly for it. Unfortunately, she would too. That was part of the marriage covenant.
“I wish I don’t have to suffer any of these with you”, Faith barked, then waited as the cough that racked his body rocked him for some minutes.
“Look at you; you have turned to a shadow of your self.
Let me work, you say no, let me just give the go ahead to sign it the contract you say no.
“Now, right before your eyes the company you thought would keep you forever has given you 2 months recuperation without pay.
How do we feed? The two months is finished next week. Yet you held on to some stupid story of many years ago.
Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and not find me. I will go with my children too. ”
Hissing loudly she left his bedside. If she stays any longer, she might just choke him to death.
“How did I get here?” Faith cried as she got into her childrens’ room. Her 8 months old son had been having nonstop diarrhea for one week. Her mom had to take complete care of him so that she could relieve Faith of the burden. After continuously crying in-front of her 3 year old daughter and 5 year old son, she finally agreed to allow her elder sister take them. She couldn’t bear another round of questions from them. How could she cope with the care of her sick child and husband at the same time?
After visiting her mom yesterday she couldn’t bear to look at her son. The once lively and happy boy was so emaciated. Receiving venous rehydration, his eyes just bulged out of their sockets. He stared at her unable to move. The Gala (beef pastry) she had bought to eat fell out of her hands the moment she saw her son.
“Mom, I can’t take this anymore, I can’t. Look at my baby. No, I can’t.”
“Faith my dear, be strong. Please eat even if it’s a little.”
“I can’t, I don’t have appetite to eat.”
Grabbing the gala and orange juice her mom fed her, practically shoving the food down her throat. You need some strength for the journey ahead.
Her phone rang, bringing her back to the present, she looked at the screen, and it was Jade.
She hissed and tossed her phone to the nearest settee. All her friends were settled and happy in their homes – all but her. She knew what Jade wanted to say. They wanted to come pray with her.
How many times had she turned down their offer? She had prayed too. What difference will it do when they pray for her? Besides, she didn’t want outsiders in her business.
She let the phone ring for the sixth time. With every ring, she cried, “Lord please have mercy on me”.
“Faith, is this not pride, she heard the gentle but firm rebuke. You cannot carry this burden alone and I have put people in your path to help you, yet you refuse.
Look at the apostles, one of the reasons they were fruitful and prospered was because they had oneness in prayer. In their persecution they bonded. In their pain they were united, in their blessing they praised together.”
“Who is united with you in this battle?
My mom and dad, Maxwell’s father, my pastor… she went on to list.”
“True, they are praying for you but you’re not united with them. Gradually bitterness has taken a hold of you, you’re carrying this load alone, let Me help you. Let them help you.They’re here to bear your burdens. Let go of your pride.”
Faith went on her knees.
“Lord, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for carrying my burdens on my shoulder instead of bringing them to You and leaving them. I’m sorry for barricading myself with prideful thoughts. As the prayer coordinator, I felt I could handle this alone and even when prayers were offered I rebuffed the request. Please forgive me “.
Take control of me, my thoughts, my actions, my life, my home.
For 2 hours she was on her knees praying and asking for forgiveness and grace.
Lord let your mercy speak o,
Let your mercy speak o,
Let your mercy speak for me,
Let your mercy speak for me.
She sang with so much gusto and then she heard this;
...”I will give unto you the sure mercies of David”.
She heard it clearly. That is a bible verse, picking up her bible she frantically searched for the verse. Her phone rang again. It was Jade. This time she connected the call.
“You know I wanted to be angry at you for not picking my calls all these days, sometimes you would disconnect and switch off your phone, but the Holy Spirit has been telling me to help you through this period, that you will see the sure mercies of David. So, I have with me here Joy, Osagie and Dele. Together we’re headed to your house. I don’t need your opinion anymore. We’re 10 minutes away. Just sha come and open the door”.
That was Jade; she’s always straight to the point. But her heart is all covered in gold. I know she’s on her way, once she sets her mind to do something she accomplishes it to the letter.
“But what about your kids, I mean all of you?” I asked, feeling better but somewhat sad for dragging them out of their houses.
They’re fine. They’ll be with our spouses while we take turns. Faith, we cannot forget how God used you for us and as friends, we won’t leave you alone to fight this battle”.
“Jade, where can I find the verse that talks about the sure mercies of David in the bible?” Faith asked.
“It’s Isaiah 55 vs 3, Why do you ask?” Jade was inquisitive. Hmm, I will tell you when I get here.
“Ok darling, see you in a few minutes.”
Faith looked around her house, the place was an eyesore. She could not possibly host visitors in this environment. The kitchen was a mess too. Thankfully, her sink was clean. She never liked dirty dishes anyway.
Still deciding where to start her cleaning the bell chimed. It was not the door bell or the gate bell. It was the bell she gave Maxwell to press on anytime he needed her. She ran all the way to the bedroom. The whole room reeked of urine, she had to change him again, all by herself.
Tears, were in his eyes. Faith, he called, please is today August 19? Yes, why do you ask?
He suddenly had his coughing spell again. One would think he had whopping cough with the way he coughed.
She sat him up and gave him some water.
Few minutes to Faith’s house, Jade’s phone rang, It was her sister Lara.
“Sister mi, where are you? It’s Mimi, (referring to Jade’s 2 year old daughter). She started vomiting like 15 minutes ago and her temperature is rising, I just checked it and it is 104.8 F, . What should I do?”
Jade was alarmed, that is 40.4 degrees Celsius, she knew what it meant for a young child to have such high fever it could cause brain damage. As a pediatrician it was not a good sign. Here she was, almost at Faith’s home. She had already promised Faith.
What will she do now?
“I’ll call you back Lara.” Jade turned to the others in the car explaining what Lara just told her.
“Wait,” Jade suddenly stopped,
Jade, Dele called, “what do you have to do with the date August 19”?
“Oh no, don’t tell me today is August 19,”
“Yes, it is” Joy answered. “Today is August 19.”
To be continued.
Photo Credit: Binti M (Pexels)