If you are in my line of work, it is easy to realize that there is hardly time for church at all. I work all day, round the clock, in between shifts, including the weekends. Well, I might get a day off, once in a while, but, it does not come often. Ever since the Sabbath was moved, it became even more difficult to rest on Sundays. Do not get me wrong; I am not complaining. I might even enjoy my job more than I think I do. This week was a little different in a way. I had to prepare for the Church I was assigned to.
I was early as usual, before a soul could open the door. I waited till the head usher and head of the prayer group arrived. I did not go in. I waited at the door, with my hands behind my back, standing like an usher. Soon, church was packed - cars, parents with kids, friends catching up. I couldn’t help but notice three ladies taking selfies every four or five steps they took. I suppose it was for Instagram or Snap Chat. Soon, it was opening prayer. I wanted to sit at the back so I could see everyone. Thank goodness the ushers did not object, well, they couldn’t. Praise and worship was awesome. The Spirit descended, though, He never left in the first place. I couldn’t help but notice the hearts of everyone lifted, even mine.
Bunmi is a strong dark-skinned lady - a glance at her, and you would know. She stood up to give testimony. Everyone knew she always had a testimony every Sunday. She was always the first. To most, it was becoming annoying, not just because she always had something to say every Sunday, but also, even if all she had to say was to give thanks for a safe week, she would spend twenty minutes at least. Sometimes, the technical crew switched-off the mic just to shut her up.
Tolu was the next popular at the testimony stand. His accounts were always different, but somehow, still the same. It was either a new car today or a new house. Something new happens every two weeks. His skin was fresh. He never wore the same cloth twice. He was the dream of most ladies. No surprise, he was the son of a billionaire. Ushers knew he dropped dollars as offering.
A could not help but notice someone I thought was new to church. That was no problem because church always had a number of new comers every week. But, Segun was peculiar. His head could not stop moving around. He kept turning multiple times, eyes desperately searching for ladies he could meet after service was over – how did I know? Don’t ask me.
Tolu gave his testimony this time. He sang songs and lifted his hands very high. I was sure more than ninety percent of the church could notice his Rolex which costs about fifty thousand dollars. His gold chain and diamond ring were also worth tens of thousands. Girls’ hearts fluttered, wondering if he would ask them for a ride along their path home after service was over.
Pastor preached and it was a very powerful sermon, as most would say. I could sense hearts were touched and lives blessed. Well, most part of his speech strayed from our Father’s will, but, he still managed to deliver the point. For the most part, Bunmi was asleep. She always sat in front. Pastor could have been discouraged by her nodding head. Her seat mate just endured the several bangs if her head on her shoulders. But when her seat mate heard a snore, she had to tap her. Bunmi woke up with a shout of “Hallelujah!” which wasn’t called for. So, the congregation just assumed she must have been so moved by the pastor’s recent statement.
It was time for offering and tithes. The ushers passed the bags. Most gave according to what they had. Tolu dropped nothing and passed the offering bag. The usher gave the bag back to him, and he returned it again. The third time, the usher passed the bag back, with a look of “Big boy, drop dollars and don’t embarrass yourself.” As some ladies on the row began to notice, Tolu pulled off his Rolex and dropped it in the offering bag.
The church secretary started with the usual long church announcements, which most considered boring. Minds often wondered off during these moments. For others, it was their phone’s screen that caught their attention. Some ladies behind Bunmi were busy taking selfies for Instagram or Snap Chat or both, I was not sure. The camera click sounds kept irritating Bunmi where she sat. When she couldn’t bear it, she seized their phones and exclaimed, “That’s so irresponsible of you three. You’re in church for God’s sake!” One replied, “Shussh there. This is coming from someone who slept all through the sermon. Who made you church police?” Bunmi embarrassingly returned their phones.
While all these happened, Segun was busy trying to get the phone number of the lady seated beside him. He had used all the skills and tricks he had, from pickup lines to scenario tactics. But none worked. Then, he knew church girls were different.
Soon, service would be over. I pondered on all that happened. What had changed in the lives of the congregation? The fellowship was more than what they had perceived. Maybe, they would return home feeling different or the same. Either ways, it was a spiritual impartation to bring about a transformation which might not necessarily manifest immediately physically.
I was particular about Segun, Tolu and Bunmi. Despite all, God loves them all, unconditionally. It is all because of His Grace. Come to think of it, Bunmi has three jobs, two of which are full time and one part time job which requires she works nightshift on Saturday nights. She had to take care of her younger siblings through school. Tolu has been short on cash lately because his inherited stocks from his dad had plummeted. Segun had been betrayed by four girls in the past on account of cheating, so, now he thinks his only bet for a good girl is in church.
After saying the Grace, I wasted no time in stepping out because I was summoned to give a report at the Headquarters. I looked to the heavens, spread my wings and flew to the Throne Room for debriefing.
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