After an hectic day at work, oh! my!, it was finally time to go home.
I would have loved to go straight home, have some refreshing bath, take some snacks and crash land on my Vita foam mattress.
The day had really been stressful, but I needed to branch at Matthew’s house,
he wasn’t at work today, and I don’t know why,
it was unlike him,
so I needed to know what’s up.
I shutdown my laptop,
had a nice few minutes of conversation with my Prince of peace,after which I closed my laptop and reached for my briefcase.
I looked around the office to be very sure I was not forgetting anything,
yes, everything needed is right inside my briefcase.
“Good night Bethel”
(Bethel was the name I gave my office, while I named my house Zion).
How I wish someone could just take the car and drive me,
I was too tired to drive.
“Ring-road route should cooperate today oo,
a king is coming,
no traffic jam should try wasting my time oo”
From ‘Mobil’ where my workplace is, to ‘Felele’ where I live, is just about 15minutes journey,
all things being equal,
but because I would be branching at Anfani to see Matthew in his house,
arriving home early is uncertain.
As I was approaching ‘The high court’ junction,
I started noticing what the Yorubas will call “sun kere, faa kere” (traffic jam),
“nooo, not today”
(I said almost shouting).
I rested my back, and switched on to listen to Don Moen’s album,
the track coming up first was ‘God will make a way’,
“oh!, bro Don is following jare”
(I said jokingly).
About 2 minutes after,
the road was free again,
I gave a deep sigh as I continued my journey, moving my head to the rhythm of the song from bro Don.
I stopped the car engine in front of Matthew’s house,
as I alighted to enter his one room apartment.
I had knocked at the door to his room thrice with no answer coming forth.
“Abeg I’m too tired to waste my energy on knocking jhor”
(I said to myself),
just then,I heard a snore from the room,
“chai, this man is on a journey to ‘the dreamland’ ni sha”.
I do not want to disturb his sleep,
I was kindof frustrated,
I don’t want the effort of coming over to his place be in vain,
but there’s nothing I could do,
disturbing his sleep looks unideal to me,
I exhaled as I twisted the door knob with displeasure,
and to my utmost surprise, the door opened wide before me,
I initially thought it was locked from the back.
The smell of alcohol that bade me welcome into the room was so conc. and irritating,
that I had to run back into my car to get an handkerchief to cover my nose.
“When did Matthew start being a drunkard?,
I know he backslid some years ago,
but I never know he has gone this worst.
God, this man must come back to you oo, please”.
I became really sad.
As I made my way back into the room,
I met him already awake.
“Were you the one that opened the door before?”
(he asked and I replied) “yes”.
“So, where did you go back to?”
(he asked again with a puzzled look),
“to get something from my car”
(I replied confidently).
Then my sight bumped into something on his bed,right beside him,
though,I don’t want to believe what I was seeing,
but surely,it was an ugly looking massive vomit.
“What’s that on your bed?”
(I asked pointing my hands to the direction),
he was shocked to see it,
“ops!, I didn’t see that before o”
(he said shyly).
I shook my head,
as I was so short of word at that present,
everything looks unbelievable to me.
“Well, you were not at work today,
hope there was no problem?,
you’re lucky the H.O.D. wasn’t around also”.
I don’t think there’s other problem bigger than this one I’m facing”,
(he said sorrowfully).
“Tell me something,
what’s going on dear”,
(I asked with care).
“My life is greatly miserable,
I’m totally unfortunate,
I work like an elephant but only to eat like an ant,
I may consider suicide oo.
There’s no reason of being alive at all”
(he said amidst tears).
From the way he spoke,
you could see the best example of a frustrated and depressed man,
a man with a settled determination to call it a life time – if proper care is not quickly taken.
I shivered at every of his words,
I don’t just know how best to console such a depressed man as that.
you really need to take things easy at this point in time,
there’s surely a bright light prepared for you at the end of the tunnel,
weeping may endure for…”
(I was still about to complete that when he cut in)
“This tunnel I’m in has no end bro,let alone seeing any light,
morning has agreed with the night never to come,
much less of laughing in it”
(he said, as he bursted into an uncontrollable cry).
“Matthew!,don’t think like that,there’s still hope of a tree that is cut down that it will yet sprout,
God is able to calm the storm,
He can surely make a way where it seems to be none,
His thought is to give us an expected end,
just table everything before him in prayer”,
(I hardly finish what I was saying when he started to laugh mockingly at me).
“How many hours do you pray a day?,
how many days do you fast a week?,
how many weeks in a month do you spend on prayer mountains for special prayers?,
how many times do you visit the orphanage homes to give arms to them?,
if they’re to grade people who pray much in heaven,
I will be among the first class,
but all isn’t yielding any result – no,not even a singular good outcome,
I don’t think prayer can solve my mountainous problem Mayor,
like it’s beyond prayer”.
My eyes started blinking fast as I watched that young man talk,
my heart broke,
I’ve never imagine I could be that emotional,
until I felt a warm liquid flowing down my cheeks
“What!,am I crying already?”,
I stylishly wiped off my tears,
I do not want him to see me crying,
I should be comforting him for Christ sake,
I was thinking on whatelse to say,
but he continued,
“You know sometimes I don’t understand this life,
I work with three different companies,
collecting fat salaries from each,
I do gain money from other corners too,
sometimes through online scam,
getting brown envelope,I mean bribes from some applicants,
a lot of miscellaneous,
but immediately this occasional inward cancerous pain comes,
it’ll make sure I become wretched before leaving me.
visited prayer mountains,
I’ve done so many arms’ given,
but all to no avail.
Look at your own life Mayor,
you only work with M.T.N.,
you do reject bribes offered to you,
you never involve in online scam,
and with that little amount you’re getting as salary,
you’re living wonderfully well,
you have two cars,
you have a house of yourself already,
you’re hale and hearty always,
and I’m sure you’re not committed to spiritual activities as much as I do,
sometimes I find it hard to believe that God isn’t partial”.
I was surprised with all these I’m hearing from Matthew oo,
does it mean he has no understanding that sin hinders answer to prayer…?,
I swallowed hard and sighed.
Although with no assurance of where to start from or idea of what to say, but believing the Word Himself to speak through me,
I opened my mouth to respond.
“Matthew, I’m sorry I really need to discuss something with you,
it’s like a story,
but I will need your suggestion and who knows,
it may be of help to you too”.
“We dey talk serious matter, you dey find person wey go help you assess your story,
Mr. writer, dey talk dey go oo”
(he said jokingly in pidgin,accusing me of deviating from a cogent matter),
“not doing that really”
(I replied smiling as I proceeded to narrating the story to him).
“There was a man with two sons,
he really loved them and wished them great in future, but for this to happen,
he needed to eat a cake baked by each son,
then,such son becomes great and do exploit.
The man told his sons about the secrete behind their being great,
“just bake me cake and you will be great”
(he said to them).
“Oh!, you’re our father of course,
baking you cake to eat isn’t a problem at all”
“The children replied”
The first son went and returned with a well baked cake,
garnished with the seasonings his father love most,
I mean the very nature of the father,
his best delight,
the father was happy for the honour,
he ate the cake and blessed the boy,
he then told him not to cease to bake such wonderful cake,
for there are many wealth in stock for him.
“So when you need anything,
just bake a cake and you’ll surely get it”
(the father emphasised).
Not so long,
the second son came also,
he baked a very large cake of various nice colours,
but he garnished it with feaces all over,
the father saw it and felt irritated,
he couldn’t even take a second look at the cake,
let alone eating it,
the son went away sadly.
The father seeing this,
sent his younger brother to him to tell him how the cake should be baked,
the best thing to use in garnishing it for it to be acceptable by him.
When his brother got to his place,
he told him all the father has said,
but the boy went on lamenting and saying,
the father was segregative in nature,
telling of how large and beautiful the cake he baked was,
but only for his father to turn him down.
baking a large and beautiful cake would have been best appreciated,
but daddy said you should garnish it with his delight,
in his nature and not with feaces”
(his younger brother tried explaining to him,only for him to shout back,saying…).
“I’m not even interested in staying with you guys anymore,
I’m going to…..”
“Let him go to hell!!”
(Matthew shouted, as he cut in).
I shook at the vibration of his voice,
“I’m sorry Mayor,
though you said it’s a story,
but I’m really taking it personal”,
“Oh!, its welcome, continue”
(I said eagerly,and he continued with more serious tone)
“Seriously, that boy is a complete bastard,
who cares if he goes to hell?,
bake cake o,if you want to be great and do exploit in life,
he’s talking rubbish,
who cares about his large and beautifully coloured cake,
how did he expect his loving father to eat a cake coated with feaces?,
they’re telling him to use the right seasonings to garnish it,
he’s complaining and lamenting,
if not that his father loves him,
who cares if the brat goes to hell?,
he’s now saying he won’t stay with them anymore,
he’s going to one place that will surely be hell,
even if he wasn’t planning to go to hell,
hell will surely come to meet him,
as long as he’s not yielding to the right method of baking the cake,
good riddance to his bad rubbish mehn!”
(Matthew spoke aggressively and concerned).
I was silent for few seconds after hearing Matthew’s comment,
and with a deep sigh,
“Matthew, you are the boy”.
He was shocked,
he looked at me with great surprise written all over him,
what do you mean?”
(he asked, then I looked boldly into his eyeballs and said)
“I am the younger son,
God is the father,
the cake is our prayer,
the seasonings I used in garnishing mine were clean hands and pure heart: constituents of holiness,
the nature of the father (God) is holiness.
Though it may be a small cake,
but it was rightly garnished.
Your cake (your prayer) which was large due to many hours of praying,
beautifully coloured with fasting and arms giving,
but was coated with feaces,
which were your sins (bribery, online scam, drunkenness, etc.).
So,mere sighting alone,
it became an abomination for God to accept,
He abhorred it and refused it.
He sent me to you,
to tell you how to garnish your cake – how to pray aright,
but all you did was lamenting,
calling Him a partial God and saying you don’t want to live anymore.
So,as you’ve rightly completed the story for me,
that hell will be the destination of that boy,
you wouldn’t have been so right than that,
hell awaits all sinners.
No matter how prayerful they may think they are,
except they repent,
hell is awaiting them all.
I spoke in a meek but direct and affirming tone to Matthew,
and he began to shed tears,
really crying out his heart with his body shaking vehemently.
Then I stood up to stand by his side,
I patted his shoulder,
and I said…
are you ready to let the feaces go off your cake now?,
are you ready to take of the benefits made available by Christ at calvary?,
are you ready to give your life to Jesus Christ?,
so He can make you,
and give unto you the best kind of life now and in eternity.
With a shaky voice and surrendering expression,
then he went down on his knees in total submission to God.
Bro Matthew is saved,
delivered from demonic sickness,
and he’s now living a victorious life in Christ,
even as he hooks sister Peculiar today…
Praise Master Jesus!.
Author: Alao Gabriel Oluwamayowa
I am Alao Gabriel Oluwamayowa.
I’m a lover of God and His word,
I’m a light that shines, a voice that speaks, a pen that writes – all these I do to see others come to the knowledge of my (their) Creator.
I’m a scientist – an agronomist (prospective),
I love creativity and art, I love to commune with God,
I’m jovial, hospitable, yet principled,
I’m that kind of Homo sapiens you’ll love to be with.
Welcome to my Empire!