Someone tapped her from behind and whispered, ‘I SEE YOU!’
Boo, Where are You?
The table is set for the Bishop and Suzzy had left the house. She spent some time on the phone outside the Bishop’s house chatting with someone you would think was her beloveth but as Temilade observed her mouth closely from the bedroom window, she could tell it was the bishop she was speaking with. She could read her lips say, ‘Come home, Pastor, before the food gets cold.’
She walked around the table, taking note of all that was served; fried rice, grilled chicken, vegetable salad, potato salad, meatballs, cookies, chocolate cake, bottles of chilled water and ‘Zobolo’ drink (a West African drink made from dried roselle leaves). The Bishop must have called very early today or yesterday to inform them of his return, she thought and returned to the bedroom.
Few minutes later, a car drove into the compound and the Bishop and the driver walked out of the car laughing. The driver, Minister Andrew, emptied the trunk of the car while Pastor Tade grabbed his suitcase, bible and jacket from the back seat and made it to the front door.
Temilade returned to the dining room after receiving a long call from one of the women in the church. She was surprised to find only Minister Andrew still eating. He told her the Bishop had gone to see Mummy Mercy, Suzzy’s mother and that it was urgent. He thanked her for the meal, told her how blessed she was to be the wife of their pastor and promised to bring his neighbor to church the next day.
As he left, Temilade made her way to clear the table. She caught herself smiling even though she was not happy that the Bishop who had been away for four days, was out again, ‘doing the work of the gospel.’ It was comforting that the Father sees her and understands all of her disappointments. She even began to sing and dance as sunshine flooded her soul. ‘The Father Sees Me!’ she screamed around the house until her alarm beeped. It was a reminder of her session with Mrs. Ambrose at 7pm. She knew she had a lot to confab with Mrs. Ambrose. Their last session lasted for only fifteen minutes because Pastor Ambrose returned home and he must not know that Eden, Mrs. Ambrose, ‘was washing her dirty laundry in public,’ that’s what he thought counseling was. ‘The pastor’s wife is not expected to speak to anyone about her troubles but the Holy Spirit,’ he would always warn. Today, Eden was coming over to see Temilade to unburden.
They had a lot in common. Both women were married to preachers, loved God and were still trusting God for the fruit of the womb. Eden was married for two years without a child while Temilade had been without a child for seven years. Temilade quickly reheated the soup she had in the kitchen and hurriedly took a warm bath before Eden drove into the compound at 6:55pm. She was known to be on-time. Temilade was her exact opposite but this time, she was ready to impress Eden. She made her way to the living room quickly but Kunle lead Eden in.
‘Kunle, you are getting bigger!’ she exclaimed with a smile and patted him on the head as he prostrated to greet her. ‘Don’t tell me Mama is not ready for me yet!’ she said with some sarcasm as Kunle smiled in return. He turned to exit the living room when Eden noticed the injury on his ear and screamed. ‘Jesus!’ holding him by the shoulder. ‘Kunle, don’t tell me you stole again? Do you want to kill yourself? I thought the last time that daddy dealt with you and I had to plead, you said that you were going to be a good boy? You still have not changed? What did you do this time?’ she paused to take a good look at the different injuries he had on his body. Eden would ask a thousand questions at the same time. Kunle was just about to respond when the next batch of questions came flooding in. She was talking and quoting scriptures from the bible. He stood looking like a criminal about to be sentenced to jail. He eyes looked sorry but his decision betrayed him. Kunle, Pastor Tade’s younger cousin, was not sorry.
‘The always on time mama!’ Temilade called as she walked into their conversation. Eden had a look of worry on her face. She was holding on to Kunle’s hands and praying for him. Temilade gave a long ‘Amen’ response that ended the mini deliverance session. ‘Kunle, get to your room,’ she called and gave Eden a warm hug.
‘Mama, the beating is too much now!’ Eden said with a sad look as she dropped her bag and moved closer to Temilade for a second hug. This time, it was a very long hug. Eden was in tears. Temiade was crying too. Pastor Ambrose was not patient with her. They had visited a gynecologist and it was said that Pastor Ambrose was okay but that she had ovarian cyst and Pastor Ambrose walked out of the doctor’s office. He even left her at the hospital and drove off, claiming he had an emergency situation to handle when she called him. He had refused to have any intimate time with her ever since and would not talk about it. He even canceled their trip to the Tinapa Resort in Calabar and would not speak peaceably with her since then. The most painful was his new midnight calls and meetings in the office with some strange woman. He had given Eden his phone to speak to her sister whose husband had called earlier and after the call was over, she saw his conversation with some other woman about the good time they had in the past and she was worried.
‘Hope you didn’t confront him?’ Temilade asked as she ran her hand over Eden’s black, long retouched hair.
‘I did, mama. I couldn’t keep calm!’ Eden responded. Temilade noticed that as she spoke about this new lady and the things that transpired during that time, her grip stiffened. She was becoming more annoyed as she spoke about it. Pastor Ambrose had something terrible coming his way. She even visited his office for some sanitation and found a lady’s undergarment there. She was convinced he was cheating on her because she had ‘ovarian cyst’. She said very shameful things about her husband and his family. She talked about how his family had a history of infidelity and how his aunt, another pastor’s wife, married to his uncle who was also in the ministry, had tried to stop her from continuing with plans to marry Pastor Ambrose but she refused for love. If his uncle, the Bishop could do it, what about Ambrose who looked up to him. At this point, Temilade had to stop her. She couldn’t hear from Eden anymore for the woman who was speaking was an angry, bitter woman.
‘Mama,’ she called, walked her to sit on the red sofa in the living room and continued. ‘This is not the Mama Eden I knew before she got married!’ She paused, looked into her eyes and spoke softly as if to whisper. ‘Eden, where are you?’ she asked. She held her hands and looked at them, Eden was looking at her wedding bands this time, rolling them and breathing very hard. Temilade lifted her jaw so she could look into her eyes and continued in whispers, ‘This woman speaking is very angry and bitter. Don’t let this temporal challenge steal the best of you, darling. You used to be very sweet and loving but I see you giving way to bitterness.’
Now, Eden was in tears. The tears from her eyes were as thick as blood. She bit her lips hard and cried as Temilade reminded her of who she used to be. She was groaning and she didn’t want Kunle to hear. She was sure he was going to tell Pastor Tade who would in turn tell her husband if he heard. Temilade reminded her of some biblical truths. She told her about Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s first wife in 1st Samuel, who allowed her life to be defined by all the many negative phases and how she ended. ‘Mama, you have to find the old sweet Eden you used to be that we all loved. That is the woman that God would love to fight for. The woman that would hold her peace and allow God to go on a battle for her sake,’ she paused, got up and pulled Eden up for her usual therapeutic hug.
——-To be Continued——–
Boo, Where are you?
Ever heard that makeup hides a lot of scars? I think makeup does too. But the scars that makeup conceals are but little ones. For the scars that lay far away from where makeup can reach is the most dreadful. Sherrilyn Kenyon puts it thus;‘The worst wounds, the deadliest of them, aren’t the ones people see on the outside. They’re the ones that make us bleed internally.’ So the next time you see a woman in a very heavy makeup, don’t be quick to talk her against it. Let her face remind you of the terrible scar that you might have concealed deep in your soul; for that’s the makeup that makes you different. The make up that you wear that makes God call out and say, ‘Boo, where are you?’
Can God find you when He looks down?
What have you transformed into?
Is this what He made you?
Why are you covered in grief, bitterness and resentment?
Blaming it on life and the experiences that you’ve had?
‘Boo, where are you?’
Remember the life of Michal, the daughter of Saul, David’s first wife? There were about 7 barren women in the bible but only Michal died barren.
I believe that if Michal had not allowed all the terrible phases she had to go through in life eat deep into her spirit, she would have had children before her death.
‘Oh! Jace, I have children already so this is not for me.’
Listen, to be barren is to be without fruit or seed. The devil from the beginning was cursed to bruise the seed of the woman. (See Genesis 3:15) Girl, your seed is always in contention with the enemy. Your seed is what lives after you. Your dream, your purpose, your destiny.
Rather than harbor anger, bitterness and resentment against someone who has hurt you really bad, release forgiveness and allow God fight your battle. He can only only fight for the children He can recognize.
Boo, where are you?
Let God find you!