Now you see me, now you don’t

Have you ever searched for something and you just can’t find it? Scarcely a minute ago, it was in sight and now it isn’t. The more frantically you search, the more frustrated you become. If this describes your daily occurrences, you are not alone. It happened to me just the other day.

There I was in my room working on my research project. Hunger pangs knocked on the door of my good ol’ friend, the stomach. Threatened with torments of untold suffering, stomach decided to pay me a visit as well. In such a situation, ransom is the only solution, and the only language this age-old terrorist understood, was food. This prompted me to get up from my seat and get my wallet. The question was where is it? My bed? No, it wasn’t there. Book shelf? No, not there either. I rushed to the trousers I had worn during the day. Turned the pockets inside out and all that came out were bread crumbs (don’t ask!). By this time stomach was getting very impetuous and I on the other hand, very frustrated. As weird as this sounds (or reads), I remembered the drills advised by professionals in times of exam fever. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

1st drill- Breathe in…breathe out (*3)
2nd drill- Relax. Look around. Take a 5 minutes walk to lower your heart beat rate.

I wish I could tell you that I finished the drills. Stomach couldn’t allow me. So I switched to plan B. Logical reasoning. What color is it? Black. At this juncture, let’s pause for a while and allow me to talk to my brothers out there. There are only two colors that are acceptable for a man’s wallet. Black or brown. Due to the degenerative effect of time, any shade in between passes the test. In this generation, men are slowly but surely being turned into wimps. Look at the manicures, pedicures and all the other “ures” that men are subjected to. What about all this talk about men getting in touch with their feminine side? Is it any wonder that the average modern man’s pocket contains a lip balm, assorted nail cutters and all the other horrors? Where is the real man who accidentally carries a screw driver in his office suit? Where is the real man whose pens are all chewed at the top? Where is the real man who drinks his soda straight from the bottle? Where is that real woman who knows that that the sweat of a hardworking man is his cologne? Where…Oh! (Sob). I can’t go on. My heart languishes in pain.

Now back to that wallet. Black. My eyes roved the room as I kept muttering; Black! Black! Black! One would think I was chanting an old Negro freedom song. Then I saw it. There it was on top of a black speaker. A black wallet camouflaged on top of a black speaker. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. If this wallet was my child, I would have flogged him into oblivion. If this wallet was my wife, I would have denied her conjugal rights for eternity. If…if…anyway there it was. I glared at it. It smiled back. Everything within told me to reach for its neck. However, just before all hell turned loose, a thought quietly slipped in. Pondering over this new thought and its source, I sat down next to the now laughing wallet.

“…clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 13:4a

As the devil goes about his antics, searching for someone to devour, does he see an easy prey in me? Am I conformed to the pattern of this world that makes me prone to his attack? Or am I clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ that the devil sees me now and the next minute wonders where I am? Indeed the psalmist wasn’t deceiving when he penned the following words so long ago.

“He will cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings, you will find refuge
“Because He loves me,” says the Lord, I will rescue him:
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
Psalms 91:4, 14.

I turned and faced the wallet. This time not with anger and rage, but with a smile that said, “thank you for teaching me this most important lesson.”
As for the stomach…well, let’s just say that he still lives.

I love you all.

He still speaks through dreams

The day is Sunday, July 20, 2008. I have just woken up and am sitting at the edge of my bed meditating on all that had transpired in my dreams. It is true what the apostle Peter spoke quoting the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17,

“Young men seeing visions
Old men will dream dreams”

I dreamt. Does that make me old? I sure hope not! Anyway that is beside the point. Two things stood out on this particular day. First, my dad’s salvation won’t be long and secondly, the reminder of heaven my true home.

1st highlight. One day, my dad got a chance to go for a work trip to Israel, the Holy Land. I thought this was all part of God’s plan to speak to his heart. That is how He spoke to mine. In a foreign land, far away from family and friends of my childhood and teenage years. Before he embarked on his long journey “home”, I gave him a small tract of the life of Jesus Christ and told him,

“Something for you to read”

I got a blunt “asante”. I can’t blame him. Men are not good at the goodbyes and all the mushy feelings that come along with it. In the dream it was my turn to go to the Holy Land. In walks dad carrying a walkman. Yes they still exist. They still work too. Inside was a Christian tape that he loved listening to while driving. Country Gospel I presume.
He then spoke to me in the most Christian brotherly voice,

“Something for you to listen”

Once again, a grown man fighting with the goodbyes and the mushy feelings could only blunt out a dull “asante”.
Message? My dad would give his life to Christ before my going to the Holy Land. And that won’t be too long from now.

2nd highlight. When I was young…wait a minute. I am 25 years old. I am still young! Ok! When I was much younger, less than 5years old, our home was fenced with the hibiscus plant; its beautiful purple and maroon flowers had never been brighter. It was always a joy to see these flowers from a distance when coming home from school. They spoke much to me back then…

-There is cup of hot tea and buttered bread waiting for you.
-There are friends waiting for you. They want to play “lifundo” (after you have taken off your uniform of course).
-After taking a shower, there would be a hearty meal prepared just for you.
-Daddy is going to play shadow boxing with you before bedtime.
(Aim at the stomach, you sure won’t miss!)
Oh! Those flowers were a source of joy, hope and love to be embraced. All through my later years, the hibiscus flowers have held a special place in my heart. In the dream, I saw the most beautiful hibiscus flowers I had ever laid my eyes upon. Rich purple and deep maroon were their clothing. Under the shine of the full moon, they swayed to and fro to the gentle tunes played by the night breeze. The memory of my childhood home came back to me. However, the two pictures didn’t add up. These flowers were peculiar. Too beautiful. They seemed to beckon me to a higher home. A more glorious one, where no tear, no pain, no death, no mourning was the order. The words of Jesus came back to me. That He had gone to prepare a place for me in His Father’s glorious home where there are many mansions. The hibiscus flowers were just the earthly beauties that are so fleeting leaving us hungry for our true home. Heaven. They spoke of love and exceeding joy. Reminding me that am just but an alien in this fallen world. When this life is gone, then life begins in that beautiful place where our wildest imaginations cannot perceive. Hence, once in a while, God sends as glimpses of it. Be it an experience in a worship service, a dream that cannot be fully elaborated in words, the chuckle of a happy babe or in many other mysterious ways that He chooses. All for one reason. To remind us of our true home enabling us to go through the perils of this fallen world. Words from the hymns of old couldn’t say this truer,

“I may not know the depths of love,
Till I cross the narrow sea,
I may not know the heights of joy,
Until in peace, I rest in thee.”
(I am thine, O lord)

Now every time I see a hibiscus flower, with its purple and maroon flowers, I am reminded of heaven my true home. Our true home. I leave you with the words of John after a guided tour in this home,
“Amen, Come, Lord Jesus.”

I love you all.