“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them” – Immanuel Kant
“The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation” – Charles Spurgeon
“Self-righteousness belongs to the narrow-minded” – Toba Beta
“Son, never trust a man who doesn’t drink because he’s probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world” – James Crumley
On Sunday last week, precisely by 42 minutes after 8 a.m., I eventually attended church service after about 15 months of religious truancy. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know…I know…I am a heathen…I am the devil’s advocate…I am the son of the devil…blah blah blah.
To be honest, it wasn’t the charming choir members that made me to have a change of heart. Naa, Naa, Naa! It wasn’t the bespectacled damsel that always stayed at the entrance with her boobs begging to be freed from the gown and robe suffocating them underneath. Mba…it wasn’t her! It wasn’t the boring sermons either. The ONLY factor that led me to make up my mind about ending my exile from the house of the Lord was the Holy Communion. Boy, I missed the Eucharist and the liturgy that preceded it. As the pianist played some lovely tunes while the congregation sang from the hymns in the Ancient and Modern, the priests with their flowing robes would beckon on the subjects to come forth and partake in the body and blood of Christ; the innocent lamb that died for the sins of the world. The soothing feeling when the wafer touches my wet tongue is always orgasmic and the red wine that has a bit of alcohol in it flowing down my oesophagus was second to none. Now that was spiritual copulation taking place in my mouth at that instant, like bees entrenched within flower petals while seeking for pollen – the essence of its existence.
On this particular day, I walked into the church and said a quick prayer after I sat down on the last pew. Gracious Lord…have mercy on my sinful soul, I prayed. The churchwarden beckoned on me to come forward to one of the pews in front but I didn’t give a phuck. I stayed put on my seat and pretended I was touching the cheeks of the baby lying on her mother’s lap beside me. The service eventually commenced at 9 a.m.
The church service proceeded as expected. To be honest, it was a good feeling to be in this auditorium once more, staring at the faithful seated in the house of Lord in humble adoration of the Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. Sister Caro raised her tambourine up in the air and waved to the Lord when the priest asked people to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Bro Sam screamed J-E-S-U-S as loud as he could.
Fast forward to about an hour later, and it was time for testimonies. The priest encouraged the brethren to come forth and give testimonies so as to shame the devil. Before you knew it, hands were flying up in the air. The priest quickly selected 5 people: 2 men, 2 women and a kid.
The first man thanked the Lord for helping him secure a contract and the crowd roared in delight at the goodness of the Lord. I saw the priest smile gleefully. Obviously, bigger contract translated to bigger tithe. The second man thanked the Lord for enabling him to have a successful prostatectomy. Then we got stuck with the first woman – a plump lady. She first sang praises to the Almighty for up to 15 minutes, as the congregation joined her in singing the praises. Then she commenced the main gist. According to her, the Lord saved her from a ghastly car accident that claimed a lot of lives. She said it was the grace of God that saved her. She kept shouting that the Lord loved her and we should join her in singing the praises of the Almighty. At that instant, she started singing praises once more.
As she was doing so, I spontaneously turned to my left. It was at that instant that I realized the lady whom I touched the daughter’s cheek, was wearing white garment that had an invisible inscription of a young widow written all over it. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she listened to the fat lady sing praises to the Almighty as she gallivanted beside the pulpit. She sobbed silently; gentle whispers only meant for her guardian angels. I quickly figured out it was possible she lost her husband in similar circumstances as the fat lady explained. How would she feel as she listened to the fat lady talk about the goodness of the Lord? A reminder of her sorrows! She would obviously ask some questions in the silence that engulfed her grief: why is my own case different? Does God love me less than he does the fat lady? And gradually, she would plunge into further despair and dejection. A lonely and shrunken shrub in the orchard of goodwill.
Personally, I believe that testimonies breed envy, resentment and in some cases, self hate. Forget all those talks about testimonies giving other’s hope and belief that their own miracle is on the way. In most cases, it doesn’t have that effect. Oh, shut the phuck up…you sick pathetic son of the devil, some would say. Well, it is what it is.
Sometime last week, I was chilling with Zinny and her friends. It was her birthday. We were treated to a meal of jollof rice, pork meatballs, zobo and chivita. Well, since I was on a low carb diet, I could only have some pieces of the pork meatballs. Then we embarked on a session of gists and very mild gossips, and the issue of Aunty Linda dolling out cash (for young girls that wanted to start businesses) came up. Some of the ladies in our midst hailed her for her kindness while others snitched. The unfortunate snitches said she is using money made from the theft of others’ intellectual property to fund her good works, labeling her a hypocrite. They compared her to Robin Hood, who stole from the rich to help the poor. One of the snitches even said her punishment for all those wrongs she did is her inability to get married yet. Phewww!
In all honesty, there is nothing good that would make humans happy. How many folks have the effrontery to give back to the society from the little they have? How about drug dealers, prostitutes and conmen? What about the celebrities that flaunt their cash and accessories on Instagram all day? The most they could do is take some cartons of Indomie noddles to a Motherless Babies’ Home, take endless photographs and post on social media. But she did her part, posted a long article on her website on the incident that inspired her to give back to the society (which in my opinion is a form of testimony) and people are snitching. Omo…like seriously! A testimony that is meant to encourage your sick ass has now had the negative effect of you finding consolation in the fact that she ain’t married. Issorait!
Some would argue endlessly that testimonies actually inspire other members of the congregation to continually have faith that their own miracles would come by. Blah! Phucking Bollocks! What if these miracles don’t materialize within the timeframe these zealous believers want it to? Would they trust the Almighty? Chances are they won’t.
We should rather live our lives knowing that God MUSTN’T answer all our prayers. After all, he shows mercy on whom he wants to show mercy to. Most believers nowadays tend to give the Almighty a timeframe within which he MUST answer all their prayers. What then happens to submitting to his will? I believe that if we understand this principle by which God works, there would be less disgruntled folks challenging the Almighty and more people that trust in him. Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering would be removed from him [during his last days] because the anguish was too much to bear. Yet, he understood the importance of submitting to the will of the Almighty and promptly asked that God’s will should be done.
But it is a pity that this culture of coming in front of the church to give endless testimonies has the unfortunate effect of producing more disgruntled and angry believers when their own miracles don’t occur. They become vexed and could easily leave the congregation of God for good, in search of quick solutions to their problems at the dibia’s shrine. Therefore, it is pertinent to always submit yourselves to the will of the Almighty and hope for the best, but always be prepared for whatever.
So I left the house of the Lord a few minutes past 11a.m, after the recessional hymn had been sung, knowing that it would take me another 15 months or more before setting foot here again. Capisce!
Now Playing: Fair by Remy Zero
Word to Mutha: This work is STRICTLY the opinion of the writer. No Love Lost; No Love Found…It is what it is!