In my emotional and mental growth, I’ve reached this sensitive point of keeping an open mind as to what or who people pray to. And always take a stance of conviction, and from a distance, I wonder why people try to mute people on their faith. It is very much okay for people to seek a higher being. Who cares what or who you pray to? It’s equally OK for people not to believe in anything at all. In a broader sense, not believing in anything is actually believing in something – nothing. (I hope you understand!)
I forgot about my worries yesterday. It was a Saturday. And I’d usually spend my Saturday nights in bed, on my phone, and contributing to the social club my antisocial self belongs – social media. Prior to that, I’d make the perfect weekend plans with my friends and ignore their calls and texts with no excuse on the eleventh hour.
But yesterday was different. Adulting was getting to me. Bills were piling up. Relationships falling apart. Financial instability eating me up, and now my head is spinning and my brains still clanged from the loud music, excess alcohol and walking through a cloud of smoke in the club last night. The night felt great while it lasted. I’m weighing how long my lust for Akwasi will last. Akwasi is the only guy I gave my number to, not because I liked him but he was the only guy who respected my space last night and asked for my number like a gentleman. Every other guy in the club was drowned in a sense of entitlement and God forbid that three ladies are by themselves having a great time. I hadn't been out in a very long time but this attitude from guys seemed very much okay with other girls. It was okay because they don't get to be called bitches for not wanting to dance with a stranger. Ok! So yeah…Akwasi…I wasn’t expecting him to call but here, he called me before my alarm went off and it’s Sunday. Let’s talk about Akwasi later. Later when I don’t feel the need for purity. It’s a Sunday morning.
I jumped out of bed, staggering towards the bathroom, I could still feel the influence of all I took in last night. I spent less time in the shower than usual. I just had to get to church and purge out everything. I was ready for the word of the day, more importantly, the prophesy. I needed someone to tell me what is going to happen in my life, even if it’s a lie. I just needed that space that would make me forget about my immediate surroundings and every responsibility I am ignoring. I deserve better this 9 to 5 life. I want to be my own boss. I need answers to my dreams. I need to start my own fashion line which is bigger than stitching African print on t-shirts and posting them on my Instagram, accompanied with hashtag BuyMadeInGhana with an outrageous price to milk my followers. Tithe must be paid. The bible tells me so.
My bible had gathered dust, my soul had gathered more and I needed to dust myself off this insanity. This was going to be my first time in church this year. I remember growing up, when I didn’t have a say in what I did with my Sundays. It was either church or…well, just church. I miss the peace it came with. The kind that made everything seem possible for three hours or more when it was a joint service. It always made me feel liberated. I believed in the sermon, the grace, the parables, the beatitudes and they worked. Or I thought they did.
Lately, the church feels like a hostage situation, with sermons going on for hours and dry jokes you have to laugh to because it’s coming from the
God of Man Man of God. I hope today will be different. I sat at the back row, the corner pew leaning against the wall as I tried to resonate with the song, watching that fat woman hit every single damn key on the piano effortlessly serenading the auditorium with her angelic voice. Her eyes closed tightly as pain rippled through her head giving off tears down her cheeks. It could only mean one thing: her husband was leaving her. Her story is like that of the woman Jesus met by the well. She's had so many men, and they leave as easily as they come. But she sang like she believed in miracles. I rolled my eyes so hard they hurt. This auditorium was heavy with sins, it’s pillars being dragged down by depression, the walls marred with pain and the air filled with hopelessness and quite a tangible amount of anger. She harmonized with the backup singers and it spelt out perfection. Something my life could never be.
I felt that peace again after over fifteen years. I felt the spirit moving through me, my knees were weak, I felt cold within, with an assurance that everything was possib… ‘Hallelujah’, the grey-haired man in the middle pew shouted, rising to his feet. I’m the only one feeling the spirit. He raised his hands speaking in tongues, waving his hands as if to wipe off all his sins in the past sixty-three or seventy years. He clearly has lived before the head pastor was born. And all he wants now is salvation, a place for his soul in the next life. He will give anything to avoid eternal damnation. I saw him respond to the altar call twenty four minutes ago. I know how he’s feeling now, but I’m here to tell you how I am feeling. Sick!
Don’t forget this is not my regular Sunday. But let’s talk about the church now if we already are in here…
Look at that auntie there, the one with the blue scarf…not her, yes! The one without the earrings, she always falls when the pastor stretches his hands towards the congregation, I heard. She doesn’t speak to any of the tenants in her house, and fought with the treble part leader of the choir last Saturday over a plastic chair at a church member’s funeral. Don’t ask me how I know all these. How am I not supposed to when Florence is my best friend? She knows secrets that will shake the foundations of the church. Like who the real father of the Pastor’s second son is. The pastor’s wife has explanations to do but….IS MY MIC STILL ON?
I gave out my offertory according to the proportion of my faith and pondered if all this was worth it. Why not give out my tithe directly to the beggar who knocked on my car? Why not pay school fees for my neighbor’s son who has been home for three weeks? I didn't need answers to these because I was constantly reminded; '…obedience is better than sacrifice' throughout Sunday School. Maybe the church is the right place for me to get in touch with reality. For veils to fall off my eyes. It isn’t just a building. It is a way to seek asylum for my soul, and no matter how I was feeling yesterday, today makes it seem like nothing happened.
As I lay in bed this evening, savoring every single peace the church came with, I dreaded Monday. This satisfaction will wear off, reality will set in and I’ll curse and cuss every single second that ticks towards the morning of Monday with my eyes fixed on the clock counting down to Monday. Sundays are for spirituality, for faith, for hope, for love. And I want to weep as the depression of Monday lures it’s head through the night but I won’t…I’m not crying on Sundays!
Let’s talk tomorrow.
@JoewackleGh X @friday_boi