The sun was calm with a general sense of stillness. The night was far spent, yet it shone so weakly like a malnourished child maltreated by a wicked stepmother. As Destiny(a cousin) and I strode along the way home from market, I couldn’t help the smile that came to my lips and I spread the whole feeling of excitement over me as I fed my eyes with the city paranoiac view. “Its good to be here in Enugu again”, I muttered.
The road became very busy,drivers of long trucks with high shrill voices were carried away singing as much as they wanted while veins stood on end on traders necks their foreheads glistening with sweat, a typical day at the market. My head began to dwindle in a terrain of thought, thought of the past, present and fears of the future. It had been a really difficult year back in Lagos and I was really exhausted. The thought left me feeling down with a persistent pain apparently rising and falling with the beat of my heart.
Some of my old friends giggled on sighting me, their faces spread out in an idiotic excitement. I responded with a placid grin obviously not in the mood. The entrance of the market gate widened and took a definite bend to the right, I began following it and then I caught the pathetic sight of a haggard-looking beggar with one terribly twisted leg, my heart went out for him. However, he got me nervous because he was staring intently at me. Yet what left me animated was the radiating smile he was wearing. Strange! I had never come across a smiling beggar.
As I made to walk away, I heard a voice from the inside of me to give him the fruit I had bought earlier from the market. I flinched in alarm,clutching possessively at my fruit
“Dear God these are strawberries, he needs it not, but, of course, he needs money and I have none” I replied in defense yet bewildered.
I kicked in a sudden haste some old coins lying on the ground, quickening my pace, half running and half walking when I felt strong force hold me from moving any further.I stood perplexed and on impulse, Destiny turned around only to find me rooted to a spot.
“I need to give this to a beggar I saw”,I said in a hush tone in reply to a puzzled look on her face.
“Alright I’m waiting”, she replied.
I ran all the way stopping in front of him breathlessly. I became tongue-tied, I stood quietly watching him, wondering whether there was any moisture left in my mouth for framing words and all the while he kept smiling at me.
“Sir,I came because I want to give you this” I said finally, handing over the bag containing the fruit.
“Oh dear” he muttered after a little hesitation.
He gave way to a huge smile as he collected them with outstretched bony rough hands.
“I would certainly give it to my children”, he said.
What! I screamed in my head almost at the brink of tears, did he say ‘children’ I stole a quick glance at him, his state was far beyond pity, he looked real wretched. I felt like hugging him to assure him that all will be well and also felt like saying many nicer words to him but every of these intents failed to yield any action. I only managed a thin smile as I walked slowly and steadily away.
I knew God was trying to teach me a lesson, I had always had this flaw growing up, every challenge left me dispirited, sullen in bitterness and dejected but the above experience began to change my mindset. Recalling the beggar’s happy countenance, despite all the unpleasant going ons in his life, I felt real bad that I had been a coward. It is scriptural to be afflicted but unscriptural to be defeated. Defeated in the sense that you let challenges steal your joy. Every joyful believer, is a carrier of GOD’S presence. You are not oppressed till you are first depressed. Many of us,mistake our condition as our portion.If the joy of the Lord is our strength, what happens when our joy is sapped? I have learnt not to muse over any problem or be ashamed of it. I simply cast all my cares upon Christ because he cares for me.
I rather, joyfully be a light in the darkest path of others as constructing the lives of the battered humanity becomes my vision. Don’t get me wrong, I identify my problems and put up a fight,I stay in charge,they are joy breakers, so I put them at break with a triumph laughter. Yes! let the devil grow mad if he deems fit.
Conclusively the experience ended with this scripture.
Matthew 6:33 “but first seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all this things shall be added unto you”