See

The morning, cool and convenient enough for a park. Buses parked in order of arrangement as passengers grooved in. There I was, patiently sitting in an opened bus void of passengers. Straight towards me came a young girl, couldn’t be more than ten years. Saliva dripping from her mouth, wet hands bagged a polythene bag as she begged. Her voice, faintly blocked and salient and her hands stretched horizontally. 
Perhaps,a sort of childhood illness or an accident or maybe a birth abnormality could be the reason for the saliva dripping mouth and voice quality loss. 

Away from me she went, towards the market lined up with shops. With same pose and similar gestures, she begged as she strolled down hawkers, buyers and passers by. Quite noticeable were her feet. One of it, swollen and partially bent towards the east. Lifting both legs was an obvious difficulty for her. I hoped silently, maybe, just maybe, she would find succour.

Even closed eyes see the needs and struggles of these not so fortunate children, but attitudes towards them becomes a choice we make. 

Every child deserves more than just existing or surviving, but really living. Sadly, comfortable living is unheard of for such kids. A beautiful future is only actualized in their day dreams. Their reality and major concern is a means of surviving daily, securing head spaces at night and food eaten enough to hawk the next day.

You can lend that hand of love. Hospitable hands of faith for their survival. A heart so big to accommodate hawking children and young adults. A heart that sacrifices for the needs of a child who daily dreams of the classroom, but finds himself hawking from sunrise to sunset each day in sweaty rags. Tomatoes and pepper sold in the morning, vegetables and fresh fish takes it’s turn in the afternoon, while banana and groundnut rounds up major sales in the evening. 

Let your heart see the tears and unspoken dreams of these young ones. And may your heart stretch your hand to meet their needs.

  • Michelle Okonicha
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LOVE

Love was why He came, to heal, to deliver, to set the oppressed free.

With depth so deep, the oceans couldn’t compete neither could mountains and hills comprehend, love’s height surpassed them.

Love was why He died

Sickened with faults and guilt,

Dieing in pain because wrath inescapable came to us

A law so right and fair, made by Him

The King that rules the Kings

Yet He bore the curse and shame

To free us all from rage

 

Love is why he came

Dirty sins with gravity

Colours, sizes and weights that differ

Redeeming and restoring

 

Love is why He rose

Not for show of strength or power

But He went through the stress

Leaving Jasper and Emerald for dust

Skipping death after 3 days

 

Love is why He stayed

Never forsaking, never condemning

Love is why He bled

From sins not yet sinned and communion into recover

That in it life and health could be

 

Love is why He left

To give a way for another so pure and meek

To teach and comfort

And strengthen in time of need

 

-Michelle Okonicha

THE FACELESS FACE

Shadows darken, not behind the door
Thickened clouds, I see a creature

Could it be what I think, sweat running down my legs, chill bumps charging my spine. I look Closely, It’s a man. Stuck firmly to the ground like the mahogany, his face an expression of terror, he must be pure evil. His legs widely apart and hands around his waist, like the giants that lived at the beginning of time, he sure looks like Goliath. With red hot eyes piercing through the farthest me, my soul ready to stroll. I knew immediately that I wasn’t getting through that door at least not with him standing at it’s post ready to strike whoever tried.

I drew close, slow but close

My mind, filled with thoughts of ‘what ifs’. What if he hit me badly that I’d never walk again, what if he’s death in person, what if he’s reality, my fate, my life unavoidable. It feels like he’s got an… an enchanted hold on me. I change my mind about going further. Back to where I was, I run as fast as I can just to make sure he never gets to me. I need this, I say to myself. I’ve got to go through that door,I’ve got to snap out of this hellhole.
It’s like chains holding me. Here I am, surrounded by four walls like forever, never been outside it, but here is the door to rescue, widely open to get through. Indecisive of what to do, standing in view is he, staring, ready to shred to pieces. Shred me to pieces. Confused, the devil or the red sea, which do I choose: return to Egypt, live with pain and regrets or be swallowed up by the red sea, which ever, I’d die eventually.
As I ponder, he waits. Suddenly I start to run, but this time towards him with an increased energy, praying for a miracle to defeat ‘the big man’. with my trembling body, I get to the door. Taken aback, I can’t seem to find him. Where had he leaped to. Not even the slightest evidence of his existence and there on the door was boldly written

For GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF FEAR BUT OF POWER AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND.

Fear, that’s what he is. We all encounter him once in a while most especially when we’d want to venture into something big, or start something new or do something different or when we’d want to get out of something or face a situation. He seems to be there but isn’t,and never will be there. He is the ‘big man’ we create in our heads as oppositions to break out . He is the faceless
face that beats a man to the ground. Go through the door, which is Christ Jesus.

~Michelle Okonicha

I KNOW A WOMAN

I know a woman who is beautiful in form, in heart and in works. creative and strong-willed she is

I know a woman who had a business that wouldn’t yield increase. Friends and neighbours advised her to venture into other businesses other than hers.

I know a woman who wouldn’t listen to idle talks nor take discouragement to heart, refusing “can’t do” for an answer.

I know a woman who didn’t stop trying, remained focused and expectant, that latter days would speak for itself.

I know a woman who prayed her way through, had a filter in her ear and achieved with God as chief.

I know a woman who after few years is envied by many, celebrated by the high and low including her friends and neighbours that thought she couldn’t succeed there.

I know a woman who didn’t give up on her dreams, but fought the odds and won in style.

I know a woman who understands the power of God mighty in all and of a god that she is, not letting circumstances stop her.

I know a woman who can rise when she falls, virtuosity personified, and happy that she never let go of God and herself.

I know a woman who can PERSEVERE

-Michelle