Broken Mirror

I’m the supposed image of this cool King
Whose words are life eternal

Whose actions are as perfect as the cry of a newborn
Whose plans the whole universe reflect like the moon
Bringing us the afterthoughts of the sun at night.

I’m the supposed life He gave
The assurance that makes men brave
This eyes that look beyond the broken walls of your heart
The perfect stitchery that makes you new

But I fall short like shards of a mirror
I could barely survive the heat of this oven called living
Yes! I crafted my definition of living
Wrapped my gaze on the things I could see outside him
And I became a dead story waiting for his resurrection.

Symolean
(c) 2021

BOOK REVIEW: PICTURE PERFECT – An Artwork of Grace

Author: Ijeoma Obi
Pages: 69
Reviewer: Favour Omeje, Ajegbomogun Olufunke

Have you ever had one of such days when it seems the entire universe was working against you, when the weight of challenges come crumbling down so heavily on you that you ask yourself this question inwardly “Why me?” well I have and I have no doubt you have too. On such days, when the journey of our lives gets so tough, we often wonder if God has abandoned us.

A few months ago, I publicly stripped myself of all items of clothing for the first time and went about in the glory of my plain nakedness. Guess what happened to me next; The author, Ijeoma Obi contacted me! She offered me a read of what she called her vulnerable book.

How does the tough get going when the going gets tough? The author in this book, illuminates us on this by sharing her life experience to help us understand how to view such moments of our lives that we are not so proud of as Christians. She gives us a new perspective to how failures, limitations, challenges help shape our purpose. From her story, we also see the indispensable role that grace plays in helping us become who God has created us to be. This book gives us an explanation for all the big stories of transformation chronicled in the scriptures: GRACE.

Have you experienced some failures that has cast so much gloom on your perception of the goodness of God? What limitations do you perceive you have that may hinder God’s promises you to have received via his word? This book gives us a new perspective of our failures and disappointments helping us shift our gaze away from ourselves to God.

Do your care too much? Or do you want to be happy? Then I think you might want to join the bandwagon of people who know how to be naked and unashamed; tell your story just the way it is. Ijeoma Obi says “when we don’t tell our story completely; the good, the bad, or even the ugly, we deny all that grace has accomplished in our lives”.

She offers in her debut the need to be grateful to God while we embrace our vulnerabilities and human limitations. ‘Vulnerable’ is the new confident, I must say. Shameless nakedness is picture perfect. Go for it!

I recommend it to everyone who is tired of depending on his human abilities and needs something more divine. The length of the book allows for a quick read.

You can download a free copy of Picture Perfect here.

Letter to Ola #5

Dear Olaedo,

On Prayers

I wish I could write ‘PRAYER WORKS‘, drop the mic and hope you would understand enough to appreciate the depth of that truth.

Perhaps, after I tell you the story of my friend, Onuegbu, you would understand better. To protect his identity, we’ll call him Onuegbu. He and I became friends in 2013. He calls me his best friend although I don’t feel worthy of the title. His life is devoid of true friendship which perhaps is why he considers the little I offer the best he has ever had.

Onuegbu has a beautiful heart and sees only the good in people. I have never heard him talk ill of anybody even when people constantly leave his back fiercely itching after he has done a thorough job scratching their backs.

Nobody wants to drown with a drowning person.

Life is not as fair to him as he is to life’s benefactors.

Onuegbu has sickle cell anemia and ordinarily, he may have been able to cope comfortably if well treated but his financial state is so unstable, he could barely eat, let alone afford medications.

His health got so bad that his family abandoned him and he was left alone to cater for himself. Being his friend has its dark side. He always needs company. It helps in distracting him from the pains of stiffening bones and excruciating pains.

I think talking about his problems is a form of therapy for him so even when my own life is crashing, I would stay on the phone for hours and listen to him complain.

The difficulty in feeding is the most heartbreaking part. He would call and ask for as little as a transfer of N500 to eat as he had not eaten all day.
I prayed first in 2015 for his healing. Oh well, it continued. I prayed again in August 2020. This time, I fasted for 3 days.

He wanted to give up. He was ready to commit suicide. His hustle has been fruitless. The lack of capital wasn’t helping matters. Each time he got a little money to put into something, his health would knock him down and he would use the money to pay hospital bills.

He was in so much anguish and I couldn’t take it. I prayed and fasted for a way; for something to work for him. I kept asking how he felt from time to time as I prayed but nothing changed. (Ha. I was tired oh. What’s all this nah?)

It can be frustrating when you can do little to alleviate such pain from a friend’s life. The darkness is contagious. (You don’t contact the sickle cell silly. You just drown in misery alongside him).

This was us until we got a glimmer of hope yesterday.

I replied to a tweet by Ozzy Etomi on Twitter yesterday and talked about my anemic friend and his ordeal in a brief yet explicit manner.

It got a lot of reactions and comments from people sending their love and light, and other anemic people saying that sickle cell anemia can easily be lived with but with medications and good food which involves money.
One particular man replied and asked me to give his international number to my friend to contact him as he would like to be of assistance!
Glory!

We’ll be calling our man ‘Godsent’.
Onuegbu chatted up Godsent on WhatsApp and after a long talk, GodSent said he will set up a business fully for him.

Did I cry? Yes. The pieces of my thankfulness were all over the place and I wished I could mould it into a clay medal of thankfulness and present it wholly to God.

Instead, I sang ‘Great is thy faithfulness’, then muttered words in tongues, then exploded in laughter after which crying followed.
The crying and laughter started happening so concurrently that I couldn’t differentiate my laughter from my cry.

Long pause.

Tongues again.

Plain words of gratitude.

Blast of memories.

Feelings of inadequacy because I could not mould a perfect ‘thank you’.

I curled up and breathed softly knowing that even my breath was drawing invisible strokes of thankfulness in the air.

Your Mama


ChyD

©2020

Enough

“Madam, would you like anything else?”

No.

I’ve. Had. Enough.

I’m done with this junk you serve on a platter
This sorry excuse of a diet
That I swallow,
To convince myself that I’m eating
A 5 second prayer, one verse of scripture
To convince myself that I’m growing…
I’m sick of it!

I’m tired of your new recipes
Food that feeds on me.
Superficial Christianity with a dash of religion,
Truth served rare with ego stuffings.
Glamorized gospels that are far from good news
leaving me bloated, constipated
full of myself and void of Him.

And what’s with the drinks?
Sweet to taste, but leaves an unquenchable thirst
words promising but empty
incapable of answering life’s burning questions
Don’t you serve Living Water??

And why is your food so costly?
your charges are outrageous!
My relationship with God, My peace, My joy, My destiny is too high a price.

So I’m sorry Mediocre Christianity
I won’t be having any more.
I’ve. Had. Enough.

Damaris Akhigbe
(C) 2020

Letter to Ola #4

Dear Olaedo,

On Friends with Benefits

When my therapist said the life of every relationship is dependent on benefits, I thought it was a selfish thing to say but a critical examination showed it was true.

Ever wondered why your best friend is your best friend? My guess is that she understands you. This is because you have the same values, so talking to her is easy and soothing. Your conversations are mostly warm because when you discuss fundamental issues, you vibe on the same frequency.

When you learn something new, you can’t wait to share it with her. You’ll literally blow up with information hoarding if you don’t share it.

One of the hardest things you’ll ever face is when your best friend is going through pain. Any kind of pain. It hurts like it’s a personal pain because it is.

On occasion, where distance reduces the frequency of your communication, the heart still knows where its loyalty lies and every reunion feels like no time has been lost.

Healthy friendships are beautiful and are the most important institution humanity has ever seen. Marriages and family relationships are shams without friendship.

I lost my dad at a period when I didn’t care about the size of a mustard seed. The mustard seed that could challenge me had not mustered any courage. I prayed for his healing and believed but he still died. I had a journal where I called God all sorts of vile names. My favourite was ‘scam’. I considered him my best friend and he did me dirty. I still believed in his sovereignty but the relationship seemed like a master-slave relationship since he could just let my dad die just like that. Ah!

I think those prayers ‘we’ made far back in the days to not be able to breathe nor live without Christ came through for me because I could only last three months of not speaking with God before I ran back to ask him why he did me like that. That was not how friends acted. He showed me things happening around me I took for granted and we made up.

At another time, I had issues with my best friend and we both knew we were suffering but couldn’t resolve our issues and I prayed fervently that God should heal our friendship. It seemed like a flippant thing to pray about but I knew that no matter how flippant it was, if it affected me, then it was important enough to God. She came to me and we talked. The mountain of a problem we had became a levelled ground and I gave her a letter I wrote to her at the exact time she came to meet me.

Sometime later, I had an issue that stole my peace and I tried all I could to be of sound mind including going for therapy but my efforts were futile until I turned to God. Yes! You guessed right!

I got my peace back.

Most times, we get it all wrong. My friend would say you should test and see if your Lord is good. Don’t just hear it and carry it about when you can’t boast strongly without a doubt of one thing he has done for you aside from the cross you’ve heard of and believed or things you can cross off as coincidences.

What reinforces the cross are your experiences today. Maybe that’s why you struggle with consistency in ministry. You may be doing it because it’s a command and I don’t think that is a sustainable reason.

I became so dependent on God that I wanted to give back too; so I started asking him how I can go about doing things for him also. I wanted to reciprocate.

What we think we owe God, what He requires of us and what we think our blessings are dependent on are wrong notions we’ll address in the future.

For today, what benefits have you gotten from your relationship with God?

Do you have a relationship at all? Life is easier with such a beneficial friendship.


With Love,
Mama

ChyD

©2020