Culture Shock In Christianity

Science says freezing hot food causes freezer shock
But since we don’t do Lukewarm
Luke warms the food back to back
Or freezes it till hell freezes over.
Let the freezer shock if it must.

The day I told my mum I won’t go to hell
Even if I die fornicating
She shouted ‘chi’m egbu’m ooo’.
‘It’s funny-Kate how the devil is fighting for your life’.
Old people think they are wiser
But I have read my history books back and forth
And the devil lost the battle a long time ago.

I tell people not to bother using a mechanic
That I have a transformer that can transform
Their wretched Volkswagen to a Ferrari
But they are afraid to hug transformer
Even if it will only zap them to eternal life.

They say trade by barter is our culture
And the church continues trading her Joy.
Even after Christ said it’s not for sale,
They still couldn’t take despite their starvation.
Instead they borrow wears they can’t afford
Snapping and posting with two fingers up
Captioned ‘for the culture’

Chy’D
© 2020

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

Letter to Ola #3

Dear Olaedo,


Your greatest fear

What’s your greatest fear in life? If you are anything like me, it would be a failure.

Failure to measure up. Failure to prove to everyone that you are not basic. Failure to achieve everything you’ve set out to achieve. Failure to pepper dem. Or just failure!

Living with this fear is maddening. It is stressful! You keep trying to measure up for all the wrong reasons.

Fear is no respecter of any reason so even if it is for the right reasons, it would still mess you up.

I used to think the fear of failure is a good thing and that it would make you stay on your toes and put more effort into whatever it is you are doing to succeed.

It does the opposite.

When you have pushed all the boundaries you can push and things don’t go your way, you hate yourself. You slowly go into depression. You think you are incomplete.

Putting too much value on things that can perish is not a good idea because as much as you think you have what it takes to get and keep what you want, life still happens.
People still die!

Otedola, Dangote, and few other successful Nigerians you know weren’t the only people with access to capital, wit, hard work, and smart work in their generation.

Time and chance happen to everyone.

This is not to say you should not aspire to be great! I am a hustler! So hustle ooooooo so that…(complete it with what is likely to happen to you. Lol.)

At the end of the day we all die; the rich and the poor, the young and the old.

I don’t know my grandfather. A couple of his direct children are dead. In a few years, every other person who knew him would be dead. Would it be insensitive to say I don’t even care about him?

I hope he enjoyed the short life he lived. I hope he didn’t try to please everybody. I hope he did only what he could and what he was ready for at every point in his life.

I have the same hopes for you.

Relax!

With Love,
Mama

-ChyD
© 2020

Letter to Ola #2

Dear Olaedo,


On wokeness


As you know, there are two sets of people on social media: the woke and the unwoke. I think you consider yourself woke which is beautiful. Examining cultural beliefs and societal inclinations is the only way to discover the truth and live by it. Considering that the world is constantly changing, being current with trends may even determine your relevance in the society.


The unwoke will likely want to shame you with empty words that suggest you are copying westerners and you should stay true to your roots. Imagine if Jesus stuck to culture, obliged the Pharisees and denied grace for works. However, you shouldn’t follow trends. The trend already set for us is forever relevant. Apply it and see.


I got carried away some time ago with worldly philosophies. When I found myself in difficult situations, I thought about what someone I respect on social media would do, not what Christ would do. When those philosophies drowned me instead of saving me, I ran back to Christ.


I prayed for a thorough purge; that the worldly wisdom I had unconsciously imbibed and the old, false knowledge I grew up with be wiped from my heart. I asked for light to flood my heart and make me new.


I don’t think you must have an opinion on every trending issue. If you do, then you must have enough information on the issue to back up your opinion. Be empathetic enough to consider perspectives. There are things you don’t understand. Say little or nothing on those things.


The only time you should speak boldly is when it concerns the gospel and when the matter borders on love.


Love can never go wrong.


The baseline solution to all trending matters from politics and economy to racism and feminism is love.


Self-awareness makes you more empathetic and less judgmental so don’t use it as an excuse to be self-absorbed. There is a thin line between the two. Pray for discernment to act accordingly.


Whether you use labels or not is not important. It’s your choice. For instance, you don’t hate being addressed as a Christian because some Christians believe it’s works that save while others believe it’s a mix of works and grace. I feel ownership of identity is important whether there is a label or not.


However, you are first a Christian, every other thing is secondary.


You’ll make mistakes and that’s fine. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Sometimes your understanding is limited by experience, exposure, and just the mere fact that you are human. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.

With Love,
Mama

– ChyD
© 2020

Letter to Ola #1

Dear Olaedo,


In my previous letter, I asked you to evolve and leave behind things you have outgrown. Let me tell you about what I outgrew recently.


I constantly try to understand myself, why I do the things I do, and why I think the way I do which most times are different from how others think.


I read a story of a self-sufficient man. He wants just enough to feed himself and his family. He doesn’t care about being a global figure or being on the Forbes list. I guess we can call him a family enthusiast. He would rather spend every day at home with his family than leave them to make money he doesn’t need.


I’m not that man. I am a few years away from thirty and it worries me that I am not anything near the Forbes’ under 30 CEOs or any recognition close to that. I try though. I search for opportunities and utilize the ones I can. Ola, I want to make money, travel, live the good life, and above all, make an impact. I felt money is necessary for the kind of impact I want to make. But apart from the cliche of living an impactful life, I just like shiny things and luxury.


The way life ought to be was pretty obvious to me. I would get married of course. I love Love. I would have perhaps a kid or two because let us be honest, taking care of kids require time. My husband and I would build an empire because we are goal-driven and ambitious. And we’ll live happily ever after.


It turns out life doesn’t always go as planned and I was wrong about what life is all about. As you would expect, I am financially intelligent. I am shrewd in spending and I’ve learnt investment strategies so when I lost millions to a bad investment just a year after my NYSC, I had to start all over again. It was hard but not disastrous. I still had a job.


The disastrous event was my parents’ divorce. They loved each other or they seemed to be in love. After fifteen years of marriage, they split. It tore my idea of a perfect life. I was depressed and confused. I hated the feeling. It was easy to decide to see a shrink because I am a logical person and it seemed psychotherapy was what was going to fix my mind.


I read a post on Twitter that said ‘The Holy Spirit is my therapist’ and I scoffed. ‘As if I don’t pray too. The occupation is there for a reason’. Therapy is expensive but I hated feeling shitty so it passed for a good investment for my mental health. After one month of therapy, nothing changed. My therapist used phrases like ‘you religious people would say…’ and I had to sift his advice to see which isn’t deviant from my Christain faith.


I intentionally didn’t seek a Christain shrink because I didn’t want a religious person. The effect of a religious shrink is as bad as a secular shrink. One seeks to put you in bondage while the other seeks to make you use your freedom as an occasion to satisfy the flesh.


My friend said I hadn’t healed because I hadn’t prayed enough and I wondered what amount of prayer would be ‘enough’. I had prayed. I like a good challenge so I decided to pray ‘enough’. I never understood fasting as a means of receiving from God because I felt if God is my father, I could ask with faith and receive.

However, I decided to turn up fully gauged for this praying ‘enough’.


I started fasting without a stop date in mind. I planned to stop was whenever I got healed. I had exhausted all my options and the only option left was praying ‘enough’. I had nothing to live for and I wished I could die. I prayed earnestly with all that was in me. I lost weight but that wasn’t important. I told God I would go for months and years if need be and I meant it.


I surrendered everything because I was really tired of handling the affairs of my life. Life lost its taste. In the place of prayer, I learnt that I could ask God for direction and trust him to direct my path. Nothing in the world is constant. You could have a perfect husband, house, kids, money, and lose it all in a heartbeat.


A man’s heart is where his treasure is.’

I saw myself in the rich man that got angry and turned away when Jesus told him the way for him to enter the kingdom of God was by giving away all he had. I placed the essence of life on physical things – marriage, money, fame.


Ola, ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ is not a cliche. He healed my mind and gave me a new purpose that I thought I always had. The same purpose.


By the time I lost my job to the COVID-19 retrenchment, I was already fortified with blind trust in God. I have handed over the wheels of my life to him. It turns out I don’t quite enjoy driving so I am occupying the back seat now.


The peace I have is beautiful and it beats any luxury I could ever have.


Don’t misunderstand me. I still like luxury and the good life. I still seek and grab opportunities. I am still working to be on the Forbes list but without any of these things, I will be as good as I am with them. Like Paul, all things that were gain to me I counted loss for Christ.


Christ is the only constant in a world where every other thing is inconsistent.

The assurance of salvation I have in Christ is all that matters; which is why I wonder how people who believe they can lose their salvation cope.

The struggle they must be going through!!! We should teach them, Ola.

With Love,
Mama.

-ChyD
© 2020

YOUR UNCOUTH TONGUE AND NARCISSIST MIND

I spoke at length with Nelson on the phone and listened to him narrate some things he was going through. At the end of our conversation, he asked if I had any advice for him and I said no.

I take your pieces of advice to heart you know. I remember when you said my sandals were ugly and that I had a bad sense of fashion. I never wore sandals again till date and I gave away those set of clothes you complained about. My mother was angry because those clothes were designers and she bought them from the United States.”


Father Lord,” I screamed, “when did I say that one? Please limit this fabrication“.


The day we went from Shoprite to Celebrities to see Ezinne.”

A flashback came to my mind and I vaguely remembered saying that.


To be sure, I asked again, “did you say you stopped wearing sandals on account of what I said seven years ago?” He nodded.


I slouched and heaved quietly while I entertained fifty shades of conflicting emotions. I apologized for saying what I said and the effect it had on him. He said I shouldn’t apologize because it made him mindful of what he now wears but I saw it damaged him rather than helped. It wasn’t about finding out the worth of the clothes but the insensitivity behind my actions of condemning his choice of clothes was mean.


In an angry but casual feat, my close friend, Mark, said I was self-centered two days after a conversation we had and he later ghosted me. I asked our mutual friend, Cynthia, and she revealed she used to see me as self-centered but stopped focusing on that because it was ultimately who I was.

I had an amplified emotional breakdown but most importantly, I did a self-reflection to see what about me was selfish. I didn’t see a thing but I believed them because my two best friends could not be wrong about me.

On a quest to be a better person, I told my mentor who made me narrate the situation that warranted such accusation. When I did, he said there are always two reasons for criticism; one is to put a person down and the other is for correction. He said in the context of my situation, it was to put me down and it tells more about the person than of me. I asked Cynthia to tell me specific acts that portrayed my selfishness and she couldn’t recall any.

The thing is, that an aura of not letting people walk all over you can easily be perceived as different negative things including selfishness. Sometimes, people call people they can manipulate, “kind and nice”.
We are too eager to speak without reservation and too ready to accept condemnation from others without reflection.


I should have asked Nelson, “don’t you think sandals go better with shorts or striped shirts better with plain trousers?”.

As a matter of fact, I should have resisted the urge to “shalaye” because of my snobby fashion sense and I may have been wrong. What do I know about fashion?

Mark should have said he felt I didn’t care about his welfare when we spoke a few days ago. He should have told me he was sick and I didn’t care to check up on him. Cynthia should have said, “I once thought you were selfish but I don’t think so anymore; perhaps, it’s because I understand you better now or I got close enough to know you better“.


Whose report do you believe?

ChyD
(C) 2020

THE GAY MISCONCEPTION

It is routine for the ‘boys’ to take turns in getting the bill after each hang out. Today, Ugonna got the bill and after the jabs and hearty humorous perks, it was time to go home. As they got up to leave, Arinze with a smirk placed his hands on Ugonna’s shoulder and said, ‘Thanks dear’.
‘God punish you there’, said Ugonna violently shrugging off his hand.
The rest of the group exploded in hysterical laughter including Arinze. Ugonna joined in almost immediately. There was a silent understanding of what just transpired.

Something similar happened some time ago at work. My colleague and I noticed two guys holding hands. We fixated on their hands waiting for them to unlock their grip in time for us to conclude it is usual but they didn’t indulge our expectation.

‘I thought guys don’t hold hands for too long’, my colleague whispered. ‘Perhaps they are gay’. On another thought, I added ‘it may
be a normal thing’
. We went about our business and forgot all about it.

And yes! I should mention a particular encounter that I am still mad at myself over. Women hardly give me lifts (no, that’s not what I am mad at). I may be wrong to presume men give women lifts more than women give women lifts but that has been my experience. On this particular day however, a pretty lady gave me a lift. She seemed a bit older so when she asked if I was going her way, I said ‘yes ma’ and hopped in. ‘Please use your seat belt’. I fastened it instantly. ‘Are we supposed to wear these leg chains on the right or left leg? I noticed you are wearing yours on the right. I usually wear mine on the left leg’. I then relaxed, I giggled and told
her I didn’t think there are any rules to how it should be worn. We got into discussion on people’s perception of it as a trend and her perception of people’s perception. We talked about self-consciousness. By the time I got to where I was going to drop, I had already decided I like her and wanted her to be my friend. What do I do? Collect her number? I thought that may be
weird or overstepping of boundaries. I knew I should collect it but before I made up my mind on how to go about it, I had already said ‘thank you and have a nice day’. I watched her drive away wishing she asked for my number and only then realising we didn’t even ask each other’s names.

I wonder if this way of thought we have is as a result of societal conditioning. I bet it would have been easier to ask a guy for his number. Ugonna would have thought it cool if a girl called him ‘dear’ with a hand on his shoulder and there shouldn’t be anything gay about two guys holding hands or lingering in a hug. At a point in life however, there is usually a self-awakening for the open minded when he decides to live in accordance to his convictions irrespective of how unconventional it is.

The beauty of our individuality is masked by societal construct. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the damaging effects of living in accordance to societal expectation. Today let’s focus on not letting its rigidity infiltrate our minds with perversion.

– ChyD
(c) 2020

DEAR UNLOVED: A BOOK OF POEMS

Your emotional and mental well being is unlikely to be enhanced by common chance.

Since life’s worries and instabilities has not driven you mad yet, this is not the kind that goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Christ-A-Poet brings you the knowledge and understanding you need to address mental dysfunctions, depression, suicidal tendencies, grief and life challenges fully equipped.

Download the book here

Do not perish because of lack of knowledge when you can easily click and download ‘Dear Unloved’, a book of poems written by talented writers just for your sanity.

We will appreciate your comments and reviews.
Cheers!

– ChyD
For the Team