Either/or

There is pain
that reminds us
that numbs us

There are tears
that trace our laughter
that echo our heart’s shatter

There is change
that gives our faith freedom
that bankrupts our teething hope

There are lines
For a life you can have in Jesus
or a life on your own terms

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

God’s Waiting Room

I hope I am able to achieve this
On the invisible canvas of your mind
All I have got are word paints and brushes
To paint a picture that speaks to you to
Stay in God’s waiting room

Ever seen a pregnant woman?
I guess you have
What do you think or know goes on in there?
A lot, right?
Growth, formation, connection
And I know you know it takes 9 months to get a birth

Ever compared that to your life?
You are like a pregnant woman
With the vision and the dreams you have in you
But just like the pregnant woman, you have got to wait
Wait to grow, wait to form, wait to connect the more, wait to learn, wait to unlearn and relearn

Here’s the important thing when waiting, your attitude.
God’s more interested in what you do while waiting than the waiting itself.
You are a being in time while God’s beyond time
You know now, you see now, but God knows the after now and he sees the after now
So when God gives you a word, a dream, a vision
You had better relax in his word remember he said, “wait though it tarries”

Elijah could as well have given up before the seventh time to see the cloud as tiny as the hand of a man
But he waited for his cloud of confirmation
So when it looks like you are tired of waiting, look out for the clouds of confirmation
Right therein his word because he is not a man that should lie.
So wait for it, for the vision, dream , word whatever you have been told cos it must come to pass.
And know that you are not the only one waiting, there a lot others,
God is preparing everything for you and you for everything
So grab a seat and wait in his waiting room until your name is called.

Phyl
©2020

Book Review: Beauty from Ashes

Author: Hope Stansberry
Pages: 280
Reviewer: Beatrice Ani and Godswill Ezeonyeka

Advanced Review Copy (or ARC) on Reedsy Discovery: https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/beauty-from-ashes-hope-stansberry

Trauma has a way of lingering. Letting go of the pain is what we want most but, in most cases, it is this need that makes us stow away our pain and give it life for longer than is required. Hope Stansberry presents us with an intense story of triumph over trauma and its bewildering effects. It is a story of love and discovery that surely would give the reader the much-needed healing and entertainment they might be in search for.

Just like every other romance novel, this Christian romance fiction will make one lose track of time until the last page is read. It’s an absolute page-turner. Stansberry captures a vivid picture of love in the very familiar and endearing pursuit of Cameron for Natalie’s friendship. Friendship blossoms into romance but in the most unlikely way and this journey delivers to the reader a relatable story of redemption, trust, faith, recovery and how our suffering produces perseverance.

This is not the ideal sappy romance fictions, but it does tug at one’s heart. However, for those looking for a story that portrays the bitter and beautiful parts of healing, this is an ideal read. The pain that Natalie and Cameron have had to deal with and will go through is very well portrayed and this makes their characters stand as perfect mirrors for anyone going through pain. Christian readers will find the focus on how God heals to be very familiar and endearing however, non-Christians can also relate to how we all react to love regardless of what we believe. Hence, I would definitely regard this book as a good read for anyone that is willing to. It is not preachy and definitely gets the message across. My only critique would be the length, possibly Stansberry may want to give us a sequel?

Beauty From Ashes is a book I will recommend for any person above childhood (however that is calculated these days) because it speaks to one of our primal needs which is healing from pain. It is a beautiful balance between reality, faith and romance. As earlier said it is quite a quick read but it is sure to leave you reeling and loving every moment, every word and wanting more.

Once Again

Once again , here I stand
Covering my face with a face pad
The world shouldn’t see these scars,
It’s petrifying to behold,
It reveals a story untold,
Lost hope, lost happiness and dreams torn apart.

Once again, here I stand
With my saviour hand in hand,
Saved, healed and restored.
Once battered but now full of joy
Forgetting the past story because the son has given a glory that lasts.

Princess Pirinye
© 2020

The Fig-Leaves Issue

And as they ate it, suddenly they became aware of their nakedness, and were embarrassed. So they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.

Genesis 3:7 (TLB)

As a creative, I get to “over-think” many otherwise simple things. Maybe it is a curse in another’s eyes but in mine, it is clarity. The innate ability to really analyse events that are as heavy as world crises to lightweight issues like the response I wish I said two minutes earlier, has really helped me see what is underplaying our everyday experiences. It doesn’t make me right, I guess it just helps me to build stronger structures around what it is I believe.

As I grow older and experience more interesting versions of reality and life as we know it, I am ever more convinced on the authority and the authenticity of the bible and its teachings. One that really stands out for me it the way we tend to try and fail constantly at providing solutions to seemingly every problem that has ever occurred to the human race. Bogus claim? Yeah, I get it sounds as such but this is a conclusion I have come to through almost every thought excavation I have set my mind on. You can try it too. Ask “why” enough times and you will almost surely find yourself at a helpless human with a problem and solutions that only create more problems. This is so perfectly represented in the verse quoted initially but before we talk about that, let’s bite a little deeper into this.

Psychoanalysts, philosophers and sociologists have come to a dismal conclusion that all philosophy and modes of agreed upon human existence has its flaws. The highest medical research has provided us with solutions that are not 100% and drugs with side-effects. Engineers agree that every solution provided comes with a new problem in its suitcase. So we hold in high esteem the concept of maintenance and constant innovation. I would argue that this is growth in a sense but if you dig deeper you find, this is all a melting pot of ideas by humans trying to save themselves and failing terribly at it. Socialism and communism failed, capitalism exposed our wickedness and democracy is a hot mess. We are killing the planet by “developing” it and humanity grows dumber by consuming more and more information.

Obviously we are running ourselves to the ground and that is not a surprise at least for us Christians. The bible does prophecy it. Basically the day man thought he could decide between right and wrong, he doomed himself to death. So we are all just living a self-fulfilling prophecy but God provided us an out and that is what that verse in Genesis serves as a prequel to.

Adam and Eve had just made the dumbest decision ever (much like we do daily) and the implications of their choice showed up almost immediately. A problem. With the ability to decide for themselves, they did what we all do and tried to solve the problem. The hilarious thing is with all the “knowledge” to be like God according to what the devil promised, these two humans could figure out that there was a problem of nakedness but “they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.” Now in retrospect, that was really dumb because even though you are not naked, you are not covered either. Only one winter breeze would show that “fig leaves” are not a sustainable clothing option. Funny thing is, Adam knew this because after adorning original “eden brand” fig leaves, he still had to hide behind bushes and here was his reason…

That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.  The Lord God called to Adam, “Why are you hiding?” And Adam replied, “I heard you coming and didn’t want you to see me naked. So I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10 (TLB)

But this story is not all bad news at least at that point in the story. Look at verse 21 with me…

and the Lord God clothed Adam and his wife with garments made from skins of animals.

Genesis 3:21

God stepped in and provided Adam with a better solution. One that solved this problem for literally generations. I like this part of the story because it doesn’t leave man hopeless. Even more glorious is that before this verse, God had addressed the main problem with the promise of a solution. Right there in that garden, Jesus was promised; but that is a story for another day. In this article we realise quite clear as day, that even though man can choose from right and wrong, that knowledge does not guarantee him wisdom and his only hope is to give that baton to God where it rightly belongs in the first place.

What does that look like in the 21st century? Quite simple. Listen, trust and obey. We need to know what God is saying about every problem and every decision. Then we need to trust that he has our best interest at heart and then give in by obeying his instructions. Now if you want to know why we should do this, here is a reason for you; he created it all! Too obvious? Okay what about him choosing to be like us, feel what we feel and die worse than we could die just so we could have an opportunity to get back what we intentionally lost at Eden. He loves us as a whole and individually too. So maybe we might want to listen to him more.

Let’s get practical.

Before you choose to hold on to a grudge because you are genuinely hurt (fig leaves) maybe you might want to try forgiveness and give yourself peace. Instead of making yourself into a sex junkie in a bid to satisfy your cravings (fig leaves) you could let the one who gave you those cravings tell you how he intended for them to be used. PRAY! Pray as much as you can. Especially to know what to do per time and with the little and big stuff the bible doesn’t mention. Most importantly, let God lead your life by accepting the life he laid down for you at the cross. That way you get access to God in man: The Holy Spirit!

I will end with an interesting story that is not so much in the past. The film, Selma, chronicles one of the most pivotal moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story. One of the scenes shows MLK leading a huge multitude in a peaceful protest and for a moment it seemed as though their enemies would let them carry on but MLK stopped and took a knee. This made everyone in the protest do the same, and after a moment he stood up and went back and the crowd followed. The leaders at the time were so furious with MLK. From the perspective of the film we were able to see what transpired behind closed doors that MLK and his comrades were not privy to. This was meant to be an ambush but a lot of lives were saved because MLK stopped and prayed.

I guess I have expressed this point as much as I can for now. I hope you realise that the fig-leaves solutions you have cannot stand the test of time so you need to let God help you. I hope our leaders learn to pray and truly listen to God and then trust and obey him. In the end, this world will definitely come to ruin but at least most of us can be saved if we do differently, let God heal us and provide us with better solutions.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

Rape Rep

I represent the biggest scums of the century.
I represent one of the greatest threats to women globally.

Your body is already a beautiful battlefield. A rose with thorns torn apart by it’s blueprint. It is not enough that your body cries rose-coloured tears monthly, some members of my gender have turned your pores into drawers for stashing away years of frustration. Tiny portals of escape, from which they seek prison-breakthroughs. Scofielding along your orchards, fuelled by animalistic passions.

Do something
That’s what I’m trying to say
Show me I am worth the pain, give me hope to a fault; tell me life has a meaning

That’s what I read in your diary
I am what you blame for dying, greet
One of the biggest
scum in existence
Women, they fear me
My favourite victims
…Men mostly in prison.
I am traumatizing

We’ve got a new brand for the parents
Comes with the power to pay rent
Found out I am recycling
Let’s leave the topic quietly
I’ve come from an old day
People started that way
Ignoring any volition
But theirs, until…

Ice Nwa Ǹkwọ
Niel Quchi
© 2020