Mother Hen

Above the city Jesus wept. “Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Don’t turn away, Jerusalem! Come close to me,
my children.
“I am the mother hen,” he cried. “Beneath my wings
you all can hide.
There you’ll find warmth and life and love,
my little chicks, my children.
I’ve longed to gather you to me, Jerusalem! Jerusalem,
Please let me mother you! You’ll die
without my warmth, my children!”

We hear his call but turn away, for we are all
grown-up today.
We do not want a mother now. We’ll be
nobody’s children!
But as the cold world closes in, we think
about Jerusalem,
And what it’s like to walk alone, scared,
mother-love-less children.
No one lives through these dark, cold nights
without the warmth, the love, the life
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, gives gladly
to his children.

I trust we know enough of sin, to realize the bind we’re in
When even though we say we’re old, we’re acting just
like children.
And as we turn to leave the nest, convinced our choice
is for the best,
He hopes to see us come again, next time in New Jerusalem.
No one retains their innocence without the strong,
bright broody wings
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, folds softly round
his children.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

God trusts you!

Often when we teach trust to believers, we encourage them to trust God but what if the right way to look at it is from the angle that God trusts us – Me.

Because…

The act of loving itself is impossible without a measure of trust.

When I understand that God initiated the love relationship between Him and I, I also understand that it must mean He trusts me.

Throughout the Bible we see this concept proven over and over in every relationship God has with a man. Against all odds and through generations of unfaithfulness and inherent flaws, God continues to put his love on us, risking his trust being broken and trusting the good he saw in us when he first created our kind at Eden.

I’m a Creative so I can relate to the love a creator has for his/her creation. No matter how imperfect, we believe there’s good in every creation at the very least. At worst we believe it can be better and sometimes we spend entire lifetimes trying to perfect our creation.

God is a Creative.

So every time I fear or worry, he’s still there trusting me through the process and it’s this unrelenting trust he has in me that eventually saves me. Because he trusts me, he keeps coming for me, keeps teaching me, allows the experiences I need to learn from happen, he keeps healing me…

He has enough faith for us both
He doesn’t ask for what he hasn’t given

So when he asks for my trust and my faith and my love, it’s because he has given them to me ahead.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the one-millionth time I fail, or worry or fear or fret…
He’s there. He trusts me to get it right. He knows I can.
Be good. Be better. Do better. Do more.
He trusts me to trust him because he wants to partner with me to pull madht stunts on earth.

Wow.

I mean, when we see it this way, suddenly trusting God becomes easier and doable. It just makes sense.

– St. Davnique
(c) 2021

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

And Grace Found Me


And grace found me at the foot of the steps where I stumbled
He led me into a reverie of affections
And taught me how to make love with my emotions

And Grace found me picking doubt from my rag toothed skeleton
He asked me how I’d survived without the love of Christ
In the oxygen depleted pond of atheism

And Grace found me remunerating inside the tunnel of avarice
For the love of money is the stem that upholds deception
Broken dry Reed called Egypt that can’t be any souls trust

And Grace found me lingering about the field of blood
Waiting to retrieve the thirty pieces of silver
Instead of shouting maranatha with the 120 in the upper room

And Grace found me in the valley of mundane things
Brazilian hair, iPhone 6x, faultless make up, designer dresses
And all those cravings that sounds strange to Holy Mary

And Grace found me yet he wasn’t judgmental
He asked me why I was still babbling in unknown tongues
Instead of fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

And Grace found me with the gift of a clean shave
Got rid of my eagle-feathered hair and bird claw nails
It’s been seven millennia wandering in the field of unbelief
I’d never imagined going through such quick transformation
Like Joseph’s speedy status change
Until I was discovered by Grace

Rebekah E.
© 2020

Who Am I?

I have sought a definition
A sentence that could give me full expression of who I actually am

Am I a girl?
Is my life best expressed in the gender
In the XX of my genotype
Or in the comely form of my phenotype?

Am I a youth?
The leader of tomorrow; the pillar of today,
Am I one of the millions of jolly fresh faced persons
Brewing with passion but lacking in knowledge,
Just hustling to make it?

Am I a Nigerian?
Do I get my identity from my southern roots
Trying to fit into the mold of societal stereotypes?

Am I a graduate?
Is that laminated certificate in my box my identity card
Such that I am quick to shove my titles in peoples faces
Using that as a basis for unhealthy comparison…
But deep down I know
I am not my profession and my profession is not me
So help me answer this question who am I?

Guys, it took a long time to realize who I was
To understand that I couldn’t find myself by looking inward
but looking outward
that I would only see my true reflection
when I look in His mirror
that my true life is wrapped in his death and glorious ascension
that my life is not about the external but the eternal

but that my real identity is in JESUS
not in gender or status or nationality or age or education or skill
so who am I?
I am a child of God, a joint heir with Christ
I am a spiritual, supernatural, extraordinary human being
Trust me,
I am not just a girl, I am not just a youth,
I am not just a Nigerian, I am not just a graduate, I am not just a poet…
I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

Damaris
© 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

From This Moment


I have made up my mind not to lie
I will not quarrel with anybody till I die
I will restrain my tongue from speaking evil
and any word rooted in the devil
I will not despise anybody at any level

I will sing a new song to the Lord
I will make memories with no sword
I will keep my heart stayed on him
and my love will flow beyond the stream
I will crest his word on the tablet of my heart

I will preach the gospel with all boldness
I will proclaim that I have His life in fullness
I will listen to the still small voice in me
and I will put all of my trust in thee
I will shine my light for the whole world to see

Lady Nancy
©2020