REDEEMED (A SERIES) – EPISODE 13
WRITTEN BY JOY A. ADEWUMI
‘So here’s the long story cut short.’ Doc nodded his attention and I forged on.
‘There’s this prominent figure in my life and he’s in my opinion not a very good person. I’ve been privy to many of his business dealings and if going just by that, he’s a truly terrible fellow. That is excluding many horrible things I believe he’s responsible for in my family.’ As I paused, Doc nodded his encouragement and I continued.
‘What’s worse is that, for as long as I can remember, my life has been tied to him in more ways than one. His influence has controlled every detail of my existence and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to break free of his control. Even when I try to be my own person and make my own decisions, somehow, he finds a way to rope me back in and I’m back to square one. I feel like I’m still a twelve-year old child every time his will wins over mine and that feeling of being restrained, fettered and constantly controlled drives me insane each time.
‘So, I learnt as early as my mid-teens to drown it all in alcohol, I didn’t have to worry about being underage and not having access as our built-in bar at home was always fully stocked. And you know, even when he discovered that his seventeen year old was already an alcoholic, he didn’t really care. Rather, he laughed and patted my back like it was a commendable achievement. He was quite proud that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Anyway, by the time I became an adult, I’d developed quite the tolerance to alcohol and then came the cocktails.’
READ ALSO: – ABLE AND FAITHFUL (A short story)
Doctor Femi released a deep sigh and I smiled dryly as I continued, ‘However, I don’t know which I desire more. Whether to break free of him completely or to ensure and prove that this apple did not fall as close to the tree as he hopes. But I keep failing on both sides. Each time he wins and gets his way proving I can’t actually break free, I end up mirroring his actions when I’m in a drunken rage and it doesn’t help that the reason I can’t break free is that I keep trying not to end up like him. In short, I know this sounds like gibberish, but hopefully, your Holy Spirit gave you some measure of understanding.’
Doctor Femi smiled and replied as he folded his arms across his chest, ‘Believe it or not, He did.’ I chuckled at his answer and somehow, it didn’t sound as strange as it would have a half-hour ago. Doctor Femi had to be the best listener I’d ever met. The way he listened without a word through my story amazed me and I was sure it was responsible for me saying way more about my situation to him than I’d done all to anyone all these years.
‘I understand that you want to break free from a certain figure in your life and in the same vein ensure you don’t become like him. However, decisions you make not to be like him end up tying you firmer to him, and then you end up handling your frustrations like he would, consequentially making you like him.’ I gawked at the good doctor in disbelief! Did he seriously just summarise what I could barely articulate.
He smiled as he commented, ‘Pick your jaw!’
‘Roland, I have a good idea what to pray about now. And I’m glad you let that out. Before I leave you though, I have something you might like to hear.’
‘Oh? Sure, hit me!’ I asked eagerly.
Doctor Femi chuckled at my slang and said, ‘I have right about this time a guaranteed solution to you making sure you don’t end up like that figure you talked about.’
‘You do?’ I asked as I sat more upright, my ears perked.
‘I, in fact, do.’
‘Okay, I really want to hear it.’ Doctor Femi nodded and said,
‘You see, as humans, all we do and consequently, who we are is a product of our inherent nature.’ I nodded my understanding. Of course, I knew our nature influenced our character.
‘But while, of course, many people know that, what they don’t know is that our nature can change.’
‘Yea?’ I asked in disbelief.
‘Yea. See Roland, believe it or not, the nature of a man is more spiritual than psychological. Every man is born with a nature that is defective. And so, whether very wicked or just plain normal, we display some tendency to hurt our fellow man. You see, the Bible says the thief, that is the devil, comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy and this he does by reason of the nature of sin he’s implanted in us. As we act according to our nature, he steals our desire and ability to be good and kind, destroys us gradually by inciting us to self-destruction and finally he kills us off, not just physically now, but also spiritually. However, thankfully, that verse does not end there, and because these were in fact the words of Jesus Himself, He said that He has come that we might have life and have it in abundance.’
I must have worn a look of bewilderment in my face, because he laid his hand in my shoulder and said, ‘Let me try to make this simpler. The devil is the man behind the scene of basically everything evil in our world, but of course no one sees him physically, so how does he operate? Through we humans by reason of the nature in us. Do you get that much?’ I nodded firmly, following his explanation.
READ ALSO: THE GIST (A SHORT STORY)
‘Now, because, basically we can’t fight our nature, we are helpless and hopeless and the devil keeps winning, so Christ seeing there was no other way out, came to make a sacrifice that would give us the opportunity to exchange that nature for another. Thus, giving us a choice.’
I nodded again and contributed, ‘Since previously, we had no choice but to cave underneath the influence of our nature, He came to provide the option of a better nature. That way, we can decide which one we’d rather have. The one that leads to self destruction or the one that gives life, no?’
‘Wow! I see the Holy Spirit is at work!’ Doctor Femi exclaimed and I smiled. For some reason, the fact that his Holy Spirit could be working in me too gave me a high.
‘So now, because He died for the whole of mankind, which includes those who were there when it actually happened and those of us who have come after and even those yet to come, every single man now has a choice. I believe you can recollect that Bible verse, John 3:16.’
‘Oh sure!’ I smiled and rattled it out. At least, all of mum’s efforts did not go to waste. I remembered that much.
‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’
‘Oh great! Now, try to make sense of it. God loved a hopeless and helpless world, so He gave His Son to pay a sacrifice with His life. That way, everyone who believes in that Son and in the atoning, cleansing and emancipating sacrifice He made on the cross, will not perish, that is, will not end up in the self destruction that comes as a result of the old nature, but have life. This life under discussion however goes beyond the breath in your nostrils. It talks about thriving rather than merely existing. It talks about living your life to the fullest and fulfilling God’s purpose for giving you life, rather than just passing through life with nothing positive to show for it, and ultimately, it talks about life beyond this terrestrial ball called earth to the eternity beyond.’ I nodded my understanding and he continued.
‘Roland, accepting Christ means you get to exchange your current nature that keeps making you a mirror image of that figure you so desperately don’t want to be like, for the loving nature of Christ. Hear this: The Bible says, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, because, he has a new nature, so he does things anew, quite differently from before. Believe it or not, and of course you can check for yourself, when you accept completely the love Christ showed when He died for you and you accept the life He has provided for you, your life changes. You do things differently because a new nature influences you and you can be sure that the old apple ruts away while a new you is reproduced from the tree of Christ and guess what’s better?’
‘What?’ I asked wondering what could be better.
‘This time the apple doesn’t even fall at all, rather, it stays glued to the tree and is evergreen. That is, you’re constantly refreshed by the nature of Christ and you keep growing in Him, thus producing a better version of you each day.’
I sighed deeply as I stared into space digesting all I’d just heard. It felt surreal, that something so simple could be the answer to my lifelong question. Just accept the life of Christ? So why was I not jumping at it?
‘Does this mean I become a church person?’ Doctor Femi smiled at that and answered as he glanced at his watch again.
‘Going to church does not make us believers in Christ, rather, becoming believers in Christ makes us join up with other believers to worship with them and learn more about being believers. So, the church does not make the Christian, the Christian makes the church.’ I nodded at Doctor Femi while he glanced somewhere behind me, mouthed something and glanced at his watch again.
‘Wow! I bet we must have been at this for over an hour. I’m sorry to take up your time. I bet you’re needed back at work.’ I apologised though I hated the fact that our chat had to end. It was by far the most meaningful I’d had in a very long time.
Doctor Femi laughed at my words and replied, ‘Trust me. I couldn’t have taken so much time in between work. My shift ended before I came to you and I took advantage of the fact that I’m a doctor to exceed visiting hours. I’m in fact the one who should be sorry. Your nurse has been mouthing to me to let you rest for about half an hour now. Why not mull over all I’ve said and when I return to work tomorrow, you can probably tell me your decision.’ I nodded my assent as he stood and stretched out my hand that wasn’t attached to the IV.
‘Thanks for your time Doctor Femi. Two hours ago, I would never have believed I could sit through this kind of conversation, but honestly, you’ve given me a whole new perspective to spirituality. I’ll think on your words and we’ll discuss tomorrow. Thanks again.’
READ ALSO: THE LINK – EPISODE 1
He shook my hand and replied, ‘If only you knew that the pleasure is mine, Roland. It’s nice to meet you and I pray you recover fully.’
‘Thanks,’ I said again and let go of his hand as he walked away. I stared at him, several snippets of our conversation replaying in my mind. It was going to be a very engaging evening with my thoughts.
Finally, looks like the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into the view and Roland is about to see a crack of heaven! Glory! If you ask me though, this young man still has a long way to go! Do you think this hospital encounter is all it would take? What do you think would be Roland’s decision? Let me know what you think in the comment box. Your comments mean a lot to me.
Thanks for your precious time here on the blog. I hope you have downloaded your free copy of my new eBook- Dare to Hope. If not subscribe below in the subscription prompt to get yours. God bless you abundantly. See you tomorrow!
The Girl with the Winning Smile,