The church next door seemed ordinary, and from the outside it cut no impression I had not seem before, but my find there changed my life from the way I knew it. I was about to drive into my compound when I heard a man asking another, “Have you been to that church down the street? It is like Christ himself comes down to worship with them every fellowship day.” The words of that man, whoever he was, somehow burned into my heart the desire to visit the church. Perhaps there was more in play, maybe some force or guilt playing on the edge of my mind made me want to visit the church. Three weeks after I eavesdropped on the conversation of those passers-by.
I finally made it to the church. The very moment I set my feet at the door step of the church, I felt a presence which left me feeling like I had not been to church in a decade; yet I had not missed a church service for the last twelve years. Like everyone else in a new place, I began to assess the church interior decoration. Frankly, it didn’t in any bit look any less impressive than my church. As for the people in the church, they were as much trendy in their dressing as those in my church. I didn’t see a soul who looked like he had just crawled out from a rabbit hole. On the surface it was just like my church. So what is this unusual feeling…? What is this uniqueness about this church? I asked myself. It was there for me to sense, yet I could not define it. It seemed to be gently burning into the dark caverns of my soul. Then my attention was drawn to the pulpit, a young lady had just stepped on it and began to sing. Usually in my church, it would take several songs for me to key in into the spirit of the worship and sometimes I just won’t. I would emptily mime the song and give the impression I was enjoying the worship. However, here, my mouth opened in worship in spite of myself. My hands seemed to lift of their own accord, even though I didn’t want to, and standing to my feet, my eyes seemed to shut of their own volition and I was gone.
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When the worship was over, I opened my eyes and realized I had been crying all along. That night I poured out all of my filth and unworthiness at the feet of Christ and spoke in tongues like a blender. I remembered my wife asking me weeks earlier, “Honey, do you still speak in tongues?” “I guess if I want to, I would,” was my reply. She had asked because for a very long time she had not heard me speak in tongues at home or church. Some minutes later the pastor mounted the pulpit and began to preach. It was teaching actually.
While he ministered, something divine touched me. It felt as though the bible was being preached for the first time to my hearing in many years. The words preached were filled with power and so much revelation, that momentarily I thought my mind was spinning.
I moved to the edge of my seat and then slipped off and landed on my knees. One or two faces looked my way; the others were too engrossed in the message to pay attention to me. Down on my knees, I searched my bible frantically to know if really the quotations the pastor read were truly in the bible. Right where I was on my knees, I realized I had been lost for a very long time. The comparisons between the church and my family church were stark and striking. In our church we knew a lot about Wall Street market reports. Most of us in church knew the names and the stories of the top 20 richest men and women in the world. Our pastor made sure we didn’t forget. He always repeated their names and their stories. We knew about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, etc.
I had seen some of our church leaders zealously searching for the book of Jude in the Old Testament and didn’t even know that there is a book called Philemon in the New Testament. Sadly, we knew a lot about CashFlow Quadrant; Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Eat That Frog; Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and so many others.
Just as I made note of the striking differences between my church and this one, a thought crept to the fore of my mind. “Annie! Anita Magbere, my secretary is pregnant for me!” Without thinking about what I was doing, I found my phone and slowly made my way outside to the parking lot.
There I typed a text which read, “Annie, I just found Christ Jesus again, and right now I am ashamed of the illicit relationship I led you into. I am minded to tell my wife all about it tonight. And besides, I do not think we should continue working together.”
Only the previous week, Annie and I had decided she should keep the pregnancy. By the time the church service was over and I headed home, I experienced frissons of dread shooting through my veins. For all the period I was unfaithful to my wife, I gave her no reason to suspect me.
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Through that period, no night passed without my kissing her before she slept. In some nights she would sleep in my arms. My position in the church and how zealously I worked gave nothing away about my unfaithfulness. So how do I face my wife and tell her about Annie and the pregnancy?
On the other hand, how do I face Annie and tell her it was all over? Just some days back, I had asked her if she wanted me to marry her or run away with her.
She had smiled and said, “I don’t want to hurt your wife, let’s just keep our relationship a secret.” In all of these, one thing was certain, I had met my Lord Jesus Christ again, and no matter where all these would lead, I won’t leave him again. When I got home that night, my wife had only one look at me and observed, “Honey, you like someone who met God face to face tonight.” Her words went through my heart like hot knife through butter.
I steeled myself and made to pass by her with a fake smile on my face. I was afraid to say anything to her, because I just might tell her much more than I was prepared to let on that night. However, my wife being the type that she was reached out and held me from behind, putting her arms around me she asked,
“Won’t you tell me honey? Why are you shining like the sun?” As she turned to face me, she saw beads of tears in my eyes. Worried about what might be wrong with me, she led me into the bedroom and sat me down on the bed. For a few seconds she stared at me and then asked,
“You look positively strange, what’s happening to you, baby?” I could still feel those frissons of dread shooting through me. I could feel my legs and arms shaking. From the look in her eyes, I could tell my wife was slowly becoming afraid of whatever was wrong with me. Inching closer to me, she asked with a whisper,
“Baby love, who is dead in the family? Please tell me.” The tears in my eyes broke like a dam. How on earth do I admit to her that I had been unfaithful to her? How do I look her in the face and tell her that some lady whom she was light years ahead of in beauty was pregnant for me? How do I tell her without hurting her? How do I even admit that I had thought of running away with Annie? Jesus! How do I tell my wife the truth?!
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