After the church-bashing I did yesterday, I thought it fair to bring a positive story to balance the views about The Church. I’m not a great fan of Nigerian Churches and at a push, would rather attend the classic churches as opposed to the new-age pentecostal ones. I’m not a fan of traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan express way. I’m not crazy about the imposition of tithes, offerings and even lengthy fasting periods (eba will not let me be great in this my life). I absolutely CERTAINLY have views about private jets, but you would need to buy me Ewa Aganyin and Agege bread to hear them.
But I am very much here for empathy, for mercy, for goodness, for kind consideration, and for leaving people better, happier and more wholesome than you met them.
And when a Church gets that right, I want to hear about it. I want us to celebrate goodness, rightness and compassion.
This piece was published on Boxing Day 2015, but it’s stayed on my mind and saved feeds, waiting for an opportune moment to showcase what real acceptance and love looks like, and that day is finally here.
Miriam Yakubu Ikunaiye, a devout Muslim had this to say, but it was shared by Hamza Ibrahim Baba:
Directly in front of my house is a Catholic church. Twice daily they congregate. And twice daily they interrupt my peace and my freedom of movement. They normally block roads until they are done with service before I can drive out.
I have contemplated so many actions including blocking them before they block me. It’s not been easy to control myself but I have managed to.
Two weeks ago, there was water shortage in the estate. As I got out with jerrican to send for water, the church guard yelled out something while walking towards me. But because use I was so filled with angry towards everything about them, I just kept going. The guard ran very fast to catch up to me. Until I heard a panting voice said “Aunty we have water” as he pointed towards the Church.
So, I reluctantly went with him to get two jerricans of water.
little did I know that simple unsolicited favor will change my attitude towards them.
Because I had a change of attitude, I was able to see them in a possitive light, their noise became music, their rowdy crowd became gathered friends and family, the threat became protection, what seemed permanent inconveniences became temporary and the church became sacred.
Today is Christmas, I went there to help feed the orphans. After the exercise we got talking, then they soon realised the discomfort they had caused me. They apologised and created way to permanently free my driveway and they told me they are about moving to their permanent site. And guest what? I will miss them.
The fact is, sentiments cloud sound judgement and is unproductive. But to have the ability to catch yourself doing it and hence retreat, is simply gracious.
I hope you learn something from my story.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all humble folks of mighty BCO/BSO. May the holy season brings us glad tidings and May all our wishes come true in 2016 (Amen)
My name is Miriam Yakubu Ikunaiye; a Muslim and a friend of an entire church congregation.
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