I know you won’t believe me.
Yemi, you can lie! You will say in Yoruba accented English; but if I had told you about the appearance of an akudaaya, or an anjonu, or an ebora, or even an iwin, telling you the colour of its robe, and the fire in its eyes, and its voice like thunder, you would have folded your arms to listen attentively.
You will easily embrace the story of sigidi or an egungun-be-careful, but when I talk about an angel you wouldn’t believe me if I’m not describing the one Shaggy sang about. You need to open your mind, dude!
Let me tell you about that evening when I was on my way to the bar in the east end of Akure for my first beer in fifteen years; I was also on the lookout for the first girl apart from the one that had been the one and only. If I were in your shoes and if you were the one telling me this, I don’t know how I will feel about it, so I will forgive your scepticism.
The truth is just the truth. You can argue and analyse and philosophize and write lengthy propaganda on the Internet, getting many likes in the process, even many retweets, and more followers on Twitter, maybe a trendy label, a label with a fancy name. You can do all that; it’s called freedom of speech.
But you will one day face the truth in a place of no escape.
If you jump down from the top of Idanre hill you will crash on the ground like a smashed egg. You may be believable while arguing against the truth, making the best of your eloquence and charisma, adorning your lies with colourful words, but your opinion got nothing on the truth.
I was on my way to Galaxy – east end Galaxy – when I was stopped by this man in the corner of Oba Adesida and Chicken Republic who said he is an angel.
“I’m one too.” I said casually, I’m sure I sounded and looked more like it than he did.
“This is not a joke.”
“You are an angel?” I chuckled, enjoyed myself for a few seconds while keeping my eyes on his amused face. I was enjoying his amusement. “On a serious note, are you really an angel?”
“I’m not joking.”
“Cool. Nice shoes, angel.”
“How about your perfume? Made in heaven too?”
He nodded and smiled. “Look,” he glanced at his Rolex. “Let’s talk about this issue of your birds.”
“You know about my birds?”
“The Oludara keeps an eye on every detail in this world.”
“Oh, your own god is called Oludara. Quite interesting, isn’t it? Bros, I know you are probably a pastor. One of those pastors who preach tithe every Sunday all year long as if Jesus died to make us pay tithe. Angels don’t just appear in blue jeans and T M Lewyn shirts.”
“I know you like my dressing.”
“I once had a brown Lacoste like that. Heavenly shoes look so much like ours’”
“I can send them to you when I’m done here.”
I had to open my hands as if I was about to shout hallehluyah. I wanted to be dramatic with my words. “Oh, please do, before you depart for heaven.”
“I promise. I’ve been told to give you the shoes.”
“Oludara; you know that is Nas’ surname. Right?”
“Yemi, listen to me.”
“Oh, you even know my name. I get it. My pastor probably told you about me, so he hires you, because obviously you are good at what you do, and he always sends the best of his men for special assignments, so yeah, he hires you to encourage me.”
“You are very creative.”
“Oh, praises to Oludara. Or is that not what you said your god’s name was?”
“Is. And you have a good sense of humour.”
“Thank you. Can you now leave me alone?”
“Leave you to do what?” He had this look in his eyes, as if I was a pitiful son, and then a wry smile. “You want us to leave you so that you can go to east end Galaxy to get drunk? And get laid?”
That was when I knew it was indeed an angel.
“God has sent you to kill me?”
“You still don’t know the father as you should. He knows your every secret and he still loves you, now you’re going through stuff and he will suddenly hate you for being angry?”
“OK. Sorry sir, I’m sorry for talking like this.”
“Yemi, your feelings are known, if you speak freely you will be speaking what we know to be true. Be free. That fire was – ”
“Look, forget about the birds first. Tell me about Amara. That girl has gone through hell in her life, and when she is supposed to start enjoying another life, she died. That’s not fair.”
“People die when it is their time.”
“So her time didn’t come when she was schooling by day and working at night with just three hours left to sleep. Her time didn’t come when she was struggling to get a job. It just happens to come when she should be enjoying the fruits of her efforts.”
“There is a lot you don’t know dude.”
“Perfect. Great escape! I’m ignorant! God’s white is quite different from what we know to be white, abi? When someone puts in years of hard labour and ends up with little or no harvest, that is a great reward as far as this god is concerned. Our yellow is green to him.”
“You can’t understand everything now. Even if you try so hard to do.”
“And we are meant to be like Christ, yet vital things are still hidden from us. We have the privileges of Christ but things are still hidden from us.”
“Because you are still on earth, with a body that would not be able to bear some weight of glory. Yemi, can you handle it when one of the women you have helped before comes to wipe her hair on your leg in gratitude.”
“That would be weird.”
“You need to understand what the word means when it says to be like Christ. There is a divine time-table for its perfection.”
“OK. Amara died because it is good for her to die. That makes me feel better.”
“Why are you like this? You are not the one that saved her. Oludara did.”
“Will you please stop calling him that? Why not just call him Lord?”
“No I can’t. That is the name he wants to reveal to you at this point in time.”
“OK. Suit yourself.”
“Amara was a very hard girl. You wouldn’t even have been chanced to preach to her if you had not followed precisely the leading of the spirit. You couldn’t have saved her.”
“I didn’t say I could, all I’m just saying is, she shouldn’t have died.”
“We took her when she is supposed to be enjoying another life. That’s why we took her. Do you know what it means to have faith? Have you learned what having faith really entails? You may not always agree with the Oludara’s ways, but they are the best.”
“And then you took my birds when you think I should enjoy another life.”
“Yes. The birds were a test for another life. A test first, and then the lesson. Your problem is: you only listen to popular preachers and you have not taken the scriptures to heart.”
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