God, if you don’t understand my silence, how will you understand my words? I have not seen you either but bearded, wounded images on the cross all around the churches; they even sell you in the markets. Which one are you? The one at St. Basilica or the one at Christ Apostolic Church; the one mounted at the entrance gate to my former yard where I faced the greatest doom? You know how much I hate religion, upon which I’m instructed, “You don’t question God.” I accept. And they say you are my father? And father, you leave your son to wander in loss, to be confused by some greedy “men of God” who rape his conscience? Now, they’ve impregnated me with bitterness. You suppose to hold my hand and teach me how to be a man, and we bond like father and son; rather your hand is invisible, and I go astray in the hands of men. My mouth explodes with unspoken words. Who do I question? Well, not God, my father. And Satan is always ready to answer. That one..? He knows nothing and never shameful.
The dirt of the world has distanced me from you…the unseen, which shouldn’t be. I have no one to ask but many to answer. I know I’m an educated fool…with some degrees to my confusion. Wisdom lies not in the paper. I crave for an answer and I hate religion.
Some say you created the world out of love, which includes me in it. As I pass by the streets of Lagos, I see the “love” manifesting upon the feasted bodies by the flies…yes, kicked by your love. Every second of the day, the same sound deafens my ears…the sound of brutal killings…sound of hunger…sound of rape…sound of war, driving us all to one garage, grave, in a rickety life-bus. What manner of love is this? Still, “you don’t question God.”
As I turn around, I see hate…I see betrayal…I see envy. Yet, God created the world out of love. They blame Satan for our sins, who is Satan? All I see are fake friends, leeches…who remember me in times of need and advice…smiling me to the grave. Where is the love? I can’t see Satan, I see men.
When I walk around and see beggars on the streets, wrinkled by hunger…I remember, “God made man in His own image.” And I ask; could God be a beggar? It makes me look foolish and miles away from the answer. Where is the missing link? Omawumi dodged it; “if you ask me, na who I go ask?” Don’t mind her, women. Again they blame Satan who takes pride in cheap publicity. Yes, we work ourselves hard from puberty to poverty. Is it Satan that loots our national cake…milking us dry and flashing protruded stomachs against our tabular bellies that inhabit all manners of worm with the inscription, deal with it? As beggars lie wasted beside the gutters of pot-holed roads dealing with it, in four wheels, the pregnant monsters splash sinful muds on their faces; God, did you make them too in your own image? Because I have never heard you say sorry for bringing me into this world, which I never begged for. If it’s Satan, now I believe because Satan is man.
But wait. I have been threatened with hell, and consoled with heaven. And I believe both were made in love. Let’s kill him…let’s kill God! I hate religion. All I need is life…Where is the way, the way to life?! As tears roll down my cheeks, I know God watches too. What will He be doing? Smiling? Crying with me? Or shaking His head in pity for me because He knows I’m lost? Let’s kill him…let’s kill religion! I’m lost…hope I find the way…the way to truth.
AND I HEAR THIS VOICE…
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Religion is the mankind search for God, “my son,” the voice says, “I am not religion; I am the way, the truth and the life. You didn’t find me, I found you…before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Even before you were born, I paid the price for your sins.”
“I am not far from you, I am in you,” the voice continues, “and I am the hope of your glory. Just walk with me…feel free to ask me anything, I am your father. I hate religion too, but I love you.” The word ‘love’ has been overused, but this sounds like the first time to hear it. It’s real. The word is breathing in me. The voice is coming deep from my spirit…filled with passion, calmness, peace. The word is live; like real…and I’m shaking…please I’m shaking!
He continues,” I put you in a hospital for you to change your lifestyle or habits, read or write a book that will heal the world…I let your loved ones die, just to remind you that here is not your home…I am the Vine, you are my branch…and we feed from the same source. Ye are God.”
Now I fall on my face, crying…I hear him; “I have called you by your name. I see all you go through…I hear your cry. I brought you here to show forth my glory. You are the reason I came to die, it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, to redeem you from the curse brought upon you by disobedience…I equally feel the pains, I paid the price, but, the end is near…don’t give up. The Angels are set to bring my people home to rest…the end to this race is here my son. I shall come any moment from now…Don’t give up. Always know that I love you. Tell my people that I love them. I do.”
Yes, I believe, it’s not easy for God…man did the mess; we eat the forbidden foods, He washes the dishes. Grace.
BY CHUKWUEZUE NNABUIKE