Sunday morning, a typical modern Pentecostal church.
Southern Portland Ministries was busy with its usual activities and the choir had just finished with the music ministration led by Ken who happened to be the best vocalist in the Church. While Ken was on the stage, his choir robe flew around, displaying his energy and audacious stage management skills coupled with his sweet mellow voice that gatecrashed people’s emotions and got some on their knees with tears rushing down every eye. Cynthia was among the backup singers, her baritone voice usually doesn’t let her reach certain pitch Ken would be able to reach and the song Ken had led on stage was written by her but the Choir leader had encouraged her not to lead the song since she does so well as a backup singer. While Ken ministered, Cynthia who looked undisturbed from her role as a backup singer spoke out loud in her heart saying “Ken is just so blessed. I wish I had half of what he has.”
Ken had left the stage setting people’s emotion on fire! He would hear people praying with the lyrics of the song, such an exceptional atmosphere of worship has never been recorded before since he joined the Church. He knew there was something about that song, he knew it wasn’t just about his skills and he knew the words in that songs were greatly inspired. He looked back at Cynthia, shook his head and mumbled “Cynthia is just so blessed with writing inspired songs. I wish I had a moiety of what she has. Cynthia is just so blessed.”
The pastor had started preaching. Mrs Bisi was enjoying the teachings until her eyes caught a woman who had five kids around her, they were distracting her from the teachings but she had always tried putting her children in order and grasp one or two things from Pastor’s Sunday sermon. Bisi is a CEO who runs an international firm but has no child. Tears ran down her eyes and she shook sadly saying “anytime I look at this woman, I see blessings. I don’t even have children that would distract me for just a few minutes. If I only I am blessed as much as that woman, I would be very happy.”
“Mama” the little girl called, Ngozi looked at her and looked up to the Pastor again “Mama, my classmates laughed at my hair on Friday. They said my hair looks like that of their grannies. You don’t want to make my hair.” Ngozi knew this was what she had wanted to say, she doesn’t stop nagging her how her classmates make fun of her weathered school uniform or her hair.
“Chi, don’t mind them. Your hair is good. They are just jealous.”
Chi’s brother cuts in “Mama, hope we are eating rice this morning after service?”
“Shhhh. We are in Church and it is a sin to talk while Pastor is talking.” This was Ngozi’s usual way of getting them close their mouth and give her some breathing space. As she pondered over these things, her eyes caught up on Mrs Bisi and she shook her head murmuring to herself “Bisi is really blessed. If only I had just a little of what Bisi has.”
While Pastor Steve preached, his Pastor friend who had promised to visit the congregation that morning walked in with his security and protocols. His aura alone had this magnificence that engulfed it. Except for the little scar on his face, his skin radiated. Pastor Steve sighted him from the western door and felt a bit intimidated. His friend Kirk was one of the finest, richest and most popular Pastors in Portland. They started together till Kirk told him he’d be leaving for Western Portland to start up a ministry. Kirk had recently launched his 10,000 sitting capacity chapel with an additional two thousand sitting capacity tent that serves as an overflow. Pastor Steve got a bit distracted and he told the congregation “bow your heads and say a little prayer as we enter the next section of this service.” He bowed too as he mumbled to himself “if only I had just half of what Pastor Kirk has. If only I am blessed the same way Pastor Kirk is blessed. Bless me, Lord, please…”
An hour later, service was over. As his custom was, Steve had walked towards the door to greet those who cared to come around him. Kirk watched from a distance as everyone wanted to have a selfie with Pastor Steve. It wasn’t a very big congregation and it has always been like a family. Kirk watched a little girl put a wafer forward for Pastor Steve to have a bite. Another young lady, whom he later learnt is the leader of the Girls forum brought a garland or wore it on Pastor Steve’s neck and Kirk heard her say “all of us at the Girls forum appreciate you every now and then.” Kirk watched him as he carried kids up and kiss them on their cheek, he watched as Steve shook hands with people and put up his face for a selfie. As usual, social media will be awash again with Pastor Steve’s picture.
He heard Steve tell a couple “I and my wife will come around this evening for a decaffeinated coffee and then we can discuss that project and carefully look at the reports.” Kirk begrudged Steve’s freedom! The last time he tried walking on his own like Pastor Steve, he got abducted by the Islamic radicals who had terrorized the city for several years and he was released after making payments and receiving drubbings from them which explains the scar on his face. Kirk also never had such rapport with his members as they always regarded him a superhuman that wouldn’t be accessible by anyone. Kirk shook his head and sighed loudly “Steve is just so blessed! I wish I have half of what he has. I wish I have a bit of his kind of temperament and heart. God, why can’t you bless me the way you have blessed Steve?”
God stood behind with no one noticing Him and He has always been there anyway. He watched as everyone complained, He watched Steve take a walk from the door to go join his friend Kirk. He shook his head and said to Gabriel “you see… this is just man. Their definition of blessings is in material things and for them, to be blessed means to have just everything they need. To them, blessings and grace are about wearing designers, riding in beautiful cars, having kids and so on. But I have truly delivered my blessings to all men, I have released all the blessings possible but they fail to see it because they are looking at the wrong places. Abraham had only one son, Isaac and if Abraham’s blessings were to be defined by what he had, he would never fall in the category of people we should call blessed.”
The End | *fiction
~ George O.N