JUDGING THE PRESENT BASED ON THE PAST
Happy new year y’all…..here is a lil som’n som’n you would gain from. It’s a true life story of one of our readers.
It took me 7 long years to finish a 5 year course and somehow, I had become a principality and landlord on campus. I knew virtually everyone on campus and the kind of dirty deals they engaged in. From the cult guys to the Runz girlz to the ‘efikos’ and to the ‘spirikoko’ students. I was neither here nor there but I made sure I knew the people I hanged out with in order not to run into trouble.
I avoided the RUNZ girls a lot because at some point, rumor had it that they used charms on unsuspecting guys who would become their ‘magas’ until they squeeze out the very last card on them. A flat mate of mine in the boys’ hostel had that experience with one of the top Runz girls in school when I was in my second year. He spent all the money meant for the completion of his project on the girl and after the spell broke, there was really no chance for him to retrieve it. He mourned his 50,000 like it actually died. People joined in his pity-party but for me, it was a big lesson.
After school, I was posted to Benue for my service year. I had a tough time choosing a place of worship in Gboko. Although, I had heard good tales of one Pastor Ken Iheanacho of Grace So Amazing Chapel, I still wanted to explore as many options as possible before making a final choice.
On my first Sunday in Gboko, I decided to attend Grace So Amazing Chapel. It was indeed a glorious service, the choir sang beautifully and Pastor Ken’s message was mind-blowing. I was already making up my mind to stay put in the church when a certain lady came on stage. It was time to welcome the first timers and of course, I stood up. It took me a while, but I recognized that face.
Different conversations went on in my head at that minute, “could this really be Nkiru?’’ “What would she be doing on the altar of God?’’
After the ushers welcomed the first timers, they asked us to wait behind to see the Pastor’s wife. I just kept wishing in my heart that my guess was wrong; that the woman only looked like Nkiru and it couldn’t be her. After the service, there was an announcement that all first timers should see Pst (Mrs) Nkiru Iheanacho at the gallery. My heart literally froze.
I couldn’t believe Nkiru was the Pastor’s wife. I knew her story so well; she was the RUNZ girl who was always on top of her game. She swindled many guys of their money and was famous for her activities with politicians. She brought many other RUNZ girlz up. She had such a hold on men in the university environment, she hardly attended classes but I heard she graduated with a second class upper. There were rumours that she had an affair with the Dean of her Faculty back then. She was a fearless prostitute.
How was I to listen to her now as the Pastor’s wife? I could not believe how much she had changed in 5 years. For the first time in my life, I saw Nkiru dressed in a decent gown with a very nice hat. She looked so angelic but my mind couldn’t stop taking a stroll to her past and the thoughts of her devious ways made me cringe.
I just sat there as she spoke but the words were flying across my ears. My mind just kept replaying scenes from the past and how she threatened to beat up my flat mate if he ever asked her to refund his money.
I kept judging her all along, but my spirit kept cautioning me to refrain from what I was doing. It was hard; this is someone I knew so well. Nkiru was a prostitute, a thief (a violent one at that). She could have people beaten up if they refused to cooperate with her.
I knew it was wrong to keep judging her. Apparently, Nkiru had met Christ. She had turned from her treacherous ways; she had become a pillar in the body of Christ. I found out all these, as I looked through the church’s monthly bulletin. She was known for reaching out to the poor and destitute. She went to motels and brothels to speak words that transformed the lives of some renowned prostitutes. She had made a huge impact ever since she gave her life to Christ. But I sat there in my glorified holy mind, judging her based on the past.
Many a times, we hold on to past messes/mistakes without realizing that we have been redeemed. Jesus never judged the likes of Saul (Paul); he redeemed him, transformed his life and made him a great apostle of the gospel. Many people we judge and think we are better than would come out as fine wine in the end to the glory of God.
He whom the son of man has set free is free indeed (John 8:36). Let us not hold people bound to the mistakes of the past, let us not judge ourselves based on our past mistakes. It is a new year, we should strive to do better and break free from the errors of the past.
God help us all.
Wishing you an amazing 2015.