The Guilt:

I once got my Mom upset and I ran away from home. I think I was 5 or 6 I can’t remember.

The fear of returning home had engulfed me and my Dad who was supposed to be my seeming savior, was far away at work so definitely, I was in for the beating of my life.

I stayed outside in the street and watched other kids run in and out of their compounds happily but this guilt wouldn’t even let me go near our own door. “My Mom must have gotten a cane, a belt, broom or even slippers ready to descend on me like fresh anointing” so I thought and as such I stayed back outside few blocks away from our house. I sat there like a refugee, on the bare floor, both hands wrapped round my legs as I rested my weary jaw on my dry knees. I was hungry, thirsty, tired and was gradually getting weak. “I could get to a neighbor’s house and feed” so I thought to myself but then in everyone else’s house I’d be just another neighbor who has limited access but in my house I AM KING but yet that imminent fear of what my mom would do to me kept me afar of.

The Sin:

I had just returned from school all sweaty and dusty. You can tell I had a swell time playing in school and I hadn’t gotten off the high spirit. I had dropped my bag and ran out immediately to join my friends who had come home before me and had changed into their normal clothes, some had even had their bath and looked refreshed. Well, how would I know when I spent extra 2hrs after school hours playing? I really didn’t get much time to do all of that and so, My mother called out “Goooooooddyyy” come and change your cloths, bathe, eat, rest before you can go and play. I ignored. My mind was on that game I saw my friends playing outside. This time she called out again “Godddy oooh” and the devil in me (because a normal me can’t even try it) retorted “Leave me joor, whatapun sef, is it by force to “baff” and eat? 

Brethren I shouted right back at my mom in front of the whole neighbors in our compound. I just knew I was dead. Unlike my Mom, she didn’t say a word. She just went back inside the house and I thought the worst. 

The Saviour :

As I sat there wallowing in fear and guilt, one middle aged man tapped me on my shoulders and said “wetin you Dey do here?” and then I bursted into uncontrollable tears. “My Mama go beat me” I said those words pointing at our compound that was a few meters away. “Oya follow me, your mama no go beat you, you hear?” The man said smiling at me while holding my skinny wrist. In my head I was saying if this man should know what I did he would just abandon me here and go his way. Ajegunle neighbors will even join in beating you when you insult your elders, talk more of your Mom or is this man trying to set me up? So I thought. I walked through the hall of shame in that our big old passage with every one staring at me with the eyes of condemnation. One even had the boldness to say “ You get mind dey come back, I kuku trust Mama Ngozi (My Mum) you go die today” My heart started skipping repeatedly and then we arrived at our door and the Man knocked. 

“Ah Good evening Sir,” my mum said to the Man kicking her knees a little forward as sign of respect. He didn’t respond. He just smiled and said “Take your boy, Forgive him, clothe him and feed him. He’s really sorry for what he did” I met him crying in the streets and I know that it is not the joy of any mother to see her child crying helplessly in the street.” My Mom smiled, “Sir, I no go beat am. See the food I prepare for am since. I just Sidon here dey wait for am because na pickin wey I born and I sabi am. “ The man smiled at me and said “Be a good boy “ and he left my hands right in the middle of my mom’s palm as he made for the door. 

Everyone was surprised that my mom didn’t lift a finger on me. She changed my clothes, bathed me and fed me. She kept smiling and never talked about it again. 

The Moral:

We sometimes feel the weight of our deeds is heavier than the forgiveness we seek and so we stay out in the cold, feeble, weak and worn and all God is simply saying is “COME HOME” 

His wrath is only but for a moment but his love is everlasting. 




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