“Finally the Lord has done it. Finally, the Lord has done it.”
Those exact lyrics vibrated into my ears from the speakers as the usher, sister Jane—a lady with a white blouse tucked into her blue skirt— handed him the microphone. Applause erupted from all corners of the church as almost all the women started moving their bodies. The man grabbed it and bellowed.
“Praise. Praise. Praiseeeee thaaaa Lordddd!”
“ Hallelujah!” we chorused.
“God has done it again.” He adjusted his red tie, flapped the side of his suit. Sorry, scratch that! His Okrika coat because the dark colour was different from the trousers’. He smiled a lopsided grin.
“Beeni! ” I heard a woman scream. “Yes o!” another added.
“You know what he did? You know what God did?” the man asked in excitement.
“Your name please,” the moderator chipped in.
“Oh sorry sir, My name is Mr Amadi and I fellowship here. You all know me now.” he flashed his teeth.
“ I’m here to tell of the goodness of the lord in my life….” he continued, losing my attention in the process as the thought hit me. His wife. Where is his wife? As I asked myself that question, my eyes wandered, travelling between the rows of seats on my right side in search of the fair woman with a babyface. The last I saw her was the 27th of December, a Sunday where her protruded belly meant she sat at the back where she rarely walked before getting to the restroom, and the 17th of January was the first time I set my foot in church for the year.
As my neck craned and my head angled. I felt a tap, it was from my seatmate jolting me. He whispered something into my ears and I smiled. It’s about time. His tap brought me to consciousness in time to see Mr Amadi scream another “Praise thaaa Lord!” his feet stamped on the floor that he didn’t realize the sole had pulled out.
“My wife delivered safe and soundly. It didn’t take up to ten minutes. God is truly wonderful and …” he lost me again as I counted his children. How many are they now? Praise, Favour, Anointing, Grace, Divine, David and the new one. That’s seven! Ha! How can this man be cruel? Where is the temperance the holy spirit gifted us? How can…?
“The Lord that did it for me and my wife will do it for you.” and people chorused another amen. I was perplexed. How did God do this one? Did he come down to penetrate your wife? I mean you have six children that barely feed. Children that one could say are ravaged by kwashiorkor yet you are giving God praise for your incompetence.
This is not the first century that God asked Adam to multiply and replenish the earth. For Christ’s sake. This is the twenty-first century. Twenty-something million years apart. In fact, the world is full already. Spaces for humans have hit their barest minimum yet…
The moderator tapped him, urging him to go as he kick-started another song with the lyrics,
“Father, You do well,
you do well
you do well.”
I was supposed to join in clapping and singing the new song but I found my hands rubbing on my laps, my eyes sending darts to Mr Amadi and my heart going out to his children. What will become of them? How will they cope? Will The supposed God who did it remember to meet their needs? These questions and more daunted me as Mr Amadi, with a smile on his face swaggered through the aisle, waving and soaking in the felicitations.
© Stephen Toochi.