Sunday, March 7, 2010

Novella: La Conferencia (Chapter 28)

Her legs were still shaking and her lips quivering. She had lost control of herself and she wasn’t happy about it. She hadn’t started speaking any strange language like others were doing but she had fallen to her knees in tears. She felt like she had been bewitched. She felt most uncomfortable. Christiana wanted to bolt out of the dining hall; it was suffocating.
As she prepared to leave, unwilling to subject herself to any more of the hypnotizing skills of these people, she felt a light tap from behind. She looked back and saw the girl that had led prayers; prayers in languages she had never heard before. Christiana raised her eye brow.
“You don’t have to go” she said.
Christiana was dumbfounded. They were not only hypnotizers; they were also mind-readers. Her head spun. It was like her mental reasoning had been shut down, she couldn’t move. To worsen it, she felt a hand touch hers and she turned to the left and just stared in unbelief. Anyone would have thought she saw a ghost.
It was the Igbo chap. She had actually momentarily forgotten about him. She had come to seduce him only to be mesmerized by his friends. Now, he was the one touching her; she couldn’t believe her eyes. It seemed the girl from behind had retreated when she saw the Igbo guy was taking over.
“Please just wait till the end of today’s meeting”, he said. “If you still aren’t satisfied after, you don’t have to come again.” As she stared into his eyes for a very first time at close range, she saw something in his eyes that made her want to start crying all over again. There was peace, innocence and love all combined in his eyes.
She couldn’t refuse the offer. She nodded.
He removed his hand from hers and it was then she realized she had been holding her breath. She couldn’t believe what was happening to her. She had always been the one with power over guys; she toyed with them in her fingers as she pleased, but this guy was different. He seemed to be the one that had an effect on her.
She was struggling with what she was experiencing but her real self got the better of her soon enough.
‘It must be this hypnotic atmosphere that is making me weak’, she convinced herself, still stuck to her seat. ‘I’ll try again tomorrow in my own zone, where my atmosphere of lust would be palpable and this Igbo boy would dance to my music’.
She listened half-heartedly to what the girl upfront was saying. She couldn’t wait to get out and recuperate.
Uche knew he was next after Tunbosun to share his story. Fatima had told them that they should be free and open up; not holding anything back. She had made it clear that it might just be a detail they planned to omit that would be a blessing to someone there. He braced himself up for the things he had to share. It had been an ordeal telling only Fatima days back, now he wondered how he would tell the many people whose eyes would be fixed on him.
He looked down at his notepad where he was jotting some things Tunbosun was saying, and it reminded him of the letter he gave Fatima. He instinctively looked in her direction and saw she was looking at him. His heart pounded in his chest. He wondered if she was looking at him for reasons he would have loved to believe or as a signal that he should be preparing to go up next.
He looked away; almost sure her reason for looking at him was the latter. ‘Fatima, please give me an answer. Your silence is killing me’ he pleaded silently. A few minutes after, he joined in clapping as Tunbosun made her way to her seat. As he stood and walked up front, he noticed some girls where wiping their eyes.
That was the power of testifying about Jesus. He was determined more than ever to tell the whole story. All God needed him to do was tell them how Jesus came into his messed up life and turned things around. That was the greatest evangelical tool as it made people know God could do the same for them.
He silently prayed that God would use his testimony to draw people to Him as he had used Fatima’s testimony to draw him.
There was a strong battle taking place. A war in George’s mind. A part of him rejoiced at what God was doing at the meeting. Another part of him, which seemed to be stronger, told him he had no right to be there not to talk of being happy at what was happening; he was a despicable hypocrite.
He willed himself to listen to Uche’s testimony. The boy was already growing fast in his relationship with God. He shook his head. Why on earth did he have to allow lust get a better part of him? It would have been a better case if he knew he had genuinely repented and was not going to continue, but he knew that wasn’t the case.
Even during the worship, where everyone seemed lost, he had been replaying the images he had looked at earlier in the day. Even when he joined others in praying in tongues, his mind had wandered far away. George knew he would be back to the magazine immediately after the meeting was over. He knew he wasn’t repentant. Not just yet.
He wondered what guts he would have in a few minutes to talk to these seeking hearts, as he was going up next after Uche. He would just tell his story and walk back. But deep inside, he knew that the best he could get from that was an emotional response from the people; there would be no life in his words because his life was presently void of true life.
‘Just act normal, nobody knows what you’ve done, and nobody will ever know’, a vile spirit whispered in his ears, and the words seemed to bring ill comfort to George. He was beginning to lose it. And it was only the beginning.
God was on the move and Faith had to keep up with Him. He had opened her eyes to see that the girl in her front was about to leave and God obviously didn’t want her to. He had prompted her to talk and Faith obeyed. She noticed Uche heard her and took it up from there. The girl was still seated, and Faith was happy God was using her.
She listened to Uche’s story as he shared his testimony. If he hadn’t said all he said, nobody would have known all he had gone through. The meeting so far had been awesome and she was glad to be a part of it.
She was going to be the last person before Fatima to share her testimony. She had so much to say; her only constraint was time. She would have to summarize all she would say. She wasn’t proud of her past, especially in the last two years of her life but she was proud of what God had done to restore her.
And the only way she was going to make people appreciate what God had done for her was to make them see how terrible she had been. She didn’t care about the shame it would bring her, because she knew not everyone there was sincere and some might choose to broadcast the things they had heard at the meeting.
She cared about only one thing; and that was enough to keep her going. She cared for the one boy or girl; just that one fellow out of the few dozens seated that her testimony would liberate. It would mean the world to her – and to God.
Minutes later, she applauded as Uche made his way to his seat. George stood up and began walking forward when God opened Faith’s eyes. Her hands froze in mid air; she couldn’t clap anymore. She blinked, thinking her mind was playing tricks on her, but opened them again to see the same thing.
What she saw made her cringe in horror and repulsion. ‘God, why are you showing me this?’ she asked silently, still staring in horror.
“George needs help. I love him too much to let him stray away.”
Those words combined with what she had just seen made tears spill out of her hearts. She would do whatever God needed her to do to help George. She tried not to remember what she had seen; it was gruesome sight.


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