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Meeting Joy

January 25, 2021

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His mother died when he was
12 years old
His father started raising the
five of them by himself
His two younger ones were 10
and 8 years old respectively
The older ones were already in
secondary school
They were aged 12 and 15 respectively
He ought to have been in secondary
school
too but he had some challenges in
primary school and had to repeat
some classes
It was later discovered that the
challenge had nothing to do with his
brain but much to do with his eyes
By the time he was given a pair of
glasses and he started picking up,
he had lost two years
his mother died just as he and his
immediate younger sister were writing
the common entrance examination
She was said to have been afflicted
by a strange disease
Doctors couldn’t fathom it and neither
could any of the spiritualists her father
and relatives took her to for help
Their father coped with raising them
for two years
He tried his best to do it alone and honour
the memory of their mother but common
sense prevailed
The balance between work and family
was lost and he was torn in between both
Their firstborn became their pseudo
mother by defult
but the responsibility was taking its toll
on her academics and life
Their father had to come to terms with
the fact that marrying another wife would
be the best thing for everybody
He told one or two people about his
decision to remarry and asked them to
pray along and be on the
lookout for any suitable candidate for him
That was when all hell was let loose
It was as if the vultures had been waiting
for him to open that door or lurking in the
shadows for him to declare his intentions
Relatives started coming to the house at
various times of the day with
with prophets, alfas, and spiritualists to
pray for the family
Their father was a very simple man whose
motto in life was not to offend anybody
He accommodated all those who came
claiming they were trying to help him not
to make the same mistake he did with
their mother by prying
into the spirit realm to get him the best
Religion and manipulation are close
relatives
It turned out many of those coming
around claiming to want to be of help
already had a candidate or the other
in mind and were only trying to use
the spiritualists to plant their candidate
in the house
Within three months the hidden agenda
of the four people who were frequenting
their house in the name of helping out
became obvious as they met at a family
meeting and began to expose one
another’s secrets
His father was not a spiritually sensitive
man, he lived on the
assumption that spirituality was meant
for those with a calling
All he did every morning was say a
simple memorized prayer in the morning,
recite some psalms and face his day but
the drama regarding his remarriage and
the plot of his family members really got
to him
He didn’t know that the so-called cord of
brotherhood that he had trusted to come
through for him could be turned into a
cord of strangulation and manipulation
He gave up on the idea of getting married
altogether and for another eighteen months
continued to struggle between raising his
family and other aspects of life
By this time he was in Senior Secondary
School 1 (science class) and he was
struggling
He had told his father he wanted to be
a medical doctor and this prompted
his being placed in the science department
He simply couldn’t cope with chemistry and
physics
He was encouraged to pay a visit to the
guidance and counseling office of the
school for a review of his academic and
career choices
He had a lengthy discussion with the
guidance counselor in which he was
asked many questions
He answered the questions as much as
he could
At the end of the day, he was given a
letter to give his father
The letter invited his father to his school
for a meeting with the guidance and
counseling officer
The recommendation of the lady was
that he should change to Art class as
that was his area of strength but the
change had to be effected with the
understanding and cooperation of
his father
His father drove him to school the
next day and waited to see the guidance
and counseling officer
It was the first time his father had been
dragged to school because of him and
it made him very nervous
He kept
glancing out of his classroom to the
school’s car park where his father’s
car was parked
He waited and waited, hoping to catch
a glimpse of his father as he left the
school premises
He waited until the school closed
His father’s car was still there and his
father was still in the
guidance and counseling office
Eventually, his father emerged with a
smile as bright as the sun on his face
He was standing by the car and saw
his father humming and walking with
a spring in his feet for the first time in
many weeks
He knew something had happened but
he had no idea what it was
As they drove home, his father kept
humming and smiling
It was puzzling
The next day, as he was leaving for
school, his father told him the change to
Art class has been agreed upon and the
process by which it would be managed
without him losing a year had been
worked out
He was glad
That morning he was moved to the Art
class and an arrangement was made for
him to have an extra hour in school with
the Government, literature, and CRK
teachers so that he could catch up with
the syllabus
When he closed from school that day, his
father was waiting for
him at the school gate
It was very unusual, to say the least
His father was a dealer in roofing sheets
and asbestos, he was the owner of his
own business but he never joked with
his work
How come his father was in his school
for two days in a row and with a smile
as bright as the
sun on his face!
What was really going on?
He searched himself but couldn’t make
sense of it
They drove home in silence
When he closed from the school the day
after that his father was waiting again to
pick him and drive him home
It continued for two weeks, one day just
as he was about to ask his father what
was really going on
His father called all the children together
and told them they would be having a
visitor later that afternoon
Their father really urged and encouraged
them to be at their best behaviour
It was puzzling
Nobody had any idea what was
really going on
At about 2 pm, the august visitor arrived
It was his guidance and counselor in school
His father introduced her to all the children
and informed them he would be getting
married to her in a few weeks!
That was when everything added up
His father had found himself
a good thing
His guidance and counselor was in her
early forties
She had never been married and had
been waiting on the Lord for the
fulfillment of her marital destiny
She said the Holy Spirit said to her as
soon as he walked into her office that
fateful day for counseling
“This is your son!”
She said she ignored it and did her job
Six months later, she was married to
his father and he indeed became her son.

PS: This event happened in Ibadan in 2009
The young man is now a journalist
His father and his stepmother are still
making each other happy
Psalm 68:
5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge
of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
6 God setteth the solitary in families: he
bringeth out those which are bound
with chains: but the rebellious dwell
in a dry land.

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