I LEFT THE FOLD

Churches got bigger and bigger before now, with people coming to the fold simply by watching another person’s life grow. But not anymore. It is this very twisted game.

It was a Wednesday service and I was walking up the stairs that led to the church, wearing a lovely bright yellow shoe, it was my “touch of” for the dress code. As I walked past this protocol lady by the large wooden doors, she said “lovely shoes”. She probably didn’t think I was going to turn back to say “thank you”, so I caught her snicker with this ugly face. Another protocol worker saw I caught her colleague, and started paying compliments to my hair. He was so witty about it, I soon forgot about the snide woman and rushed in; service was starting. Sadly I was conscious about my shoes all the way through Praise and Worship. They hurt bad but I couldn’t sit till choir got the order to! The actual annoying part was, I had the worst headache, I was feeling dizzy and I felt like folding but I put up the strongest show till I could sit an hour later.

The torrent came… I couldn’t even stand upright for the transitioning of the programme. It wasn’t the headache, it wasn’t the tummy pain or the ulcer, it wasn’t the shivering, I was just tired of being sick. I cried to God, asking him how long he will take to fix my immune system, when will the lump dissolve, those communion emblems were not big enough apparently. Why do they make them so small and flat. Are we rationing miracles? My shoulders shook and my headache was getting worse. “Go to the hospital” was ringing in my ears, I could feel my temperature hitting 40. I stood up with water running down my face, ran out of the service, and that minute I gave up on Christian love! Nobody asked what was wrong, and nobody came after me. Admittedly I had been absent for a while in my duties as a minister, I’d been in and out of the hospital, but I still exercise my divine right to Christian love! More reason I should, church units are supposed to be a smaller community in a larger one. Yes, we all have what we are going through, so this is not saying we have to babysit each other, but a little kindness will do. And I was back at the hospital, but I never went back to believing in the church unit.

Of course, I love singing and working in the house of God, but I kept expecting less and less from people! I would like to believe there’s still good in everyone. That was 2 years ago, a lot has happened to strengthen this resolve. Was it the day I was told I was still being sick because something was wrong with my faith? All I had to do was pray harder and I’ll be whole. Or the weak responses I got when I said I was feeling suicidal? The church doesn’t believe in those things. The emails telling me they’ll “sack” me if I didn’t show up for rehearsals? No, it wasn’t to check in. It was this blatant disregard for humanity and threat of eventual excommunication

Let’s disregard my experience now, how many times have people been shunned from the house of God because some church workers or officials behaved in a bad way? We are human, not perfect, but if we fail at the important commandment, which is love, what else is there? We should be able to open our mouths to preach the word of God without people raising their noses in the air because we have scorned them. I considered a change of church as I rushed into the bathroom to wash my face before heading out. It wasn’t just my yellow shoe that complained or my weary heart. And I eventually did. There was however one person who spoke to me, this security official I never saw before, asking me why I wasn’t staying for service and he showed such genuine concern…maybe there’s good in the church. They’re not wearing suits.

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