OPENED GRAVES

Ade walked into the office premises. It was his first visit and one he never thought he would have to make. After the registration at the reception, he was directed to the office of the therapist who would attend to him. He shook his head.

He opened the door and was met with a cute smile from a bespectacled lady. She was pretty too. But that was not his business.

Rose: Good morning sir. My name is Roseline, but I’ll prefer if you call me Rose. It helps with bonding.

Ade: Good morning, Roseline. My name is Adeoluwa. I’ll prefer we keep this formal. I’m not one of your patients. I’m here because I have no option.

R: I’m sorry sir. I didn’t mean to make this informal. I have just found that using abbreviated names in communication helps to relax the brain. Okay, so why are you here, Mr. Ade?

A: Adeoluwa is the name.

R: Sorry sir. Why are you here, Mr. Adeoluwa?

A: I’m here because my wife threatened to leave with our children if I don’t seek professional help. So let’s be fast with this. I don’t have time to waste.

R: Do you beat your wife?

As the words left her lips, Rose knew she had triggered the man. The cold stare in his eyes said so much. She feared that if she spoke further, he could kill her and walk out of the room without breaking a sweat.

A: Don’t you ever ask me that kind of question. Ever. Do I look like a wife beater to you? Do I?

R: I’m sorry sir. Why did your wife threaten to leave?

Rose wanted to ask him he cheated on her but felt the reaction might not be something she can handle.

A: She said I have no soul.

Rose stopped scribbling on her notepad and looked at him. She could understand why his wife would say that. The man truly did not show any emotions. He was cold blooded.

R: Why do you think that is so, sir? Did you grow up as a recluse? Did something happen in your childhood?

A: No.

R: Sir, you need to express yourself so we can make progress.

A: I said nothing happened in my childhood.

Rose was getting frustrated but she kept her cool. She was used to this.

A: But something happened in 2006 that changed my life. I lost my Dad. He died in a car accident on his way to the naming ceremony of my first child.

R: Wow. I’m so sorry sir.

A: Why are you sorry? Did I ask for your sympathy? Were you responsible for his death? Can you just keep quiet and listen?

Rose swallowed, nodded at him and kept quiet. Her sanity and safety seemed to depend on it.

A: As they lowered my Dad into the grave, I cried my heart out. Watching my mum and siblings in tears broke me. That evening, on our way home from the burial site, I made up my mind never to be concerned about anything or anyone.

Growing up, I wanted to become a lecturer because of my Dad. He was a Professor of Industrial Chemistry who was loved by his students and everyone who came in contact with him. I wanted to be just like him. After his death, I left the academic path and switched to business.

My business is very profitable. After that first child, we had two more. A boy and a girl. They are doing fine in school. I have enough to take care of myself and my family. I opened a retail outlet for my wife and it currently has 4 outlets. Everything is fine. I’m fine. I’m no psycho.

R: Wow.

A: Did I ask you to speak?

R: I’m sorry sir. You are really hurting.

A: No. I was hurt. I am no longer hurting. I no longer allow myself feel any affection or attraction for anyone.

R: Wow. Even your wife and children?

A: Yes, even them. As I was saying before you interrupted, allowing myself to feel would create the possibility of hurt. So I don’t. One who doesn’t feel cannot be hurt, just like one who never expects cannot be disappointed.

R: Wow.

A: What is wowing you?

R: I’m sorry sir. So, what has been the reaction of your mother and siblings? What about your children? Don’t you think they would be better, if you are to them what your father was to you?

Ade stood and slammed his fist on the table.

A: Rosemary or what’s your name?! Don’t you ever make any reference to my father. Is that clear? If you do, I swear to God that I will hurt you and I’ll damn the consequence.

You ask me to be a better father to my kids, like my Dad was to his kids. What was the result of all his kindness? Did he live to see his grandchildren? Did he? If I am such a bad husband, would I send my wife to Dubai every summer for vacation since my father died? Every freaking summer, you donut!

Can you even afford to travel to Cotonou? Can you? I wonder why I allowed my wife to talk me into coming here. You want to make me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Or that something is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with me! I AM FINE!

R: I am so sorry sir. I didn’t mean it that way.

A: Sorry for yourself. Have a good day.

With that, Ade walked out, leaving Rose sweating and breathing heavily despite the air conditioner in her office.

……

Iremide: This morning, I read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Matthew 26-28). The Bible records that after Jesus was laid in the tomb, efforts were made to seal the tomb and place guards to prevent His “escape”. However, when the time came for resurrection, God intervened and the tomb was open. The stone was rolled away and the guards were made redundant.

Then, it occurred to me that sometimes we live with graves in our hearts. Someone tries a business, loses his investment and promises himself never to try again. His love for entrepreneurship has been buried somewhere in his heart.

Someone gets into a relationship and gets heartbroken. Then, he makes up his mind never to trust again. Never to truly love again. Never to get vulnerable enough to be heartbroken.

Someone puts in for a scholarship, a grant, an admission or a job opportunity, however he doesn’t get it. After several tries, he makes up his mind never to try again. He settles for his present condition, resigned to die the way he is.

Someone was hurt and betrayed by a friend or a family member that he helped. He decides to never trust anyone. To never help anyone. To live life on his own.

Like Ade, a number of us have graves in our hearts. Losses that limit us from living. That stop us from loving. That hinder us from maximizing our potentials.

John 10:10 teaches us that Christ came in other for us to have life in abundance. As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, I believe that he wants to set us free. He wants to open those “graves”. To give beauty for ashes. He wants to give us the fullness of life that He created us for. Are you willing to come to the foot of the cross for healing today?

Shall we pray?

Dear Lord, we are grateful for the sacrifice you made to set us free from sin. From satan. From eternal separation from you. We appreciate you.

Today, we ask for those who are hurting. Those with wounds that have been hidden under layers of time but that have not been healed. Father, we ask that you will heal and deliver in Jesus name.

You alone know the depth of the pains, the heights of the struggles and the far reaching consequences that have been suffered. But also, Lord, you alone can heal. We ask for the Balm of Gilead to soothe the pain and bring healing. We pray that you’ll put things in place to ease the pain and the hurt. We pray that we will remember this season as a time of liberation! We thank you Lord for answering our prayers. For it is in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Happy Easter ❤️

Author: Iremide Akinsola

I am a Christian. I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music and watching football.

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