The Saints, the Prayers and the Great escape

Peter slept peacefully through most of the night. Although his arms were chained on either side of his head to the wall. The two guards who were guarding him were fast asleep as well. Not wanting to take any chances, Herod had ordered them to stay up all night and watch Peter; however they dosed off an hour ago. Herod had heard of the empty tomb but He was convinced that Jesus’ body was stolen on the sabbath. To make sure nothing would happen to Peter, he had put the two sleeping guards in the cell with Peter, placed two guards outside the door of the cell and another two at the prison gates. It would take a bandit of skilled warriors to free Peter.

On the other side of the city, the saints had gathered together in Mary’s home, the mother of John Mark, praying earnestly for Peter’s release. They were all aware that Peter could be killed like James, the brother of John. Therefore they cried out to God for Peter to be released without a trial.

An angel of the Lord was dispatched to Peter. The angel appeared in the cell and shook Peter by the shoulder, woke him up and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At once the chains fell off Peter’s hands. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. Peter did so, looking on either side to see that the guards were still fast asleep despite the voice of the angel, the clanging chains and fumbling of clothes. He thought he was seeing a vision.

Peter followed the angel out of the cell, where the door was wide open, the guards standing there seemed oblivious to what was going on despite being wide awake and fully alert. When the angel and Peter came to the prison gates, the gates opened by themselves and they went out. Once again the guards seemed to be oblivious to their most guarded prisoner strolling out of prison like he was going to a picnic. They walked down a street and then the angel vanished.

Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” Aware of his situation, He went to the home of Mary where the saints were still praying. Peter knocked on the door a few times, shouting at the top of his lungs. Rhoda, a servant of the household, came to answer it. As soon as she got to the door, she recognised Peter’s voice, turned around and ran back to the lounge full of prayer warriors and excitedly announced that Peter was standing outside.

But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy, his trial only starts tomorrow.” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting that it was really him. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away. Finally they opened up and saw him–and went wild! He got into the house, everyone started cheering and praising God. Raising his hand, he calmed them down. The room went silent and everyone waited for what Peter had to say. He explained to them how God had brought him out of prison.

“Tell this to James and the rest of the believers,” he said; then he left and went somewhere else. At daybreak the jail was in an uproar. “Where is Peter? What’s happened to Peter?” When Herod sent for him and they could neither produce him nor explain why not, he ordered their execution: “Off with their heads!” All the guards were executed. Fed up with Judea and the Jews, he went for a vacation to Caesarea.

But things went from bad to worse for Herod. After coming back, people from Tyre and Sidon made him furious. But they got Blastus, King Herod’s right-hand man, to put in a good word for them and got a delegation together to make peace with him. Because they were dependent on Judea for food supplies, they couldn’t afford to let this go on too long.

An appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” That was the last straw. The Lord had had enough of Herod’s arrogance and sent an angel to him. Herod had given the Lord no credit for anything. Instantly, the angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.

Heavily paraphrased historical events from the book of Acts chapter 12
Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. Barnabas and Saul, once they had delivered the relief offering to the church in Jerusalem, went back to Antioch. This time they took John Mark with them.

Diary of an uncertain miss 9

I knock on Ndi’s door for the fifth time. There is no answer. Finally giving up, I decide to go back to my place. The walk is long and lonely. With no rush, I leisurely stroll through the streets with a heavy heart. This whole time I thought I was a great friend when all I was was a parasite. Ndi has always been there for me through all my rubbish but I have never thought that she needs me as much as I need her. She is the strongest one between the two of us. She has helped me get through a whole lot, why did she not speak up when I needed to be there for her?

“Hey.” Thandeka, my flatmate, says as I come in. She is studying at the table. I don’t really see much of her because she is always at the library studying, coming back here only to sleep. However it seems today she did not follow her routine. I close and lock the door and walk to the couch that always reminds me of my mistake. While forcing a smile, I sit down  and turn my attention to her.

“Hey Thandi, I didn’t expect to see you home so early.” I respond. She chuckles, puts her pen down and gets up. She remarks how she needed a change of scenery while walking to the kitchen. She asks how my day was and I just say it was ok. Coming back with two mugs of coffee, she hands me one as she sits cross legged on the sofa. With her whole body facing me, she stares at me with a smile. It’s obvious that she can see that something is wrong. I ignore her and take a sip.

“Well, let it out.” She says, I just look at her like a child who got into trouble but did not want to admit it. “Angela, I know you. Now out with it, what’s wrong baby girl?”

“Nothing.”

“It’s James isn’t it? You were crying the other day because of him. I thought I’d give you space but now I want to know what’s going on.” She continues. She always had this amazing ability to notice things others failed to take note of. That is actually how she found out about James. Apparently I glowed right after spending time with him. This is all out of my control so telling her will not change anything.

“James took my virginity.” I say quietly. She almost spills her coffee as she is taken back by my words. She gasps with eyes wide open. I nod my head slowly, disintegrating any doubt she might have had about not hearing me correctly.

“Oh my gosh. What happened to waiting for marriage? Keeping yourself pure?” She enquires. Thandeka is a Christian. The most sincere I have ever come across. When I got to varsity, I was desperate to lose my virginity. It made me an outcast in high school and I did not want to repeat that with varsity until she became my flatmate.

At first I was skeptical when I realised that she was into this church stuff more than the average person. I thought she was a “thou shall not” person and want to dictate my life but she proved me wrong. Even when it came to the virginity thing, she was the one that encouraged me to wait until marriage, that the opinion of others did not matter. Sometimes I wish my life was as simple as her’s. She seems to have it all figured out.

Without waiting for an answer, she continues talking. “Did he seduce you? Why didn’t you tell me? When was this?” I just gently shake my head. She is asking too many questions. I remain silent for a minute as I process all her questions.

“No, he didn’t seduce me. It was consensual. It’s just that a lot happened afterwards. He has a history with Ndi.” I start off, “After we had sex. I found out that he had dated Ndi before. That just messed up everything.” I say in disappointment.

“Do you love him?” She asks without missing a beat. I confusingly raise my eyes to her. She knowingly nods her head. Do I love him? That’s a strange question to ask. But then again, I got angry when I found out that he spoke to Ndi. Yeah, I liked him. I think I still like him. It was nice to have someone to comfort me when I was crying the other day but still…

“No?…” I say unsure of myself as I turn my head sideways waiting for confirmation from Thandeka. “It doesn’t matter anyway, I’ve just made a mess of everything. I just hate myself right now.” She smiles. Puts her mug on the floor, takes mine and places it next to her’s then takes a hold of my hands. Her hands are warm from the mug.

“Sweetheart, your worth is not determined by what you do or who you are with. I know you really wanted it to work out with him but it didn’t. So what? Don’t let your mistakes trap you in the past.” I pull my hands back, and look at the floor. She does not understand the magnitude of my mistake and I do not have the courage to tell her the whole story. She gets up and takes the mugs to the kitchen. A few seconds later she emerges with a twenty rand note in her hands. Without saying anything, she crumbles it up, throws it on the floor then stamps on it several times. This girl has lost her mind.

“What are you doing?” I ask, getting to my feet. Maybe she needs to see the psychologist as well. Picking up the twenty rand, she quietly uncrumbles it and hands it to me. I take it and look at it. It’s out of form but overall still usable.

“Did it lose its value?” She asks breaking the silence. I look up at her realising what she is trying to teach me. I chuckle. I fold it and put it in my pocket. Taking a step closer to her, I smile and give her a hug.

“I’m keeping this.” I say as I break free from her embrace. She smiles back at me.

“You’re welcome. You should get some rest. I think you have some thinking to do.” She says. I nod in agreement and head to my room. A slight headache forces me to sleep. Thandeka did teach me something but she did not necessarily make my situation easier. I do not blame her though because I was not completely honest with her. I collapse onto the bed and get comfortable.

Waking up to a noisy alarm, I get up and get ready for campus. I only have lectures until the early afternoon today. When my last lecture ends, I decide to go see Ndi. I was harsh on her and I think I’m ready to apologise. In addition, Thandeka’s question about James made me realise that I might still like him. If Ndi is willing to forgive him, why can’t I? Reaching Ndi’s commune I hope she is here. I knock on her door, James opens.

The nativity scene

by Alphie 0 Comments

The high pitched sound of a tiny baby, clothed in the stack of hay He lay on, pierced through the cold calm air in the barn.
One grey old donkey lounging on the brown grass at the corner of this tiny fly infested barn gazed intently at the parents who seemed to adore their new member of the family.

Unaware of the great wonder before it, another goat casually chewed on the green grass near the corner. Even if told what this birth symbolised, the donkey’s miniature mind would not be able to comprehend this event.
Calming down, the baby boy, curiously stared at His parents.

The parents, unaware of the birth of global redemption hidden in Their New Born Baby, were just grateful for His birth.
Heaven on the other hand, with full knowledge of the future; sang songs of praise. As the skies were flooded with with this heavenly beings rejoicing in union over the new Born King.

The star finally arrived and halted over the barn as the wise men, with all their gifts, entered the barn. This was the start Of Eternal Salvation

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6

Hear no evil, See no evil

by Alphie 1 Comment

There were three witnesses to the crime and each one had a flaw. One was blind, the other was deaf and the third had a reputation for making up stories. As is the case in such cases, after interviewing all of them, I got three different stories.

The case was of a man who beat his girlfriend at a street corner; the blind man is a beggar and was sitting on one end of  the street where the incident took place. The deaf man was on his way to an opera when he saw the crime and the third man, who fortunately had all his senses intact, lived on the third floor of the building in that corner. I had to talk to each one of them to find out what really happened.

The first man I interviewed was the third man. He was a 27 year old man who spoke a way too much and had an opinion about everything. I imagined he was the irritating “know it all” that always annoyed all the kids in class with his unnecessary statements whenever a teacher taught. I would know this because I used to be one of those kids until adulthood reminded me that I don’t know much apart from how to breathe. Even that had to be a skill we are blessed with in the womb, otherwise our lives would have been short lived – literally. Apparently this man’s reminder was long overdue.

He entered the interrogation room confidently. Strutting to the chair across the table like he was going to dinner with a celebrity. I sat on the other side of the table with a notepad in front of me which was eagerly waiting for its next hit of ink and a pen in my right hand because, well, I’m right handed. He pulled the chair back, sank his skinny body onto it and reclined back as he looked around the room.

“You guys really need to add more colour to this place.” He said casually as his eyes surveyed the small room with nothing but the chairs we sat on, the table and the surrounding grey walls. Did I mention that he had being here numerous times? Coincidentally, he had managed to be a witness to five different crimes in the last two years. He always seemed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time with nothing to do but watch other people live their lives and in those five cases, commit some sort of felony. He testified in court for three of those cases but it was later realised that his accounts of the scene were exaggerated, bordering the line of deception. I personally did not want to interview him but when everyone heard he was witness to this crime, they all abandoned the case, leaving me to handle it.

With a sigh of frustration, I tell him that we will get it painted if we ever interrogate a toddler. He chuckles, mentions how funny that is and then sits up straight. I was just glad he was not gay. He already had an overwhelming personality, being gay would most probably have made him more outspoken.

“I’ve done this a million times so we can skip the formalities.” He starts off, “So here is what happened, I’m sitting by the window overlooking the street and I am minding my own business. This couple is walking on the side walk just below me. I don’t know what they were talking about because they were not within ear shot. However, I did hear the girl laughing, more like chuckling. Like this,”

He pauses and chuckles in a squeaky voice attempting to imitate the girl’s laugh, “So she chuckles a bit then there is brief silence. The man suddenly looked angry, he said something inaudible to her then she pushed him away. Afterwards she swore at him. You know, ‘You son of an itch’ with a B in front. The man raised his right hand and slapped her, she stumbled back. He then punched her in the stomach and she fell to the ground.”

He illustrates the scene as he speaks; his arms moving around wildly like he is trapped in a huge spider web. “So I immediately jumped into action, running out of my place and down the stairs to help the girl. As I get outside, I see the man leaning down as he was about to kick the girl. I ran to him and pushed him to the side, he fell, I kicked him in the stomach so that he could feel the pain as well then I went to help the girl up. She pushed my hands off of her and told me she had everything under control, seemed to me that everything was over her control though.”

He pauses to take a breath and settle into his chair again. This finally gives me a chance to speak, my writing is not as fast as his talking but fortunately I am recording every word that spews out of his mouth as evident from all the fresh spit marks on the table. He opens his mouth again. Chance missed.

“The girl eventually gets up and she shouts at me like I’m the one who punched her. Can you believe it, I help her and I become the enemy. This is why you can never be right with women. Anyway as I’m trying to explain that I’m trying to help, this woman runs from the other side of the street and she hits me with a handbag. Ironically enough, she doesn’t say anything, she just furiously hits me repeatedly. I tried to help but all I got was a shouting from one woman and a beating from the other. Unbelievable.”

“Firstly sir,” I interrupt, “We have not taken down any of your personal details, I understand that you have being here before and so you know the procedure but it does not give you the right to bypass the initial processes. I’m going to need you to tell me why you were on the balcony window.” He raises an eyebrow, then starts again.

“Like I said, I was just looking at the street, see what’s going on outside my place. The couple fought, I helped and now we are here. Anything else officer?”

“Not at the moment, thank you for your cooperation. You can leave.” He gets up irritated, mentions how bland the room is and walks out. I finish writing the report before the next witness comes in. He walks in after half an hour. It’s the blind beggar.

He is an old skinny man, his face painted with wrinkles that have so many years between them and his eyes hidden by those square black shades. Grey thin hairs adorn parts of his bald head. He holds a cane that looks as worn out as him. Escorted by one of the other police man, he cautiously feels for the chair before sitting down. The police man leaves and silence settles into the room as cautiously as the old man settled into the chair. He just sits straight up and looks at me, no movement whatsoever. I clear my throat.

“Hello,” he softly says with a calm, shaky voice that oozes with the wisdom of someone who had experienced too much of life. His dry lips leisurely move with no sign of urgency. I ask if he was well taken care of. He comments on how friendly the receptionist was and the wonderful food he had eaten. He adds on that he took his first proper bath in six months today. Acknowledging how glad I am that he is happy with how we treated him, I ask him to tell me what happened on that street corner. He is silent for a minute or two as he seems to get his thoughts in order. In a slow manner, he recounts all that he remembers.

“Well I was asking for change there as I usually do during the week to get something to eat because it’s not nice not to have the food you need. A few people gave me coins but it was usually five and ten cents and there is not much you can buy with such small amounts. I’m pretty sure this people who give me that little money have never been homeless, how else can you explain what a person expects you to do with ten cent. Anyway, around the late afternoon when it was relatively quiet, I heard a man and woman coming from down the street laughing together. I was hoping they would give me something because no one had come around for over an hour. However a moment later, the woman said something very rude about someone’s mother. That’s when I heard a clap and someone falling down, the man then exclaimed that he was sorry and that he did not mean to hurt her. He kept saying it was a mistake. That’s when I heard another punch.”

He pauses, “or it was a kick, I couldn’t really tell. Then the woman told the man to get off of her because she had it under control. It was sad, they didn’t even give me any change. Then I heard more swearing between the man and the woman as they passed me and left me empty handed. There was a voice of another man but I don’t know why he didn’t stop the fight.”

I thank him for his cooperation and escort him back to the waiting room. The last witness, a deaf woman sitting on a chair at the far corner of the waiting room quietly reads a book, unaware of our presence. I unconsciously call her, forgetting that she cannot hear me.

The secretary smiles, gets up, walks to her and taps her on the shoulder, she looks up and smiles at the secretary. I ask the secretary if she got a translator and her sweet face gives way to a look of bewilderment as she shakes her head, rushes back to her table and picks up the phone. I motion for the deaf woman to follow me. Without hesitation she gets to her feet and walks behind me. We enter the interrogation room and seat down, facing each other as we wait for someone who understands sign language.

The room is quiet and a hint of tension floats around. I unconsciously tap my pen periodically against the notepad. She looks around the room, plays with her fingers, glances at me briefly and then repeats. After ten minutes a young short man enters with a chair in his hands, he looks at me, smiles in acknowledgement as he nods his head and then places the chair next to the deaf lady.

“Hi, I’m told you need me to speak to this lovely lady.” He says while seating down. I nod my head. He raises his hands to her field of view as she turns to look at him. With a pleasant smile on his face, he starts skillfully moving his hands, she joins along when he pauses. A smile soon develops on her face.

“What would you like me to ask her?” The man asks without looking at me. I tell him to ask her what happened, he briefly moves his hands. She nods, raises her own arms and then starts explaining the story through her hands. The man nods in agreement every once in a while as he pays close attention to her. After a while she stops. He shifts his gaze towards me.

“It is a very bad world we live in. She tells me that she was in the shop opposite to where the incident happened. As she was coming out, she saw a man slap a woman, she ran inside to ask for help. But the cashier did not understand sign language and he was not willing to leave his shop unattended. She says she was too scared to go help at first but since men are useless, she figured she could take the abusive guy out.” He pauses and shakes his head.

“When she ran out again, she saw a second man attacking the woman who was now on the floor. She changed her mind about helping physically. That’s when she decided to text the police but the text did not go through and calling them was as useful as a scale in space. She says she even struggles to order pizza unless she does it online. The police should also make reporting crimes online possible.”

“OK then, what happened afterwards?” I ask. Irritated by all this irrelevant information.

“She says that she texted her friend so the friend could call the police. To make sure the men didn’t run away, she ran to them and started hitting one of them, the other guy held her and pulled her away. Then that’s when the police showed up.”

I thank them for their cooperation and escort them out. Going to my office. I go over the story, trying to make sense of it all. Now that all the witnesses have told their side of the story. I had to talk to the man that started all of this. I get up and head to the holding cells hoping that I will at least get a story that makes sense.

Diary of an uncertain miss 7

So a few things; I would like to apologise for neglecting this story. I know it is quite intriguing and a few of you can relate to some of the character’s experiences. however I finally wrote this chapter.

A few people have asked me to write the conclusion of the story but I believe that since this is not just a story with a linear plot, a straight forward conclusion undermines the complexities of this character’s experience. anyway, enough rambling, I’ll just leave you to soak in these chapter and please let  me know your thoughts in the comment section. Enjoy!

If you did not start with us, click here for the previous chapters

Chapter 7

I am awoken by the floor vibrating. Getting on my knees, I notice that I am still on the floor. Probably passed out the night before. I cannot believe the uncomfortable floor failed to wake me up. Seeing the flashing small light next to me, I grab the phone and squint a little as I try to register what is on the display. It’s James. Grunting loudly, I send him to voicemail. I get up and head to the bathroom. An hour and a half later I am ready for campus.

As I open the front door, I see him sitting on the ground leaning against the wall across the hall. He looks up, his face flushed with fear, confusion, doubt and an emotion I could not quite read. My heart almost stops as I am taken back by his presence. I stare at him for a moment until he gets up. Snapping back into the moment, I quickly try to close the door but he blocks it.

“Can I please explain.” He shouts as he gently pushes the door open. Giving up trying to keep him out, I let go of the door and walk back to the sofa. He walks in and closes the door. Silence settles in briefly before he speaks

“I’m sorry Angela”

“Sorry won’t make me a virgin again.” I shout, breaking down into tears in the process. Collapsing onto the sofa, I bury my face into my palms, unable to stop sobbing. He seats next to me and puts his arm around me. I push him away. He tries again. This time pulling me onto his chest, I rest my head on his shirt attempting to breath properly and failing miserably. Why am I being comforted by the arms that caused these tears?

“How could you?” I ask between sobs, “I trusted you. Why James? Why? I let you take my innocence and you manipulated me. Why would you do this to me?”

“I didn’t rape Ndi…” He mutters.

Frantically breaking free from his embrace, I jump to my feet as my anger jumps through the roof. I cannot believe he would deny something so serious. I consider lashing out at him but I know it would be a waste of time. As I turn around to face him, all I see when I look at him is a monster. He sits there calmly staring at me, his face no different from when I first saw him in the hallway.

“Get out.” I whisper, he gets on his feet and takes a step towards me. I step back, folding my arms and looking away. I hear him breathe in heavily before he turns to walk towards the door. I watch him get to the door then turn around and look at me.

“I didn’t rape Ndi, I liked her and took her out. She was a nice girl and we had fun. After the movies she invited me back to her place. We talked for a bit and I asked to kiss her, she agreed and I did. One thing led to another, we went to her room and most of our clothes ended up on the floor, before I took off her pants, she told me to stop. I did.” He pauses, looks down and continues with a softer voice.

“However when I was getting dressed, she started kissing me again, we continued where we left off but she kept stopping me from time to time then telling me it was ok, that she was ready. We eventually had sex, then a week later she accused me of raping her. I didn’t rape her Angela, I’d never do that to any girl.”

He turns towards the door again, opens it and leaves. Leaving me standing there, more confused than before. His genuine voice does not make things any easier for me. I decide to stay at the flat the rest of the day. My plan proceeds properly until the late afternoon when I get a call from Ndi. She sounds concerned and asks why I missed the session with the psychologist.

“oh my gosh, was that today?” I exclaim. “I completely forgot.”

“It’s fine, you will just reschedule. Can we talk tomorrow?” Ndi asks. I agree and she asks about my day. I tell her that it was fine and that I did not come to campus because I was not feeling well, not wanting to tell her about James. She wishes me a goodnight and hangs up after a short trivial conversation.

The next day comes quicker than I would like it to. I meet Ndi during lunch time and we decide to take a walk, neither of us having an appetite. We talk about school for a while before anything is mentioned about our current circumstances. She remarks about how her academic focus took a huge hit since James showed up. Eventually she pauses midway while talking about her previous class. The silence indicates that she is going to bring the rape issue up.

“I bumped into James yesterday.” She blurts out, I stop walking and stare at her bewildered, waiting for her to continue. “We talked for a bit about everything.”

“And?” I ask.

“And I forgive him Angela. It was a long time ago and although the psychologist recommends we open a rape case, I feel like he has already paid for his sins for long enough. I mean, I was in high school. I think it’s time I let it go Angela. You should to, it’s not worth the trouble to send him to jail.”

“What are you talking about Ndi?” You said this guy raped you and now you just want to let it go? How is that going to undo everything that’s happened? It’s you and your selfishness that got me into this mess. If you had just told me about him back in matric, I would still be a virgin today. It’s your fault I am in this situation and now you just want to let it go? No Ndi, you are being stupid. I can’t believe this.” I say while trying to keep calm and keep my voice down.

I stop and take a deep breath, trying to stay calm. Fortunately we are in an isolated area so there is no one to witness my outbursts. I shake my head in disbelief. Maybe James was not lying. Ndi just stands there looking at the floor. A tear rolls down her right cheek. Not being able to hold myself, I just decide to walk away. She does not stop me, instead she stands there; motionless.

 

A short journey

This is just a short story I found from my old notebooks from high school. Not much of a plot but I like the way I described the scene. Enjoy.

The blanket of white thick mist rests over the city; Covering the tall buildings that tower above everything else. only a short distance could be seen ahead.
Moving slowly through the highway, the battered taxi crawls through the wet road. I say a short prayer of protection – regretting getting into this taxi. The dead wipers resting on the windshield of the old taxi awakes every passenger’s anxiety.
Cars swoosh past us like Usain Bolt passing a wheelchair bound elderly woman. The driver, with an irritated look on his face from the fine he received earlier, stares at the road ahead.
With his eyes fixed on the blurred white lines on either side of our lane, he tries to keep the staggering taxi on the lane. The quietness of the passengers invokes an atmosphere of anguish as the side view mirrors shake frantically outside the taxi.
The taxi slows down. Up ahead lies a queue of cars. It seems no car, whether expensive or cheap, road worthy or not is spared from this congestion that suddenly slows traffic.
At this moment every driver seems frustrated at the slow progress made in these five lanes. The plump woman sitting next to me breathes a sigh of relief; probably glad that we are moving so slowly.
I gaze outside the window, my Vision blurred by the precipitation that has built up on the window. noticing the driver wipe the interior windshield with a small dirty clothe, I Hope it doesn’t rain.
The snake of cars ahead extends to the horizon of the highway. Some cars swiftly cut into any open spaces as they try to move faster, all in vain.
Pondering to myself, I question why I was in such a hurry to get to  Johannesburg. Our lanes are slow in contrast to the cars flying past us headed in the opposite direction. Reaching for my bag, I grab my English poetry book and decide to study a poem. This is going to be a long poignant journey.

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An empty soul

I woke up to an empty soul
Filled with unanswered prayers
and unmet expectations

A soul that slept hopeful but
Was drained by the nightmares of reality
Because dreams do come true-
But it’s not always the pleasant ones

It turns out that nightmares can give birth to children of doom
Just as much as sweet dreams will feed a hopeful future

So my soul was starved off it’s nutrients
It was pregnant with promises of a hope and a future
But because I neglected it like a drugged enslaved mother who could not care less about the state of her children’s health;
Tomorrow was aborted

I let my soul wander into places it was never meant to find
While I aimed to satisfy my desire driven flesh
That had a bottomless hole where it threw in all the pleasures I fed it

I woke up to an empty soul
A soul that was bred a Giver
But because it strayed too far from the living water
It is now being subdued by famine,
And so what was created to be a life Giver;
becomes a life taker
Like a black hole destroying all that came close to it;
My soul became a cause of pain when it is a healer at heart

If faith leads to life
Then this doubts can only lead me to the grave!
I always sailed with the wind, sometimes against it
But now I’m just drifting into oblivion
Forgetting that Heaven isn’t the only final destination
A deadly drift leading to a deserted death

If I’m not growing, then I must be dying;
I’m dying to live

Yet in the midst of my disobedience
My Maker promises to give me a new heart
and to put a new Spirit in me

A Spirit that sings songs of joy every morning
Grateful for new mercies daily
A spirit that sees past people’s immaturity and insecurities and aims to meet their deepest needs instead

He promises to restore the joy of His salvation
So I rejoice in the mess
Because God is going to make it a message of hope

I kept running away from Him but He always ran ahead of me to make sure I was safe and clear the path
Now at the end of me, I found Him waiting with arms wide open

Because He is faithful, even when I am unfaithful
Whenever I stray too far from His presence
He is always waiting for my return
Like the Father waited for His prodigal son

No matter how far I may go,
I always find my way back into His arms
Because there is no other place where my soul is satisfied than at the feet of it’s Creator.