Month: June 2015

Why I Stopped Going to Church

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Photo Credit: relevantmediagroup.com
Photo Credit: relevantmediagroup.com

I walked into the sanctuary

But the silence made it seem as though I was in the mortuary

As I stepped in,

I could see the judging eyes under the big black hats

I could hear them murmuring-

Yes, I was a sinner

But I didn’t need these saints’ accusing glances

I pulled my short dress down to conceal my bruises

My hair was long and free

Something the usher called ‘wild’

As she handed me a rumpled handkerchief

With an undisguised disgust across her face

Then there was the offering which we gave 3 different times!

I barely had enough to feed myself,

And I felt it was just a means to exploit the poor

God definitely didn’t need all that cash!

I could perceive the pretense in the air

People trying to be ‘holier than thou’

The pride and prejudice in the church wrapped its slimy hands around me,

My thoughts were not focused on God who I came to see,

But on these people whose approval I desperately needed

God I couldn’t see, but these hypocrites I saw…

I went back home worse than I came,

So much for Christianity and the love of God

I said under my breath as I told myself I’d never attend church again…

Broken and empty on a Saturday night,

Lying abandoned with no one in sight,

I heard Him speak clearly,

That He loved me so dearly,

My heart was like the troubled waters,

But He spoke great calm,

As he led me to the church I belonged to.

Photo Credit: chastityproject.com
Photo Credit: chastityproject.com

I saw people worshiping in truth and spirit,

Offering to help me in every little way,

I felt a quilt of peace around me

As I breathed in His presence

Soaking myself in the pool of His blood

I had never felt cleaner,

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God-Psalm 92:13

A church is a hospital for sinners

Not a museum for saints,

Unfortunately a lot of people have stopped going to church

Because of the saints who showed them no care,

The clergy who condemned them,

And a lot more reasons…

But why stop the flow of blessings

Because you hate the channels used?

God longs for you to worship Him

Make it a date this Sunday! 😀

© Mfon Etuk, 2015

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Photo credit: christianfunnypictures.com

PS: The second part of the Forsaken series will soon be out. Please be patient 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Forsaken 1: The incidence

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Lisa woke up to see the time way past what she had expected. She couldn’t even remember when she had slept off. Weary from the tempests of life, she laid with her back on the ground. Blankly staring at the smoke stained ceiling till she fell asleep.

Grabbing her coat from the rusty coat hanger, she stepped out for an evening stroll to clear her head.

After walking two blocks, she met some Christian fanatics who insisted on giving her gospel tracts. “Oh, please!” she thought. “God doesn’t want to have anything to do with me” she muttered as she politely collected the piece of paper from this rather aggressive group, screaming and yelling out lots of religious stuffs she couldn’t make out. She glanced at the paper which had boldly written ‘THE CROSS: YOUR ONLY WAY OUT’. How would there be only one way out? Even airplanes had at least 2 exit doors, she shook her head as she absent mindedly promenaded along the streets leading to the park.

Lisa hadn’t always been so unbelieving. There was a time she belonged to that group of fanatics, a time she believed in God, a time she even wore robes and sang in the choir. She gave Him her all, until…she tried to swallow a tight knot in her throat as she relived the most painful part of her life-he took her all. Some tears escaped her firm grasp and freely flowed down her high cheek bones. It still felt like it had just happened, every time she recalled mom and dad strapped in the flaming car with no exit whatsoever. The car doors were slammed, as the policemen told her after the accident with an oil tanker. Where was God when she sat in the hospital, praying, crying, praying again, and singing? With the stabbing pain that rushed out from the depths of her heart, she squeezed the little paper with all her might. They didn’t deserve to die. They were good people. If He could save others in the Bible she once loved reading but couldn’t save the two people she loved the most in the world, then there was no need to go on with Him.

She climbed a little hill located at the east side of the park they loved going to. It was their favorite picnic spot. Mom and dad always took her there on Saturdays, along with the freshly baked cookies mom loved making because she knew it was her favourite. She took in a deep breath, relishing the aroma from mom’s kitchen. Mom and dad really loved God. They always said she should trust in Him. She wiped a straying tear and looked up to the skies and whispered ‘are you there?’ A part of her wanted so badly to feel his presence envelope her and his love overwhelm her heart. She desperately needed answers to the why questions; why did they die? Why couldn’t he save them? Why did he abandon her?

It had been a year since she last stepped into church or said a prayer or even read her Bible. She suppressed every thought that reminded her of his presence. He didn’t love or care about her and most likely never existed. He was probably just another figment of her imagination.

Mustering all the strength within her, she screamed ‘God, are you there?!’ The thunder roared, the lightning flashed and the rain began to pour down but Lisa was unperturbed by the elements. She wanted closure so bad. She needed to know if He took her parents away just to hurt her or for the fun of it. She imagined He would bellow from the Heavens and give her answers. But He didn’t.

The silence that followed overwhelmed her as the tears began to flow uncontrollably. She had never felt more alone in her entire life. Soaking wet, she began to trudge downward, oblivious to the heavy downpour.

Of course, he had abandoned her. No doubt. The rain mixed with the tears on her face, flowing in torrents. She made a decision. There was no going back. Closed up from love, she picked a new path for her life. A path dark as the night. Cold as ice.

© Mfon Etuk, 2015.

Photo Credit: waitingforbabybird.com
Photo Credit: waitingforbabybird.com

The Losing

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Cold

Shivers run down my spine like fingers on a dead winter’s night,

My lips frozen, skin shut tight like epileptic teeth-

Words buried, unspoken,

“Its zero degrees in here

Or am I just dreaming?

The sun is still overhead,

Why am I freezing?”

Numb.

Feet can’t move,

Heart stops beating.

I watch a part of me leave.

My soul weeps at the loss of a memory.

Alone.

No one in sight, empty plains,

Tears no one can wipe away stream down my soaking cheeks;

My screams are mere whispers, no more than soundless echoes,

Whispers no one can hear,

“I reach out but can’t feel a thing.”

Fear.

My enemy, stuck like a brother,

The ghost keeps me awake at night, blanket to my chin,

Too frightened to fight-

“It’s dark.”

Loss.

I know that word only too familiarly,

A well of torment well unleashed.

Flowing in its torrents, swiftly running currents,

I float along, log of body wood-

“I lost me in you.”

© Mfon Etuk, 2015

Photo credit: www.pinterest.com
Photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com

The Bus Wait

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Tired. Exhausted.
The hot mid-day sun liberally shines down on me, withholding nothing.
The light reflects on my sunshades
Queuing like ants searching for food, we all line up
At the mercy of the buses
When they would arrive, no one knows
Yet we patiently wait, unsure of the possibility of getting on the next bus.

No shade. The winds are on a standstill.
Been standing for a while now
40 minutes or 40 hours?
I’m afraid I can’t tell the difference
Looking at my phone screen-
My only companion
Hoping to get a ping or a buzz…
Nothing.

The blank screen reflects an image of me right now-
Alone. Abandoned.
I sigh and look up, desperate for a bus.
Buses begin to drive by
None going on my route.
Tired commuters begin to sit on the hot pavement
The closest thing to comfort.

Whatever happened to the over 100 BRT buses?
Stuck in traffic?
Inadequate?
Or the obvious fuel scarcity that has crippled every institution?
My mind shuts down for a minute
Unable to analyse the unpleasant situation.
I need a drink. Something cold.
I glance around searching for a mobile drink carrier.

Thankfully there he is! I quickly pay for the bottle of apple drink, twice its normal price and gulp like a girl who has sojourned the Sahara desert for a month without water.
The long queue behind me gives me a thin thread of hope to grasp.

It’s been 4 hours already.
I should be in bed right now.
My jacket is off and my shirt untucked
Shoes taken off, earplugs in place,playing songs that do little or nothing in easing my depression,
I’m sitting on the pavement with careless abandon
Don’t get me wrong, I’m way past anger and disappointment
I just want to go home.

A brilliant light penetrates through the dark night
As it gets closer, hope springs forth
Everyone scrambles to their feet.
Finally, it’s here.
I don’t care about the tiresome wait anymore
All that matters is that the bus is here and I’m on my way home.

© Mfon Etuk, 2015

Photo credit: www.skyscrappercity.com
Photo credit: http://www.skyscrapercity.com