I still remembered the mail I had received from my senior manager, telling me my communication materials were not properly formatted. He offered samples to look through. For this I thanked him and promised to do better. Two weeks later, as I would call it, ‘my village people were after me’, my communication went out unformatted! This was after hours of confirming it looked good on my laptop. Thankfully, my line manager stepped in when the concise, but strong warning mail came from my senior manager again. I was shaking, and dreaded sending out communications.
We tried to find other systems to use to achieve this. A part of me began to avoid anything that had to do with the man. Even though we were cool, and he would loan me books from his library to read while in traffic. The border lines in my communication template created borders between us. It didn’t help that the last time I saw him was before March 23rd when COVID -19 caused us to start working from home.
Today, I recount all these events after my phone buzzed with an email notification. An email that would pile atop the already dark atmosphere due to the protests against police brutality and the evident killings of unarmed protesters by the Nigerian army. It’s sickening. The mail left me numb. This man whose book I still hadn’t finished reading, had passed on. This man to whom my draft communication was sent to yesterday for vetting. How? I couldn’t fathom. Why? I would never know. My heart is heavy as I write this. One final thing I noticed in the mail was that the communication had border lines, those same ones that made me afraid of him. But at the end of the day, none of it mattered.
It never did.
As I slumped heavily on my bed, I reached out into my hope jar, and popped open a sticky note that said:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. – Eph 4:32
I’m grateful I forgave (even though it took me a couple of weeks). I even hoped to bump into him (even though I had dreaded that after the warning mails I had received). And I’m sad I never got to meet him in person again. He will always be in my heart, and I believe some day we will meet again.
I would like to use this piece to reach out to everyone who has lost someone, especially at this difficult time we’re facing as a country… words can never do justice to that feeling of loss, emptiness and oftentimes helplessness. I pray that your hearts are comforted in Christ.
Thank you for reading. Please keep praying for Nigeria. Stay safe!