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[STORY] SPOILT AT CHURCH (Episode 18)

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SPOILT AT CHURCH by Bosede Fagbemi _ AllNaijaEntertainment

SPOILT AT CHURCH by Bosede Fagbemi

Episode 18.

Pastor Kayode and Martha met again at the Church at his request. Before then, Martha had struggled with lots of conflicting emotions coupled with her inability to erase the memory of the little time they shared when they first met. The Pastor’s eyes kept surfacing at all waking and sleeping moments. The depth, the wisdom, the fire in them. They looked familiar, like eyes she had seen before.

They exchanged pleasantries, after which Pastor Kayode complimented her on her dressing. Martha blushed and looked away. Not mincing words, he stated his mission to her.

“I first caught a glimpse of you the day I was inducted as an associate Pastor in the Church,” he said. “I don’t know what drew my attention to you, as I stood to receive the hands of fellowship from the Pastors and elders. I saw a young, beautiful lady holding a child. There was an aura around you that I couldn’t explain. Your thought kept reoccurring after the service and thereafter. I started praying because, it seemed God was telling me something.”

Martha kept her face straight as the Pastor spoke. She was already preparing a polite rebuff in her mind. What could God have told him? She questioned and smiled slightly. She had erased anything that would have to do with relationship from her life’s itinerary. After the rape and the aftermath, she had kept all MEN except her Dad and siblings at arm’s length. Martha had rather focused on things that mattered most- her relationship with God, her daughter, her education and family. They came in that order. Her Daughter will be six in a month of time. Martha was in 300 level. What is this Pastor saying? She murmured.

“I have been praying since then,” she heard him say. “I was indoor last Saturday at the Pastorium, when I had a push to go out. It was very strong. I knew something pleasant was waiting for me, maybe an answer to a prayer. I obeyed. If you noticed, my hair wasn’t combed. I was even in bathroom slippers. When I saw you, I was convinced that you are the one that God has prepared as my wife. I got talking with the Senior Pastor, and he said I should meet you after praying with me. And here am I, to ask you to pray and think about becoming my wife.”
He landed.

Martha took her time in answering. Fidgeting with a button on her hand bag, she sighed and stated emphatically, “I don’t think you heard God clearly.”

“How do you mean? Why will you say that? He was surprised.

“Because he knows I don’t need a husband,” Martha answered boldly. “I don’t want marriage, and I want to be left alone.” She turned her back to move away, but Pastor Kayode’s next words stopped her.

“Don’t be rude Martha. At least, you can pray about the proposal, even if you don’t want it.”

Martha frowned her face and asked, “Why will God want you to marry me?”

“Who are you” Pastor Kayode asked gently. He focused on her face.

“Humph!” Martha breathed in deeply. “I’m my simple self. I’m a child of God but, I have an ugly past. Although I had waded through waters and fires to ensure my past doesn’t interfere with my future, there’s no how a scar can ever be like a normal flesh.”

“You are speaking in parables Martha.”

“Pastor! I know you must have heard of my story. That child you saw with me the first day you noticed me, is my flesh and blood. She has no father. I have resolved to use the rest of my life taking care of her, and serving God faithfully. I don’t want marriage.”

Pastor Kayode folded his arms across his chest, looked straight at Martha and prayed for God to give him the wisdom to get across to her. Gently he said, “I strongly know you are the will of God for my life. I have no doubt about it. I have also developed a kind of fondness for you. I just wish you will pray. At least pray.”

“Pastor,” Martha cut in, “The Bible tells me in the book of Leviticus 21:7, that a priest should not marry a harlot; or a woman who has been defiled; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband; for the priest is holy unto him God. You see! I will be doing you a disservice by even promising to pray about the proposal, because I won’t.”

“Why?’ the Pastor asked.

“Let’s face reality. I will be a clog in the wheel of your progress as a minister, if you marry me. Other ministers would look down on you, for marrying someone who already has a child. If you remain in this Church, you might even be denied the right to become a senior Pastor. I have a child, a child that the father wouldn’t acknowledge. I beg you to let …”

“Sister Martha,” Pastor Kayode called quietly.

“You need an untouched woman,” she continued. “Someone that has never been with a man. Someone like Mary. She was used as a vessel to bring forth our savior because, she was pure and chaste.”

“Martha! Look at me. Have you finished your bible exposition?”

She smiled.

“It is true that Mary was used as a vessel to bring forth Christ. It is true that she was a virgin. But then, in the same lineage of Christ, there were women that were not so worthy, but God used them as worthy vessels because of their willingness.”

“Agreed.”

“Who would have thought that Rahab, a harlot, from a heathen country, would find Grace before God to be in Christ’s lineage? At least, you’ve never been a harlot.”

“Never.”

“Who would have thought that Ruth, a Moabite, a country whose people mustn’t enter the house of God, would find Grace? She was also included in the lineage of Christ. Bathsheba became David’s wife through manipulation and bloodshed. She also found Grace. At a point in their lives, God choose them to become vessels unto honor. Moreover, the Bible said in the book of Romans 8:30 that- those that God predestinate, them he also called: and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified. Martha! No matter your past, you are a glorious woman. I see it in you.”

Martha felt peace descending on her as the Pastor continued.

“As for my ministerial progression that you mentioned, It is in the hands of God. He called me and knows where he will lead me. Nothing can ever stand in my way, if I remain in his will.”

“Sure!”

“Furthermore, I have heard about your past but it doesn’t move me an inch. I see your present and I love who you are. Everyone has a past, either good or bad. Our victory lies in the ability not to allow our past to mar the future. When we dwell too much on the past, it becomes a barrier to God operating in our lives. For you in particular, God wants to use the mess of your past to give a great message to the world. I hope you will allow him.”

“What of my child?” Martha asked. “I have a child.”

“I know,” Pastor Kayode answered. “I know you have a child that is as beautiful as you are. God knows you have a child, when he made me realize you are my missing rib. I will gladly accept her as mine if we become one.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Martha lamented. “Will it be right to accept your proposal? Am I worthy to be a Pastor’s wife? After all that had happened. I have always seen Pastors’ wives as honorable women with great assignments. I was made to know that I wouldn’t be worthy for a single man because of my child. I was equally advised to focus on marrying a widower or a divorcee. I made a resolution to remain single for life. I choose to train my daughter alone. But here you are, asking me to be your wife. I haven’t even graduated from the University. I see eligible, single and ready ladies in the Church, as well as vibrant sisters, but God directed you to me, a mother of a child that the Father won’t acknowledge.”

“That is Grace! My sister, Grace. It is the ability of God, at man’s disposal. I want you to pray about the proposal,” Pastor Kayode pleaded. “I will give you as much time as you want but please, don’t keep me waiting for long.”

“I will pray and get back to you, as soon as I have what to tell you,” she answered with drops of tears.

“I know God will guide you but, the choice remains yours. Even if you won’t accept my proposal, I respect you a lot. You will always occupy a special place in my heart. Cheer up!” He touched her lightly on the cheek. “You are a strong woman.”

After that, they walked side by side to the gate. Suddenly, Martha remembered something and stopped. Facing the Pastor she said, “Your surname sounds familiar.”

“It is a common name.”

“Yes but, there’s something about the…I think I remember now. There was a revivalist that came here years ago. That must be the name.”

“You mean a vibrant, fiery old man with grey hairs at the temple and a dark birth mark on the nose.”

“Wait Pastor, do you know him?”

“What do you think?” Pastor Kayode teased her.

“Wait! Your face, don’t tell me.”

“He happens to be my father.”

“Oh my God!” Martha screamed, then covered her mouth as the scream had attracted women who were cleaning the Church compound, with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Williams seated and directing them. They looked curiously at the two.
“I gave my life to Christ under his ministration,” Martha said.

“You don’t mean it.”

“I wish to meet him again,” she said excitedly.

“You will. As his daughter-in-law.” Pastor Kayode smiled.

“Why are you so sure of this?”

“Because God has said it and I believe it. I can also see it in your eyes, that your answer will be a yes.”
———————————
Mrs. Johnson glided to the Pastor’s office. Knocking vigorously, she entered and dumped herself into a chair. Revd. Bamiro looked at her curiously, waiting for a word from her.
“I saw something disturbing outside,” she said when she finally found her voice.

“Disturbing?”

“This is not the first time I’m seeing them together.”

“Who?” The Pastor asked.

“Pastor Kayode should put himself in a state of honor and stop sending wrong signals to the youths.”

“How? What did he do?”

“This is the second time I’m seeing him having deep conversations with that girl,” Mrs. Johnson tightened her mouth.

“What girl?”

“That one that gave birth to the child without a father.”

“You mean Martha?”

“That is her name.”

Revd. Bamiro turned his chair round and brought his face at par with Mrs. Johnson’s saying, “Pastor Kayode is an adult and knows what is good for him. Have a nice day Madam. Eku imura iyawo.”
To Be Continued… . . .


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