Written by Fruitful E. John
“The first beings I saw were two angels” He said and I sat up. The youth pastor, brother Lawrence stared at him – that look that meant “Unbelievable!” Silence swept through the auditorium as other youths looked at him expecting him to continue.
Brother Lawrence had instructed that those who went for the prayer meeting should array themselves in front of the pulpit. All of them had walked to the front, except Rachael who was reported absent at the bible study.
“I heard some strange things happened to you people that did not go down well with the leadership of the church. As your leader, I deserve to know. Now, I want each of you to share your experiences with us. Mathew, let’s hear you” He had said.
“Then I saw Jesus standing behind them both. His body was emitting sparkles of fire. Jesus told the angels to bring me. They came to my side and held my arms as if they wanted to lift me up but nothing happened. The longer I saw them hold my hands, the more I prayed. After a while, I discovered that we were moving towards Jesus. But we were not walking” He said and kept quiet.
“Is that all? What do we make of your story?”
“On my way home, after leaving the others, I passed by a church that was having a night service. I heard the preacher say quicken me oh God and I will call upon your name. He made mention that there is a quickening that makes a man remain in the place of prayer forever. He said when you motivate yourself to pray, you may get tired. But when God quickens you to pray, he gives you a divine strength to stay and prevail in prayers.” He kept quiet again, as if looking for the next right words.
“Hmmm” I sighed. A young boy stood up from the third row in the left column. Everyone must have thought he was going to use the toilet. But he went straight to the front and stood directly in front of Mathew. He said “My name is Yusuf. My father is a muslim but my mum changed to Christian. I don’t always know whether to go to church or to go to mosque. You said you saw Jesus? Can you help me see Him? I want to see Him. I want to talk to Him.”
Brother Lawrence was surprised, he couldn’t hide it. He opened his mouth slightly and closed it again. Finally, he spoke out. “Young boy, I salute your desperation. But you see, you don’t have to see Jesus before you talk to Him. Just close your eyes and say the words, He will hear you.”
“No! I have been going to mosque with my father but mum tells me that there is a Jesus. I want to believe my mum but I know too much of the Quran that believing is so impossible. I know if I see Jesus and we talk, He will give me boldness to dare the threats of my father”
“You really want to see Jesus?” Timothy, who was standing beside Mathew asked.
“Yes! I want to see Him right now and right here”.
“OK. Close your eyes.”
He closed his eyes. Nothing happened. The intensity of the suspense was obvious on the face of every boy and girl around me. Brother Lawrence rested on the pulpit with a look that I interpret to mean stop wasting time. The thing that surprised me was that Yusuf did not open his eyes. He just stood there with his hands clapped together like someone reciting a mantra.
“There’s no time for all this pranks my boys. We are done. You all should see me in the pastor’s office right away.” Then he turned to the pew and said “I’m sorry for keeping you back for this long after the bible study. You all should go home straight now. God bless you.” He moved three to five steps on his way out. Then he stopped, looked at the pew and saw that everyone sat still. If you ask me, I don’t even know why I maintained my position too. Yusuf still had his two hands clapped together.
“You all should go home before it’s late” He said.
“Jesus! I’m not going home until I see you.” Yusuf screamed. Almost immediately, he went down, shaking vigorously. I saw Sharon’s mouth move and paid attention to what she might be whispering. “Jesus!” That was what she was whispering.
Two other boys stood up simultaneously to the front. “I want to see Jesus too!” The first boy said.
“What do you want?” Mathew asked the second boy.
“I want to pray for eight hours like you did. I want to go to the mad people’s home and lay my hands on my mum like you did for your dad and he was healed. I want to have that fire that shone in your eyes when you were telling us the story. I want…” He suddenly stopped and held his face with his hands, wiping out tears. He tried to stop crying but he couldn’t.
“I know Jesus will not give me what He gave you. He won’t. I am such a bad boy. I watch pornography. I have a girl friend that we commit immorality together. Just last week, I started joining my friends to drink alcohol…”
“If you will just use half of the time you have spent counting your sins to tell Jesus to forgive you. He will have. And then we can get back to getting what I got.” Mathew interrupted him.
Young boys and girls began to whisper from different angles of the church. Some of them had tears running down their cheeks.
“Oh Jesus! I see you. I see you. Thank you. Thank you for coming to me. I will tell my father. I will tell him that Jesus is real. I will tell my muslim friends. I will tell my cousins. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for giving me a new name. Thank you for…” Yusuf was saying when he snapped back from his unconscious state.
I didn’t want to be left out so I closed my eyes. They opened right back. There was Brother Lawrence, five steps away from the pulpit with tears running down his cheeks. I was moved at the sight of his conviction so much that tears gathered in my eyes immediately I closed them to pray.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
…to be continued…
“…Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my POWER in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” – Romans 9:17.
“…quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.” – Psalm 80:18.
Written by Fruitful E. John