Wounds of a Man
By Agufa Kivuya (Kenya)
Finally, the much awaited day for the mega-conference was at hand. Everything was in a perfect order. Even John the worship leader had done his part by taking his praise and worship crew through a vigorous practice and as he reported to the senior pastor they were ripe for the day. The controversial village pastor, who was the main speaker, had just flown to the city and was literally waiting for is day in the church. The mobilization team had had done their part well as was evidenced by massive flocking into the church. Much had been heard about the village pastor, so many out of curiosity came to witness things for themselves.
Meanwhile John didnít anticipate much as he had been to many conferences and had listened to many mega-preachers both local and international, so this was not going to be exceptional. But on the first day of the conference, he was startled. The message was total different from what he was used to. The preacher focused mainly on the need of Christians decamping from sin and
living life worthy of repentance and with no blessings and prosperity messages. As the pastor preached the congregation bowed their faces down in shame and many wrongs were brought to surface. No sooner had the pastor finished than the congregation poured out their hearts in repentance, confessing their sins. John watched and resisted the strong urge to join in. as many spoke remorsefully of nasty things they had done, John thought himself not a worse sinner as he had always believed. He had grown weary of life even though the prospect of death filled him with dread. If only he had an option.
At the end of the day John went straight to the room of Juniorís, who had become his friend. They talked and talked but the dayís sermon was so strong in him that it had to be included in their talking. The sermon was exceptionally good but Junior could take none of it. John tried hard to have him in to the following day but all was in futility. Junior was an atheist and nothing was going to transform his belief. After all, the village pastor was his neighbor back at home and had nothing spectacular to attract him to salvation. In fact, he was wealthier than him. But John was wrestling with his mind; he was to give his life to Jesus.
At the end of three daysí sermons John felt a strong need for prayers. For the first time he had seen a cripple stand up and walk. This was the right pastor to pray for him. Even though others had openly confessed their sins with him he cringed to confess audibly. So silently he repented. At the end of the sermon, as people lined up to talk to the village pastor, John lingered around eagerly waiting for all to disappear before secretly holding a tÍteĖŗĖtÍte with the pastor.
The pastor didnít pray for him as he had anticipated. Instead he poured on his head the anointing oil that was on the table as he murmured a prayer. Then to Johnís consternation he said, ďJohn I
saw you in a dream before I came to this town. You are a robber but at the same time a police spy who works with policemen to stem robbery here in this city.
John thought the village pastor was either using his instincts or had investigated him. There stories of pastors investigating people and then claiming it was true just to make money out of it. In his mind he thought the village pastor was unlucky as he was dealing with a more enlightened person who could not buy his tricks. So he silently waited for the village pastor to wind up his tricks.
The village pastor went on, ďYour life is in an abyss right now and you have been praying for someone to help you. I tell you Jesus is the answer. Jesus has been your trouble and that is why he sent me to you. So as you can serve him in quite unfamiliar territory. And for you to serve him better you have to kill your worldly dreams. I know right now you are thinking of owning estates and becoming a flamboyant celebrity. You are tight now busy building a city on the eastern side of the city named after you. To tell you the plain truth that this will never happen.Ē
John really liked the village pastorís explanation of his future. In his mind he was for it but the picture of a glass precariously hanging in the hands of Junior terrorized him. He could clearly fathom that the village pastor was hinting of his departure from criminality and spying a job he had first for his upkeep and second for his future survival. He was to die but the threads of spying pulled him back. No, he would not hearken to the village pastor. The pastor did not understand the gravity of his resignation and the impending disaster.
The pastor went on, ďI know you are thinking of death, right? You will not die as you think. Second itís not that job that saved you from the grave but God. That was purely the doing of God that gave you favor in the eyes of Junior. And it was a deliberate effort of God to save you for future ministry. If you repudiate his call today, then your fears will have materialized. Do you think you are any way better or luckier than your dead friends? Definitely no. You have to take heed to what the Lord is saying lest he transcends you and you know the consequences.Ē
John had to cudgel his brain. He really wanted a total transformation in his life yet feared for his life. Pastorís words were much different from the investigations of Junior. Junior knew all he did but the pastor told him all that was in his mind; going to the extent of digging up what was hidden in the corner of his heart. At first he thought Junior had given this information to the village pastor but the secrets in his heart convinced him otherwise. As instincts of a human being would hint, people keep their money on superior persons, so John chose to listen to the village pastor rather than Junior.
The following day John met with the village pastor and together they headed to the Aliceís apartment. He knew and frequently robbed her, and the village pastor managed to convince him to ask for forgiveness and he stood by him.
As John poured out his heart, Alice thought it was a dream. Hardly could she believe what she was hearing. Actually she had underestimated Junior her brother. So it was that every time he gave her money, he used to send John to rob her and take the money back to him. Junior had made her look like a real nincompoop. No, she had to hit back harder. Even though, after being persuaded by the village pastor to forgive them all, Alice was not going to allow Junior to walk away with it. Junior had not kept part of his contract, so she was not going to keep part of her contract. Thus she was blameless. Alice forgave John and saw them off. On the following day she left the city to the countryside without a word for Junior.
John, with help of the village pastor, surrendered all the robbery paraphernalia to the police. John was almost shot dead before arriving at the police station but the regional commandant came to his aid. For the good work he had done for the police in the city his death penalty was reduced to incarceration for being in possession of illegal guns and robbery in the city. As pastor advised him, he spoke the pain truth in the court and was sentenced to thirty years in jail. And in jail John preached the gospel with much joy and peace.