OH BABY! – a novel
(By: Pastor Taiwo Iredele Odubiyi)
Read and be blessed.
Richard was casually dressed. Dark, tall and handsome, the thirty four-year old man wore blue jeans trousers and a light blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His cell phone was attached to his belt. Tammy was dressed simply in a long skirt and blouse made of African batik with a zigzag pattern.
After some minutes’ drive, they arrived at Ngozi’s self-contained apartment which was on the first floor of a four-storey building.
They entered the living room and exchanged pleasantries with the woman.
Then Richard said, “We haven’t been seeing you and your husband in the church lately. In fact, it was my wife who brought my attention to it.”
Ngozi and her husband had been coming to the church for about eight months when suddenly Tammy noticed she hadn’t seen them for some weeks.
“I hope everything is okay,” Richard continued in his deep voice, still looking at the woman.
Tammy sat quietly beside him in the small living room. Her hair which she had brushed to the back before leaving home was now being blown by the standing fan near her.
Ngozi smiled shyly as she looked at Richard from across the room.
Richard fixed his gaze on Ngozi. He had a way of looking straight at people in the eyes and this had worked well for him in his secular work as a lawyer in a private practice. Looking right into people’s eyes was one of the things he learnt early while in the University, studying law.
Still smiling, the slightly built Ngozi shifted slightly to the right where she sat, and spoke. “Yes, Pastor Richard. Everything is okay. I have actually missed the church.”
“Why haven’t you been coming around then?” Tammy asked pleasantly, from beside her husband.
Ngozi looked a little uneasy. “There’s nothing. It’s just that … er … my mother-in-law told my husband that we should stop coming to the church.”
“She told you to stop coming to church?” Richard asked, with raised eyebrows.
“Er … well, yes.”
“Your mother-in-law?” Tammy asked with a frown. The mother-in-law had been to the church with the couple twice and Tammy wondered if something happened on those days that she didn’t like.
Richard asked, “But why?”
“It’s the pregnancy issue.” Ngozi answered, looking at him with a try-to-understand look. “My mother-in-law is very concerned. You see, my husband and I have been married for three years and don’t have a child yet.” She stopped.
Tammy immediately felt disturbed.
“So?” Richard prompted, wondering – what has this got to do with the church?”
The woman shrugged, “That’s just it.”
Richard leaned forward a little and said, “You need to talk to me. I know you don’t have a child yet but what has that got to do with the church?”
“I’m surprised myself.” Ngozi said.
Richard continued, “I mean – you have just joined the church and,” he shrugged, “having a child is a matter of time. Besides, did you join the church just so you could have a child? Doesn’t your mother-in-law know that?”
“She does but,” Ngozi looked away, “she’s of the opinion that as the senior pastor has only a child, and you, the associate pastor, don’t have any, both of you are not in a position to pray and help us have children. She feels it’s a waste of time for us to remain in that church.”
“What?” Richard exclaimed, shocked.
Tammy’s frown deepened. She looked at her husband briefly and back to the woman. How could the mother-in-law say such a thing, as if human beings had the power to make children? She took a deep breath. This was not what she expected to hear this Saturday morning. She had come out visiting with her husband, with the hope of forgetting the comments Pat made in the office yesterday. Tammy kept quiet. Her husband would handle the situation, she thought reassuringly.
“But that’s not true!” Richard said to Ngozi. “The fact that the senior pastor has only a child and the associate pastor doesn’t have any yet doesn’t mean that members of the church won’t have children or that the pastors can’t pray for them! Children are from God and God is faithful. Didn’t you explain that to her?” His voice was laced with disappointment.
“Yes, we did.” Ngozi quickly said. “But you see, she’s of the opinion that if the pastor or pastors of the church find it difficult to have children of their own, it means that their faith is not strong enough. She feels that they are not powerful and prayerful enough in that church or that there’s a sin somewhere.”
“Wha-t?” Richard couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
No faith, not powerful and prayerful enough? Sin? Tammy wondered in disbelief. She had heard enough. She wished she could just get up and leave. Her face dropped.
“But that’s not true!” Richard blurted out, without a moment’s hesitation.
“That’s what I told my husband but … you know …” Ngozi shrugged.
“How could your mother-in-law jump to such conclusions?” Richard asked. “And what’s your husband’s stance about it?”
“Er … well, he … it seems he shares his mother’s opinion.” She said awkwardly.
“He does?” Richard was surprised.
“Yes, and it’s because he’s concerned. You see, he likes children a lot and the fact that he doesn’t have his own child yet is bothering him.” She tactically explained to defend her husband. “But he doesn’t have anything against you or the senior pastor. In fact, we felt fulfilled at every service since we began to attend the church. He loves the church.” She added.
Tammy tightened her lips as she thought – love indeed.
Richard felt deflated. “I think I’m disappointed because you all don’t know why the pastor has only a child and why I don’t have any yet.” He said, shaking his head.
Tammy was visibly troubled as she listened to the conversation.
“So, the two of you just stopped coming to church without a word to us!” Richard asked incredulously.
“I would have continued coming but my husband warned me not to.” Ngozi revealed.
“I’m surprised that your husband believes what his mother said about us. He felt this way and never said a word about it to the pastor or me! I’m surprised.”
“He couldn’t tell you.” She said.
“Oh, I see.” A corner of his mouth turned up with a wry smile. “When will he return from work?”
“He won’t be back until evening.”
Richard pulled his black cell phone out from his belt holder and began to search for a number. “I’ll talk to him.”
Tammy was looking at him, glad that he was there with her to handle the situation. He could handle any situation and anyone. And she was confident he would tackle this man and his mother. His confidence was one of the things she liked about him. He was also well polished and fun to be with, aside being a good Christian and husband.
When Ngozi perceived that Richard was ready to tackle her husband on the matter, she quickly said, “If that’s my husband you’re trying to call, please don’t let him know that I told you what his mother said. Just ask him why you have not been seeing us.”
Richard nodded as he dialled. When the call was picked, he told Ngozi’s husband to see him soon.
(To be continued.)
In this novel, you will realise that God’s plans for you are good, and that there is hope for you.
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