By Chukwuneta Oby
It was a (church) service of priestly ordination. And naturally, there was so much ‘busyness’ all over the place.
I had noticed the elderly woman-when she was brought into the church. Somehow, my attention never left her…probably, because one was seated two rows from her. She struggled a lot to get up from her seat-yet she wanted to partake in every activity (e.g. going to the altar for the Holy Communion and to place her ‘offering’).
I resolved to keep an eye on her.
Been long I saw such a cheerful ‘senior’. Someone who was being supported to stand on her own feet would give another ‘senior’ (who was having difficulties walking) a helping hand…she probably understands that, there is never a better way to happiness than snapping out of your issues to ‘be there’ for another.
For every assistance offered her…one got a hug or squeeze (of the hand) from her. I also noticed that when she got to the altar for the Holy Communion, she refused being supported and really made an effort to stand tall …that (to me) is determination!
Considering that she actually stoops to walk and never without ‘support’.
The few trips we made to and fro the altar fetched me questions like ‘‘is she your mum’’ from those seated next to me. As I shook my head, I wondered why an act that should naturally come to one (towards the aged) would only be justified-if being offered to a relative.
Service was over and everyone was rushing towards the exit…such occasions (like priestly ordination) attract unusual crowd to the church.
I thought that whoever brought her to church would come for her. I wanted only to go home to a nice meal and sleep. But I took one more look at ‘Mama’ and knew that my task wasn’t over, yet.
So, I went to her and asked if someone was coming to pick her up. The answer was ‘no’. I was actually wondering what to do with her-even as I muttered “don’t worry.” I didn’t drive. I walked up to a church worker and explained Mama’s ordeal. His response made me understand that my request was not convenient. There was yet to be ‘item seven.’
I began scanning the crowd for a friendly face to approach when I decided on a young man coming my way. He didn’t even wait for me to finish speaking before asking where Mama lived. His facial expression showed that whatever response Mama gave was off his direction but he did offer to drop her home.
The next arrangement was getting Mama to a convenient spot, while he maneuvered the traffic to get to us. We had hardly stepped out of the church when it started raining. How do you rush back in with a lady who could barely walk?
Several priests passed us by-as they ran to their cars.
Yours sincerely became occupied with the thought of having to visit the salon twice in three days-when a delighted shout of “showers of blessing” snapped me out of my reverie… Mama’s voice!
Before we parted ways, Mama told me that she was eighty five (years old) two weeks earlier and that she became bored staying home every Sunday. So, on that day-she was determined to find her way to church-even if she had to crawl.
I was thankful to have met Mama and (actually) made some efforts towards her…even as a thoroughly drenched me found my way home.
A lot of issues came to mind as I mulled over the events of that day.
It’s actually in the ‘busyness’ of everyday life that one’s faith is tested. And your faith is defined by those ‘efforts’ (towards humanity) that will task your ‘convenience’!