Bananas


As a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Nigeria, I often faced a cash crunch due to the meager monthly allowance we received and the fact that I received even that little bit only when the authorities concerned deemed fit.

On that fateful day, I was at the State Ministry of Works and Transport, my place of primary assignment. I hadn't a kobo on me because my payday was still coming, so I wasn't sure I would eat that day. I had a strong conviction that I would, but I didn't know how the food would come.

Naomi, an older woman whom I respect, worked in the same department I did. We'd gone on field work together on at least three occasions since I assumed duty there. On this particular day, she was selling bananas. She came to the workplace with a good number of them, and in no time, all but a bunch worth N10 were sold. Naomi gave me that bunch. I thanked her immediately and then offered Mamoud - a NYSC member working with me - a banana, which he accepted.

Just then, someone who had come to see the head of my department entered the room. He noticed the bananas and asked to have one. Mamoud immediately gave him one. He took it and went into the department head's office. I wasn't all that pleased. Mamoud was giving out something that wasn't his. But I kept mute and just watched.

After a few minutes our visitor came out from my boss's office, dropped something on the table, and left. Curious, Mamoud and I looked at what he'd left for us - and, behold, it was a N50 note! What a surprise! We had never before met this man, we hadn't asked him to pay for the banana he took, and the whole bunch had cost only N10. I realized that God had not only provided the food I needed that morning but also, through this man, He had taught me the importance of generosity.

Though the banana was mine, it was obvious that our visitor had intended the money for both Mamoud and me. So we agreed that I would get N30 and Mamoud would take the remaining N20. I took the N50 note and went looking for a place where I could get change. On my way back, I found someone who needed money too. Without hesitation, I gave her N10 from my N30. Why shouldn't I? Since someone had been generous to me, I should treat others the same way.

Now I had enough money to feed myself that day, but God had more in store for me. During the day, my boss gave me another N60. And on my way home, I visited a friend of my father who was working in that same town, and he gave me N100! So I went home smiling, with N180 in my pocket - enough to feed me for the next two days!

You see, God was teaching me that it pays to share. He was saying to me: " 'Give, and it will be given to you.' " - Luke 6:38

By Goodhope 0. Hezekiah who writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Source: Signs of the Times, Pacific Press.

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