God's Child

It was about 12 years ago, in Lagos Nigeria. I was going through what I thought to be the toughest time in my life. I had been through a broken home situation with grave implications on my educational pursuits such that I was forced to go looking for a job at a tender age to enable me raise money for my education. Lagos, being the beehive of commercial activity in Nigeria, used to be the federal capital before a new one was established in Abuja. The movement of the capital to Abuja did little to reduce the cost of living, population or traffic congestion. Getting a job in Lagos was a job in itself, the only difference being that you don't get paid for it. There was nothing like social welfare schemes but there were strong family ties through the extended family system.

I got a job alright, however my income could barely cover my expenses before the next pay day talk less of saving for my education. Against all odds I registered for a professional course programme and began attending evening lectures. I studied hard because I felt my whole life depended on it.

I was not anti-social but I rarely socialized. I was deeply engrossed in my studies on one of those off-lecture days when suddenly, I heard a high pitched voice in front of me, "Hello, are you Steve?", I was startled. I looked up to see a dark lady with innocent looking eyes staring at me. "Umm, y..yes I am, can I help you?" I stammered, not being able to imagine what this well dressed lady with very articulate speech would want from me. "I am Lola Pedro. Well, you see I am having problems understanding the concepts of Financial Accounting and someone told me you are very good in the subject". I found this hard to believe, "who could have given her such recommendation when I hardly spoke to anyone in the class?" I thought.

Nevertheless, I went ahead to explain out the problem areas of the subject. After a few hours, she told me she was going for lunch and I promptly excused her. "Have you eaten today?" She asked. "umm.., not really" I replied. "Then we are going for lunch together" she said. "Oh my God!, I thought, "Will I be able to afford lunch for two?" . I was too much of a gentle man to decline so followed her reluctantly, like a lamb led to the slaughter and where did she take me? Not to the place I usually eat but a more expensive restaurant!

"Now, I've landed myself in big trouble," I thought. We ordered our food and as I began calculating and re-calculating the bill in my head, I heard her ask for the bill and promptly paid without batting her eyelids. When we finished for the day, Lola asked me, "Will you come to my church tomorrow?" I accepted her invitation. The next day, I put on my only Sunday dress and headed for the church. There was no dull moment during the service and she was very happy to see me when the service was over. She however taught me one lesson which changed my attitude to life.

While I enjoyed the service, I could not wait to get out once the service was over. Why? I can almost hear you ask. I saw the gaily dressed people, I saw happy faces and I just didn't feel I belonged. I had gone through so much suffering that I could not remember the last time I had the luxury of being happy. God opened my friend's eye to this. She touched my shoulder and said, "Steve, you've got to see yourself as God sees you. Some of these people you see are not better than you are but they have learnt to rejoice in the Lord. Whatever situation you may be going through now, lift up your head and walk tall because you are God's child!".

Then she said something else, "You feel ashamed because of the cheap clothes you are wearing, let me tell you something, most of my clothes are cheap but I redesign them myself and wear them with an attitude!". I had noticed that many ladies in my school and church regularly compliment Lola on her dressing and good fashion taste. It took some thinking but the message finally sank in.

I have lost touch with Lola for many years now but the impact of those words are still felt today. I wish you were here now, Lola. I have gone through more serious problems than the one I was going through then but I remembered those words and I stood tall. God sent you into my life at the right time and you made a lasting impact upon my life. Another thing I learnt from you is the value of friendship. I have made good friends over the years and I focus more on being a blessing than being blessed. Wherever you are now, I want you to know that God has used you as an instrument of His love and I pray that we will meet again. If we don't meet here on earth, I trust the Lord that we will meet in our glorious home above.

Steve Popoola stpopoola@yahoo.com

Steve Popoola, Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter, was born in London but currently reside in Lagos, Nigeria with wife Maris and son, Praise. He works in a bank as a network administrator. He serves as Assistant Youth Director in his local Church. He can be reached through email at, steve@biblepraise.org . You are welcome to the Biblepraise website for inspiring stories articles and poetry. Http://www.biblepraise.org

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