That day in church, as the priest went sing song in Igbo translated to “Everybody, touch your neighbour and tell her you love her,” I remembered Ebola.
My mind drifts from time to time.
In church. On my bed. On the road. On a project. At work. Dream state. Etc.
I have to carry my Idea Pad around, almost always.
One time I took it to church, my mum spied me scribbling ideas in it.
She came home and went, “Stop writing in church.”
“No buts. Focus in church. Listen, this boy. Listen.”
I was a young man then. Did she just refer to me as a boy? This boy – really?
“Who said I wasn’t listening?” I asked like I didn’t already know she said so.
“You were not.”
“Ahn. Ahn.” Like, is it her ears? Or is it her listening? Nawa o!
That day in church when the priest said this, she wasn’t there.
I went to visit a new church.
Then, I remembered Ebola who visited Nigeria when I was in Enugu.
Uninvited. Such chutzpah in this 21st century when it’d have called to say it’s coming.
Except we’re really close friends, how do you just show up on my doorstep uninvited? You’ll sleep on the doormat/porch like a package from Amazon.
I remembered I went to visit a new parish when Ebola came.
How the priest asked for suggestions on how to carry out communion without spreading Ebola.
How some folks in the second service suggested stopping communion for now.
How I sold my shyness that day and told me the priest the church should go plastic disposable cups on communion until post-Ebola.
How my suggestion didn’t make sense to those who insisted on having Faith and taking the communion ‘that way’.
Heck! By all measure – because of my name – I should have the strongest faith among them but I was thinking in variant perspectives: faith with works.
That day I went to visit the new church, I remembered all these and I saw happy folks singing, dancing, hugging and shaking hands.
I could bet my bottom dollar no one sang, danced, hugged and shook hands when Ebola arrived on the doorstep of Nigeria.
Ebola took these away when I was in Enugu. Sadistic Ebola!
I shook about three people and tried to smile at them.
Shaking hands bore me; it tires me easily plus I don’t know where you must’ve put your hands before doing the shake-y on me.
I smiled to myself, reiterating to my being that caution (especially during a tough/dangerous period) isn’t fear and faith without works is as dead as a corpse.