“I came to God for power. Why do you think I read my Bible daily” he said smugly. His voice resonating like a baritone.
“I Love Power and there in the Bible I will get that power” he further added. He lifted the stick of marijuana and placed it between his lips and lighted it. He paced around the room with the stick in his mouth, letting out fumes through his nostrils.He turned to Bola and placed his hands on his chest.
“I can make Donald Trump kneel before me and it’ll be by the power of God”
“I believe you” Bola replied with a smirk on his face I didn’t really know if he really believed what Michael said or he just said it to appease him.
“No one should condemn me. Not even you. People say Christ didn’t commit any sin but I believe that Jesus caught his own cruise. Me too I will catch my own cruise. The first person to see Christ after the resurrection was Mary and did you know that she was a prostitute.” ?
He walked towards me and repeated his question “Did you know Mary was a prostitute” ? He looked deeply at me waiting for my answer while He blew smoke from the marijuana he was smoking to my face. I answered him in a confident voice as if to let him know that I was not intimidated by him at all “Yes I know” I said.
“Good you know. Christ came for the sinners and not the righteous. If Christ didn’t die, heaven would be empty. I love doing my own things that’s why I hate going to church. Where Multitude abound, a lot of sin abounds too. If I go to church I’m sure the stupid Pastor would look at me and tell me that I need Christ. He would look at my hairstyle and my piercings and conclude that I need God. He’s the one that needs God not me”.
He stood in front of my bunk staring at me. He was speaking with so much conviction. He spoke like a salesman trying to convince a stubborn buyer into buying whatever he was selling.
I just laid on my bed not giving him any reply. He didn’t really expect any reply. He took occasional pauses while giving his “sermons” During those pauses he didn’t really expect I’d reply him or anybody else would. He just spoke with so much Passion.
He turned to face Bola who was standing beside his bunk opposite mine. “I saw my ex girlfriend yansh yesterday and omo I wan die” he said in a blend of English and pidgin.
“But that girl just fuck up. She fuck up big time. She just left me. A whole me. But me I sha chop am. I chop am big time. IIt’s not her fault. As I dey nau, na enjoy I wan enjoy life ooo”
He turned and faced me, speaking in English this time. “or what do you think” he asked
“About what” ? I asked.
I didn’t really know what he wanted me to say. Overtime I had come to notice that he always sought my view on certain things.I just stared at Bola who was looking fed up from Michael’s talk. Bola never really paid attention to Michael whenever he started spewing his religious philosophies. The philosophies he believed to be flowing from a well of erudition.
“I’m off to class” Bola said as he took his knapsack from his bed and headed out. I watched him as he exited the room.
“I would be stuck with this lunatic” I said to myself.
“Even the wisest man in the world enjoyed his life” Michael shouted.
I knew he was referring to King Solomon. He always made reference to certain scriptures to justify his act.
“So who forbids that I enjoy my life. To hell with that person”
I also wanted to enjoy life myself. I wished I could do certain things that were contrary to my beliefs. There were days I felt choked up with everything. But here was a guy who had no restrictions whatsoever as regards his morality and at the same time sought after God who emphasised morality. I was angry at him for having the gusto which I didn’t have. That was why I cowered at his feet.
I was in a state of confusion. I had always been in a state of confusion since I met this guy. The first time I heard him talking passionately about God I was moved. I Ioved God but I had never had that boldness to talk about him among non Christians. I could boast about his mighty works in the company of believers but not unbelievers. But here was a guy who I consider to be an unbeliever based on his appearance and sometimes the words he said.
“Can a fountain bring forth both good and bitter water” I asked myself. Michael’s fountain was surely bringing out bitter and sweet water.
I wasn’t being judgemental. Who am I to judge him. I also had my demons. The difference was that he wore his demons like a badge on his forehead, proudly flaunting it not like a facade but as a show of dignity.
“I’m crystal clear. I’m transparent” he says
Yes he was. I could see through him like a saran wrap. Like the crystal clear water flowing under the bright rays of the sun. Shimmering and glistening. You could see what skeleton laid at the bottom.
My waters were not crystal clear. They were a blend of water and sand. You might think you see through me but you don’t really. Michael had demons but I had the devil taking a nap inside of me.
As I laid on my bed thinking about the plight of Michael and my plight. I noticed him walking towards my locker to pick up his Bible that he keeps there.
“Do you have any reflections I could read” he asked.
He didn’t wait for my reply and neither was I willing to reply. I had nothing to say to him. He opened his Bible and hoped to read the chapter and book the Bible opens to. A technique I had seen a lot of individuals employ. They hoped the Holy Spirit would blow a soft or strong wind which would turn and flip the pages of the book to the particular verse he wants them to read.
“No one knows the son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the son. No man can know the Father except those whom the son chooses to reveal the Father to”
“The book of John” I said to myself. I knew that because the book of John was the book that talked more about the relationship between Christ and the Father.
Michael had a big smile on his face.
He turned to me with the same passion he had few minutes ago. I wasn’t ready for another sermon.
“No one can know God” he said.
“It’s here in the Bible”
I thought he was taking the verse out of context. I was ready to oppose his interpretation of the verse but I decided that I would wait and let him finish.
“if Jesus does not reveal the Father to you then you can’t know him ” he added.
At this point I was happy at myself for not concluding prematurely. I was always ready to defend my point. I would stand and argue it out as if my existence depended on it. Yes my ego depended on it. My pride wanted that I be right all the time. But it was different with Michael. He had bashed my ego several times. I always cowered at his presence. Like a beta wolf losing to an alpha wolf.
He walked away from my bed and moved to the locker to drop the Bible.
“But you know Jesus was weak” he said to me. I was dazed.
“The Pharisees and saducces accused him of casting out demons in the name of belzeebub and he didn’t do anything. Those Pharisees thought they were very intelligent but I really believed Jesus was weak”
I didn’t know the basis of his conclusion but I wasn’t ready to argue with him. He is one Person that never wanted to be defied at all and neither was I but in this case Michael was my King.
He spoke with so much conviction about his beliefs.
“I’m a sinner. Christ came for the sinners ” he always says.
I was a sinner pretending to be a saint. At that point I drifted into a philosophical state. Juxtaposing the contents of our discussion which kept ruminating in my mind.
I was thinking about Michael, myself and others who all had a form of convictions.
Everyone claims to have convictions about their beliefs. They base their acts on their convictions. There are others who don’t even act based on their convictions. They just acted based on what others wanted. Maybe that was their convictions.
I laid on my bed staring at the fan as it moved. My mind filled with a dark cloud of confusion. I realized that I had forgotten about class that day. I didn’t bother to get up.
My path was covered with leaves making the trail difficult to follow. But I wasn’t bothered