Obviously, someone had been paying for the devotionals delivered to my house monthly. I was yet to figure out who. Of course I’d never opened the devotionals. If I needed them, I had enough money to order a truckload. I had tried to bribe the delivery guy into revealing who was sending them, all to no avail. Eventually, I asked him to stop, but he wouldn’t budge.
I grew up in a cold Christian family somewhere in the most sophisticated part of the country. I came from a rich home with liberal parents. I had all the money I wanted and was immediately employed in my father’s company after my NYSC. The plan was for me to gather enough experience to take over the company in due time.
I was perfectly comfortable and needed nothing else to complete my life. I had any girl I wanted and was into drugs. No, I didn’t take the drugs. I saw to their safe export through my influence. I knew how drugs could waste a person, my mother was testimony to that. Selling them was cool money though and I couldn’t care less whom it wasted.
My Mom almost rendered my father bankrupt with her drug addiction. She was currently undergoing series of tests and therapies to rid her of the addiction. It seemed nothing was working, but we hung unto that bit of hope. Apart from her, my life was the other synonym for perfect.
At least that was what I thought, until Mira.
Mira was a nurse I met in one of my visits to the hospital to see my mother. There was nothing particularly spectacular about the petite nurse with those sharp eyes that seemed to miss nothing. But, there was something about her that called to you.
She always wore a huge smile on her face when she refused to let me see my mother, on the grounds that it would disturb her convalescence at that point. At first, I just laughed at the tiny lioness and wrote a cheque. She politely rejected the cheque and told me she would have me thrown out if I tried to pull a fast one on her. To say I was confounded would be an understatement.
I would have done something about getting her replaced except for how my mother spoke about her. How Mira read the Bible to her every morning. How Mira prayed with her. How Mira this or Mira that. I never knew my Mom to be the prayer type. Granted, she was a Christian, but that was because she wasn’t a Moslem or pagan either. She went to Church on Sundays, paid her tithes regularly, gave the highest cash for church building and all of that. Never had I seen her open a Bible. I didn’t even remember if we had a Bible at home.
I just visited her the previous day and she seemed aglow with some light. She had some peace that was confusing. I had gone to see her very early so I could rush off to work afterwards. I met her praying with the Mira girl, their hands clasped. The nurse smiled at me when they were done and greeted.
My Mom was all excited, sharing stuff about Jesus while I listened politely. I went to find the Mira nurse afterwards and successfully scheduled a meeting with her, after she’d listed her plans for the day and decided there was no space for me. I had agreed to come for her evening Bible study so we’d see afterwards. I patiently waited for them to dismiss, then drove her home.
“Do you really think Jesus had anything to do with my Mom’s recovery?” I asked in a voice tinged with mockery.
She smiled slightly. “Absolutely. She needed Jesus to break free from her addiction.”
I chuckled at the incredulity of that. But then, something or someone must have been behind Mom’s ability to stop doing drugs.
My eyes narrowed slightly as I pondered on that. “I will still say, thank you Mira. Thank you for being there for her. She had been struggling with addiction for like 16 years or so. Since I was 10. We’ve almost given up on her and then, you just appeared and brought hope with you.”
Mira smiled again. “Thank God, Nate. I brought Christ, He’s that hope. I was transferred to this hospital 3 years ago. I was mad that God had to let them transfer me when I was about getting promoted. It just didn’t make sense.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord. He said, Mira, My will or yours? I felt incredibly chastened. I had forgotten all about His will in the heat of the moment. I had to return to my original prayer. I said, Lord guide me to whom you want me to help. Let my will be lost in thine. With that, I proceeded with the transfer process to this hospital.”
“Wow!” I exhaled. “I assume you were meant to help my Mom or something?”
She shrugged. “It appears so. And since you’re here, you are part of the bargain.”
I laughed. “Look, I don’t do drugs.”
“Are you born again?”
“No. Or maybe, yes. Whatever that means.”
“You’re not,” she said matter of factly. “You need Jesus.”
“Oh. I don’t think so. I don’t need anything or anyone. I’m a complete man.”
Mira smiled again. I loved her smiles, to say the least. “Do you not feel that?”
“Feel what?” I asked, slowing down the car as we rounded a bend.
“That gaping emptiness. Sometimes you want to fill it with women or drink or maybe drugs, yet it never fills up. You’re not at peace, because you know something is missing in your life. You think about your soul and wonder. Assuming you died and discovered that it had been true, all the words you considered gibberish. It had been true, there’s heaven and there’s hell. It had been true, without Jesus, you’re going to a lake of fire for all eternity!”
I had started sweating under the air condition. How could she say such scary things so calmly. I shot her a glance. I had prepared myself for this moment. For weeks, I’ve had sleepless nights. I knew something was missing in my life, but I couldn’t put a finger on it.
My friends had invited me to a particular meeting at night, which I had consistently declined. I was no novice. They probably intended to introduce me to one devilish confraternity or the other. Part of my sleepless nights found me wondering if it was just worth it. I was hanging on a balance. There was nothing pulling towards the side of Jesus and a strong force was pulling me to the other side. That was, until Mira.
“Maybe I need this your Jesus. If he can fix my Mom, I assume he could do virtually anything.”
Mira’s joy was evident on her face. “Really!?”
I laughed. That joy was contagious. “Really.”
“How about coming to my fellowship Next Week?”
“If you intend to have me do that altar call thingy, forget it. It doesn’t help anyone.”
“It’s not only about the altar call. It’s the follow up that produces a gradual transformation.”
I parked in front of her house. “Forget it Mira.”
“I can lead you to Jesus now,” she offered.
She stretched out her hands, I took them. They were small in my mine. Just that contact with her was revitalizing, like something was flowing from her into me. I squeezed her hands gently and closed my eyes.
“For with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. Say after me,” she whispered. I thought I heard a catch in her voice. Was she going to cry?
Within few minutes, we were done. She kept her eyes closed minutes after we’ve concluded the prayer. I still held her hand, unsure of what to do or say. When she opened her eyes, they sparkled. Tears filled them and spilled over. She soon started laughing. Frankly speaking, I became almost scared at the strange behavior. She was laughing and crying.
“What?” I asked in utter confusion.
“Don’t you hear that?”
“Joy in heaven.” She smiled again. “The angels are rejoicing.” She sobbed. “They’re rejoicing.”
My mouth was in a big O. I mean, they were rejoicing over me? Wow, that was something. Hey, I was really that important to Jesus? I soon found myself grinning. It was intriguing. This feeling of newness. I felt clean, sanctified.
She hugged me and held me close. I felt my arms going around her too. She had never done that. Was it all the joy? We stayed like that for a while. She slowly let go, then locked gazes with me for what seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t read what her eyes said or did they say anything? She smiled through her tears. “I’m so happy.” Then she got out and bade me goodbye.
The next few months were spent in follow up classes and Bible study classes, meeting Mira in the hospital, whisking her away for a hangout. I just got the shock of my life few minutes ago. I had gone to see Mom or was it Mira I went to see. Mira was not there by the way. Mom was happy as always since my conversion and we got into some Bible study and prayers. That was when she spilled some beans.
She asked if Mira had finally told me. I replied that Mira had told me a lot of things, including quitting the drug business which I did, cutting off my unbelieving friends, which I did and a lot more. She said that wasn’t it. I got super curious and after some prodding, she revealed that Mira said that I was her husband! No wait, that I would be her husband! Wait again, that God told her I was the one! And she had been the one sending those annoying devotionals even before I got to know her! Ha!
I was just going to find that girl and snap her neck. I had known her for close to a year and a half and she never mentioned anything like that to me. I wondered if she knew what her smile did to my insides or that I was so scared to tell her how I felt. I just didn’t know how to tell her, but without her, my life would become meaningless. She now meant more than my Mom’s kind nurse. She was now Mira, my Mira.
I drove to her house, praying she would be there. I tapped on the door.
No answer. I was just about to go when the door swung open.
“Nate,” she said, forcing a smile.
I stood looking down at her. I was one or two feet taller. She looked very beautiful with her tousled hair and sleepy eyes. Imagine coming home to her everyday. Imagine growing old with her and having her by my side.
“Can I come in?”
“Sure.” She opened the door wider. The smell of lavender and something more feminine assaulted my nostrils. Thrilling.
“Can I get you something?”
“No, thank you.” I sat down and took a deep breathe, slowly releasing it through my mouth. How should I do this?
She sat on the other end of the couch and waited.
“Mira,” I began.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you what?”
“That I was the one.”
Her eyes widened with a mixture of shock and happiness.
“Did the Lord tell you?” she breathed.
“Yes. He told me through my Mom. Thank you very much.”
She laughed. “I knew he would.”
“Since when did you know?”
She smiled. “Since the day I stepped into St. Mark’s Hospital, 3 years ago. I didn’t know the Lord’s plan. He said I would meet my husband there. I had to wait for two years before I saw you for the first time. The Lord said, ‘He’s the one.’ In my mind, I gave him thumbs up like, he’s handsome!”
“But there was a problem.”
“I was not born again yet,” I offered.
She nodded. “That was when I started sending those devotionals. I could never approach you of course and I was just so lost on how an unbeliever could be the Lord’s will for me. It was simply unthinkable. The Lord told me he was still working on you, but I wanted to quicken the process. Did you use those devotionals?”
She laughed. “I should have listened. I was afraid to leave the previous hospital. I didn’t know he was simply leading me towards his perfect plan for my life. I’m even getting a promotion soon. And when they assigned me to your Mom, I just knew the Lord wanted to use me to bring change to your family.”
She smiled. “He taught me to trust him and to wait on him. He always has a plan. And well, you’re here too…”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“The fact that He told me didn’t mean you were ready. I prayed for you everyday while He did the work. And the day I led you to Christ was probably the happiest day of my life. I knew the time has come. Finally, the Lord has done it.”
My eyes narrowed slightly. Her tears and hugs that day were beginning to make sense.
Mira. I don’t know how to say this, but since the first day I saw you, I knew I would never look at another woman. You just stood there and rejected my cheque like some annoying piece of paper. You were so determined to do the right thing and I admired that.”
She went all mushy. Something tugged at my heart. I smiled.
“I want to marry you. I want to make you the happiest woman on earth. I want to make you proud for believing God and waiting on him. Even when you did not know his plan, you obeyed. Even when it seemed impossible, you trusted him. You allowed him to use you as an instrument for my conversion. Mira, I will spend everyday of my life living the life of Christ, with you by my side.”
Tears filled her eyes. That was another interesting discovery about this lioness nurse. She was a crybaby. I pulled her to me and enfolded her in my arms. Mira was both a blessing and a lesson. A lesson to every Sister and every brother.
Those who wait on the Lord will get their reward in due time. If only every sister allowed the Holy Spirit to direct her every action, she would be an instrument of conversion. I could name a lot of Christian girls who don’t mind if I was born again or not, as long as I have the money. I just have my way with them and dismiss them. I have met a lot who are in a hurry to marry because, they don’t trust the Lord to do it in his time. Eventually, they marry an ungodly man or end up in an abusive marriage. Trust the Lord, he always has a plan and he’s never too late.
The man you might marry may not need conversion, but you must have to add value to his life. You must have something to enhance his life. Words of wisdom, balm of solace, a listening ear, a prayerful life, some turnaround in his family, support or management of his finances, healing from years of brokenness, a stamp on his life. You must have something to bring to the table. It’s a daily battle and they need a strong woman who can stand in the gap and lift them before the throne of grace.
If Mira had not been following the Lord’s lead, I don’t know if my Mom would have met Jesus. If she had sold herself to me in desperation, like every other girl out there, I might not have met Jesus. That brother you’re warming his bed could have been saved through you. That Uncle you’re sending your nudes could have been your convert. You could have been leading him to Christ at that point you were busy smooching. His entire family could have come to know the Lord through you. Just let the Lord use you.