The service was already over, but I couldn’t get over it. I couldn’t just get up on my feet and leave. The message was simply for me. Thank God for Reverend Matt who took the sermon, it was timely and spirit lifting.
I decided to stay back and have sometime to myself, alone with God. I looked around, some people were leaving while others were chattering.
They should do fast and go jare, let somebody be alone. I thought.
Sister Mabel poked me out of my reverie. I must’ve really been lost in thoughts, I didn’t even know when she sat next to me.
“Look at the next column, the third pew from the pulpit.”
I did, Sister Dami was chatting with another lady. They both laughed, Sister Dami flaunting her sparkling white set of teeth. She looked so beautiful, a twinge of jealousy hit me. Just looking at them made me smile.
Sister Mabel tugged at my blouse.
“That sister has a problem!” She said flatly.
“Yes, a problem. A very big one at that, in fact its a cankerworm eating deep into the fabric of her soul.” She bent her back so our eyes could meet. I sat up too.
What could be so terrible, eating at such a lovely lady like Dami?
“It’s gossip!” She answered the question on my mind.
“Gossip?” I furrowed my brows.
“Pfft! Hmmn. Hmmn.” She snorted and shifted forward.
“She can gossip for Africa. It’s that bad, and it’s already affecting every part of her life. People no longer feel free when she’s around, because they don’t know what titbit she might get from them. The other time, Mummy Derin told her something confidential, something really ugly and discrete, it was about her daughter, Sarah. The girl was leading a promiscuous life and Mummy Derin got to discover she had an abortion. Just imagine. Looks are really deceptive, who would ever believe that Sister Sarah, as ‘spiricoco’ as she appears could do such?” She shook her head and twisted her mouth disdainfully. She placed her hands on her laps and I cupped my face.
“That was the privileged info Mummy Derin gave our dear basket mouth Dami ooh and like expected, she spilled the spoilt beans, under the cover up of giving prayer point.” She made a sound and snapped her fingers over her head.
“Tufiakwa! Do you know the worst part of it? If you want to see her fly off the handle ehn, just dare say she’s a gossip. Chei! Hell would be let loose, she will vex for you ehn.” She gesticulated with every single part of her body, nose, mouth, neck, hands, leg, everything movable.
She must’ve seen the sheer disappointment and irritation in my face, as she changed her tone.
“Anyways sha,” She reclined. “God must just help us, this might be the thing that would hinder her from seeing the kingdom of God. The little fox that’d spoil her vine.” She sermonized pitifully.
“Kai, you know, it won’t be cool at all to hear him say to her on that day;
‘Depart from me you worker of iniquity!'” She shook her head. “We just have to keep praying for her, hoping that someday she’d encounter the man of Calvary.”
I could only shake my head. I couldn’t speak, not because I didn’t have words, but because I had too many!
“So who is the gossip now?” that was all I could manage even after finding my voice.
A frown flickered on her face.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” She asked sternly. “I was just sharing something with you and here you are being unnecessarily self righteous.” She was now livid.
“I should’ve known better than discuss with a sanctimonious jerk like you. You think you’re better than everyone else.” She turned her face and crossed her legs, hissing as she did.
I could practically see the walls of her self-defense go up.
What she would never know is that, all she’d been saying was just a perfect description for one person- herself!
“Sister Mabel.” I called.
“What?” She turned to me, clearly upset.
“Remove the log in your eyes, before you take up the ministry of taking out the specks in other’s.”
I snatched up my bag and stomped out of the Church.
It’s always easy, spotting others fault, but turn in the lights. Yeah, turn the lights inwards, search yourself, judge yourself, scrutinize your own thoughts and motives, because you ain’t gonna give account for anyone but you.
When you busy yourself with the log in your eyes, you might be too busy to see the speck in your neighbors.