It’s been a week and a day, but on the 20th of October, 2020, I fought with God.
It was not our first fight. Over the course of my life and as with every other kind of relationship I have, we had had fights. I would tell him how mad I was with him and he would humour me in the weirdest way in the course of my day, in a way that I knew that it could only be him. Sometimes, he would try to tell me something and I would fail to listen, do it my way, get burned and sulk to him. Then he would calm me down and assure me that he got my back without saying “I told you so”. It was our thing.
However, this was the motherload of all fights because I felt my soul tear into pieces when I fought with him.
In the days leading up to the 20th, our relationship was already somewhat turbulent, especially as I continued to take in everything that was happening and is still happening in Nigeria. I wondered where he was.
I cried out…and now that I think about it as I type, I want to cry some more…I cried out to him, searching for him, wondering where he was, wondering where he has always been, wondering why he hadn’t done something…anything! Surely, a father would rush to the aid of his children who cried out to him? Surely, he would. Surely he would eventually give some respite to some of his children who had suffered for decades at the hands of a few wicked, wicked, heartless, wicked men?
But my father was nowhere to be found. Mine was silent. Mine was absent when I and millions of others who looked to him needed him the most. How could he see everything that was going on and let it go on? How could he let injustice continue to be the order of the day? How could he watch as wicked men continued to go scott-free, not bearing any repercussions for their wicked actions? How could he not make sure that the curses that had been placed on these wicked few manifested in their lives? How could he watch as these wicked people rub their wickedness in our faces? How could he watch in silence as innocent people who just want to live a better life and want a change, were shot dead? How could he be silent when people continue to live in poverty and watch their hopes and dreams crushed? How could he watch as innocent little children are being sold as slaves or forced to work in mines all day long in the most deplorable of states? How could he let the evil in the world happen? Most of all, how could he be silent when he knew that he was and still is all we have?
Was this what he meant by praise him in the good and bad times? Because which kain bad times be this one?
At some point, I felt stupid, I did. Because what was I expecting? The heavens to open up and he would swoop down and fight for us or part elegushi beach into two so that we could walk through to freedom? No, maybe I was expecting that he would wave his hand and all the wicked, evil, heartless politicians would drop dead at the same time. Really, what was I expecting?
And so I grappled with what I believed was -and some little part of me still does-his betrayal of my trust in him. I watched helplessly as my world around me burned to the ground. I told my mother that he did not love us and I strongly believed it.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
I definitely was not “kept” in “perfect peace” even though I trusted that he would come through for us even though I did not know in what way. My mind, soul and heart were not in “perfect peace” on 20th October, 2020.
As I try to piece back together what is left of my broken heart, sometimes I feel him trying to give me a hug to reassure me that he’s in control, but sometimes I don’t want it. I don’t want him to give me a hug, I want him to fix everything. Fix it, and fix it now…or in the nearest future. He can literally snap his fingers or think it and it would be fixed. None of that “my time is not your time” stuff. We’ve been waiting for decades. None of that Israelites stuff of 400 years or 600 years. We don’t even get to live that long these days anyway so, when do we get the respite? And don’t tell me that “stuffs” about getting the respite not in this life, but in the afterlife and in heaven, because, so I was brought here so I could suffer? We should have kuku gone straight to the afterlife if na so so suffering someone will be suffering here.
This fight truly exhausted me and broke me inside because making up is not as easy as in the other fights.
Annoyingly, I can’t help but talk to him and tell him about my day, even though a part of me is still upset with him. And I can’t help but talk to him in the morning before I start my day and tell him how I’m hoping it would go. I can’t help but thank him when I get back home safely at night after a hard day and when I wake up to a brand new day. I can’t help but feel like he loves me. I can’t help but wonder if he’s sad or feels everything that’s going on, and I can’t help but think of him and wonder what it’s like to be him for one day.
I feel us making up and coming back together one day at a time. I’ve spoken to him in bits and pieces and I’ve spoken to him wholly. I have poured out my heart to him and I am sure millions of his children have done so too at this time.
I am hoping we get to experience some respite in this lifetime.
I am hoping we get to heal in this lifetime.
On 20th October, 2020, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces opened fire and live bullets on Nigerian peaceful protesters (protesting police brutality in Nigeria) in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria as they sat on the ground, waving flags in the air and singing the National Anthem, leading to the death of some and injury of many peaceful protesters. This is now known as the #LekkiMassacre.
Till date, no one has been held accountable for the actions of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
We will continue to speak up and lend our voices to #EndPoliceBrutality in Nigeria.
May all the souls of the departed, the ones known and those unknown, near and far, present and past, rest in perfect peace.
We will never forget.