WHEN THE FIG TREE DOES NOT BLOSSOM

Awero turned her face to the wall as she couldn’t bear to watch her twist in pain.

“God, if You can just heal my mom, I will love you forever. I will spend my whole life pleasing You,” she prayed earnestly, as tears trickled down her face.

Her mom was the only thing she had. She had no dad nor siblings. Her mom had been the only one taking care of her, after her dad’s death five years ago when she was 15 years old. She had been her life, her love, her being. She couldn’t afford to lose her now!

“A-we-ro,” Adetutu, her mom called out in distress, putting a stress on each syllable. “Come and sit here.” The words didn’t come out straight as it’s written. It came out in short breaths and with much labour.

Awero turned and stared at her. Her mom was diagnosed of breast cancer. She had browsed the condition up on her Android phone and what she saw was not encouraging.

The doctors had tried their best. She had been on chemotherapy and radiation treatment for some months now, but the disease could not be arrested. Instead, she deteriorated. Miracle was what she needed now and she would do anything to get it for her.

“Awero dear, come here,” Adetutu called again.

With heavy legs and an aching heart, she went to sit beside her on the bed.

“When the fig tree does not blossom, what do you do? When the fields yield no meat, who do you turn to?” Adetutu asked quietly as her eyes bore into hers.

Awero was confused. She could not see any correlation between the sickness and her questions.

“Mom, I don’t understand your questions. What does the fig tree have to do with me or you?” she asked, impatience dripping in her voice.

Adetutu smiled weakly. “When the Lord seems to be far away, when it seems that He does not make sense to you, when you are tossed about by the winds of life and it seems God has forgotten you, that is the time to hold tightly to Him.”

“Mom, why are you saying this? I have prayed to God for you, you will not die. He will answer my prayers,” she held her weak hands in hers, hope written on her face. “You were the one who taught me that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I will have anything I ask from the Lord. I have faith that you will be healed. Don’t say something else, mom,” she wept profusely.

No, she didn’t want to think of that. God would not do that to her. God created the entire universe by simply speaking it into existence, and He has all power and all understanding. He could heal. He could save. He would not allow her mama to die.

Adetutu squeezed her hands gently. “Yes, dear. It is true. And it is good to have faith. But, there are times God can be silent. There are times you will feel the world is out to get you. When storms and trials come your way, you need to keep trusting God. I will soon go but you have One who is with you always. You are not alone.”

“No, mom. Noooooo!”

“You have been a strong and good girl. Keep being good. Keep following the Lord, His eyes are on you. I love you dear but He loves you more.”

Awero broke down in tears, as she bathed Adetutu with the warm liquid pouring rapidly from her eyes. Adetutu patted her on the back. It would be well with her, she believed.

Life may come as a disappointment. There will be times when circumstances don’t add up. You may go through times when God seems to have let you down. That is not the time to turn back from God. That is not the time to talk foolishly at Him. That is not the time to throw questions at Him.

He cares about you deeply. He can handle the burdens that have weighed you down. He is concerned about you. He is never late. All you need to do is to keep trusting Him. He can be trusted, even when He can’t be tracked!

Don’t faint in heart. Instead, rejoice. And He will surely come through for you.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”(Habakkuk 3:4).

Thank you for reading through.

SOUGHT OUT

Hi. I am glad to have you back on this page. Thanks for taking your time to read the write-up.

Slowly, I made my way down the hill, with my water pot secured firmly beneath my armpit.

The hot sun caressed my lithe body, leaving me soaked with sweat. I dabbed my face helplessly with the cloth pad in my right hand.

Life held no hope for me. I had no friend nor foe. I would have gladly accepted a foe, at least that would mean someone had me in mind. But, I had none. Everyone kept me at an arm’s length. Who would want to associate with an harlot like me anyway?

Deep in thought, I spotted two women coming my way. It was very rare to find anyone taking this path as it was a deserted one. I intentionally chose it just to avoid the stares and jeers of the other villagers. Okay, I told you I had no foe. Yes, I only had silent ones, those who refused to talk to me but were very mad with me, with my way of life.

I looked here and there, seeking for where to disappear. But, I found none. With my shoulders squared, I faced them.

“Good afternoon,” I greeted quietly, avoiding any eye contact with them.

I got no response from them. They only eyed me and kept a straight face. It was the usual response I got from everyone.

Tears stung my face. “When will these villagers forgive me? When will they look beyond my past and present and embrace me? I never wanted this life myself. If only they knew better…” I lamented bitterly.

I got to the well, reached for the drawer in my pot and dipped it into the well. I didn’t as much as take a glance at the man sitting by the well. I had got enough embarrassment for the day and wasn’t ready to get another from a total stranger.

“Give me water to drink.”

I looked around to be sure it was the stranger that just spoke those words. The words were short and authoritative. Never had anyone requested anything from me(except my clients). On a good day, I would have gladly given him a bucket of water. But, I hated the way he asked me(as if he had a right to do that) plus the fact that he was a stranger. I needed to set him straight.

With my eyes brimming with anger, I looked at him. I gave him a piece of my mind. I thought with that, he would let me be. No, he didn’t.

Gently, softly and lovingly, he spoke to me. He showed me that he cared about me. He told me my past and present with no look of irritation or disgust. He made me feel loved again. He gave me a fountain of water that would never run dry. My hope was brought back to life.

Shyness and shame forgotten, I left my water pot at the well and ran to the village. I had to tell my neighbors about the man. I no longer cared what they thought of me. All I was sure of was that my future was going to be great!

I am the Samaritan woman, a sinner whom grace found out.

Jesus makes lives beautiful. Give Him a chance.

THE PRODUCT OF THE UNION

THE PRODUCT OF THAT UNION

My life is not normal. Never was, never will be.

“Hey girl, why are you different? Why don’t you always join us at the football pitch? What is special about you?” Chichi had taunted me that afternoon. But, I refused to reply her. She and the other girls in my class always take pleasure in mocking me every break time.
School is unbearable for me with their actions.

My storm will never end.

All thanks to them!
All thanks to their choices!
All thanks to that fizzle thing called ‘love’!

” She has to repeat the class.” The school principal had told my parents at the beginning of a new session. “She has missed a lot of tests and exams.”

Repeating the class is not the issue. I always take the first position in my class, irrespective of my absence from school.

The only thing I find hard to cope with is the stigma. I am looked upon as a miserable creature. And, am I not miserable? Someone who is always in and out of the hospital. Someone who cannot play like the other kids. Someone who has to take loads of pills before she can live…What other word can be used to describe her other than miserable?

I am a product of the union of the AS genotypes. I am an SS patient, popularly known as a sickler.

I look at my parents and my heart burns with hatred for them. Yes, why did they bring me to the world to suffer? Why didn’t make the right decisions?

I hate LOVE because LOVE did this to me!

Thecryofadistressedsoul

Loveisbeautifulwhenyoumakewisedecisions

Neverletloveblindfoldyou

Sicklecellawareness

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

ThePennDentist

2020.

ONE COLD, DARK NIGHT

ONE COLD, DARK NIGHT

Mom could not get over the divorce as it was sudden and unexpected.

It was also a big blow on me. I thought everything was fine with my parents. Yes, they quarrelled frequently in the last two months but I didn’t ever think it could lead to their separation.

Dad had already impregnated another woman and left my mom and me. I cried bitterly when my mom told me. I hated my dad. I hated life itself.

Since I was the only one my mom had and I was also a boy(12 years old), I decided to man up. I became the shoulder upon which my mom cried. She never got over it. In a bid to forget her woes, she took to drinking.

I began to heal. I put all that happened behind me, squared my shoulders and threw my weight into my studies. I determined not to allow what happened between my parents affect me in any way.

Not until one day. No, one cold, dark night!

I waited patiently for my mom to come back from the beer joint where she went on a drinking spree. I always did this every night, just to ensure her safety. I had talked her out of drinking but she would not budge. I had to leave her alone when it nearly caused a fight between us.

This fateful night, she came back home drunk and intoxicated. I gently closed the door behind her, took her to her room and made for mine.

I didn’t know what came over her. She pulled me back, flung me on her bed and forced herself on me. I struggled with her but she overpowered me.

It was like a dream. My mom raped me!

And that was how it started. I started playing the role of a husband to my mom. I would plead with tears, telling her it was an abomination but she would not listen to me.

At times, she would ask me to touch some sensitive parts of her body and I would watch her moan from my touch.

I hated myself. I hated God. I hated my parents. I felt like killing myself, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Any female that came in contact with me was in trouble. I would make sure I slept with them, either willingly or forcefully. I had no respect for them. I saw them as sex toys.

That was a result of the sexual abuse experience I had from my very own mother!

Saynotochildsexualabuse

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

ThePennDentist

2020.

NOT A LIMITATION

NOT A LIMITATION

All alone she ran, step by step, her body aching, her heart pounding, her lungs burning.

Often she fell, sprawling face down onto the pavement.

But she picked herself up, put one crippled foot a few inches ahead of the other, and dragged her other leg up to meet the foot.

She repeated this process countless times.

All of the other runners sprinted far ahead of her. Before long, she couldn’t see them.

As she preserved, the blocks stretched into miles.

The sun had risen high in the sky and was beginning to descend as Kathy neared the last stretch of her run.

Just as she began to fear she couldn’t continue, that she would have to quit, she saw some friends from high school who had felt uneasy about her disabilities. Now they were cheering her on:” Go, Kathy! Keep going! You’re doing great!”

Kathy made it. Even though her speech and body motions were far from normal (due to an accident which had her brain damaged), she finished the race.

Yes, when compared to others, she fell short, yet she became a winner. Her dream kept her going ( culled).

No matter what you may be going through, no matter how big your problems are, just hang in there and keep plugging at it.

Don’t give up!

Also remember this: Jesus is there to help you and through Him, you can win.

DON’T EVER GIVE UP!

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

ThePennDentist

2019.

IT IS NOT BLIND

IT IS NOT BLIND

She writhes helplessly on the hospital bed, groaning and screaming in pain. Her loud wail disturbs the peace of the environment, making other patients uncomfortable. This is our third visit to the hospital within three weeks. And now, the doctor says her condition has worsened.

Regret and guilt eat me up as I watch in tears. I had tried massaging her body, especially her lower abdomen to her legs when the pain began but it did little to relieve the pain that tore through her. She had to be brought to the hospital when we couldn’t stand it.

We thought we could damn the consequence. We believed it never mattered. That love was the most important thing.

We never knew it was a wrong choice,a selfish one at that. One that set a limit to the potentials of a young, innocent life. One that made her live a life full of pains and suffering. A life she was not proud of;a life of stigma and shame.

We wish we could turn back the hands of clock. I wish I had listened to my parents that day.

“Adeola, you can’t marry him”, my dad had said firmly, not taking his eyes off me as I sat on the coach dejectedly like a sack of potatoes. My mom stood on the stairs watching us, with her right hand on her chin.

My eyes were red and swollen, the tell-tale sign of the prolonged crying jag I had. I wondered why my parents insisted that I should not marry Adetayo. He was my love, my life, my being. He was the air I breathed in. Without him, life held no meaning to me(don’t get me wrong here, I don’t idolise him but I really love him. I really do. I wish my parents knew this).

We have been together for three good years. My parents took him as a son and welcomed him warmly into the family. His parents too were very fond of me. Everyone agreed to our being together.

Not until that fateful Tuesday afternoon when we went to see him. I didn’t make any sense out of the sheet of paper he handed to Adetayo and I. Who cares about all the medical jargon, anyway? But, I could see it written clearly on his face.

Dr Oladejo tried to explain to us but I just couldn’t accept what he was saying.

What was the big deal with Adetayo and I having the AS genotype? I had thought foolishly and stubbornly. That shouldn’t put an end to our love na. Marriage wasn’t all about children, after all. Moreover, we would only have two children so that we would not stand the risk of giving birth to an SS child. After all, if I could still remember my secondary school Biology back then, it was the fourth child that was at the risk of being a sickler(I wonder if that was truly he taught us then). I had reasoned in my mind and I shared the same thought with Adetayo who also agreed with me. Love was the most important thing!

With our minds made up, we refused to heed the warnings of the doctor. We stubbornly went ahead with the marriage which our parents reluctantly agreed to, after much pressure from us.

And unfortunately for us, Adetomi, our first daughter and first child carries the SS genotype. A young, dazzling and sweet girl, she suffers unnecessary pain due to our selfishness.

Every day, Adetayo and I regret our actions. We bite our tongues for allowing love to blind us. But, is love really blind? Adetomi finds it hard to forgive us for doing this to her. And truly, we deserve no forgiveness. Our love has become bitter because of the regret it brings.

Sickle cell disease can be prevented. Make wise decisions before you marry. Don’t bring that innocent child into a life of pains and sufferings. Love is not blind, neither is it selfish.

Sicklecellawareness

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

PennDentist

2020.

MY BELOVED

MY BELOVED

I kicked the chair behind me and left the dining table angrily. My mouth was sour.

“Dad, why? Why do you hate him so much?” Tears trickled down my cheeks rapidly as I lay on my bed. I held my head in my hands, trying to reduce the throbbing pain I felt there.

“Why don’t you want the poor boy to live? Is it a crime to be the Lord’s beloved? Why can’t you just surrender and let God have His way? Why, dad?”

I knew crying would not solve the matter on ground. Dad was bent on destroying Dave and I would not allow that. I didn’t mind him disowning me. I didn’t mind him hating me forever. But, I would not fold my hands and watch him hurt him.

I refused touching the food prepared for me the next day, even though its aroma kept triggering a rumble in my stomach. I just didn’t have any appetite for food while my friend was out there in the cold.

I reached for my arrows and set out to the field with my little cousin. I smiled sadly as he ran excitedly to pick up the arrows I shot, thinking it was a kind of play. He carried out my instructions eagerly, without knowing they were not mere instructions. I ordered him to take the arrows home while I sorted out some things.

Dave came out of his hiding place, looking forlorn and dejected. My stomach turned at the sight. My heart went after him. Oh, _Dave, my beloved .

I blanketed him in an embrace and we wept, with him weeping more loudly and bitterly.

I knew he would become great. He would overcome all his enemies, including my dad. I also knew my dad was only watching my back. He knew Dave was already chosen to replace me, and so wanted to kill him. He was only bothered about me

But, I didn’t care. Who was I to go against what God had already stamped? We are humans and He is God. I will let His will be done.

Moreover, Dave was more than a friend. He was a brother. I knew my time would soon be up but I was rest assured that Dave would show my generations to come mercy. He would never forget that I, Jonathan, the first son of King Saul, loved him dearly.

In 2020, you need a friend like Jonathan. One who won’t mind going all the way to lift you up. One who will hold your hands to greatness. One who loves you genuinely. One who is not a frenemy. Be a friend like Jonathan too.

Remember, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. His name is Jesus. He is the best of all friends. Accept His gesture of love today.

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

ThePennDentist

2020.

SCARRED

SCARRED

“Leave me alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, she screamed at the top of her lungs, pulling her hairs tightly with her hands.

She held onto her shirt and ripped it off. She threw it away and threw herself onto the floor.

“Please!!! Leave me alone!!!!!!”,she screamed even the more.

She was a young and vibrant secondary school girl. Full of life and with a promising future, Titi worked hard at her studies. She never allowed anything to distract her. She had sworn to make it in life and deliver her parents from the abject poverty they were wallowing in.

He was her friend’s dad. Someone she trusted and respected very much.

After school, Titi would joyfully follow Joy to her house to eat a plate of rice cooked by Joy’s mom. That was the only way she could eat lunch as they were barely able to eat twice a day in her house. She would top it up with cold water from the large bowl in the fridge. With that, she could afford not to eat again till the following day.

Joy’s parents were very welcoming, especially her dad. He would ensure that Titi came with Joy to their house everyday. Many times, he would help with their school assignments. He so much showed both of them equal love that it was difficult for an outsider to know who his biological daughter was between the two children.

Titi looked up to Mr Oyetade as a father. Her parents were equally happy that their daughter found a place she could also call home. They always showed their appreciation to the family in their own little ways.

Not until one fateful Saturday morning…Titi went to see Joy as usual. On getting to the house, she discovered that Joy and her mom had travelled to the neighbouring town. As she turned to leave, Joy’s father grabbed her and forced himself on her. She shouted, fought and screamed for help but all was to no avail. She was no match to his strength. She was raped by her friend’s father☹️.

Mr Oyetade threatened her. He told her no one would believe her story and even if she told anyone, he would kill her and her family. He told her he was ready to help sponsor her education and make her family wealthy if she kept it a secret.

She believed his threat and kept quiet about it. But, she never remained the same. She lost interest in school. Whenever she was in school, she was always on her own and anyone who crossed her path would be sorry for himself or herself. This was strange to everyone as she was known to be gentle and sweet.

She became very hostile to Joy who knew nothing about the incident and she hated boys with passion.

Saturday mornings always got her nervous and afraid. She stopped taking the usual and shorter path to school, as it would make her pass through Joy’s house. Her parents were disturbed. What could be happening to their sweet, little girl?

When they couldn’t take it any longer, they took her to an hospital where she was referred to a therapist. With the help of the therapist, the secret came out. And from the hospital, it was discovered that Titi was already one month pregnant for her friend’s dad.

Titi would never remain the same again. Yes, she could still rise again and be great in life, but it would take a long process. Her life was already scarred! (Fiction).

I say no to child sexual abuse. It scathes and hurts.

Let’s watch out for every child out there, boy and girl. Don’t trust your child too much with the opposite sex.

No to child abuse.

OyedejiJustinaTaiwo

ThePennDentist

2020

Some slices of yam were put in a pot of water. A raw egg was put in another pot of water and both pots were subjected to the same amount of heat.

After a while, the two pots were brought down and uncovered. It was noticed that the yams had become very soft (that’s what is
expected 😜, right?) while the egg became hard.

What does this teach us? Life will throw things at us. We will definitely be faced with harsh ‘conditions’. We will be ‘boiled’. But will you be the yam that becomes very soft and broken by its external environment? Or will you be like the egg that only gets harder and stronger? Think on it🤔

Also, their compositions contributed to their resilience/fragility. What is your content? Do you feed on junks? Junks in the form of what you read, what you listen to etc. Junks won’t carry you far, they will only make you get weak and fragile when life challenges come.

Be sure you carry something that can carry you far!

THE TENACITY OF A WEED

“A great oak is a little nut that stood its ground”-John Mason.

Simply put, a weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. All farmers can relate to it; that situation where you plant a particular specie of some seeds, and as they begin to grow, you see another specie of plants growing with them. This can give one a headache as they compete with the desired plants for everything.

As much as these plants are unwanted, they have some unique characteristics which are worth being studied. As time would not allow me to start listing the characteristics, I will just talk about one. Weeds have the ability to survive for a very long time in the soil and to withstand adverse weather conditions. This makes them very stubborn to be eradicated. It takes extra effort before they can be gotten rid of by a farmer.

How beautiful will it be if we can be like the weeds? Too many take hold of opportunity but let go of it too soon. They allow discouragement, disappointments and challenges to stop them. They forget that the road to success is uphill and so they shouldn’t anticipate a sprint. Hence, they fail to achieve their set goals.

Instead of giving up on that dream, persevere. Hang on; stick to your ambition. Let your challenges spur you to greatness. Success is achievable.

P.S: Ralph Waldo Emerson described a weed as a plant whose virtue has not yet been discovered. I love that