A Friend in Need (3)
The first thought that came to came to my mind was, So he knew I was sitting here all this time and yet he left me here? Just then, another thought flew in almost immediately, I knew I would win eventually. He couldn’t hide forever. That thought brought a smug smile to my face but I quickly cautioned myself, This is not the time for gloating! Without saying a word, I picked my stool and stepped into his room.
Everything looked the same in there. His Bible was open on his reading table as it had always been most of the time. His journal was beside the Bible, a pen sticking out from the middle thereof. Surely, he must have been writing in it.
As I entered, Tayo shut the door behind us firmly. I stared at him for seconds and what I could read written all over his face was worry, depression and fear. This is going to be a long day, I thought within myself as I sat on the carpet in one corner of his room. Just then, I noticed his eyeballs were red. Confusion gripped me. Was he sleeping before I came? Has he been sick? Or, God forbid, has he been smoking something? Was he high?
For a minute or two, none of us said a word. Tayo stood beside his reading table, backing me as he drew the curtain and opened the windows. The ray of sunshine that flooded the room seemed to ease the tension. He stood there a little longer as he gazed into the distance and taking deep breaths of the fresh air that came in.
“I haven’t opened this window in many weeks,” he said, still looking outside the window. Breaking the silence was helpful, but I was convinced there were more pressing things to discuss than the window. He didn’t seem to expect a reply from me, and even if he did, I wasn’t not sure of what my response should be, so I simply kept quiet.
I sat there with mixed feelings of pity and fear. On one side, I felt he was in danger and needed help; on the other hand, his red eyeballs and that fact that he bolted the door after I entered made him look scary. I had never seen Tayo get angry and that made me believe that there were some things he would never do. But at that moment, I felt like I didn’t know him anymore. Something about him was different and unexplainable.
“Femi, I need help. Can you pray for me?” Tayo had never asked for my help; be it financial, academic or spiritual. He had everything he needed. In fact, I looked up to him in many areas, especially in spiritual things. No! Not that he was my leader; we were more like colleagues, but I know he had a winsome spiritual life.
I was his leader in the campus fellowship, not because I was more anointed than him but by divine providence. My predecessor had told me something important after the handing over service one Sunday. He told me of how the leadership of the fellowship was to be committed to Tayo, but he had humbly declined.
Tayo had explained to him that he had more passion for the outside ministry of evangelizing the unreached rather than settle for a maintenance ministry in the church. He also mentioned how Tayo promised that he would readily support anyone who occupied the position of leadership which he did quite well before travelling for his internship.
I respected him as an elder in the fellowship. On few occasions, he had been helpful in advising me on handling some tough situations I found myself. Also, every prayer session we had together had left me more refreshed than before.
By now, you understand my confusion when he was asking me to pray for him. I couldn’t settle my mind to even guess what on God’s earth he could need my prayer for.
“How do you mean, Tayo? Help in what way? What is going on?” I was too anxious to know that I bombarded him with all those questions at the same time.
Before he could utter another word, he broke into tears.
To be continued…