A Friend in Need (4)
Tears are associated with an emotional atmosphere in two ways: first, when we become very emotional (in hurt or over-excitement), we cry; secondly, when people cry around us, it makes us emotional. For me, the second is the hardest. Watching people cry makes me very emotional. It is worse when the crier is a man. So, imagine my plight when I was forced to sit and watch my best friend weep profusely without have the slightest idea of what was making him cry, or how to make him stop.
Since I didn’t know what to say, I sat there quietly watching him soak his pillow with tears. When I noticed that his wails were beginning to attract attention, I took the remote control and turned up the music again. It was there and then that it dawned on me that he had been using the music to drown the sound of his wails. His eyes were red not because he had been smoking, but because he had been crying.
Deep pity overtook my fears. I wished there was something—anything—I could do to make him stop. If only I knew why he was crying in the first place. I had to find a way to help him stop crying because I was afraid that if he continued a little longer, I myself would soon be moved to tears. So I stood up and drew closer.
“Tayo,” I called, patting him on the back, and my voice trembling as if I was going to burst into tears. Since I didn’t plan what I was going to say next, I called again in the most careful way that would help me keep my emotions under control, “Tayo.” And it worked! He stopped crying almost immediately as he sat up, laid his tears-soaked pillow aside, and stared at me with a very expectant look.
Since he had stopped crying, I also regained my confidence. I turned down the music playing, placed my right hand on his left shoulder, looked at him with a smile and gently said, “Let us pray.” He nodded in agreement as we joined hands and knelt down to pray together.
“Dear God, we thank You for Your love, tender mercies, forgiveness and gracious kindness. We are grateful because Your faithfulness endures forever—even when we are unfaithful. At this moment, we unite together in prayer of faith and ask that every burden on Tayo’s mind be lifted. We cast our burdens upon You because we have the assurance of the Scriptures that You care for us. Let the peace that passes all understanding fill Your son right now. This we ask and believe that we have received, for we have prayed in the name of Your Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
We both chorused a second ‘Amen.’ As I opened my eyes, I saw that Tayo’s eyes were still closed, but then, he was smiling. A tear drop had settled in the dimple that formed from his smile. I can’t explain what happened that moment, but I am sure beyond any doubt that God was in that room. Something supernatural was happening and I didn’t want to interrupt it, so I stood up to leave.
As I approached the door, Tayo opened his eyes, stood up and approached me with a broader smile. He embraced me tightly and whispered, “Thank you, Femi.”
“The pleasure is mine,” I replied, feeling glad that my friend could smile again. “I’ll be in my room if you feel like talking about it,” I said as I took my leave.
“Okay, I’ll join you soon.” He replied, closing the door behind me as I walked back to my room.
As he promised, within fifteen minutes, Tayo showed up in my room with his Bible and journal. He pointed the journal at me, “Take, read; that is the whole story.”
I hesitated. He knew how much I valued people’s privacy and how uncomfortable I would feel reading through his journals. He seemed not to care. I sat at the reading table still reluctant, and holding the book as if I was expecting him to change his mind and collect it back.
“Read it, I insist.” Tayo said, as he sat on the bed. So, I placed it on the table and began to read. It was the story of a girl he met during his internship.
To be continued…