It was what he said. It was how he said it. It was when. He wore a look that complimented what he said. Was I expecting him to say that? No. Never had it crossed my mind that I would be a recipient of a confession that grave. And be asked to help. Frankly speaking, I thought there were other experienced people he could have approached. But he came to me. About 8:15 pm. It was a Thursday. After service and turned me into a priest with his confession.
I tried not to be shocked. Having been in a drama ministry for a while, I did my best. I kept a nice pose. I listened without interruption. I listened without questioning. I listened without flinching. I simply listened. His confession took less than five minutes but it took me more than five hours to digest it.
Five hours because his composure ever since I met him didn’t permit me to remotely think he would do that. To remotely imagine he would need help. I was going to beat him further with my, “I-told-you-so” and “you-should’ve-known-better” but I didn’t. I figured what’s the point? The harm had already been caused.
So I came up with a plan. One we were going to undertake to get through his mess. Sorry it wasn’t my plan. It was inspired by the His Holiness; The Holy Spirit. We did get through. It wasn’t easy though but we did.
Looking back, one thing that strikes me about him wasn’t what he did. It wasn’t not how he said it. It wasn’t when he said it. It was his boldness and honesty. It was his recognition that he couldn’t stomach what he did any longer. It was the admission of his inability to help himself no matter how many times he tried. He needed help. He knew. So he asked despite all odds and got one.
One high prolific man also did ask many centuries ago. Nicodemus was a Pharisee. He was a Jewish ruler. He was an expert at law. But Jesus had succeeded in confusing him with the teachings. He wanted to know more but he couldn’t ask, at day. He couldn’t in the company of his colleagues. He couldn’t in the midst of the commoners. Call it pride. He just couldn’t. But he came to Jesus at night for further explanation. He got more confused but had a detailed explanation. He understood better. Because of that night, we also have a better understanding of the concept of being born again and why Jesus came to die. Thank you, Nicodemus (John 3).
A young man asked for help. By grace he got it. Nicodemus asked for explanation. By Jesus himself, he got it. Why are we not asking for help? Let me attempt to answer in the next paragraph.
Today, no one wants to appear weak. No one wants to appear struggling. No one wants to appear in need. To admit you need help will be to diminish your swag. I am the leader so I can’t ask any follower for help. That will question my reputation. I am a church officer so I can’t go about seeking help. I am supposed to know better. I run a business so I can’t ask for advice. That’s will be patronising my expertise.
Or there are no trustworthy people around. Tell someone something and next, you hear it chorused on the streets. So why not keep silent?
Hence we set out to help ourselves. Draw a prayer plan. Draw a reading plan. Draw a work out plan. Google how to overcome the problem and write the steps down. We try. We fail. We try again. We fail again. We don’t try again. We accept the problem and live with it. And hope by some miracle, we will get the right answers. The problem will by itself go away. Sadly it doesn’t.
Here is the simple truth. I have issues. You do too. We all have. Show me someone who doesn’t? And I will show someone living in denial. There are no super humans. With sin comes weakness. One man’s area of strength is another’s weakness. Such is life. That we may learn to support and be there for each other. God wants that of us.
It is no shame we need help dealing with a weakness. We need clarification. We need diverse support. We need understanding.
Yet we don’t ask. We rather pretend. We are drowning but instead of calling for help, we are waving. We are hurting but smiling wide. We are limping but appear to be dancing. We have and are still, allowing pride or shame writes cheques our strength can’t cash!
How long before we admit? How deep do we want to be buried? How long before we go looking for help? By the way, If God inspired James to write, “Carry each other’s burden?” Then there is someone marked out to help you. Open your eyes. Listen to the Holy Spirit. God has given them the answers. You don’t have to fail again. Don’t frustrate yourself again. Go and ask.
I’m done. I need help. I know it. And thankfully, I have realized who to ask. I’m off. Decide what to do with your problem. Don’t let pride or shame put you in bondage. If you are already struggling, I just gave you the key. Go and ask for help. You won’t even lose one hair mpo. Be inspired.
Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2015