She ran into the parlour frantically and made me almost jump. I was startled by the way she called my name and my concern grew with every second I looked at how jittery she stood. ‘What’s the matter?’ I finally asked. I was fighting the idea that there could be someone trying to break into the house through her room. We’ve been robbed once and needless to say, it’s not an experience I would care to recount, except of course, I was invited to deliver it as a nobel speech of which I would be awarded and celebrated, then why not. She told me to follow her back to her room and see ‘something’. Oh no! It’s probably that snake we saw some weeks back that made us to fumigate the house, I thought. ‘Silence!’ I had to shout to myself. I was already beginning to feel like Sméagol. Knowing my younger sister, she would not describe what happened, so I just decided to follow along and save myself the trouble of asking. ‘Ok’ I said.

I stepped into the room to find out that she was not right behind me. She stopped at the entrance and was pointing to the front of her wardrobe. With a near-whisper and a spooked face, she said ‘there’. You have to understand, her funny behaviour made all sorts of things run through my mind, but as the older brother, I had to act cool, I had to look like one who could handle the situation — whatever it was. I turned to see a gecko on the floor staring back at me blankly, it was dead — somehow. And she needed me to help her get it off from the floor. Just imagine!

For some weird reason, we, just like my princess here, are often scared of the dead. Not of rodents, reptiles or insects, but of ourselves. Here’s what I mean, as a believer, the only condition for the reception of salvation and new Life is death. Death to self and sinful deeds. But for some interesting reason, we fear the things we’ve let go of, afraid that it might harm us again. The tricky thing about fear that goes beyond just being realistically cautious is that, it is the flip-side of the same coin as faith. It is belief in the unseen and evidence that the dead can bite. And just as faith has the power to move mountains, fear has the power to build them. If we believe in the one who rose from the dead, then we should believe in His ability to transform us. I’ll choose to expend my believing energies on God’s capacity rather than running around spooked by a dead gecko.

Yours with a quill,
Daudu Daniel



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