Story: Mercy Said No! …..Episode 16 | By Eni Ola
Mercy Said No!
The next day was the Sunday service, Lucy was so nervous as she waited for the teachers to conclude the Sunday school so the service could begin. Eventually, she found herself on the altar about to begin the call to worship session.
‘Praise the lord! She began, can we all rise up please’. She recognized a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, and even some of them couldn’t conceal their surprise to see her. Gathering her strength she continued ‘the psalmist said today is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it…’, I don’t know about you but the truth in that verse is so resounding you could almost pinch yourself, because of the purity in the truth underlying those words. As Christians we should be grateful for every day that the Lord gives us on earth. Not only because life is too short and it can end any time, but because as creatures of perfection our heavenly father requires us to praise him no matter what we are going through, when the good time comes and especially through the bad times. It’s isn’t easy believe me I should know, because a year ago I found myself in a situation that put the very truth of these scriptures to test and I realized I couldn’t bring myself to do it.’
Looking down at her wristwatch she realized she’d been talking longer than necessary, suddenly nervous she spoke quickly but that’s all a story for another time, she said looking in the direction of Ibi as she said this. Surprisingly he raised his hand for her continue and said it aloud. Feeling suddenly on the spot Lucy’s mind went blank realizing now that a lot of people were interested in what she had too say. Composing her thoughts she found herself distracted by a lady walking hurriedly behind an usher who was directing her to a seat. Shocked she realized who it was just the same moment the lady placed her bag on the seat to look up at the altar. It was Beth! Their eyes met and Beth’s softened when she saw Lucy, Ibi was watching the exchange between the two women quietly praying that Lucy would speak up before it became too obvious to everyone else that she was in shock. Clearing his throat deeply to bring her back, Lucy was startled, then she looked at him at the side gallery where the ministers sat, realized in that instant that Beth’s presence was a direct result of Ibi ministering to her that day at the funeral. Feeling suddenly glad that something good had come out of such a bad situation she spoke up as she began her testimony.
‘People of God, I don’t know what you’re going through but my God is able to deliver you and He will deliver you just don’t hold back by refusing to give Him His due- that is glory and praise. I should know because that was what I did, when I lost my husband, I couldn’t believe what happened, not because he died in that unexplainable accident, but because of the events that led to his death. See for the benefit of those of you who may or may not have pieced the story together by now especially due to the drama that unfolded at the funeral, the night matt died, he came home with one thing in mind, and that was to ask for a divorce’
The whole church gasped collectively, some even widened their eyes in shock. Continuing Lucy said ‘he’d been in a love affair with a woman for the past 5 and a half years of the 6 years we’d been married. That fateful night we talked and I begged, pleaded and eventually gave up knowing I had lost my husband and my marriage to another woman. In defeat I signed those papers and said goodbye to matt not knowing that was going to be our last time together. I felt hurt and abandoned by the God that I had served from my youthful days, I turned to anger and hatred and made a complete fool of myself at matt’s funeral, she said looking at Beth, but today I stand here seeing that while I was wallowing in self pity God had taken an hopeless situation and turned it into a thing of joy. That same lady today is now a daughter of God. She has given her life to Him and is now by the grace of God a member of the kingdom of light. Today she is forgiven not just by God but also by me, because it is truly by the Love of God that we are all standing here today, He brought us out of our rebellious and shady pasts and planted us in His vineyard as creatures of perfection, and who are we to judge, when God is the judge of all. ”I stand here today free of all emotions that has held me bound these past year and release myself to the love of God even as I implore you people to do the same. Give him all, hold nothing back, only He knows how to take that terrible situation in your life and make a testimony out of it’.
By now you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium as the whole congregation was held spell bound by the truth in the words that Lucy spoke. Some were even emotional, wiping away tears from their eyes, as they tried to imagine what terrible moments she must have gone through to get to where she was now. Putting down the microphone, Lucy walked down the altar to where Beth sat at the edge of the row. Standing in front of her she held Beth’s hands and she said to her
‘Elizabeth Morgan, I never thought I’d say this ever, but I forgive you. She said as tears fell down her eyes, I wish matt and I could have gotten a lot of things right before we got married then you both might have had a chance, for now I realize he may have never really loved me, it may have been you all the while’. Shaking her head through the threatening tears, deliberately ignoring the fact that the whole church was taking in the whole scene.
‘He loved you Lucy, he did, you have to believe that’. Beth spoke tearfully
Lucy looked at her refusing to believe Beth’s words
‘He did believe me. That night he called me to tell me he was on his way to my place, he sounded very sad, almost like he regretted his actions. I’m sorry for everything Lucy, I can’t believe I disregarded your feelings that much that I wasn’t just satisfied with taking your man, I had to rub your nose in it, and you didn’t deserve that. I’ve woken up every day asking for God to help you forgive me, praying that someday you would find your way back to God as I did, because lucy you were almost perfect and I tore down that beautiful picture, you had everything good going for you in your marriage and I ruined it, I’m so sorry, she cried earnestly, please I will do anything you want, please don’t make it this easy, I don’t deserve it, I’m truly sorry’. She cried sobbingly
Lucy shook her head earnestly, ‘Beth I forgive you from the depth of my heart, I forgive you totally and completely holding nothing back, please stop being hard on yourself, the devil used you, you didn’t know what you were doing, you stood no chance at all. Just promise me one thing’, she asked
Anything Lucy just mention it Beth replied
Promise me you will never turn your back on God, and go back to being that woman ever again. She asked
‘Yes! I promise, I promise’ Beth replied sobbingly, the two women hugged each other crying their hearts, not bothered about the scene they were making in church. And then suddenly, Susan started clapping from the choir, some other people joined in, wiping away their tears of joy, and then the whole church joined in clapping and rejoicing as the two women stood their hugging each other granting the other a succor of comfort.
To Be Continued…