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Stop Running Away. by expmercy (f): 2:37pm on May 17
Donatus Mercy
, Nigeria.
For two months, Bunmi didn’t show up at the drama rehearsals and that got me worried.

Bunmi was one of our best actresses. I still remember the day I was assigned a role to be her best friend. It was the smoothest rehearsals ever. She got into character from the first day the script was handed to us. By the time we presented the play at the annual youth conference, the congregation was moved to pray.

What could be wrong with her? Why wasn’t she coming to church anymore?

My drama coordinator was a no-nonsense person and at the last rehearsals, he sounded really angry as he addressed us.

‘Don’t ever for once think that because you are gifted as a drama minister, you cannot be replaced. Beware of pride. Once you take the glory that belongs to God, it is only a matter of time before your downfall becomes evident. Listen, God uses only those who are available. If you are not careful, he will dump you and raise other men to take your place.’

It was obvious Bunmi was the reason our coordinator ranted that way. Bunmi rarely missed rehearsals and the drama team depended on her for major roles. But now she had disappeared out of sight.

Before she stopped coming to church, I noticed she’d sneak out of service during the closing prayer. Her line wasn’t going through and she always had this sullen expression on her face

Something wasn’t right and I didn’t think it was because she felt too big to serve. I knew Bunmi well. She loved the Lord and many times when I slept over at her place, she amazed me with her devotion life.

‘Did you notice it was Bunmi Bro James was talking about?’ My best friend, Esther asked as we walked out of the church after the rehearsals.

I nodded. ‘I think we should check up on her again.’

‘I don’t know why she is refusing to talk to us. If something is wrong, we should know. Afterall, what are friends for?’

Bunmi lived alone in a one room apartment. We left the church for her apartment. When we got there, we knocked but there was no response.

‘Bunmi don comot.’ One of her neigbours said.

Same response we’ve been receiving every time we showed up at her door. We stood outside the compound, contemplating on other alternatives to reach our friend.

We figured that the only option left was to fix a time to see Bunmi at her place of work.

During my lunch break the following day, I left the office to pick up Esther who was already waiting for me at the front of a supermarket. We picked some items from the supermarket and then drove to Bunmi’s place of work.

Bunmi was seated behind a table full of books when we entered the staffroom. She was engrossed in marking some notebooks. When we greeted the teachers, she raised her head and saw us. She was shocked. We left the staff room and waited for her under a tree at the back of one of the classrooms.

We hugged her. She was stiff at first and then gradually relaxed.

‘We’ve missed you.’ Esther touched her cheeks.

‘How are you?’ I said, holding her hands.

She stood there, speechless. Then she smiled sadly and nodded. ‘I’m fine.’

Esther wrapped her hands around her waist. ‘Whatever it is, we are always here for you.’

I held up the nylon of beverages and toiletries. ‘We got this for you.’

Tears stung her eyes as she collected the bag from us. We hugged her quickly and said we had to return to work. Bunmi couldn’t say a word. She waved at us as we left and I spotted a tear drop on her cheek. She quickly wiped it away. When I got to the school gate, I turned and blew her a kiss. She chuckled.

That evening, I was watching a movie with Esther when my phone rang. Bunmi.

‘Can I come over to your place?’ Bunmi asked.


When she finally did, Bunmi broke down in tears.

‘I’ve been having sex with a guy I met at a singles conference some months ago. I got careless. When it happened, I felt so guilty and ashamed of myself and that was why I stopped coming for rehearsals. It happened about twice again.’ She hesitated. ‘Every time, I feel God is mad at me and doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. I don’t have a relationship with God anymore.’

For about two hours or more, we talked about our struggles. We reminded ourselves of our position in Christ. We talked about the privilege of sonship where we could come boldly to the throne of grace when we messed up. We spoke about God’s desire to help us stay victorious. We shared scriptures and prayed together.

Bunmi was beaming with smiles as we escorted her out of my house that day. At the gate, she stopped and faced us. ‘I feel like a heavy stone has been removed from my heart. I can’t remember when last I prayed like this. It’s so refreshing. When we were sharing scriptures, God opened my eyes to new things from His Word. I can’t believe it. I feel strengthened already.’

I smiled. ‘He has promised he will never leave nor forsake us. We can trust that he’ll always be there for us. He’ll teach us how to walk this Christian life.’

Bunmi nodded her head. ‘Can we do this another time please?’

‘I was going to suggest that,’ I said.

We agreed to meet the following week. I’ve never seen Bunmi so excited. It made me realize how God is always waiting for us to run into his arms.

‘Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are beaten will live if they simply look at it.’ So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed. Numbers 21:8,9.

As Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of God be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:14,15

It is true that because we have now become new creatures in Christ, we are dead to sin and all it produces. Christ destroyed the power of sin in our lives, yes. Yet we live in a world where sin as a principle still operates and until we leave this world, we’ll be faced with temptations. So when believers find themselves constantly slipping into sinful habit, what should their response be? Cower in shame? Cry for days and refuse to read their bible? How should we respond when we find areas in our lives messed up by fleshly desires.

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