The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Read the earlier parts here
The ride back to their house was silent. She was strung up. He could tell. She had applied her hand cream three times already. They had spent roughly twenty minutes on the road. His fingers drummed on the steering wheel. They had less than roughly 120 seconds before the light turned green. He cleared his throat. What could he say? She took a deep breath.
He glanced sharply towards her. Her cheeks were wet with tears. “Hey.” He squeezed her thigh gently. She wiped her tears away. “I feel so bad.” She shook her head as if to staunch the flow of her tears. “Look at us. Abbey and Eddy must be feeling so sad right now with you still going to work and all. You ever feel like we could do better? Maybe we should visit them more often?” She patted her swollen belly lovingly. The light turned green. “This baby has made me a Dracula. I snored at work on Friday. I am still embarrassed. Thank God it was my last day before my maternity leave.” She sighed again. “Abbey and I had the most awkward conversation when you guys left the table. She wouldn’t look at me and when she finally did, she wouldn’t hold my gaze. I can’t place my finger on what is wrong. I mean Eddie is not doing badly. On the brighter side, he is doing the cooking he always loved doing. I wouldn’t mind some of that grilled tilapia of his. Abby and I have not had our weekly lunch meetings in a month. I don’t know how I will survive this maternity leave without her.”
She sniffed some more and yawned. She turned to him with drowsy eyes. “Pillow talk?” He shuddered inwardly but nodded. It was going to be a long night.
He stalled going to bed. He was going to wait patiently till she fell asleep. His consolation was that she slept like a corpse. He tiptoed into the room. He lifted the bed covers gently and carefully lay down. She stirred.
Wow. So much for stealth.
She cleared her throat. You know what I just remembered?”
“Our first kiss.”
He said nothing.
“You are too far away. Come closer”
He dutifully closed the gap between them.
“I am talking to God about Abbey and Eddie. They can’t treat us like this. They can’t. We have come too far for that treatment Am I acting entitled?”
He found her hand. “I suggest we give them time. We will keep praying at our end. I am certain that this is but for a moment.”
She took his hand and placed it on her tummy. “I am sure he or she will look like you. Speaking of you, you have refused to get rid of this terrorist looking beard gang facial hair?” He smiled. Her tone turned serious.
“We need to talk.”
He sat up. She pulled him down. “Pillow talk. Remember?” They had this ritual as a couple where they would just talk well into the night, while lying side by side, at least once a month. They had not been very consistent since she got pregnant because her pregnancy messed with her sleeping cycle and he was busy trying to get more money.
“We never agreed on the testimony. After meeting Abbey and Eddie today, I think we should just let it go. We could just do normal thanksgiving offering, abi?” She did not let him respond. ‘That is that. I need to say this quickly before I lose my liver.” She took a deep breath. “I think we should try to cut down our living expenses.” She felt him tense slightly. “Deji, hear me out, please. I am not undermining your diligence and your ability to provide for your family. You work like a horse. I understand. But, you don’t rest anymore. You are pushing yourself too much.” Her voice softened. “I miss you. I don’t know what I would do if you keep late nights and work weekends during my maternity leave.” She felt him stir. She put her hand on his arm. “Just listen, please.” He got up from the bed. “Deji, come back to bed. We do not need to fight about this. Just hear me out.” She sat up and reached out for him. “Deji, I totally admire how you have handled the situation at work, but we can’t continue like this. I am entitled to a three-month maternity leave. But I am taking six months because of the earlier miscarriages and all. I pulled in all favours to get it, but the extra three will be unpaid. Any amount I will be getting would be in the form of gifts from colleagues, if at all. It means we would have to take a huge chunk of our emergency savings to pay the rent next year. I have done the calculations, between our joint savings, the co-operative at work and the money market fund I started for our first pregnancy, the baby will be fine. No other thing is certain. We can get a good place with at least two-thirds of what we are paying as rent currently. The amount we would save would help in our daily needs till I resume work. I have not even factored in the cost of a creche and all that. We are not very liquid.” She took a deep breath.
Deji crossed his arms. “I hear you. You have any particular place in mind?” She got up slowly and walked towards him. “Look at me, Deji.” He shook his head. He was on the verge of tears. How did it come to this? Life used to be all good. He was trying really hard hoping she would not notice. He left her standing and walked into the bathroom. He put on the tap and began to weep. “Oh God! Oh God! What do I do? How do I go about this?”. He splashed some water on his face. He stepped out of the bathroom to meet her expectant gaze. He shrugged his shoulders.
She went back to the bed and lay down. She patted the bed for him to join her. She held his hand. “We have not been able to put any money aside for your mother’s medical trip.” He nodded and gathered her into his arms. “God will provide. Pillow talk is over. Good night, baby.”
Her soft snores filled the room in no time. His eyelids remained defiant.