It was in the evening, around 7pm. It was in the midst of people, spiritual people. I was in church for an evening service and the service was great. It started just as the service was in top gear and everybody was on his or her feet deep in prayers. That was when my stomach chose to act up.
Now my stomach always acts up and that is not as a result of eating junk or in dirty places- I actually watch what I eat. My stomach however has a mind of its own and can choose to increase its motility at will and I would be forced to look for the nearest toilet and that can be more than once.
I was mortified on this day. ‘Why now?’ I thought frantically, my concentration already breaking. This must be the handiwork of the devil I concluded. In anger, I rebuked the devil and told him to stop his handiwork. It worked. Instantly, the rumbling and colic disappeared. I was overjoyed. ‘Prayer works wonders’, I said to myself and felt my face break out in a grin. Now it was time to go on with the flow of the prayers once again. I could feel it that God was going to bless me in a special way that day.
Five minutes later, the colic returned with a vengeance. ‘Oh God!’ I bent slightly. The devil was really trying to deprive me of my blessings today. No way! When I was able to stand straight again, I gathered all the energy in me and rebuked the demon of stomachache. This time it didn’t go immediately. I was beginning to sweat, my armpit was oozing. This is not good.
Finally I got some relief and continued with the prayers and the service. Just as the service was winding to a close, the colic returned and this time it was unmerciful and unrelenting. I gasped and bent double. When I couldn’t bear it anymore, I sat down on the bench.
‘God please make this thing go away’ I muttered severally. ‘Please let me get home before the colic come again’. It was a breezy night but sweat beads broke out on my face. To an onlooker, I must have prayed fervently, so much that I was sweating. I would be termed spiritual.
After a few minutes and the pressure in my rectum was not abating, I decided to do the unthinkable, leave in the middle of a service. It was a bad thing to do, a taboo. It meant two things, you were either not serious with the things of God or you couldn’t stand the fire in the church- you were demon possessed. At this stage, I was past caring. Let them think what they will. At least no one would be bold enough to confront me.
I made my way towards the exit, avoiding eye contact, my eyes glued to the floor. Outside it was dark and cold. I walked gingerly down the path leading to my house.
The church building was a new one and largely uncompleted. We were forced to move there following a forceful ejection from the previous location. It was majorly a tent with no toilet facilities whatsoever. If you must come to church, do not overeat or drink too much so that you won’t have any cause to use the toilet. What was not bargained for was sudden abdominal upsets.
The area was still underdeveloped with houses widely spaced and lots of bushes in between the houses. The road was un-tarred and full of potholes and gullies. With each step I took, the pressure became more and more unbearable. I clenched my butt so tightly it was beginning to ache, alongside my jaw muscles that was also clenched. I was walking like a geisha wearing a kimono, in small measured steps.
By the time I was half way, it became obvious that I would not be able to make it home. I was not willing to accept that fact however. ‘I must make it home’, I told myself.
Soon I came across a gully wide enough to warrant me to jump over it. I paused. ‘How would I do this?’ I thought in despair. The effort required to jump would increase my abdominal pressure and that is likely going to overwhelm the pressure of holding my rectal sphincter. That could spell doom for me. I had no other option, I must move forward.
My worst fear happened.
In mid air, I heard a splattering sound and winced. I had soiled myself. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed and angry. Why couldn’t it have waited till I got home? Why didn’t God answer my prayers? After all, He said nothing was impossible for Him to do.
I was fortunate that there were no passers-by and bushes on either side surrounded me. I ducked into the bush and removed the soiled boxers. I wiped myself with the pamphlet from church, something I would not have dared to do had I not been angry with God at that time. God had failed me at that moment and I was pissed. I couldn’t bear to lose a pair of boxers, I didn’t have enough and I had no spare cash to buy another, so I folded it neatly and took it with me.
I had one more hurdle to scale, entering my apartment without been seen. As I approached my compound, I realized with relief that there was no light. I sneaked in quietly and entered my room. Quickly stepping out of my clothes and gathering them up, I rushed into the bathroom and washed.
That day I matured. Whenever I had such stomach upset, even if in church and in the middle of service, no matter how great the service, I would simply pick my bible and leave. The call of nature waits for no man.